Businesses deal with large volumes of datasets that need to be accurately entered into the systems and processed accordingly. Real estate data entry is no less than a task. Even now, one-third of the industry still uses manual workflows to manage, process, and index this data. This not only results in inefficient data management but also leaves room for major errors.
These errors in data entry can result in significant financial consequences of lost revenue or legal fees. From displaced numbers to misspelt names, these Data Entry Mistakes can lead to various problems, ultimately impacting the bottom line. This blog will discuss common Data Entry Mistakes and their potential causes. Additionally, it will guide you with tips to avoid data entry mistakes and how data services can help you with the same. Read on to learn more.
What Allows for Data Entry Mistakes?
Data Entry Mistakes are common, but the question arises as to where these errors stem from. So, here is the answer:
1. Low-Quality Images
One of the most common causes of data entry errors is poor-quality images. Real estate businesses deal with a large volume of property titles and deed agreement copies that are scanned and stored as PDF files. The quality of these scanned images is often degraded due to many reasons, like poor lightning conditions, faded or smudged ink, or low-resolution scanning.
As a result, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) errors, such as the identification of different data fields and the use of alien words, become common instances. This ultimately leads to errors in data extraction and entry.
2. Handwritten Remarks
Real estate documents often carry a lot of handwritten annotations. These notes may contain information about the critical terms in the property agreement. However, the writing often varies and is often difficult to read and interpret. Moreover, what adds to the problem is that these notes can appear anywhere on the page, hence are not easy to spot and record.
This creates a problem while entering the data into the system. If the operator is unable to read the handwriting, they’re likely to make Data Entry Mistakes and enter the wrong data. Also, because the style and position of the notes vary, it’s hard to look out for the required information.
Common Data Entry Mistakes in Real Estate Businesses
Here are some common Data Entry Mistakes that you must avoid in order to obtain accurate results:
1. Inconsistencies due to changes in the data:
Inconsistencies occur when the changes are made in the real data but are not accurately reflected in the data entry. This generally happens when the information is updated across all the relevant databases. This can lead to inconsistencies and errors as the new and old data would overlap, and the documentation will not be up-to-date.
For example, if the price of the property changes but the information is not updated in the system by the real estate agent, they may advertise the property at incorrect prices.
2. Value representation inconsistencies:
Value representation inconsistencies occur when data is entered in different formats (words, values, or figures), leading to errors in its interpretation or analysis. For example, in the real estate business, if one property’s price is recorded as $300,000 while another is recorded as 300,000 Dollars. This representation of the same value in two different ways can lead to confusion and inconsistencies in the data.
3. Errors due to ambiguous data:
Ambiguous data can lead to errors when there is not enough information provided or the information is unclear or open to interpretation. For example, if a real estate agent enters a property’s square footage as ‘10’, it is unclear whether it is meant to be 10 square feet, 10 square meters, or acres. To avoid such Data Entry Mistakes, companies should establish clear standards for data entry so that all the data is entered in a correct format to avoid confusion.
4. Transposition Errors:
Transposition errors occur when numbers or words are switched across, resulting in an incorrect sequence. This can happen when an operator is in a hurry or doesn’t pay attention to the details. For example, if a property’s listing price is $350,000 but is mistakenly entered as $305,000, it can lead to significant errors in the final calculation and overall property analysis.
To avoid these types of errors, businesses should ensure double-checking all the entries using data entry software or validation tools to catch errors.
Tips to Avoid Data Entry Mistakes
When it comes to data entry, accuracy is the key. Inaccurate data can lead to costly Data Entry Mistakes and misinformed decisions. Hence, it’s important for real estate businesses to have processes in place to ensure that their data is correctly entered into the system. Here are some tips to avoid common data entry errors:
1. Improve your data entry processes using smart automation tools
Manual data entry is a monotonous and time-consuming task that is often prone to errors. It takes a lot of time and can prevent your team from focusing on other important tasks. Herein, using automation tools can help speed up the process and reduce the chance of errors.
Nonetheless, it’s important to remember that while automation can help, you still need human help to ensure the accuracy of your data. Here, having standardized data entry practices in place can help eliminate errors and improve accuracy.
2. Always check and validate your data
Making sure your data is accurate and complete can save you a lot of trouble down the road. Hence, whenever you get data from customers or suppliers, be sure to double-check it before putting it into your system. For this, you can use tools to validate your data against accuracy, consistency, and completeness standards. These tools can help you find missing information and add it to complete your entries.
3. Update your systems regularly
Even the most reliable systems can make mistakes if they’re not regularly upgraded. Hence, to make sure your real estate business stays on top of its game, it’s important to keep your systems updated.
This includes regularly updating software, hardware, or any other tools to ensure they are functioning well. By staying up-to-date with the latest technology, you can avoid many of the common data entry errors that can occur with outdated systems.
4. Outsource data entry services to a third-party service provider
If you don’t have time or resources to handle data entry in-house, outsourcing it to a third-party service provider can be the best option. Data entry outsourcing services specialize in a range of services, including data validation and data cleansing. By outsourcing to a reputable provider, you can ensure that your data is accurate and reliable without having to invest in expensive technology or training. It can free up your time to focus on other important tasks, such as customer service and business development.
In short, real estate Data Entry Mistakes can be costly and detrimental to your business. Accuracy and attention to detail in the real estate industry and any errors can lead to financial losses, missed opportunities, and damage to your reputation. Therefore, to avoid such issues, it’s important to have a robust data entry system in place. This will help ensure that all the data is entered accurately. Note that in the real estate business, every detail matters, and every Data Entry Mistakes counts, hence make sure to prioritise accuracy in all your data entry tasks.
Pavan Kakar is the Associate Vice President, International Sales (Data Services Division), SunTec India. He has been associated with the company for over 20 years. He has a Master’s in Business Administration (Marketing) and core expertise in customer relationship management(CRM), project management, resource management, management information systems(MIS), and lead generation. He has spearheaded dynamic teams and transformed business operations and client acquisition processes for hundreds of clients over the past two decades.
In between his packed schedule, Pavan finds time to pen down the insights and developments that he comes across in his dealings. These articles have the sole aim to inform readers about Data Entry Mistakes & how to stand strong as a business in the constantly shaking digital landscape.