True Integration Vs. Interfacing In Property Management Software

Parisa Vafaei director at yardi and a quote

Today, savvy Canadian businesses are seeking ways to improve efficiency and streamline their operations. With recent advancements in technology, real estate professionals have access to a wide range of tools and solutions that can help them better manage their business data. However, the key to maximizing the benefits of these technologies lies in understanding the difference between systems that integrate and those that merely interface with business data.

True integration and interfacing are not the same, but the differences can be confusing. Let’s go over the differences between interfacing and integration, why integration is so important and how it can help your property management business thrive.

What is an interface?

An interface typically involves connecting separate systems in a way that allows them to communicate with each other, but without the same level of seamless integration seen in fully integrated solutions. While interfacing can be useful in certain contexts, it often results in fragmented data and processes, leading to inefficiencies and potential errors.

How to tell if your software uses an interface

Think about the way in which your data is stored. If it’s housed on multiple platforms, you’re probably using an interface. An interface acts as the bridge between two or more separate pieces of software, allowing for them to communicate and relay data. When working with an interface, your data is maintained in multiple locations.

What is integration?

Integration refers to a system in which all products operate seamlessly as a unified system. In contrast to an interface (which acts as a bridge between platforms), an integrated system is the result of two more products working together to combine different functionalities, allowing you to maintain all of your data in one location. These integrated systems enable data to flow freely between different departments and functions within the organization, leading to a more cohesive and efficient operation.

Additionally, an integrated system allows updates to be implemented across all connected features without the help of an IT team to complete additional testing.

How to tell if your software uses true integration

If your software is integrated, you’re likely using a single platform for many or even all of your needs. For example, Yardi Breeze Premier is an all-in-one property management solution for marketing, leasing operations, accounting and more.

Why integration matters

Integrated technology provides real-time access to accurate and up-to-date data. Integrated systems ensure that data is entered once and available to all relevant parties immediately, reducing the risk of errors associated with manual data entry and disconnected systems. It also helps you provide better customer service with fewer delays.

Here are some additional benefits to true integration.

See your entire business from one screen

By consolidating data from different areas of the organization, such as marketing, leasing, accounting and property management, businesses can gain valuable insights into their operations and make more informed decisions. This can lead to improved strategic planning, better resource allocation and a deeper understanding of customer needs and preferences. Operational efficiency has its perks: Greg Condon says his business doubled in portfolio size since implementing Breeze Premier.

Automate repetitive tasks

From lead generation and follow-up to lease administration and financial reporting, integrated systems can streamline workflows and free up employees’ time to focus on higher-value activities. Breeze Premier client Robert Braun confirms that building custom reports has reduced from one week to just one hour.

By reducing the time and effort required to handle routine tasks, businesses can improve productivity and create a more efficient and responsive operation.

Provide a better customer experience

With access to a centralized database of customer information, businesses can provide personalized service and targeted marketing efforts, facilitating stronger customer relationships. Whether it’s tracking a client’s property preferences, managing communication with potential buyers or providing timely support, integrated systems ensure that everyone in the organization is on the same page. Many clients experience an increase in tenant retention and renewals since introducing online rent payments and maintenance requests.

Boost growth & scale faster

Furthermore, integrated technology supports scalability and growth. As real estate businesses expand, they need flexible and adaptable systems that can grow with them. Integrated solutions are designed to accommodate increasing volumes of data, users and transactions. Integration makes it easier for businesses to scale their operations without having to overhaul their technology infrastructure.

In contrast, interfacing technology may pose limitations as the business grows, leading to a fragmented and inefficient IT environment that can hinder progress and successful technology adoption.

Actions that property managers can take

Canadian real estate businesses should consider partnering with experienced technology providers that understand the unique needs of the industry. These providers can offer tailored solutions that address the specific challenges and opportunities, such as compliance with local regulations.

Businesses unlock a wealth of benefits by adopting integrated systems that seamlessly connect and consolidate various aspects of their operations. The benefits include improved data accuracy and business insights to enhanced customer experience and scalability. As the real estate industry continues to evolve, embracing true integration is a smart way to position your business for success.