2017 was a good year for the property management industry, highlighted by growth, new trends, and plenty of new technology introduced.
2018 might be better, especially for you as an investor, rental property manager or landlord if you can rise to meet the challenges of managing your portfolio this year. The right solution you’ll discover is simple. This guide will help you make good decisions about adopting property management software.
Rental property is a hot sector, with availability squeezed and rents rising. This means good software solutions will be in demand to help managers handle the challenges of properties, adminstration and tenants.
Evolving from paper and excel spreadsheets to new property management software apps is going to ease your workload and ramp up your ROI. The important task here is to get the software with the benefits you actually need.
Without reviewing your real needs as a property manager, finding the best software for your business may be a challenge. Getting focused on the specific details of what you need is wise and we’ll help you explore that in this post.
A few property managers and landlords will be influenced by the huge advertising budgets of some software vendors. That might result in some acquiring a rental management solution which may not fulfill their particular needs at a reasonable price. Hopefully, advertising will not dictate your choices.
In this post, we provide insight to help you decide on the ideal software solution without disappointments.
There are innumerable solutions available. Some are ideal for corporate, commercial large scale operations while others are better suited to someone like you with a smaller number of rental and investment properties.
Ignore the Hype, You’ve Got Work to Do
There’s no doubt you’ve seen advertising for property management software offering all sorts of promises, yet could it be a Pandora’s box instead? In this post, we hope to help you identify the best rental property software for you and your tenants and avoid choosing the wrong solution.
On the go investors, managers, and agents find they need real time access to their accounts too, which explains why online rental management software adoption is a big trend right now.
Legal, technical, taxation, accounting, and other complexities in real estate are pressuring small portfolio property managers to adopt software that makes it simple to visualize and improve portfolio performance.
Effective Property Managers Earn More
It’s not surprising then, that property managers salaries are on the rise (avg. $57,000 annually now, which seems rather low). But with more pay comes higher expectations for efficiency and results.
We’ll get you organized because the paperwork, legal and tax demands, and complexity of managing properties will grow. Using property management software helps you automate tasks to achieve better control of your operations and increase profitability.
Considering all the documents, events, and other responsibilities you must manage every day, it’s a wonder you’ve kept your sanity and gotten things done. It’s about time you received some relief!
Software Solutions are a Real Bargain!
Take a look at the pricing for an automated property management solution and you’ll see it is a bargain. Just by saving you 10 hours a month in work, you’re saving hundreds of dollars in hard labor and avoiding costly errors that happen with paper documentation filing. Then there’s the stress relief and improved financial performance.
You might be looking for small business property management software, or rental property software, lease management software, or landlord software. These solutions are similar. And the right software solution may give you all the benefits and functionality you need.
The graphic above shows why automated CRM solutions including property management software are vital. The top reason is one you can relate to: organization of tasks, events and documents. Let’s not forget though that this is about taking good care of your customers — your tenants.
You Must Choose Wisely
The property management software you choose is important so let’s take the time to quickly explore what your real needs are and which solution might be best.
The Best Solution for You and Your Business
You’re not managing a portfolio of 500 properties so going all out with a large scale solution that tries to do too much isn’t wise. That has a big learning curve and it keeps you overwhelmed.
Time and money eaters: tenant and building repairs benefit from quick, efficient, trackable service calls and contractor reporting. And that’s how you avoid repair and maintenance fraud.
You Need the Right Benefits not Features Galore
Most of the property management software apps you’ll find add on too many features. That’s not what many property managers want. You need to solve your 3 key challenges:
- Time pressures — onboarding, processing documents, micromanagement
- Keeping good tenant communication — keeping your good tenants through fluid communications
- Controlling expenses and improving cash flow — staying on top of maintenance/service tickets
The business streamlining effect of software creates better control, awareness and cooperation between tenants and landlords, and lowers costs. Onboarding good tenants and keeping them happy is vital to a successful property manager. Software can help with this.
Simplicity Helps You Avoid Being Overworked
There’s little doubt you’re overworked, especially around the end of every month, and that it will get worse, so this issue is the number one thing to solve.
The advantage of ManageCasa’s property management software solution as an example, is how easy it is to adopt and use. You don’t need more confusion and exhaustive learning, you need help now. And you want software that will grow with you. Take on what you can handle now, and bring in extra features as you can handle them.
