Alliance Managing Agents Ltd. is a residential and commercial property management company based in the Docklands area of London, specialising in Block Management. With a rapidly growing portfolio and a reputation for outstanding service, they are currently managing around 2000 units.
Alliance chose to implement Qube PM soon after start up, knowing it is a widely used product across the sector that would allow their team to oversee a large number of properties while maintaining detailed financial records and leveraging highly efficient links to online banking. “We started from scratch and we straight away implemented Qube PM,” says Nathan Spitzer, Alliance’s head of client accounts. “Even though we had virtually nothing in the beginning, we started with Qube PM.”
The investment in Qube PM allows the Alliance team to maximise their resources and make the best use of their time. They knew they could implement Qube PM smoothly and quickly, and their strong commitment to establishing streamlined block management operations supports their mission to provide clients with the very best in services.
Banking Integration and Compliance
Block Managers must adhere to strict banking compliance regulations, which can be laborious and time intensive. As a growing service provider, Alliance knew that Qube PM would help them ensure financial compliance and would start them out on a firm footing. Qube PM removes the task of manually separating out ground rent, service charges, and other fees, instead handling the process automatically.
Using virtual accounts and heavily leveraging electronic banking, incoming payments are processed in bulk and outgoing funds, including VAT, supplier fees and utility payments, are also handled as a single transaction. Income and expenditure are immediately updated in all related files and accounts, with an automated process that dramatically reduces errors and saves office staff enormous amounts of time.
“On the banking side, it’s all electronic and all running really, really efficiently,”
Nathan Spitzer Alliance’s head of client accounts says.
“I don’t think software goes much faster than this.”
Devising accurate yearly budgets is another area that is of primary importance to Alliance and establishing good practices in the beginning helps them stay on track. To assist the Property Manager, they use Qube PM to evaluate expenditure histories, determine appropriate projects for the coming year and develop budgets that make the best use of tenants’ monies, while enabling proper maintenance of the properties. Slow-paying tenants and overdue payments can be quickly spotted with Qube PM, allowing property managers to keep incoming monies on schedule to support planned expenditures.
Accurate and Timely Reporting
The traditional method of producing and reconciling account statements at service charge year end is a major undertaking for many property managers. Examining the year’s income and expenditure can often consume a great deal of time, only to result in later on discovering discrepancies that must be tracked down using months-old information.
Alliance knew they didn’t want to dedicate staff to an inefficient process, especially in the beginning when they were focusing their efforts on starting and growing their block management business. Instead, they rely on Qube PM to maintain running account statements for each property and lessee, making on-demand statements simple and efficient. The system is also designed to highlight budget discrepancies right away, allowing office staff to quickly identify locate and make adjustments.
Alliance estimates that producing a full set of accounts each year using the traditional methods of paper records and multiple programs or databases would take someone about a week from start to finish. Through the use of Qube PM’s superior accounting methodologies, it takes one Alliance employee only two to three hours to accomplish the same task, along with providing all the accompanying paperwork and having completed a full reconciliation of all accounts. They can then provide auditors with information that is of exceptional quality and highly accurate. “Our auditors are so happy with what we provide to them that they manage to turn around accounts sometimes within one day,” Nathan says. Qube PM’s robust data management and reconciliation capabilities also make more frequent reporting – quarterly or even monthly – a quick and simple operation.
Less Paper, More Organisation
Through the implementation of Qube PM’s near-paperless record, data, and document management system, Alliance’s streamlined documentation process provides property managers with a powerful, easy-to-use platform. “Everything is held within Qube PM,” Nathan says. “I don’t like using multiple systems because then you’re always synchronising between the various databases. We have one database and everything is on there.”
“Our auditors are so happy with what we provide to them that
they manage to turn around accounts sometimes within one day… ”
Nathan Spitzer, Alliance’s head of client accounts
Case Study: London Managing Agent Grows on Firm Software Footing
By installing this single robust system during the startup phase, Alliance has minimised excess paper records. Property information, lease details, tenant histories and all related data is safely stored in the Qube PM system, linked throughout each record so that administrators can easily locate, print, or even e-mail any piece of information they need. Phone calls can be detailed within the system so the complete history on any unit, property or tenant is available immediately. Letters to tenants can be easily and quickly composed, sent and stored using Qube PM’s built-in mail merge function. Everything is held within the Qube PM solution — no more syncing information between different systems.
Alliance has even done away with the most traditional form of paper – cheques. Contractors are beginning to adopt electronic invoicing practices and Alliance processes all supplier invoices through Qube PM, which is then used to send payments electronically. Not only does this reduce the amount of paper floating around Alliance’s offices, it also ensures that invoices are coded correctly and batch payment processing means that providers are paid at the right time and from the right account.
By adopting the power of Qube PM, Alliance knows they can maximise their staff’s efficiency and devote their resources to customer service and increasing their client base. With a business built on a sound foundation, this managing agent is on the path to a bright future.
“I don’t like using multiple systems because then you’re always synchronising between the various databases. We have one database and everything is on there. ” Nathan Spitzer Alliance’s head of client accounts.