By Matt Donnelly, Buildium, Boston, MA
You’ve joined or started a property management company and put in place a solid property management sales strategy. Now the business is coming in. Fantastic. But how are you going to handle the business?
The answer is simple: Property management software.
You know by now that there are numerous benefits of property management software. But how do you choose the property management software that’s right for you? These 10 questions can help you make a more informed decision:
- Is the software installed or cloud-based? Installed software has to be, well, installed. Cloud-based software does not, giving you access anywhere, anytime.
- Does the software accept online rental payments? EFTs (bank account transfers) and credit card payments are the most common forms of online payment.
- What product support options are available if I need help? Is support available 7 days per week? Is it phone support, a support ticket system, or a general help system? Is it free or paid?
- Does the software distribute my rental listings to listing sites like Trulia or Zillow?This saves time on the repetitive task of posting rental listings to several different sites.
- How much does the software cost? Is pricing based on units or the number of users? Is there a contract? Are there any other hidden fees?
- How many users does the software allow? If the software does not include unlimited users, additional licenses can become expensive.
- How secure is my data? If it’s an installed product, what can you do to protect your own data? With cloud-based solutions, ask what kind of security and backup procedures are in place.
- Can I provide online access to tenants and owners? This allows full-service self-service, saving the property manager time.
- How many customers does the company have? The number of customers a company has is one measure that the company is doing something right. It means the software has been put through its paces by thousands of users.
- What sort of accounting features are included with the software? Is accounting functionality built into the software, or is integration with other accounting programs offered?
- What kind of company is it? Not all property management software companies are created equal. Some are known for solid customer service, but others aren’t. Check employee reviews of the company on Glassdoor or customer reviews on Software Advice. After all, you’ll be business partners with whichever company you choose, so it makes sense to choose wisely.
Still can’t decide? The good news is that property management software like Buildium offers a free 15-day trial with no strings attached, so you can try before you buy. What could be easier than that?
This post originally appeared in All Things Property Management.