Purchasing Property Management Software: What You Need To Know
We’ve all been there: you have a million things to do and you decide to purchase a property management software suite to make life easier for you and your organization, but you’re not sure what to get. You do a little Googling, and you’re no closer to knowing where to even start. These are the things you need to know.
What property management software can do for you (and what it can’t)
Property management software is designed to replace outdated and analog processes that are time-consuming and fraught with the risks of human error. It allows you to manage tenants, leasing, invoicing and payments, maintenance and repairs, manage files, and more. The software you choose can cost you anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand, depending on the level of features and ease of use you need. If you manage more than one or two properties you really need to take this decision seriously.
Here’s what we recommend: a lease-centered approach to property management software. After all, the very source of your revenue are the leases, EVERYTHING ties back to the lease. All the leases for the properties you manage need to be tracked, understood, and leveraged intelligently, and this is where RAAMP comes in. We have the ONLY software that understands this critical profit center in your business.
The right property management software will save you and your company time and money while ensuring you spend less time on crisis management and more time focusing on growing your business. While it can’t “put out fires” for you, it will help prevent those fires from starting. That is best accomplished with an all-in-one platform providing you and your business with one single source of truth.
Understanding the different types of property management software available
When it comes to your finances, choosing the right property management software matters. There are several options to consider, and you must choose the right one for your individual needs. Below are some of the different types of property management software.
- Some property management software is focused on only parts of the business such as collecting rent and maintenance requests while having no features for accounting or insurance compliance.
- Retrofitted Residential software: These software products have been retrofitted to accommodate commercial leases, and often they don’t have bank-ready rent rolls and often simply show occupancy as a ratio rather than by a percentage of occupied SF.
- Legacy Enterprise solutions that typically are no longer updated or supported in any way.
- The new approach, being pioneered by RAAMP, is lease-centered and is a complete operational suite rather than a stand-alone tool or set of tools.
How to choose the right type of property management software for your needs
When choosing a property management software solution it’s smart to think about your day-to-day challenges. What things are taking up lots of time or causing lots of stress? Are there repetitive tasks that software can take off your plate? What are your business goals? Do you have time to work toward them, or are you so busy working in your business that you don’t have time to work on your business? Here are some key things to look at as you make this decision:
- How many leases you manage and what you do to keep up with them.
- What types of properties are in your portfolio? How are you accommodating for the unique demands of each type?
- How do you track insurance compliance for your vendors and tenants? Are you using a spreadsheet or do you have something your whole team can rely on?
- How are you managing your documents? Can you find what you need quickly? Is it searchable, or are you sifting through file folders?
- What are your accounting challenges? Do you really understand your complete financial position?
Why you need to think about scalability when choosing a system that will grow with you as your business grows
Consider this: your business has changed. Everything has. Have your operations and processes been able to keep up? The truth is this — we all are bound by one, immovable limitation: TIME. While your business adapts, grows, and progresses you still have 24 hours every day, and you’d probably like to spend some of those hours doing something outside of work. Your business can grow without the growing pains if you have the right tools. You should be thinking about scalability when choosing a system that will grow with you as your business expands. Ask yourself these questions as you evaluate your options:
- Think about what the platform is intended for, does that align with your business now, and in the future?
- Are you willing to go through a migration process in the future to save a few dollars today?
Is your software going to help you do the right thing?
Whether you’re renting, or managing rentals, you want to make the most of your time and money, and property management software will help you do just that. After all, managing a property is a full-time job, so you can’t afford to invest in an inferior system that requires more work and has hidden costs. The wrong property management suite can put you at risk rather than helping you avoid it. Some potential pitfalls include:
- Inaccurate rent rolls that cost you money and lead to maligned tenant sentiment
- Not tracking insurance for Vendors, Tenants, and Properties, taking the liability from the insurer and placing it on you. Subrogation is never a good word to hear.
- Fire, water, or blood. You need to have an accurate Contact at the property and tenant level. If you don’t have an integrated CRM you might not know who to call.
The good news is that there is a better way to help property managers and owners run their businesses more efficiently. So, whether you need to take on a new project, create new processes or just update your current setup, let us help you choose the right software for your needs.