In our Real Estate Investar (REI) case study we took a high level look at what these guys do and how we've helped them deliver a unique and powerful online tool for the property investment market. They've built an application that handles property portfolios and has broad appeal for property investors – whether they're actively looking for property or want to manage an existing portfolio.
CEO, Clint Greaves has been in the property game for a long time, and we've been impressed with his drive for the finish that saw the single biggest deployment we've been involved in get over the line. It was a massive undertaking but Clint had a very, very clear vision and knew exactly what his clients needed.
In order to bring his plan to life he needed data... lots of it. And financial data was critical to creating an end-to-end solution that would have ongoing benefits for his client base.
Xero was an obvious choice for the financials as it's web based, has a great API and a positive predisposition to integration.
We've done quite a number of Xero integrations now, but what we've done for REI showcases just what can be achieved when you pull information from one application and use it intelligently in another.REI has three main tools: Search, Analyser and Tracker. Search helps to identify properties of interest then Analyser crunches the numbers and helps determine their viability. Tracker is used once the sale has been completed. It drags financial data from Xero to assess the performance of each property within your portfolio.
We've built the interface for all three of these tools but we're really excited about the Xero integration and how it reflects our passion for driving efficiency and visibility.
As stated, the purpose of Tracker is to assess the performance of each property within your portfolio, specifically comparing it to your original forecast prior to purchase.
You want to know how things are going in real time, so income and expenses are pulled from Xero and mapped to your various properties.
Xero already enables it's customers to automatically retrieve bank account transactions and present them in an easy interface for coding and reconciliation. It also allows expenses to be categorised and in this case, matched to a specific property address.
This efficient management of revenue and expenses is further extended by Tracker: all that data is transported magically (actually this is some of our handiwork) from Xero to the Tracker tool. It's distributed amongst their customers' properties and matched against the forecasts that were originally started back in the Analyser tool.
All of the financial evaluation and analysis is handled by Tracker and it brings all of the relevant figures together to provide clear information to assist with decision making and planning.
The end result of the integration is two huge benefits for the users of REI tools:
- Users get to manage their financials in Xero, with no double-entry into the REI Tracker tool
- Alongside REI's forecasts of their investments' performance, users get to see the real-world performance that comes straight out of their bank accounts. This helps them to quickly spot and react when things aren't quite going according to plan.
I've just been reading about Ray Kroc, the man behind the McDonalds empire. One of his strong beliefs was the need to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships. The way Xero and REI have brought their respective businesses together is the epitome of this in the modern day.
Xero get the benefit of additional customers and exposure via the REI customer base and REI, well they've added huge value without all the work of creating a financial package themselves.