Benefits of Advanced Software Technology

Posted On Monday, 10 July 2006 02:00 Published by
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JSE-listed property companies have enjoyed unprecedented growth over the past five years, taking advantage of the overall boom in commercial, industrial and residential property. To a degree, their success can be attributed to sound management systems, especially for those businesses that control leases and monthly rentals.

MDA Property Systems has played a pivotal role as a specialist software system service provider to the property industry and has become an integral part of it. By remaining at the forefront of system design, development and installation the company has secured the business of 22 out of the 38 JSE-listed companies in the real estate sector. All are using MDA’s Property Management System.

According to directors Willem Potgieter who is based in Johannesburg and Cape Town-based Deon Keet, MDA currently has 1,200 licensed users across 175 clients. These sites are spread across the southern African sub-continent. License growth has exceeded 30% in the last 12 months.

Potgieter explains the reasons for the company’s success, “In order to remain competitive in the property market our clients need to have the most advanced software system available. Some of the system benefits that clients look for are high speed, seamless operation with other software, efficiency, user-friendliness and above all easily accessible and accurate figures for monthly performance for example.

“One of our greatest strengths is having a dedicated team of highly qualified personnel, most of whom have at least two university degrees. MDA employs state-of-the-art systems development methodologies to keep our Property Management System updated and to extend the technological life of the product. The product is currently undergoing a significant conversion, migrating to Microsoft’s latest .net environment. Our system upgrade has been outsourced to the Costa Rican-based software development company that wrote the original conversion tool for Microsoft’s vast .net system project. Having written this tool they are in the best position to customise it for our software.”

Potgieter adds that MDA is playing a meaningful role in the property industry by assisting companies that own or manage large property portfolios to produce often complex calculations, spreadsheets and forward projections at the click of a mouse.

He said that property companies, especially those listed on the JSE, looked for features and benefits in a software system that would meet their specific needs. These include:

• International financial reporting standards require companies with leases to report on revenue on a straight line basis. When looking at the life of a lease these calculations can be extremely complex when a large number of leases are involved. A tailormade software system such as MDA’s is a huge time and effort saver for users.
• The system is of great assistance to auditors as they can easily extract whatever information they need during their audit.
• Knowledge and best practice have been encapsulated and incorporated into the system over a period of years, so that it works from the smallest to the largest organisation.
• At the other end of the spectrum there is a need for a system that can control the management of low cost housing. MDA was approached by several organisations to provide a software system that could improve efficiency and process automation. These include the Johannesburg Social Housing Company, the Greater Germiston Inner City Company and several other section 21 companies.
• The MDA system has built-in solutions to include flexible payment options for rent collections.
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) has taken over from cash and cheque payments, so this factor has had to be included in Property Manager. Users are able to import bank statements into the system, matching up to the accounts of the client. The system has also been adapted to accept payments via EasyPay, which is available at many retail outlets such as Pick ‘n Pay, Shoprite etc. This speeds up the entire payment process.

Keet concludes, “Some of the clients who have installed our system during the last twelve months include: Diversified Property Fund, Oasis Asset Management, Future Growth, Nedbank, Acucap, Colliers, Ryden, Gensec, Vunani and Kagiso.

“We have also recently concluded a contract with City Property, a Pretoria-based property administration business which manages Octodec and Premium listed property funds. One of their biggest projects has been converting low grade offices into residential units, which now total over 5,000.

“Although a general market slow down has been predicted, we believe that the number of properties in the JSE-listed funds will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. We are well positioned to service this growth and to exploit other opportunities outside the listed sector. “


MDA Property Systems
Contact:  Willem Potgieter (011) 447 1315 - Johannesburg office
    Deon Keet (021) 686 3145 – Cape Town office

Publisher: MDA Property Systems
Source: MDA Property Systems

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