Top 5 Property Management Software Benefits

By Lexi Wood • Updated on May 13th, 2021
LinkedIn

Real estate management can be incredibly lucrative, yet renting out commercial property or selling residential homes is difficult in the best of circumstances. How do you find the best tenants to fill vacancies? How do you schedule maintenance across multiple complexes? How do you budget for new acquisitions? One way to get ahead in the industry is to create a property management system which can streamline your business processes.

Savvy landlords and real estate management companies are increasingly utilizing robust property management software to gain a competitive edge by optimizing and automating many of your business processes.

There are many different benefits to utilizing a property management system. To start, having software in place at your business identifies ways to operate more efficiently by reducing confusion about how to perform business processes. Here are some other important ways a property management software can improve your workload:

1. Gain and Retain Quality Tenants

The way all property managers ensure cash flow is through finding high quality renters or buyers. The wrong tenants can leave you on the hook by repeatedly falling behind on rent payments. Or they may make poor neighbors who drive out other renters with their bad behavior, leaving you to fill a new vacancy. Establishing a property management system is one of the most effective ways to gain and retain good tenants for your facility.

Property management software includes tools for more thorough tenant screening processes so you can find the best fit for each property. Prospect tracking also lets you access databases with detailed contact info for potential renters. Primarily this is used to avoid renting or selling property to anyone with an eviction history. Yet it can also create a record of past tenants who are in good standing with your real estate management company should they ever want to rent again, upgrade a unit, or purchase from you.

Hemlane Prperty Management
tenant screening tools from Hemlane help you find quality renters for your properties.

2. Create a Professional Barrier

Next, a property management system creates a professional barrier to your business interactions with clients and prospective renters. It’s very tempting to create a personal relationship with your tenants, especially if you are a residential landlord with only a few single- or multi-family homes. However, this can easily backfire, as unsavory renters may try to push the boundaries of their lease arrangements. A screening process provides the first line of defense from these bad prospects.

A property management system provides a secondary defense by building a standard process for how your business interacts with potential tenants from the start. Phone calls, texts, and emails are all logged through an automated software, so no one is being contacted through personal means while on the job. Every interaction can be kept as formal and streamlined as possible to prevent overfamiliarity and potential abuse of the system amongst staff.

3. Improved System Integration and Automation

Automating your property management process is another way to improve your current system. Instead of spending hours going over rental applications or trying to track down who is behind on rent, the system does the work for you automatically. Enjoy less stress as the system works for you.

Online portals allow renters and landlords to maintain access from personal computers and mobile devices. Property management software facilitates automated rent collection entirely online. The same goes for scheduling and following up on maintenance requests. With everything kept in one place, you can avoid mistakes from misplaced documents caused by human error.

With software, there are even ways to manage property investments. Communicate with potential investors, track new investments, and handle disbursements all from a single platform. And by compiling investment data in one place, a good property management company can use this information to identify new leads and potential projects.

AppFolio Software
Accounting tools track expenses and income across your property with AppFolio.

4. Customizable Alerts and Notifications

If you manage an apartment complex with one hundred units, how can you track which individual units are vacant, owe rent, or need maintenance? Post-It notes on a calendar won’t be enough to keep schedules straight. A property management system can help you keep appointments in order across multiple units and locations.

Have a new vacancy? An automated system can start marketing the open unit as soon as the lease renewal process ends. You can have new prospective tenants filling out apartment rental applications the very same day a listing goes up. Additional alerts can notify your offices when rent is due or when there are pending maintenance appointments.

One of the unfortunate realities of operating a property management company is the amount of legal issues encountered on a regular basis. Every lease agreement is a contract, and that means certain procedures have to be followed when making edits, removing clauses, or acquiring signatures. And landlord-tenant laws can vary based on city, county, state, or country. Maintaining paper records can be a hassle, even with a detailed filing system. Automating records management with software is one way to reduce paperwork while keeping your documents safe and secure.

Creating a property management system with software can help you maintain long-lasting, accurate records which may be necessary in the event of audits or litigation. For example, a bad tenant may take their landlord to small claims court over failure to provide maintenance services. A record proving when maintenance requests were made and contractor receipts can prove services were rendered in a timely manner.

Buildium Property Management Software
Review tenant violations with Buildium.

How to Create a Property Management System

The easiest way to create a custom property management system is to use software. New solutions use the latest technology to offer streamlined tenant screening, automated rent collection, and coordinated work order management.

Start building your business with a property management software. Many features, like AR and VR photo tours, which just a few years ago were reserved for only the most sophisticated, enterprise solutions, are now available to property management businesses of all sizes and budgets:

Best
Overall
Appfolio Screenshot
Appfolio
Strong CAM features
Customized commercial reporting
Online payments
Best for
Small Business
Hemlane Screenshot
Hemlane
Online rent collection
Real-time financial and maintenance info
No setup fees and $0 ACH transaction fees
Best for
Rental Properties
Buildium Screenshot
Buildium
Scalable (for 1 unit or 5,000 units)
Core package includes all features
Annual pricing discounts available
Best for
Commercial Properties
MRI Commercial Suite Screenshot
MRI Commercial Suite
Strong leasing capabilities
Real estate investment accounting
Continuously updated
Best for
Associations
Condo Control Screenshot
Condo Control
Discussion forum and survey for residents
Security and concierge features
Online proxy voting and budget mailouts
Best
Online
Propertyware Screenshot
Propertyware
Heavy customization options
New utility billing features
Tenant portal available via mobile app
Best
Free
TenantCloud Screenshot
TenantCloud
Includes basic accounting
Online payments
Maintenance requests
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