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Choosing the Right Property Management Software

6 Steps to Choose the Right Software

Software is a core foundation for most property management companies today.  An all in one software platform eases administration and maintenance workloads, improves service and aids financial management.

NAA Apartmentalize

Learn more about property management software first hand at the NAA Apartmentalize Conference in San Diego, California, on June 22nd.

Choosing one that’s powerful yet is still simple for staff to learn and use makes all the difference in operations and profit.  Since you have so many landlords to serve, you need a solution designed specifically for property managers.  The good news is that from bookkeeping and accounting to maintenance management, you can have it all.

The big challenge for property managers is finding a suitable software solution for their particular business. There are simple solutions for small landlords and other more complicated enterprise level solutions for big property management companies. Unfortunately, those are inappropriate solutions for mid sized property management companies.

After defining your needs and your benefits, you’ll be better prepared to filter in those property management software solutions which provide the ease of administration your staff is looking for, the affordability you want, and the power a smart manager needs to make good decisions.

It takes some research and thought. So let’s launch into that easy, logical process now.

What Do Property Managers Not Like?

Property Management Software Screen

Some professionals have tried out a variety of software products, yet many are reporting dissatisfaction with their current solutions.

Top Complaints about Software Solutions are typical:

  1. too difficult for staff to learn – intimidating, frustrating, deflating
  2. doesn’t fuse with company’s other software
  3. promising much but not delivering real-time and money-saving results
  4. time-consuming adoption process
  5. tenants, investors, and contractors not liking it


Screen Capture Courtesy of Property Week

While the hundreds of software solutions available put an emphasis on technical features, those features may get in the way. Which company offers a solution that is human friendly, versatile, and powerful in certain mission-critical tasks?

Most software solutions offer similar features from cloud-based security to task automation. Where most property management software doesn’t measure up is a comfortable user experience, and powerful enough accounting functionality so that rework isn’t necessary.

24/7 availability, mobile compatibility, cloud hosting, security, and world software market leadership aren’t the telling features. Too often, these are distractions in the assessment process. Most software has these features intact. Some software solutions you’ve read about are all about their company and their quest for sales and domination of your business. Your software has to be about you and your property management business, not theirs.

How To Choose the Right Software

It’s all about finding the right software for your company. You need a process to comb through all the offerings you see. The big corporate level solutions dominate advertising today so you know them well. And down the ranks are hundreds of new property management software startups. Compare them.

Visit their website.  Their web content such as blogs, help pages, and social pages tell you whether they have a wide sensitivity to what’s happening in real estate, rental, and property management markets. See how they help and educate you, and aid in your transition to a software-empowered property management company.

Big Picture: Is this a company that will generate a great experience and sustainable growth for your property management business?

When you try out your selected trial solution, check it for these capabilities:

A 6 Step Review Process:

  1. establish what you need the software to do for your business – lease management, double-entry accounting, automation for bills, disbursements and reconciliation, and flexible insightful reporting, along with effective tenant communications
  2. determine whether it will work with your current software, partners, etc. and if it’s scalable for growth
  3. determine whether it’s easy to use, intuitive, and find out if your staff will like it
  4. ascertain whether it helps you meet your state regulatory compliance and financial requirements
  5. determine its accounting power and whether it can help you manage revenue and costs for each individual property effectively
  6. determine whether it is saving your time and administration or just adding more work to your day

After you’ve discovered it can do specific mission-critical tasks, help you improve your accounting and financial reporting, and that your staff actually do like it, you’re able to commit more fully to it. And if there’s one key area that dominates software choices, it will be its property accounting capabilities.

It’s All About Questions

At this point, you don’t know the key questions to ask. You’ll need to do a trial run to discover where issues are, how it can help, and what your next questions should be.

One way to get this process started is to take a demo run of the software. Gently, slowly, without commitment, you can immerse yourself in the solution and better understand your needs. This more thorough process helps you get your answers so you make the best decision for your property management business.

If you have more questions about how you should approach your property management software decisions, you should talk to us directly.  Or, set up a Software Demo right now.


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