DALTON BUCK

In the past, spreadsheets were the gold standard. Somewhere you could log your information, calculate depreciation, and control all of your formulae and data. Managing a property, whether a facilities manager or landlord, was most commonly done using a spreadsheet.

Since then, PropTech has burst onto the scene, automating many of the tedious processes that spreadsheets entail. The development and progress of the mobile phone have allowed PropTech apps and systems to supersede spreadsheets, as they’re unwieldy enough on a laptop, let alone on a smaller screen.

So, which is better? PropTech or a spreadsheet? We’ll run you through some of the benefits and drawbacks.

 

Spreadsheets

Advantages

The main advantage a spreadsheet has over any number of systems is that they’re free. Right now, all you have to do is open google sheets, and you can start populating the spreadsheet with your data.

Depending on what you’re looking to do, whether it’s facilities management for an office or for real estate, PropTech can become expensive. Costs can also grow while you’re scaling your business, whereas a spreadsheet will always be free.

The other main advantage a spreadsheet has is that it’s highly customisable. Whatever you want to manage, you’ll be able to create your formula and start managing it.

Disadvantages

However, this level of customizability comes at a cost. You have to populate the data yourself and may need to cross-reference and transfer from multiple sources. This data then has to be updated constantly. 

Spreadsheets, therefore, can quickly become unwieldy and out of date. Even though they’re free, they’re not tailored to your specific needs, meaning that you have to be in complete control on a day-to-day basis. 

This dip in accountability means that a return on investment is more likely with PropTech, as PropTech will give you more clarity and control over your properties.

 

PropTech

Advantages

The biggest advantage a PropTech app or system has over a spreadsheet is that everything will update and in real-time. Whenever anything changes, you’ll be able to log it much faster, and all of your systems will update.

It’s also faster to update everything with a PropTech app because if it’s on your smartphone, you can carry it around with you a lot more.

PropTech apps can also interact with other systems in a way that a spreadsheet simply can’t. Whether it’s in terms of integrations or even copying data into a FinTech system, apps can interact with each other a lot more than spreadsheets can, which will ultimately streamline your workflow. 

Disadvantages

The main disadvantage is the investment. While it may take less time to set up and populate a PropTech app or system, it may take longer before you start seeing a return on investment.

If a PropTech system allows you to fix properties faster or helps with building processes, or general accountability, it may have to run for a certain amount of time before an effect is seen.

So, while a PropTech will show you immediate results elsewhere, it may not show them financially for an amount of time.

 

Which is Better? Spreadsheets or PropTech?

It’s clear that, overall, PropTech will be better for what you’re trying to do. If you are managing or building facilities, a spreadsheet will become cumbersome and hold you back before long.

Spreadsheets are breeding grounds for human error, too, while on-site interaction is a lot easier if something is in app form.

PropTech systems remain streamlined, accessible, and they update in real-time, meaning you get better accountability across the board.