Investing in property management software is a major decision. If you’re like most managers, you’ll rely on the software you choose to back your business entirely. The program will likely be a major part of your day-to-day operations and the purchase is not one to take lightly.
But with so many options out there, how do you know what to look for?
To help you on your search for the right property management software, we’ve identified five key things to consider when purchasing a program that fits your specific business needs.
- Ask How vs. Can
While researching property management software, you’ll inevitably find yourself on a demo or using a trial version of the program. When that time comes, be sure you’re asking the right questions. A simple change in perspective can go a long way toward helping you make the best choice. For example, asking how a software handles any given function instead of simply asking if it can or not, allows you as a new user to get a better grasp of the software’s capabilities. Lots of software companies offer the same functionalities, but they’re not all equal in how you carry out each task. A program might have the ability to track some aspects of your project management but might not include an entire work-flow management system. Be wary of quick “yes” or “no” answers and dive deeper by asking how.
- Plans for Growth
Consider how you plan on growing the business. If you’re buying software in the early stages of your company, look for a platform that’s built to handle new business as you acquire more properties down the road. In the same way, consider how you’ll be adding onto your portfolio. Some software companies charge per unit, while others charge per concurrent user (how many users will need access to the program at a time). If your units will grow faster than your employee base, then consider the true cost difference between both purchase options.
Any time you purchase a program off the shelf, it’s going to come with some pre-defined functionalities. The question then remains, how much room do you have to mold the system around your needs? Software companies who have acquired outside service providers, rather than developing programs themselves, may be harder to customize because the various modules have been piecemealed together. Look for a company who is actively developing the software themselves—offering you updates and new features on a regular basis.
- Ease of Use
We encourage you not to focus on “ease of use,” per say, because honestly, it’s all relative. Every business will tell you their program is user-friendly. An easy way to identify a provider that lives up to their claims is to look at the training opportunities available. If there is a variety of both free and paid training opportunities offered on a consistent basis with good customer support to back your everyday needs, you can rest easy knowing that the “ease of use” is not based completely on your understanding of the product at purchase.
- Company Background
It’s important to know about the company behind the product you’re purchasing. Consider how long they’ve been around, how they got started, if they’re a public or private company, and how they’ve grown over the years. By purchasing the software, you become an invested stakeholder in the business, so make sure you’re buying into a reputable organization.
Whether you’re just starting out or looking to switch from your current provider, consider these five key aspects of property management software and be sure you’re making the best decision to back your business.
Wondering if the perfect solution is really out there? Find out why over 20,000 users rely on Rent Manager every day.