July 13th, 2020
How to choose the right property management software
With the rapid adoption of smartphones and cloud technology, the needs of the modern property manager have changed drastically in the past decade. So if your property management software is driving you up the walls, it’s a surefire sign that you need to upgrade your software to a more intuitive and modern cloud-based solution.
To help you out, we’ve put together a free property management software comparison guide and a comprehensive list of the top 10 essential property management software features.
Our free property management software comparison guide is designed to help you choose the one that’s right for your needs. It will go through:
When your data is stored “online in the cloud”, it means that it’s stored remotely in a secure network of servers that can be accessed via the internet. This mitigates the need for large, on-premise servers that require an IT team to install, maintain and upgrade.
In addition to cost efficiency, one of the main benefits of cloud property management software is increased flexibility and accessibility. With your data in the cloud, you can save yourself the downtime and work from anywhere, at any time.
In property management, trust accounting is straightforward and unavoidable. You will always need to disburse your owners and suppliers, send out statements and balance your accounts. If you use a server-based system, this process can take anything between two hours to half the day. That’s hours of lost productivity every week!
In contrast, if you use a cloud-based system with trust accounting workflows and automation for bills, disbursements and reconciliation, you can dramatically reduce manual data entry and simplify your workload. Just check out how Ray White West End saves 120 hours every month.
As a property manager, you live in a mobile world – you’re constantly meeting with clients, inspecting properties and commuting from one place to another. That’s why it’s essential that your property management software has mobile apps available to help you quickly access property and contact data, conduct inspections, manage maintenance, respond to emails and alert your team with a single tap if needed.
Another essential property management software feature is streamlined communications to help you deliver a superior customer experience. After all, communication is the key to any great relationship, whether it’s professional, familial or between owners, property managers and tenants.
At the very least, your software should have customisable templates, message automation, Owner access and Tenant access so that your clients can log in whenever they want to see a real-time view of their property and financial data. This way, you’ll spend less time looking for information and more time fostering great relationships.
Maintenance is another core part of property management. Therefore, it should be a core part of your property management software. You should be able to track jobs from start to finish, from adding images of jobs to be completed to assigning jobs, to sending messages to your suppliers.
With PropertyMe, not only is this workflow completed in a few easy steps, but you also have automated features like Job Quotes that allows you to easily and efficiently request quotes from multiple suppliers with the click of a button.
Conducting routine inspections as well as entry and exit inspections is crucial to the upkeep of your properties. Your software should streamline this process for you so you don’t have to sit there and calculate distances and drive times from one property to the next. It should automatically work out the best route for your inspection day, given a particular start time and the properties that require inspecting.
Additionally, your software should be able to generate entry and exit reports and create beautiful inspection reports for your owners, complete with photos and comments.
As a property manager, failure to balance and comply with legislation can lead to hefty penalties and even loss of license. That’s why it’s critical that your property management software has compliance management features to help you easily track and manage compliance tasks such as smoke alarm checks, pool safety and insurance expiry dates.
Moreover, as part of your trust account audit, you need to report on whether the records relating to your trust monies have been properly kept and whether there are any discrepancies in your trust account. Your property management software should have features and warning alerts that help you stay on top of your portfolio and keep a clean digital paper trail.
This might include logging all user activity across your portfolio with time stamped comments, owner and tenant read receipts on emails and the ability to easily see and export current and historical audit reports and statements come audit time.
Even if you’re using the most intuitive property management software, it’s perfectly normal to have a question or two every now and then. To help you find the answers you need as quickly as possible, your property management software provider should have a comprehensive online knowledge base that you can access 24/7. And if you still can’t find the answer you’re looking for, you should be able to log a support ticket or request a call back so you don’t have the wait on the phone.
The best software systems have comprehensive migration tools that allow you to seamlessly transfer your portfolio data from one system to another in a matter of hours. This removes human error from the migration process and ensures your data never leaves the country for manual data entry.
In addition, your agency should receive a customised training plan, single point of contact and priority support during the onboarding process for peace of mind. Learn more about migrating your property management data.
As a property manager, you process a lot of sensitive data so it’s crucial that your property management software has sophisticated data security. Make sure your software hosts your data in Australia and has multiple layers of security such as two-factor authentication, 128 bit SSL encryption (the level of encryption that banks use), notification of unknown logins, advanced firewalls and physical security measures to minimise the risk of a breach.
Furthermore, your software should allow you to control user permission levels and revoke access as needed to ensure top-level security i.e. if a team member leaves the agency.
PropertyMe is Australia’s largest and most complete cloud property management software. Book a free demo today to see why thousands of property managers have switched or learn more about how PropertyMe is different.
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