Using property management software can help to simplify the hassle of managing multiple properties, but there are many different types of programs to choose from. You want to make sure the software has all the features you need (accounting functionality, the ability to hold client information, etc.) for the least amount of money. Here are six things to remember when searching for property management software.
Know what you need.
Each property management software program is geared towards a different number of properties and tenants. Some programs, like Tenant Pro, will even let you increase the number of properties you can manage through the program. When choosing a software program, take into consideration how many properties you are managing and know whether or not you plan on expanding in the future.
Try before you buy.
Look for programs that have a demo or trial version available. This allows you to adjust to the program and determine whether or not it has everything you need for your properties before you pay for it.
Understand the features.
Every property management software program will offer different types of features. For example, some programs will allow you to perform accounting or citation searches within the program. These types of features will simplify your management of tenants and save you time, so it is good to get as many of these features you can afford.
Be familiar with the cost.
The cost of a program will vary depending on the size of the operation. If you have less than five properties to manage, you may be able to find a free program like True Rent to manage your properties without having to pay. On the other hand, if you need to manage larger amounts of properties you can expect to pay at least $300, but sometimes closer to $1,000 for property management software. Be aware of these costs when balancing how expensive of a program you want or need with what you can afford to pay.
Avoid extra charges.
Some property management programs will have extra charges you won’t want to pay for. This could include charges for program updates or even hefty annual fees for access to tech support. You will usually not need the services these charges provide, so try to avoid them if possible. This is especially true for tech support charges, as you will rarely need tech support and you can usually find answers to any problems you may have with a simple internet search.
Be aware of markup prices.
Some of the services included in a property management program may be provided at a markup cost. For example, background checks are normally run through a different company, so a property management program offering background checks will typically run their background checks through a separate company and pass on the results to you at a higher cost. Be aware of these types of charges before you purchase a program