Paperwork. It is truly a rare person who enjoys this tedious but imperative task. The best way to minimize the time spent on this mundane job is via automation through technological innovation.
Draw requests comprise invoices, receipts, budgets, change orders and lien releases. And if you are still handling these chores manually for a Commercial Real Estate (CRE) developer, it is very likely you are spending an absurd amount of time doing them.
In spite of the fact that the draw process forms an integral part of real estate development, spending so much time putting it together means you are spending less time paying attention to how the funds are being spent, as well as missing out on opportunities to reduce costs.
Implementing a state-of-the-art solution to automate these bookkeeping duties is the best way to solve this problem.
So many jobs, so little time
Some of the time-intensive tasks in the CRE space that have historically been done manually but can now be automated include:
- Collecting and filing invoices.
- Scanning hard copy.
- Sending monthly invoices to vendors.
- Inputting invoice data into project tracking and vendor summary spreadsheets.
- Entering new contracts into spreadsheets and filing them.
- Uploading funding packages to a Dropbox or server.
- Compiling overview reports.
- Identifying overruns.
- Analyzing project financial performance.
- Entering data into accounting systems.
- Inputting costs and cutting checks.
- Reviewing lien waivers.
Each of these components is critical in ensuring that a development project runs well from start to finish – on time, on budget and with satisfied contractors and lenders coexisting in peace.
Benefits of automation
The commercial real estate industry has not fully adopted automation, even though the technology is widely used across most industries. And although it can be daunting, once it is set up, automation allows for all of the details in a project to be collected and presented by utilizing easy-to-use workflows.
Automation of loan draw requests are baked into cutting-edge solutions for real estate development teams. Real estate project data, including invoices, proposals, contracts, etc., can be centralized using technology, and grouped into easily digestible dashboards and reports.
Draw request tools are able to analyze your budget, determine where financing is needed and create a comprehensive drawing request that is easy to understand due to the availability of all project data within the system.
Efficiency and error prevention
Management software boosts productivity by centralizing all documents, approvals, and payments on a single cloud-based platform accessible to all parties involved. This keeps everyone in the know, allows everyone to evaluate every piece of data fast, and helps everyone to complete loan draw requests rapidly, resulting in approvals being issued in record time.
Whether you’re preparing invoices, lien releases, cover sheets, approval paperwork, or anything else, commercial real estate software gives you the tools and information you need to get the job done quickly and efficiently and with just a few mouse clicks.
Tech helps automate functions, keeping project costs down
In the CRE industry, developers are very dependent on project budgeting software, and this has increased through the pandemic. The best solutions in this space grow in lockstep with tech and should give the project perspective as much attention as the financial perspective. A state-of-the-art solution allows the software modules or functionality to be project aware, with each module providing the necessary project perspective to complement the general ledger perspective.
Nearly all job-costing software emphasizes the subcontractor or general contractor perspective where the detail level drives the reporting. But success in the developer market comes from its ability to go beyond the details and show management top-level project status and the various detail levels that support it. The software solution must address the complete life cycle of a real estate asset: from project inception to project completion, and from pre-development to property management, in order to minimize budget debt and maximize profit, efficiency and client satisfaction.
In Conclusion: Automation Wins
Maximizing ROI while minimizing time and other resource consumption is the name of the game for commercial real estate developers and automating as many processes as possible, such as loan draw with cutting-edge management software helps reach that goal.
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