Cloud-software – what does it mean?
RentPro, like many other applications used regularly for both business and personal purposes, is a cloud-based software package, and we like to convey this as one of its key strengths over more traditional desktop software solutions. But what on earth is all this “cloud” jargon all about in the first place, and why should you care?!
“The cloud” has become one of the technology buzzwords of the last year, and it’s here to stay. Basically it means that your data is stored out there on the Internet, and is accessible via your web browser in the same way as any other website, or applications such as your email or your Internet banking. “Out there on the Internet” may sound bad to the uninitiated so take a look at the list of advantages below to set your mind at ease, and you’ll discover a different perspective.
- Your key property management data is stored in secure data-centres, housing leading-edge hardware and connected to the Internet with world-class network infrastructure. These data-centres are huge highly-restricted and security-controlled buildings where thousands of web servers power the world’s leading websites. All data is safe from prying eyes, and other risks which may cause you sleepless nights under normal circumstances – fire, flooding, break-in, theft… And we back that data up away from the data centre also, for even more peace of mind.
- Available 24×7 anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. This is an advantage, really! Not in the way that you have to take your work home with you, but rather that there’s no need for you to go into the office just to keep visibility of what’s happening in your agency. You can keep tabs on rental arrears and maintenance activity using your laptop while on holiday at the far end of the planet!
- Cost-effective subscription pricing. Software as a Service (Saas) offers the advantage of on-demand pay-as-you-go pricing. There is no need to fork out money for hardware and expensive licences. With no setup fee, you can be up and running immediately, and with our great 14-day free trial, you can see how the software fits your letting agency before committing to buy. When you do decide to continue using the software, you pay an affordable monthly fee (£64.99 to manage up to 250 properties), and you can cancel at any time with no charge.
- Easier maintenance and support. Should you encounter any problems with your account, e.g. if you’re struggling to understand where a landlord statement value has been derived from, our support staff can log in to your account remotely and help you resolve the issue. No need for costly site visits, or confusing instructions to allow us share your computer screen. We can resolve the issue promptly, normally without even a phone call.
Disadvantage (there’s always one!)
There is one potential disadvantage to the cloud-based model, and that pops up again and again in sales conversations. And our answer is always sufficient to settle the nerves of letting agents and landlords we speak to.
- If you lose your Internet connection you can’t access your data. This has the potential to be crippling, I hear you say! At a glance, that may appear to be the case, but ask yourself how often have you been unable to access the Internet in the last year, for example? Once, maybe twice? And these would have been due to major outages on a national level, which affect millions of consumers and business owners. You’re much more likely to have your laptop stolen, your office damaged in a fire, or your data lost or corrupted by a virus than to lose it from a world-class cloud services provider.
It’s only natural, indeed wise, to be concerned about where your data resides, and how secure it is. We use one of the world leaders in cloud technology, Amazon Web Services, and our own company K-Point Internet Solutions is registered with the UK Information Commissioner, so you can be sure that you’re dealing with reputable providers.
When you think about it, your data is safer in the cloud than it ever was in your own office. And more accessible. And the cost of running your property management is greatly reduced compared to installing costly letting agency management software on your own servers, and maintaining those servers. And… need I continue…?!
If your letting agency is not already enjoying the benefits of RentPro, sign up for a free 14-day trial of our property management software, and with no initial payment and no obligation, you can see for yourself how it will transform your lettings business.