And for a software to succeed, it has to be easy for tenants, contractors, and property owners to adopt. ManageCasa’s solution was built with ease of adoption in mind. And they’ll enjoy the satisfaction they feel as solve their issues and responsibilities.
What are the Key Features of the Best Property Management Software?
- stress management — automates, declutters, organizes and gives you complete control from anywhere, anytime via the cloud
- keeps a finger on the pulse of tenant satisfaction — responsiveness with tenant feedback makes them feel important and recognized
- helps reduce tenant turnover — which is time consuming and expensive
- calmly manage paperwork, reminders, and notices — all via one interface on any device
- visualize property information — via an easy to use online dashboard
- simple accounting — track and control bills, expenses, income, mortgages, and deposits
- track property manager tasks — such as maintenance and repair tasks from multiple contractors
- facilitate online rental payments — avoid payment delinquency
- organize and securely store documents and lease agreements
- easy collection of tenant information online — rental applications, lease agreements
- easy review of tenant background screening data (imported)
- easy review of credit checks and background checks (imported)
- easy to learn and use — helpful tips, videos and customer service rep
- no extra add on fees — all for one price
A simple yet powerful property management soution that’s easy on your budget.
Should Your Property Software be in the Cloud?
Everyone is moving to the cloud and you can learn why below. A cloud-based property management platform may be best for you. In fact, you’ll learn a great deal about what you should look for here.
Please do share this guide with your connections on Facebook and Linkedin.
Property managers, real estate agents, condo association managers, and landlords have been making the transition from paperwork chaos and spreadsheets to paperless bliss on the cloud for awhile now.
That’s a smart, forward looking choice to cure their overwhelmed blues. Going to the cloud is one of the choices that’s kind of a no-brainer. And it’s just a part of the evolution of your business and career going foreward.
Lots of Hype, and is the Cloud Safe?
It is difficult to understand cloud technology, however for you there is no visible difference. The advantages are in speed, cost, and security. This is why the whole SaaS industry is adopting cloud technology for their solutions. The cloud provides fast, efficient applications and secure data hosting.
In most cases, the cloud is safer than private servers and storage. The companies that manage the technical aspects of servers and storage have much better security controls and can identify attempted hacks right away and block them. These are capable providers who know the threats and take security and server monitoring seriously.
Even for property managers with limited portfolios, security is important which is why it’s wise to use the solutions of a reputable software provider. Hackers are always on. Your software should be too.
Best Priced Property Management Solution
How much does a property management software in the cloud cost? Much less than the competition. In the case of ManageCasa, you can demo it for free and then it’s a low $40 per month for up to 50 properties.
No one buys and installs software anymore. This is a cloud based, software as a service subscription. No installations, no service fees, no technical administration. The last thing you need is more stress.
After you read this post, take a quick test drive of the ManageCasa solution and discover how simple property management can and should be. You’ll see how you can manage your portfolio with no surprises and headaches.
Time Does Equal Money
One of the nice things about conducting rental property management without a property management firm is how much money and time you save. That’s 8% to 10% every month across all your properties.
10% x $1500 x 12 months x 20 properties = $36,000 each year
Add on savings from managing maintenance and repair expense better, and the cost element is negligible. All you have to be concerned with now is whether your connections/tenants will accept and enjoy using the software.
Of course, there’s all the other costs you must consider:
Stopping the Leaks
You probably know where your money is being lost, but after adopting rental property software, you might find savings in so many new ways. And if you own properties under rent control restrictions, you can’t just raise your prices to cover losses.
With building costs, mortgages, and cost of living increases, do it yourself property managers may enjoy even more savings.
It’s not just money. It’s the aggravation and documentation and the rest of the tough, daily business of property management itself. It’s work that isn’t appreciated by tenants (as landlords will attest to).
When rental and lease agreements, onboarding, paper and payment processing, and tenant issues become too much, being a landlord or property manager may begin to feel like a prison sentence. The money you’re losing makes it extra painful.
The repetition, rework, and chit chat that solves nothing are just a few of the “time and money leaks” you’ll be solving with your new software.
Managing Your Properties Remotely
Your new property management software solution could save you from the drudgery so you have lots of time to attend to emergencies and inevitable issues of owning and managing properties. And you’ll be less weighed down emotionally.
