The benefits of property management software are numerous. It can save your company time and money, boost productivity, help you maximize efficiency and enable you to do more with less (just to name a few). But understanding the value of PM software is really only half the battle. With a growing number of products available on the market today – each claiming to be the best – the real challenge often lies in choosing the right one for you. As with any business investment, you want to make sure you’re going in with eyes wide open and spend your money wisely.
If you’re in the market for a property management software product, the following four steps should help you navigate your way to the ideal solution for your needs.
Step 1 – Identify your pain points.
Not every property management software is going to do everything well. The first step in picking the best one for your business is to figure out specifically what it is you want the software to help you accomplish. For example, if your biggest issues are maintenance related, you’ll want to choose a product that offers bells and whistles in that area. Sit down and make a list of what your needs and pain points are so you’ll know better what to look for.
Step 2 – Consider the intangibles.
A software that has a ton of great features isn’t worth much if your employees can’t figure out how to use it. There is more than meets the eye when it comes to technology, so you want to be mindful of some of these important intangibles when comparing property management software solutions. In addition to ease-of-use, you should also consider factors such as the type of support you’ll get from the partner you choose as well as whether or not it’s scalable for future growth.
Step 3 – Create a list of requirements.
With your list of pain points and desires in hand, the next step is to create a list of software requirements that you feel will best meet those needs. Perhaps you really need help with billing automation, more flexible reporting or better communication with tenants. As you draft this list, it’ll become clearer which products are most closely aligned with what you’re looking for. That way you can quickly and easily weed out the ones you don’t want so you can focus on what’s left.
Step 4 – Ask questions and request demos.
The software selection process should be interactive. Being able to communicate with a company representative and ask questions is essential as it will not only put your mind at ease now, but will also demonstrate the level of support you can expect if you choose to move forward. Requesting a product demo, if possible, is also a powerful way to narrow your list because it enables you to see the property management software in action, eliminating much of the guesswork. If a provider doesn’t want to talk or doesn’t offer a demo, they’re probably not worth pursuing.
Selecting the right software solution for your business isn’t always easy. By following the four simple steps above, you’ll have much more control over the process and improve your chances of making the right decision, right from the start.
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