IDprop: Ensuring the Mitigation of Internal and External Fraud in Property Management
An Interview between Insights Success and Sara Statman, the Founder & CEO of the company, highlights how IDprop automates Property Management workflows, reduces multiple internal and external fraud risks, simplifies regulatory compliance and generates significant cost savings.
Below are the interview highlights:
Give us a brief overview of IDprop, its vision, and journey since inception.
Our journey began with a desire to automate business processes, improve operations and internal controls, while simultaneously mitigating key fraud risks. Manual processes are inefficient and subject to human error. Operational effectiveness ranges from a single point of access to clean standardized data through to eliminating duplication and redundancy. Inadequate internal controls may facilitate fraud. For example, if any employee can wire out funds, onboard clients and suppliers, or access any part of the system, chaos could ensue. Fraud may arise from internal staff, collusion with third-parties or external cyber crime. Let’s assume a supplier colludes with an employee and offers a kickback, or perhaps a tenant uses a fake ID to rent an apartment, then sublets it to multiple tenants, strips the apartment and disappears. Fake profiles may comprise a mix of real and fake data, making them much harder to spot. This led us to develop our own Biometric Identity Verification solution, including a liveness check, facial recognition and validation of official documents, to ensure there is a genuine profile. This is integrated into all our ERP products, the first of which is IDprop: A Full Property Management suite.
IDprop provides an all-in-one, cloud-based property management solution, covering Leasing, Accounting, Automated Fees and Invoicing, Online Payments, Arrears Management, Maintenance, Compliance, Operations, Client Surveys, Inspections and Appraisals. The suite also includes a CRM for Lead Management and handles Vacancies, Bookings, Tenant Progression, Background Screening with Biometric Identity Verification, E-Signing, Contracts, as well as separate Dashboards for Property Managers, Owners, Concierge, and Tenants, with useful alerts such as arrears, compliance notices, emergencies, and messaging.
Sector coverage is comprehensive and includes the full spectrum of Property Management: Self-Storage, Residential, Single & Multi-Family, Affordable Housing, Community Associations, Student Housing, as well as Commercial Property.
Systems have multiple security layers and built-in controls for access management, permissions, and fraud risk mitigation. For example, only someone authorized may wire out funds, add a new owner or property and approve Supplier Fees. In addition to “Ease of Use” a core theme across all modules, is Fraud Risk Mitigation.
As the Founder & CEO, where in your opinion are organizations most susceptible to internal and external fraud risk, and what solutions have you implemented?
Phishing Fraud is an increasing problem. Let me share a true story. A builder’s system had been hacked. The hacker knew the client’s name, address, email, and price — emailed the client a fake invoice with the builder’s name and logo but the hacker’s bank details — the client paid and was left out of pocket.
Email is not a secure form of communication and should not be used to send out invoices. IDprop’s secure login means all invoices inside the portal originate from the real vendor and to mitigate wire fraud in general, only authorized staff may approve and pay invoices and only system-approved “fees” may be included in invoices. We will soon be launching IDpay as a secure portal for all sectors to send and receive invoices and arrange secure payments.
In Property Management internal fraud may occur if an employee, without restricted access, adds fake properties, with fake tenants, sets up fake accounts or shell companies as owner, and uses this to wire out funds. These kinds of risks are present across industries, in particular when large cash-flows are at stake and are often committed by mid to senior level employees with sufficient knowledge of systems and processes. IDprop offers protection by limiting these activities to authorized staff only.
Third-party suppliers may charge outsized fees or apply excessive mark-ups for equipment or spare parts. These bids may be accepted by bribing or coercing a property manager into selecting higher bids in return for kickbacks. IDprop implemented multiple fraud controls in its maintenance solution. First only someone authorized can authorise adding suppliers and approve all fee quotes and spare parts. When a work order is required, the system only displays the three lowest cost suppliers covering the repair type and location. Bookings are automated and by requiring tenant feedback, this adds in a further layer of control, to ensure the job took place.
At the tenant screening stage, should fake identities pass, all screening would be meaningless. The safest way to mitigate these risks is through Biometric Identity Verification using a liveness check, facial recognition and authenticating official documents — only then will employment, credit and criminal checks relate to the real tenant.
Name a few of the key cost savings and attractions.
Invoicing, for most firms, is a manual process, making it time-consuming, subject to human error and potential fraud. IDprop ensures all supplier fees and product costs are first approved and stored — after a work order is complete, invoices are created automatically. Tenant and Owner invoices are automated and placed inside each user’s dashboard. If a building has multiple owners, each owner is automatically apportioned their share of income and expenses. Unpaid bills receive automated reminders and after a pre-determined delay are automatically moved to arrears management.
Daily accounting is simple. Users need only enter a debit or credit into the Journal, select a Chart of Account and the system does the rest, performing double-entry bookkeeping with the journal, ledgers and Trial Balance available for real-time view.
At a glance Property Managers may view multiple reports ranging from historical payments and work orders through to property vacancies of multi-owner and multi-tenanted properties — all with real-time data.
Real-time dashboards are provided to each user group: Property Managers, Storage Managers, Concierge, Community Associations, Property Owners, Storage Owners, Investors and Tenants. In effect we built eight different dashboards.