As a property manager, you need to keep moving. And it’s only counterproductive to let an outdated software system or manual management system hold you back.
To keep yourself moving, property management software is the best alternative to manage all the business and client-related needs that you have.
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But, before you fix upon that one solution, let’s go through the elements that you need to keep in mind while choosing the best property management app for your small business.
What is a Property Management App
A property management app is a category of software that helps property managers and real estate owners help manage their tenants, scheduling, billings, and feedback.
While different software collectively can do the same, having a centralized platform doing all the management can be quite useful for your growing business.
Like any other modern app, property management software can run on any device like your desktop, laptop, and mobile. And you are free to execute any operations on your preferred one.
Although there are some fundamental features that every property management software offers, you need to be careful while choosing one for your business depending on your budget and requirements.
Let’s look at some of the important features that your property management software should have.
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Your tenant queries, requests, and maintenance need to be scheduled efficiently in today’s virtual world. As a property manager, regular site visits and timely rent collections are also critical for your business.
An effective property management app should have centralized scheduling features that can help you and your team organize and schedule your business hours effectively.
Good scheduling software is what lets you track information about tenant move-in and move-out dates, employee schedules, and due dates.
Although you can argue that Google Calendar or something similar can schedule your tours effectively, but it’s not ideal to use multiple apps if you can get it all in one centralized platform.
As a growing property manager, you’d need to conduct lots and lots of tours and visits every week. For that, you need to manage your time as optimally as possible.
Your employees need to commute to visit tenants, you need to attend tens of tours within three hours. Whatever be it, without tour management, it’s only going to be more and more challenging as your business scales up.
Your property management app should have tour management functionality that helps you plan the tours depending on when and where you need to be. It works as a categorized project management app with vivid details about all the appointments and places.
Your potential clients can also book a self-guided tour through your property management app if they can conduct one by themselves. That way you won’t even need to be present to guide them through their hunting.
Less is more in the books of property managers. Imagine how much you could save by avoiding detours, traffic, and highways. But, when you are expected to manage hundreds of tours in a week, it’s tough to manage tours with such precision every day.
Check if your property management software has the feature to predefine optimum routes to all the places where you need to be that day.
While Google or Apple maps can direct you to the destinations, it gets really messy once you start planning routes with them. These apps aren’t meant to be friendly to property managers and don’t understand how you can offer a guided tour to three different people at the same time.
They just know where you need to go and define the routes. If you blindly follow them, you might go around the same destination thrice in a two-hour tour – losing money.
A property management software is particularly developed by keeping visits in mind and considering your priorities.
Accounting and Billing
You must already have billing and accounting software installed for your business. But why not try something out that integrates with your property management software and automatically generates invoices and keeps track of payments of your tenants and homeowners?
While almost all of the property management apps revolve around this specific feature, you might need to verify the extent of those and compare them with your already existent billing software.
Remote deposits, handling and managing payments, and scheduling rents should be the features that you would need to look for when choosing the property management app for your business.
File and Tenant Management
Keeping records of your properties and real estate is a critical part of your business operation. A file management software that lets you keep track of the process flow, payment history, tour records, and all related things should be handy.
But having property management software that lets you do all that in addition to helping you do some or all of the above-mentioned operations can be much more effective while scaling up.
A file management feature in your property management app should let you create accounts for every other client or employee you have and let you manage all their details and media files in one place.
Feedback and suggestions are as important as managing real estate. Between how your business is faring and how happy your tenants are with your policies, everything can be used as a testimonial for the next big project.
Lagging in this aspect of your business can hurt your future endeavors. In this data-driven world, not having enough feedback and rating from previous projects can be a detrimental factor.
Having a property management software that reminds your tenants about leaving feedback, properly managing the feedback and replying to it, keeping you on track of the negative ones can be quite effective in running a sustainable business process.
Depending on your specific situation and needs, your budget needs to vary. A property management app with route planning features may cost more than the one without it.
If you only have accounting needs for your business, it’s wise to not look in the property management segment and look for a general one that caters to your needs.
The Bottom Line
It’s unlikely that you’ll find all these features in a single property management software. But while choosing the best one for your small business, do keep the factors that you require in mind.
If you are lacking in the management department and finding yourself fumbling through files like crazy, consider opting for an alternative that focuses on it.
If your requirements revolve around routing, consider subscribing to the one that does it best.
It all depends on your individual situation and requirements. Choose wisely.