If you are currently looking for property management software, you already know that there is a lot to choose from on the market. You can find programs in a wide variety of price ranges, as well as those that have a wide variety of features. Choosing the right program will make your property management duties much easier, but choosing the wrong program will cost you time and leave you frustrated. One of the first steps to choosing the right program is to avoid some of these common pitfalls that a lot of people fall into.
Not Knowing What You Really Want or Need
When you begin to look at property management software, it is easy to get carried away with all of the bells and whistles that each program offers. But will you really use these features in your daily operations?
Although property managers perform many common duties, each role varies based on the needs of your client you are managing the properties for. To be the most beneficial your program must contain the basic components that you need. These components are often dictated by some of the following:
- Types of properties you manage
- The number of tenants you have
- Your accounting needs
- Your communication needs
Although it may be tempting to purchase one package that will do it all, that may or may not be in your best interest. Buying a program that has numerous features that you will not use could be a waste of money, but if your program does not meet your needs it will be a waste of your time.
Examine your systems. Look and see which ones could be more efficient and which are fine the way they are. Make a list of those components that would make your life easier and then find a software with those elements in it.
Buying a Software That Doesn't Fit in Your Budget
Although you may not be able to use all of the features of your program straight out of the box, you should be able to get the training you need to use these features. Look for programs that offer tutorials, wizards, as well as online support. This will help you get started quickly, and will help you to avoid getting frustrated and feeling lost.
Look for programs that offer demos or trial periods. This will allow you to test drive the program prior to making a full commitment. During this period you will be able to ensure that this is the right program for you.
Buying a Program That You Cannot Afford
There are two basic types of property management software. They are:
- On-site—These are programs that are downloaded and installed on your individual computers. You will only be able to access your software when you are using a system that your program has been loaded on. These types of programs often require you to purchase a licensing agreement, and may also require you to purchase periodic software updates.
- Web-based—These programs are not installed, but you are able to access them directly through the company's website by using your login information. The company handles the maintenance and software updates directly through their site. You are able to log in and access the system from anywhere, or on anything, you can access the web from. Although these programs and much more convenient, they often come with a monthly fee that is often based on the components of the program you want to use.
On-site property management software can range in price from $1,500 up to $5,000, but if you manage a lot of properties it can run you as much as $25,000. Web-based software can range from $20 per month up to $250 per month. The price of your software is often dependent on the number of properties you manage, as well as the number of features you want your software to contain.
Although you do not want to skimp on the price you pay, you need to make sure that the software package you choose fits into your budget. Purchasing a site-based software package that you are not able to afford to keep updated will quickly become outdated. But on the other hand, purchasing a web-based package that is not large enough to meet your needs will not get the job done.
Your property management software should simplify many of the different components of your job and not become another hurdle you have to overcome. Finding a program that works for you will give you more time to concentrate on the most important parts of your job that software will not be able to do, such as providing great customer service for your tenants. Click here for more information about your options or to connect with property management software companies.