NEW technology is on course to help a growing property management firm speed up its expansion, which includes plans for a national roll-out.
KIS Lettings, which is based in South Shields and has offices in North Shields and Sunderland, is aiming to open a further nine North East branches in the next three years. After that, it is looking to take the brand nationwide.
The firm, which specialises in managing rented properties, is benefiting from the boom in the sector as young people struggling to secure mortgages turn to the private rented sector.
KIS, which currently has 15 staff, forecasts that the expected growth will increase its turnover from the current £500,000 to £5m.
Part of the plan is to increase efficiencies and save time on routine tasks using improved IT systems which will be rolled out across the group as it expands.
KIS worked with business advisers and chartered accountants Clive Owen & Co LLP to develop a bespoke system which combines data from the lettings database with the company’s Sage accounts system.
The software, which has cut costs by around 20%, allows managers to get an immediate financial picture up to five years into the future and provide easy-to-access information for the 300 landlords it deals with in the region.
Clients, which range from those with a single buy-to-let property to those owning a portfolio, can log in and see real-time status reports on their own accounts, such as notifications when rents are due. Ajay Jagota, who started KIS Lettings in 2006 after managing his own portfolio of properties and working in the lettings sector for more than 15 years, said: “For KIS, the massive benefit will come in being able to see our accounts in real time, then we know we’re getting an accurate financial picture and can act quickly on that information.
“Clive Owen & Co has completed an excellent project and the result will enable our business to develop. We have a significantly clearer financial picture of the business going forward.
“For our clients it’s led to our innovative online landlord system where we now have 1,500 landlord logins per month.
“It’s all there for them to see and in the future we plan to formulate that information into a Sage file so it can be a one-stop-shop for them to process their own accounts and tax returns.
“The whole idea of using IT and getting Sage installed is that it doesn’t give us any obstacles in our plans for rapid expansion. It’s onwards and upwards from here.”
Clive Owen & Co, which specialises in accountancy software solutions, developed a system that can be used across the KIS group as it grows.
Associate director John Davison said: “Ajay will have a lot more day-to-day management information so he will know exactly where the business is, rather than relying on what the projections are, and he’ll be able to make more timely decisions as a result.”