MRI launches features to meet challenges of corona crisis
Handling deferred rental payments, adjusting depreciation and advanced cashflow forecasts are some of the additions to existing products the real estate software supplier has brought out to address market uncertainty.
The company has introduced enhancements to its MRI Living, MRI @Work and Financials suites that will empower owners and operators of both residential and commercial properties to adapt to changing behaviors and market conditions resulting from the pandemic.
Patrick Ghilani, CEO of MRI Software, said: “Covid-19, both the pandemic and the necessary response, slammed the brakes on the global economy. This rapid change created a new set of operational and living conditions to which real estate owners and operators had to adjust. We are seeing rapid adoption of new features as well as more mature features that enable socially distant business practices.”
Brian Zrimsek, industry principal, MRI Software, added: “Looking forward, we expect to see real estate organisations continue to leverage newly implemented technology tools throughout the recovery period and into the new normal. Companies that undergo digital transformation during this time will continue to rely on innovation and technology adoption in the future.”
MRI added several product enhancements to provide landlords and property managers with access to digital tools and services that address rent payment concerns, ensure effective communication with residential and commercial tenants, and help manage the impact on assets and portfolios:
Deferred payment agreements – As tenants and residents seek rent relief due to the economic fallout of the crisis, commercial and residential operators may need to account for deferred payment agreements to accommodate partial payments and delayed payments. The ability to manage and account for these, where balances due are spread over future periods, is now available to MRI Living and MRI @Work clients.
Outbound call routing for automated communications – A new Outbound Call Routing feature in MRI’s Callmax Automated Communications suite allows users to make calls to prospects and residents as if they are coming from the property’s office phone. With most agents working remotely during the crisis, this feature ensures that properties can stay connected while displaying the proper callback information. These calls are tracked and stored in Callmax so that activity is monitored and available for future reference.
Enhanced service requests submittal features in Resident Connect – With many properties only handling emergencies and deploying maintenance staff where absolutely necessary, a new feature of MRI’s resident portal helps set expectations as to what qualifies as an emergency. The capability to gather additional information, such as insight into internal unit conditions, is now available, allowing for enhanced data capture during service request submittal.
Calculate adjusted depreciation in fixed asset accounting | Covid-19 relief measures bring a significant US federal tax change affecting the management of physical assets. The CARES Act recently enacted in the US impacts fixed asset adjusted depreciation and designates “qualified improvement property” as 15-year Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery Systems property and assigns a 20-year life if an Alternative Depreciation System is elected or required. The amendment is retroactive to 2018. MRI Fixed Asset Accounting software provides users with the flexibility to comply with federal tax changes and easily set up the updated depreciation method with a few clicks.
Advanced retail insights and accounts receivable insights – With operating income and cash flow being more essential than ever, two new interactive dashboards powered by MRI’s Analytix suite ensure visibility into key metrics to help organisations navigate these difficult times. The Advanced Retail dashboards provide insights into occupancy and retail metrics, allowing users to visualise exposure by tenant category, region, and asset across the entire portfolio. The Accounts Receivable dashboard provides critical trending information for paid and outstanding receivables, also by asset and geographic attributes across the portfolio. Both solutions benefit from minimal implementation needs, allowing clients to take advantage of them rapidly.
“We are seeing an increasing need for property managers and tenants to rely on digital services as the more rapid shift to a contactless society is being driven by the COVID-19 crisis,” notes Zrimsek. “At MRI, we are doing everything we can to preserve business continuity in the face of remote work scenarios and economic slowdown. Making full use of the technology at their disposal is the best option property owners and managers can take to ensure that important work still gets done, while observing social distancing requirements and other restrictions.”