Property Management Software: An Overview
Who Uses Property Management Software?
Real Estate Professionals: Real estate agents, brokers, property managers and landlords can benefit from the use of property management software. These professionals require a software management system that offers organization and automation, allowing them to streamline their business processes and increase efficiency.
Business Owners: Business owners with multiple rental properties can also benefit from property management software. The software can help them organize tenant screening, leasing, accounting, maintenance, and other property related activities. This allows them to spend more time focusing on growing their business rather than on property management.
Benefits of Property Management Software
Increased Efficiency: Property management software provides automation for tasks such as rent collection, lease renewals, maintenance requests, and accounting. This not only saves time, but also reduces human error, making the process more efficient and effective.
Centralized Information: Property management software provides a centralized location to store important information such as leases, tenant information, and accounting records. This makes it easy for property managers and landlords to access information quickly and efficiently.
Enhanced Communication: Property management software can provide effortless communication with tenants, owners, and vendors. Tenants can submit maintenance requests, communicate with the property manager, and make rent payments electronically. This provides a more efficient and streamlined means of communication.
Features of Property Management Software
Accounting: Property management software includes an accounting module that can process payments, track expenses, and generate financial reports.
Lease Management: The software includes a lease management module that provides the ability to track lease terms, rent escalations, renewals, and tenant information.
Maintenance Management: Property management software provides a maintenance management module that allows property managers to track and schedule maintenance tasks and highlight maintenance requests.
Online Payment Processing: Online payment processing is a significant aspect of property management software. It includes an online portal where tenants can make rent payments, review their rental history, and request service electronically with property managers.
Examples of Property Management Software
Buildium: Buildium (www.buildium.com) provides property management software that caters to landlords and property managers. It provides a comprehensive solution with features such as accounting, lease tracking, online rent payments, maintenance management, and reporting capabilities. Buildium offers a demo version to try out the software before purchasing a subscription.
Appfolio: Appfolio (www.appfolio.com) is a comprehensive property management software that offers a single platform to manage all aspects of property management activity including property management and leasing. Some features of Appfolio’s software include online rent payments, maintenance tracking, accounting, and reporting. Appfolio offers a mobile app available for iOS and Android users.
Cozy: Cozy (www.cozy.co) is another property management software that focuses on providing landlords with free software solutions for rental payments, tenant screening, advertising, and maintenance. Cozy offers a modern toolset that provides management software where landlords can upload and store digital lease documents, streamline maintenance requests, and provide tenants with a streamlined online payment solution.
Propertyware: Propertyware (www.propertyware.com) property management software is a platform designed for professional property management companies, with comprehensive tools for accounting, maintenance management, lease management, tenant screening, and marketing. It allows customization with additional features scalable for growing professional management companies. However, pricing is only available upon request.
Rent Manager: Rent Manager (www.rentmanager.com) delivers a comprehensive property management system that can help property managers with tasks such as accounting, lease tracking, property and asset maintenance, budgeting, and asset management. Additionally, Rent Manager offers an optional mobile app, allowing landlords to connect and view key metrics from anywhere.
Drawbacks and Limitations of Property Management Software
Steep Learning Curve: While property management software can streamline business processes, there is a significant learning curve associated with understanding the software. Property managers and landlords will need to produce sufficient training to ensure that they understand the software’s features and user interface.
High Initial Investment: Good property management software delivers advanced features that require a considerable initial investment. While this investment can be more cost-effective in the long-term, property managers and landlords should be aware of these costs when considering their options.
Technical Issues: Property managers and landlords must ensure that they have equipment to operate the property management software. Any software assumes that these devices will operate optimally; if technical issues arise, it would lead property managers and landlords to seek technical assistance, which may cause downtime.
Property management software can help real estate professionals and landlords to manage their rental properties more efficiently. With features such as accounting, lease management, online payment processing, and maintenance management, property managers and landlords can streamline their business processes and reduce manual processes. While these software solutions have limitations and drawbacks, like any technological solution, the considerable benefits of reducing costs and increasing efficiency are well worth the investment for property managers and landlords alike.