6 Steps to Choose the Right Software
Realtors, landlords, investors, property managers and more are still making the software transition in 2019. What is this big transition all about?
For property managers of any sized operation, it’s the important process of trying out and adopting the next property management software solution to help you modernize. There’s a big market of property management solutions. From paper and spreadsheets to automated accounting and reporting and automated lease management, the quest for improved property management is on.
Software Appears to be Lacking
Real estate and property management are two sectors that are laggards in adopting software solutions. Some professionals have tried out software products, yet many are reporting dissatisfaction with their current solutions. Confidence in choosing the right solutions seems to be an issue.
The complaints about most Proptech 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
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 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 have 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 business.
We Can’t Overhaul Everything Right Now
Property managers don’t necessarily want software taking over their complete business. Their business is more than just software – staff, partnerships, owners, workstyles, and more have to be considered. They need a solution that fits in seamlessly and gives them a business edge.
In 2019, property managers will continue to have challenges in retaining their staff, managing cash flow, growing doors, finding time to learn and implement, doing marketing, and focusing time on tenants to reduce turnover. It’s not surprising that property managers and landlords would drag their feet about overhauling their business for the sake of some intimidating software solution. That’s a gamble.
The big companies ask small property managers to adapt to them and their all consuming demands. Research shows property managers in particular are non committal and remain in testing mode. They don’t have a proptech solution that suits them yet, or that is scalable to where they’re going.
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:
- 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
- determine whether it will work with your current software, partners, etc. and if it’s scalable for growth
- determine whether it’s easy to use, intuitive, and find out if your staff will like it
- ascertain whether it helps you meet your state regulatory compliance and financial requirements
- determine its accounting power and whether it can help you manage revenue and costs for each individual property effectively
- 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 accounting power.
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.
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