App-based, networked, simple – Digital real estate management for everyone
Ready to use right out of the box – the easysquare apps
The ready-to-run easysquare apps are the ideal solution to support all actors in the real estate industry in their technical progress. The apps are ready to use immediately, offering a sophisticated range of features with a modern design and intuitive operation for the complete digitisation of professional real estate management. Here, the experience gained from 20 years in large businesses is translated into practical solutions for the entire real estate market – from micro-administration to self-administration.
Zeroing in on all needs – the pilot project
Not only experiences gained from our major customer projects have been incorporated into the development. We’ve worked closely with a pilot customer for the new administrator app: the Barton Group is a fully integrated, family-run real estate investment firm based in Bonn that is active across Germany. Read our exciting interview with managing director Michael Hauenstein to find out how the project got going, which technical solutions were implemented, and just how efficient digitisation can be.
Figures 1-3: No more mounds of paper. The digital desk is always available (left). Inspections have never been so convenient and transparent – the digital inspection log (centre). The completed form can be sent directly by e-mail as a PDF file (right).
IT&I: How did you end up working with PROMOS consult and easysquare?
Michael Hauenstein: As a fully integrated investment firm focusing on residential properties and residential and commercial buildings in Germany, it is important to the Barton Group that its digitisation strategy makes internal processes more efficient and provides greater convenience and a higher service level for employees on site in the properties as well as for tenants. So we searched for a company that could perform the technical implementation while taking into account our specific and individual requirements as well as existing processes. It was important for the Barton Group to rely on an established company with a robust track record in this field offering the widest possible range of modules. The interfaces for development were to be as lean as possible. We chose PROMOS because the company has been an IT service provider for 20 years and boasts successful reference projects and technical solutions. However, the decisive and ultimately pivotal factor was the possibility of developing technical solutions customised to the individual requirements of the Barton Group without us having to adapt our processes.
IT&I: Had you already used mobile solutions before?
Hauenstein: Holistic technical solution approaches along entire process chains will be newly installed with this project.
IT&I: How did the pilot project start off?
Hauenstein: As with any project, it started with a workshop between the Barton Group and PROMOS in which we discussed our requirements, goals, timelines and so on. As our objectives were relatively complex, we initially focused on sub-projects to be prioritised. This project primarily addressed digitisation of the property management processes such as apartment handovers, defect reports, acceptance of construction measures and the rental process. Following the classical implementation process, a pilot phase with selected users and selected properties was launched once the programming was completed. Their findings and experience were incorporated into the revision of the applications so that the roll-out could take place a few weeks later for the entire company. This was of course accompanied by training and workshops for the employees. Even today, after the roll-out, PROMOS is still very willing to implement improvements and adaptations. We value that very much in this partnership!
IT&I: Which concrete solutions and functions were developed?
Hauenstein: In the first step, and in concrete terms, we digitised existing analogue property management processes such as apartment handovers, defect reports, inspection logs, acceptance of construction measures and so on. The old paper forms were replaced with cloud-based forms. On-site employees use tablets to fill in and save the forms. The property manager then has immediate access and can continue working in the process without delay. The form is also stored as a data record in our system – without a manual saving step! The advantage lies in a clear streamlining of processes and higher speed as well as a significantly improved information situation thanks to automatically saved documents. In addition, the rental process has been digitised so that advertisements can be created in the various real estate portals via interface using property elements and information from the Barton Group’s ERP system with a few mouse clicks.
IT&I: What went particularly well in the implementation?
Hauenstein: The absolute benefit of the entire project is the highly individualised solution, which was completely tailored to our requirements. In terms of content, we didn’t have to make any compromises on the processes and forms that we’ve used for years. With PROMOS, we also had a very solution-oriented partner who was receptive to all the addressed requirements and challenges. “Nothing is impossible” seems to be the motto at PROMOS. [laughs]
IT&I: What hurdles had to be overcome?
Hauenstein: In addition to the usual technical challenges and interface topics, it’s immensely important to motivate users to use the new technology. Even if something doesn’t work as expected from time to time, the application rate must be kept high.
IT&I: How are employees accepting the digitisation project?
Hauenstein: The employees generally accept the project quite well since each individual notices the increased efficiency. The digitised processes don’t take as much time as in the analogue equivalent. People also quickly recognised that the information availability of documents such as handover forms, inspection logs, etc. is significantly higher with less effort than in the analogue age.
IT&I: What brings the greatest added value for your company?
Hauenstein: Definitely the increased efficiency of classic processes for property managers, reduced administrative effort and simpler documentation with higher standards. The time required to obtain information (e.g. searching for a paper handover log) has been greatly reduced.
IT&I: What are the next steps and expansion stages?
Hauenstein: The next concrete steps are programming an interface for daily synchronisation with our data management system, interfaces to more real estate portals and expanding the digital rental process to include potential tenant management. In the medium term, we plan to set up a tenant app as a communication and archiving portal for tenants. In addition, we want to post messages and information, as with the classic stairwell bulletin board or information on consumption-optimised user behaviour, and also archive tenant-specific documents such as rental contracts, utility statements, defect reports, etc.
IT&I: Mr Hauenstein, thank you for the interview and many thanks to the entire Barton Group for the cooperation.