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Landmark Customer Case Studies - KEYPrime Accounts

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Charters Commercial

King's Worthy, Hampshire

Stephanie Thorne (Msc MRICS)

Travelling through the Hampshire lanes you cannot fail to notice Charters ‘For Sale’ signs, the residential practice is highly visible to the casual observer, but what about Charters Commercial?

Stephanie Thorne. There are no regional restrictions to the practice but traditionally Charters is dominant in Hampshire, Dorset and Surrey. The property investment side is growing and, having installed a new cloud based computerised system in KEYPrime Property last summer, we can work remotely or hot desk at any office. Significantly more instructions and increasing confidence in the recording process is leading to a smoother and more efficient set up for our commercial clients.

 

What is involved in managing commercial property for investors?
We will often take instructions from Investment clients to manage their properties following acquisition. These will be a mixture of office, industrial and retail properties, typically a portfolio will be made up of a mix of properties, uses and tenants. Where a client is investing and there is a tenant in situ property management
starts by checking the existing lease for compliance. A lease can comprise of up to 150 pages so we take the relevant data and register it all on KEYPrime Property. Linked documents will be put into the system once and easily updated or referred back to using the document link facility in KEYPrime. All date sensitive items such as reviews and break dates will be diarised and can also be linked to Outlook – the KEYPrime diary is often set as the opening screen with tasks and anniversary dates sorted by a traffic light system for us to action.
 
Is this where the management side kicks in?
Yes, computerised reminders in response to advancing software technology and more red tape have changed the industry. User-defined diary actions in KEYPrime Property mean that we control regular inspections and compliance certificates, for example relating to Health & Safety. With a commercial premises there is less “physical” property management as it is the responsibility of the tenant to repair and maintain not our client,
the landlord. However we will arrange the maintenance tests, log the proof and ensure that KEYPrime Property will flag up the next inspection due date.
 
How do Rent Demands and Service Charges happen?
We store separate files for each property. I enter all the relevant information into KEYPrime Property relating to rent intervals and charges. Demands are raised electronically on customisable stationery and emailed by Anna Townsend, our Accounts Manager, with whom I work closely.
 
Would you install new software so early in your new role again?
I wanted a system from the outset to start as we meant to go on, it was scary as we had to learn to trust these unknown buttons and rely on the instructions from our trainer! Using property software is different to accounts software because it lacks the repetition of a regular deadline so it is easy to forget how to do something. We learnt quickly and I felt we were getting there pre-Christmas when we had a VAT payment to do for a client. It took a very short time to send across an involved report with exempt and standard VAT status for different aspects directly to the accountant.
 

"The beauty of an integrated cloud based system means that both Anna and I can work on live data simultaneously and there is no expensive hard copy batch posting, or even a need to scan."