Landlords are always on the lookout for better tools. New technologies in rental business management can be intimidating, especially for landlords accustomed to managing their businesses by hand.
If this is you, you might feel reluctant to give up long-held traditions of cash and check payments, paper bookkeeping, and in-person operations. You might like the control manual management gives you over your business or prefer the security of knowing it works, as technology sometimes doesn’t.
Fortunately, you don’t have to give up these things to take advantage of new tools. Property management software is an excellent solution for even wary landlords.
It’s normal to feel anxious about technology, but you don’t have to worry about sacrificing the quality of your business when you switch to digital management. Best Pproperty management software is designed with simple, intuitive features that even the least tech-savvy can use and appreciate.
Here are a few tips for first-time users of property management software.
Do Your Research
Before making any major purchase, it’s wise to do your research. The first step is to establish your goals. What are you looking for in property management software? What kinds of priorities make you stand apart from other landlords or their businesses?
Answering these questions will help you narrow your search. As you begin to explore property management software options, be sure to consider features, pricing structures, and reviews.
Property management software offers many great features for landlords. Most software platforms will have the basic functionalities every rental business needs: online rent collection, tenant screening, document signing, tenant communication, and maintenance management.
You might also look for optional secondary features. These include a mobile app, renter’s insurance, listing syndication, responsive support, and multi-user management. Depending on your needs, these secondary features may be more or less important. For instance, if you rent to a younger age group and need to market your properties as modern and innovative, a mobile app is a must.
A good place to collect insight on features is on review sites. Trusted review sites like G2 and Capterra contain valuable observations from landlords who have first-hand experience with the software. When reading reviews, check for recency, quantity, and quality of both written reviews and numerical scores.
You’ll also want to look into how the software company prices its services. Property management software companies use many different pricing models, so it’s important to pay attention to how you’ll be paying and what exactly you’re paying for.
For users less comfortable with technology, it might be a good idea to choose a model with paid onboarding/setup. These platforms will provide additional help and support during the onboarding process, so you can ask questions, troubleshoot issues, and get comfortable with the software before you start using it. If you need or prefer your own customer service representative to get you started, paying the extra fee is definitely worth it.
Other pricing structures include monthly subscriptions, feature-based models, unit-based models, and freemium platforms. Depending on the features, units, and length of time using the software, your fees may change.
Be sure to decide which model is best for your rental business before investing in any option.
Templates are another excellent resource for first-time users. As you set up your property management software, you’ll need to upload or create documents like lease agreements, addenda, and tenant applications.
If you already have these documents, great! You can upload your existing files into the software and edit them if needed. Otherwise, many property management software platforms come with built-in templates you can use to design your documents.
Templates can help you understand which questions to ask on an application or which designs and layouts are the most professional. They can also save you time. Creating long documents from scratch can eat up your free time and delay your goals. A well-built template can save you hours of time and effort, so you can get tenants in your units and start generating revenue sooner.
Use Customer Support Services
Finally, as a first-time user, don’t be afraid to reach out to your property management software’s customer support. Support personnel are experts at the software and know how to explain its functions to first-time users. If you are anxious about implementing the software or frustrated by features you can’t figure out, customer support is your lifeline.
It’s also not a bad idea to keep a customer support email or phone number handy, just in case your tenants ask for help too.
Property Management Software: The First Step Toward Success
If it’s your first-time trusting software to manage your business, it’s natural to feel apprehensive. But with property management software, you have nothing to worry about. After a little setup, you will be fully equipped to find success in modern rental management.