As your property management firm grows, with the building of additional properties, investment in a property management software can be crucial for the smooth running of your business. Excel spreadsheets and the old methods of using pencil and paper may not be the ideal choice in today’s world. There are plenty of cheap, user friendly specialty tools that property managers may choose which are much better than using the old systems. Property management is hard enough by itself so choose the right software program to help you to get your growing business organized.
Tips for choosing the right Property Management Software
Budget- Prices for property management software can range from $50 to $10,000. These software’s vary in prices depending on how many features the software has. So depending on number of properties, complexity of operations and size of you organizations choose the software program. Don’t buy more than you need. And at the same point of time do not go for the cheapest alternative. Make sure the software can do the basic things you need.
Trial version- It is always better to have a software program which has the option of a trial. Make sure you can run a full demo that allows you to try before you buy. Make sure you can do the basic things you require, such as maintaining vendor file, separate ledger for each tenant and owner, deal with bank checks and deposits, automatically post rent, management fees, and late fees etc. Always review, if the reports that can be generated from or customized in the software meet your month end reporting needs.
Hidden costs and recurring fees- Avoid software that require long terms contracts and have attached recurring costs. It is important to be able to cancel a subscription when needed without paying a price. Make sure your software program is easy to install, easy to use, and has excellent support hours. Research for update costs. Are you forced to buy any update even though you may not need it?
Full accounting package-Whether you prefer the simplicity of cash or the detail provided by an accrual method, the management program you purchase should support it. And, because a property manager is continually reading reports and calculating late fees and discounts, pick a program that does it automatically. The reports should be available at any time and for any period.
Web based software program-There are multiple online property management software’s today. For small businesses a web based software program can be ideal. Choose a fully integrated, end-to-end productivity tool which can provide everything you need to manage residential and commercial rental property of any type, online. With web based software you get the power and advantage of the latest web based technology, maintenance free operations, and ease of access from anywhere and any-time.
Others features- The software program should be able to capture the relevant details needed by a property manager to manage the property, eg. Tracking cost per unit, Generation of reports such as Late Fee, Move-In, Move-Outs, and Termination/Expiry. The software program should have some handy features such as a reminder system to keep track of appointments, list of tenants and owners that owe you money, automatically update rent amounts, automatically post amounts to each ledger, and update your account names etc. Among the other features available in most property management software packages is the ability to create templates for various forms, rental and lease agreements, and letters that are commonly used when managing properties. Customized documents can be created with the templates and then saved in the appropriate file. The templates can save a lot of time when it comes to generating late notices, final notices, eviction notices and even general notifications to tenants.