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Harnessing Automation in Your Asset Management System

ASCPA July2023 Feature scaled
July 20, 2023 Institutional Investment Real Estate Trends

Originally published via ASCPA

It occurred to me after being asked to write about asset management systems in the world of real estate accounting that it was possible that I was being asked to write about systems for tracking and managing fixed assets.

Instead, this is written from a higher-level perspective of an asset manager who is interested in managing a portfolio of real estate assets, because my background is in real estate from an institutional investor. Therefore, what follows are the challenges of finding an asset management system to meet the needs of an asset manager/investor’s needs, what the market offers and what we use and why.

Asset management from an institutional perspective has several challenges when scaling from single assets to having several hundred. There are several different property types involved across many locations, with multiple property managers or operators using different accounting and property systems in most portfolios. How do we aggregate those disparate systems so we can make timely, relevant and reliable decisions to help our clients make the best decisions regarding their assets?

We wanted a real estate asset management system that would:

  • Have the system consume trial balances and general ledger data from any accounting system, either through a direct connection to the operator or property manager or via a manual upload.
  • Similarly, consume tenant data, budgets, underwriting models, pipeline and acquisition data, valuation data, financing, sales and disposition data.
  • Bring in market, ESG and other data from resource providers as information needs change.
  • Conform this data to a standardized chart of accounts within the system so accounting data brought in maps to the system’s chart of accounts and produced standardized reporting allowing for apples-to-apples comparison between different portfolios, property types, geographies or operators.
  • Analyze to compare underwriting to actuals to budget to see how assets are performing to original underwriting and/or to budget to help improve our underwriting and make strategic decisions covering the assets (i.e., hold, sell, invest).
  • Manage ad-hoc questions with one source of information.
  • Manage the portfolio assets from pipeline, through acquisition, management and disposition.

There are several systems available that have comprehensive suites of software for various property types:

Yardi – offers the widest range of software for different property types from housing, commercial, self-storage, government and even ports. Yardi is the largest player in the field of real estate asset management systems and one of the most expensive. Yardi also offers market research for decision-making and risk mitigation. Yardi has operational data and predictive insights to assist with forecasts, budget performance and valuation.

MRI – offers three solutions consisting of housing, commercial and analytics. The housing and commercial platforms are integrated solutions for their respective property types. The analytics platform is a data warehouse that combines various data sources for either predefined or self-service analytics.

RealPage – consists of an integrated suite of products for commercial property and various housing property types for financial, reporting, expense, vendor and site management. In addition to sustainability and ESG, there is also analytics available with a focus on housing property types.

Entrata – is a traditional accounting and property management system with commercial and housing featuring end-to-end management.

There are many others that are good accounting systems, and more of these systems are adding analytics to their platforms, which can help asset managers manage properties. For our needs, we had to bring in data to a system agnostic solution, across many property types. In addition, we are not generating accounting data but are consumers; we chose Pereview as our asset management system.


Pereview was able to meet our challenges in the most comprehensive manner available from the asset management systems available for our needs in a cost-effective manner. Pereview was the second asset management system we implemented, and we decided to make the switch because Pereview met our challenges more effectively than its predecessor.

Pereview helped us to:

  • Reduce the time preparing consuming spreadsheet models and to create the same reporting using the accounting, budget and static data contained within the product.
  • Create dashboards that update as data is uploaded and validated in the system.
  • Generate custom dashboards and reporting as a self-service through an integrated PowerBI instance in the system.
  • Add customized reports within a reporting library of standard reports to meet the needs of each group of users (portfolio management team, asset management and the investor).

This article should not be misconstrued as an endorsement of any particular system but rather we are detailing our experience to date regarding our evaluation of the various needs and goals we wanted to achieve with an asset management system. Specifically, we required a system that allows us to consume accounting and property data from multiple managers, properties and accounting and property management systems. From that data, it allowed us to create reporting for different types of users beyond the traditional financial statements to support asset management functions and analysis. This allows us to respond in a timely manner and gain holistic insights into managing and reporting on our portfolios. We can also extend our use of accounting data further to support performance measurement calculations.

The best part is that we can take all this data across a wide range of property types, property managers, geographies, acquisitions dates and life cycle stages (construction, lease-up, stabilized) and tell a story about the portfolio. That is, how is the portfolio developing? Where do we see opportunities and causes for concern? Having the ability to distill millions of data points into something meaningful for the users without needing armies of accountants or analysts and a lot of Excel spreadsheets from a single source of truth allows us to do more meaningful work for our clients and provide greater value with our insights.

Disclaimer: Reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the data contained in this Advisory reflect accurate and timely information, and the data is believed to be reliable and comprehensive. The Advisory is based on estimates, assumptions, and other information developed by RCLCO from its independent research effort and general knowledge of the industry. This Advisory contains opinions that represent our view of reasonable expectations at this particular time, but our opinions are not offered as predictions or assurances that particular events will occur.

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