There will be times during winter and summer when you need to travel across the city or state, take a vacation, or for business travel to look for additional investment opportunities in remote cities. That’s when using property management software remotely pays off.
Murphy’s Law: If something can go wrong, it probably will
Managing Properties Remotely
Whether you’re doing business in other cities or states, or you’re getting needed downtime, your rental property software will keep you connected and on top of things. And when you’re in Europe, The Caribbean, or Mexico for a vacation, you want sure communications and to have the common transactions automated which your software can accomplish.
Anything out of the ordinary, sensitive, or potentially costly, your software can alert you to immediately or in the morning. For other tasks, you’ll need an assistant manage or you’ll need to manage them from your remote location.
The BIG issues you need to be wary of when travelling are:
- Maintenance and repair companies that overbook repairs and can’t respond to your request soon — you need alternative repair service providers
- The repair service person needs extra parts but needs your approval to order them — you’ll likely want direct online communication for these issues
- Being unable to reach service companies when your tenant has an emergency
- Tenants can’t reach you because your cell phone isn’t online or your email isn’t working — ensure they know exactly what to do and how to reach you
- People don’t know where you are — a tracking app might help them know where you are so they can reach you with a third party
- You can’t collect payments or deposit them physically yourself, in person — if payments were automated, it’s not an issue
- Repair person needs permission to enter a unit — you need to be able to grant permission, arrange for keys, passcodes or whatever when required, off hours too
- Emergencies happen — create a list of problems that could happen (plumbing, roof leaks, furnace, lost keys, clothes washer, parking lot access, A/C, electrical fuses) and what you’ll do and who you’ll contact to get them addressed
Is the Software Right for Your Needs?
There are plenty of property management software solutions available. They are promoted as feature rich, but those features might create more headaches than they solve and they might unwisely make you feel the software can do everything.
Your Property Management Software Should be Helpful
Software should help and assist you in creating better communication with investors, landlords and tenants. The communication value is key. Knowing more about what issues your tenant is having and how they feel is very valuable. Keeping tenants long term is the number business success factor for most landlords, investors or property managers. Turnover is to be avoided.
Property Management Apps Should Be Easy to Use
Software should be easy for your tenants and landlords to understand and use. When they refuse to use it, or lose interest, then your expensive new software won’t work. You’ll be back to square one.
Your software should not determine your management direction
The software should grow and adapt to your needs and should allow you to scale features and functionality when you actually need them.
Software Pricing should be Clear and Easy to Understand
Know what the cost will be when you add properties and need more functionality. Assess the added cost and value of integrated tenant background checks and tenant credit checks. If these are infrequent, why pay a huge fee for it in your software subscripton?
The fact you can integrate this third party information into your tenant database is likely good enough.
Some property managers feel these background checks and credit valuations aren’t a good guide to acquiring good tenants and that relying on the data they collect may be unwise. Sometimes the promise doesn’t meet up with real results. Get the best online rental applicant screening and credit checking features. There are some good ones available when you need them.
Cost Versus Results
The above material hints that buying things you don’t need can distract you and waste your time and money. Good property managers zero on on high quality software that gets to the essentials. Results are more important than costs, however it is important to keep costs under control. You’ve got enough expenses now.
The Future of Property Management Software
Future software will offer features that users want and are ready for, but it’s 2018 and we’re not there yet. That will include complete mobile compatibility, full, high quality tenant screening, Internet connected appliances and building operations, online payments from any source, full tax and accounting integration, and high quality prospecting for good tenants, and internet enabled suite and parking access.
It all sounds like science fiction to seasoned property managers, but one day at a time, we’ll see some exciting and reliable software improvements.
Property Management is a Breeze Now?
Get the big picture taken care of, and automate those repetitive tasks with the best property management softwar for you. You’ll make your property management work more enjoyable and your tenants, those key people in your business, will be more pleased with you.
Enjoy feeling a warm breeze everyday without going on a vacation. ManageCasa might be the best property management software for any investor, agent, landlord or manager with a small portfolio of properties. Grow when you need to.
Try a demo of ManageCasa, enter some properties and see how it feels. A short learning curve and an easy process now tells how it’s going to be in future. We think you’ll like it.
Top 7 Reasons Property Managers Choose ManageCasa
Originally published at blog.managecasa.com on January 9, 2018.