When it comes to helping a landlord’s business succeed, clear and insightful reporting of an organisation’s financial situation is an area where Property Managers can make a real difference. Quality financial reports put a landlord in control; enabling sound, informed decisions and timely interventions in issues. Clients need a combination of broad overview reports to understand their organisation’s financial situation at a glance and more detailed property, tenant or even invoice-level information allowing focus on specific issues.
“We are completely transparent and clear with financial information. There should be absolutely no gaps between our knowledge and a client’s knowledge in this area” says Lee, PM+U’s Head of Finance. “Sometimes that means delivering difficult news, which of course no one enjoys having to do, but it means issues can be faced and dealt with immediately. We’ve experienced taking on new clients and finding buried financial issues that could have been dealt with much easier had they been highlighted right away.”
No two clients are the same, so our approach is to take the time to really understand their unique needs. Our aim is to provide each client with exactly what they want to know without inundating them with anything unnecessary, all presented in an easy-to-understand format. We’d love our financial reports to be seen as beautifully simple and a pleasure to read (although that might be a stretch for some!). And we’ll always offer to talk through each report, highlighting areas of insight and offering our thoughts. For many of our clients, having this regular discussion around reports gives them a bit of a sounding board.
Good financial reporting comes down to good relationships. We actively engage in regular conversations with all areas of a client’s business, including their finance team and their tenants. Building these trusting relationships helps us to ensure that cash collections are efficient and regular, problems are recognised and dealt with as early as possible, and that the client has the information they need for their own reporting purposes.
Regular reviews are also essential to ensure the reports we are providing remain fit-for-purpose. Having a keen understanding of a client’s market sector helps us appreciate when changes might be necessary and proactively make suggestions. For example, right now in the Covid19 pandemic, many clients are eager for more information on cash collection percentages.
“In essence, our role is about making a landlord’s life easier,” says Lee, “and our culture of being flexible and seeking continuous improvement makes this possible. We want landlords to know we’re on their on their side and in this together.”