An introduction to the cloud for letting agents

by Gary Whittaker

Even if you have no interest in technology whatsoever, there is a good chance you will have at least heard of 'the cloud'. This is one of the biggest buzzwords doing the rounds at the moment and everyone seems to be talking about it, from the government down to the man on the street. 

For letting agents, it may be tempting to dismiss the cloud as a technological innovation that is of no relevance. However, that would be wrong, as the cloud's impact has the potential to transcend much of everyday life and the lettings sector is no exception. Read on to find out more about what the cloud is and how it has the potential to help your agency. 

What is the cloud '
To know how the cloud benefits your agency, it's important to first develop a basic understanding of exactly what it is. In layman's terms, the cloud refers to the process of computer programs, files and databases being stored on the internet rather than an on-site computer. This basically means that when you save a file to the cloud it is stored within a network of web-based servers instead of on your computer's hard drive.

If you use the internet, the chances are you have already used the cloud. For example, any photos you have uploaded to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter will be stored in the cloud.

The concept of the cloud has been around for quite a long time, but it has only started to come into real mainstream use over the past ten years or so. It has really started to take off in the last few years, with numerous reports forecasting it will revolutionise technology and generate billions of pounds worth of economic advantages.

How can this help letting agents?
Now that you have an idea of what the cloud is, how can it be used to help your agency? Well, there are three key benefits.

Ease of access
When something is saved to the cloud it can be accessed from any location and any device, provided you have access to the internet and the necessary permissions - username and password etc. 

This gives letting agents a far greater level of flexibility. For example, staff can can easily work from home as they can access all of the necessary programs and data through the cloud. They can also use a mobile device such as a tablet to update systems and databases while out on property viewings, rather than having to wait until they return to the office. Having access to the cloud can massively boost efficiency and transform the way your agency goes about its everyday operations.

Security
Another major benefit of the cloud is the security it provides. Any changes made on cloud-based software are automatically saved and once something is on the cloud it will stay there forever unless you choose to delete it. Using the cloud means there is no need to worry about hard drives crashing or having to create backups - it's all taken care of for you.

Cost savings
A final key benefit of the cloud is the cost savings it can deliver. Using the cloud means your agency will become less reliant on its own IT infrastructure and a much smaller level of hardware and maintenance investment will be required. 

Rentman cloud
We are fully onboard with the cloud at Rentman and offer a full cloud-based version of our letting agent and property management software. Click here, or get in touch with us if you would like to know more about how Rentman cloud could work for you.ADNFCR-1064-ID-801746740-ADNFCR

03-September-14General Lettings News