Selecting a your management software can be one of the biggest decisions that you can make as a property manager. Not only will it determine how you organize and operate your business, but also how customers interact with you.
The truth is that there are many great software products available and once you’ve narrowed it down to the top 5, it really comes down to you. What is your goal? Large management company with more than 5 agents? Commercial or vacation rentals? Apartment or HOA communities? While the more popular programs available will cover all of these areas, there is likely to be one or two that offers you something that matches your style, goals, and industry.
Are you tech savy? How about your staff? User interface is very important because if you chose something that your staff is not able to adapt to, then you will not be able to use the software to its full potential and it can even hurt your business. If you are a one man operation or have a lot of seasoned staff members on staff who are not computer savy, then you will want to consider a software with a simple user interface that is easy to use and straightforward. Keep in mind that usually the simpler the interface, the few features the software will offer; which is not a bad thing necessarily, but does play into the decision making process.
Do you plan on granting online access to your customers? Would you like to be able to access the information remotely while at home or working in the field? These are all features that are becoming more and more common. Its almost to the point now that if you do not allow clients the ability to view their account online, it can actually hurt your business. However, this has to play into your management style. You may actually prefer that your client calls or emails you for information to help maintain a personal relationship with them.
If you are like many management companies, your are looking for a product that grants online access. An important thing to consider is how your customer will interact with the system. Is it user friendly and easy to navigate? Does it give them tools to use or the ability to see and download documents? Can you control the content that they see?
Some common features for online access would include:
- Account Balance
- Most recent statements
- Break down of invoices and repairs
Other features that could prove beneficial:
- Customize reports- Clients can choose specific date ranges depending on what they are looking for
- Access invoices/receipts
- Review history notes
- Access documents and files
- See the status of existing repairs
- Review repair reports and projects
January 9, 2014