In this post we will be going over what to look for in a property management software. There are companies providing software that suits everyone from the one unit owner to companies that manage thousands of units! You will need to begin by outlining what you want your software to do. Will you only be using it to keep track of your occupants? Do you need online rent payments or owner/tenant portals? Will you be using the software to mass produce emails? Would you like the software to automatically create templates for online advertising? There are many powerful property management programs available at this time it’s just a matter of deciding what’s right for your situation.
Smartphones and tablets are very powerful tools and relatively inexpensive. There are property management apps available for little or no cost and work well for the owner who has a few units or a small start up company. Most of these apps will keep track of occupants, lease dates, inspection dates, and some even have built in payment features! If this is all you need then a smart phone or tablet and an app should suit your needs just fine.
On the other hand if you are managing more properties or you need your software to do additional tasks you will need to upgrade to a desktop or laptop computer. Many of the larger management software companies offer web based solutions. This is great because you don’t need much local hard drive space since all of the information is held in the cloud. Typically you pay a monthly fee based on the number of units you manage and the features you need. All of the updates and changes are automatically done with no additional cost. Beware though, you must have an internet connection to access the database so if you are out of service often, a web based solution may not work for you.
We use Appfolio for our Colorado Springs property management software and it’s been great for us! They offer online ads, one click posting to craigslist, online tenant and owner portals, and all of the accounting features you would expect out of your management software. Their customer service is excellent and they are constantly making their software better and easier to use! There are other software choices such as Propertyware, Promas, Yardi Systems, TOPS and a few others. Be sure to check out each one thoroughly so you know what the program can do for you!
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