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A look at the property software market - Interview with Estate Master CEO Martin Hill


The availability of increasingly powerful software is radically changing how organisations in a variety of industries operate. Allowing users to reach new levels of automation, accuracy and efficiency, the right software package can instantly boost any business's competitiveness.

Property development is one area that has benefited immensely from software - and Australia is right at the heart of this revolution. Estate Master has grown over the last 20 years to not only become the industry-leading provider, but also the international industry standard when it comes to property development software.

According to CEO Martin Hill, there were several industry needs that required filling as time progressed - and Estate Master was there to deliver.

"The property software market has developed quite substantially," he says.

"I guess people, especially in the larger organisations, realise that they need to work with processes that can be consistently applied. It's important to have consistency through the different workflows throughout the value-added property development chain."

A lack of consistency and uniformity in reporting has always plagued property developers before the appropriate software became mainstream. With operations, development and finance teams all needing to have a say in the process, achieving harmony used to be incredibly difficult.

"Quite often you find there's a void between what the development manager is saying and what accounts are saying, for example. It's very important to get the right type of integration and consistency," says Martin.

Add to that the constant risks of mistakes being logged on spreadsheets and changes not being communicated, and you can see why many were looking for a solution that could eradicate computation errors.

As the property development scene in Australia and abroad becomes ever more sophisticated - with joint ventures and extended projects now commonplace - having the right software tools at their disposal will be even more important for property professionals.

"The degree of sophistication is so much greater now, so the need for more powerful tools is another thing that we're addressing as well."

To achieve the level of sophistication now demanded, software developers will need to embrace the cloud - something that Estate Master has already well recognised.

"Historically, developers have been a little bit reluctant with the cloud, in the sense that they see information as highly confidential," acknowledges Martin.

"That will change with time though - for users that collect a lot of information, such as banks, the cloud will allow them to work with industry standards and collect all the information they need in the cloud."

A range of factors, such as the growing need for cross-compatibility between devices and the changing habits of workers, will further push the uptake of the cloud - something that Martin believes will "no doubt" have an even stronger impact on software in the future.

As the need for property software with the right tools grows and competition intensifies between providers, what should users look for when investing in a solution? According to Martin, the three most important factors buyers should consider are capability, flexibility and integration. Does the software do what you need it to do, in the way you want it to? Is it flexible enough to accommodate varying international standards, such as those pertaining to currency, taxes and accounting? Also, can it pull together input from across the organisation to achieve uniformity?

And for those seeking the global industry leader in property software, there's no need to look beyond Australian shores - as Estate Master leverages its decades of experience to develop the best offering, from right in the heart of Sydney.

"Our experience in the property area is what sets us apart - we know what are the key elements that need to be inputted and reported on, for instance. We've been involved in the industry for 20 years, we have a large international user base and we have a broad mix of computer and property professionals," Martin says.

"We focus on and understand the market - that's why we're recognised."

Date Published: 12 Aug 2014
Category: General NewsNews

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