Property Management

This was a project more about data manipulation than software development.

A local real estate agent was using a commercial application for tracking rental lease payments and had a separate home brewed Access database for managing late payers, task checklists and history of maintenance performed on a property.  They also had a few other spreadsheets around the office for other information relating to the management of the same rental properties.  This mess required at least double or triple data entry and resulted in many inconsistencies that inevitably come from redundant data entry and storage.

The software part of the project was fairly simple:

  • rationalise the “spaghetti” data structures in the Access database and spreadsheets without changing the user interface too much;
  • set up automatic importing of the data from the commercial application;
  • set up Word templates for automatic letter generation from the Access application;
  • construct reports to replace the various spreadsheets.

The hard part was when it came time to switch over to using the new system.  The data had to be merged from the three inconsistent sources without losing any history while still allowing the office to operate.  Lots of experience gained with SQL queries.

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