If you’ve been in the property management industry for any amount of time, you probably already recognize the importance of property management software. Not only can it keep your hectic day to day schedule of tasks on track, but it also helps you manage the critical business end of things, like reporting and accounting. The problem is, there are dozens of products on the market today. How can you know which one would be the best fit for your business? Here are 7 simple tips to help you make the best choice possible.
Determine your most pressing needs
The best way to figure out which software solution works best for your business is to first identify the needs you’re trying to satisfy. Start by conducting a needs assessment, and then work from there.
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Match your needs to available features
Once you’ve pulled together all the info on what you’d like your property management software to do for your business, you can then use this as a checklist to match your needs with available features of each option. Obviously, you’re looking for the product that is most closely aligned with your specific needs.
Check for scalability
The goal of every successful property management organization is growth, so you’ll want to make sure the software you select is designed to grow and adapt with your business. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself back at square one and looking for a new product again 6 months or a year down the road.
Look for additional “bonus” features
You want your property management software to ultimately improve productivity, reduce errors and help your business to run more smoothly. Ask about additional features, beyond the basics, to see if there are any that appeal to you. For instance, you can get by without the ability to accept online payments, but because this feature can help improve efficiency and cash flow, it could greatly benefit your business.
Choose an industry partner
There are a lot of software companies out there for which property management is just one of the many industries they serve. Unfortunately, when the provider doesn’t specialize in just one industry, the software can often miss the mark. Look for a provider that focuses only on the property management field for best results.
Look for a long-lasting relationship
The software you choose will be the driving force behind your organization’s ongoing success, so make sure you pick a partner that is established and will be in it for the long haul. Technology is constantly changing. You need a software provider that will pledge to remain on top of those changes so that you’ll always have a cutting edge solution at your disposal.
Remember the importance of after-sales support
Sure, the software providers you’re working with right now seem very attentive and willing to go above and beyond to assist you. That’s because they’re trying to make a sale. Do your research and make sure you select a provider that won’t just disappear as soon as you sign on the dotted line, but offers exceptional support and service well after the sale.
We know you’re busy, and this may seem like a lot of extra work, but in the long run it’ll save you a lot of time, money and aggravation. By following these simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to selecting and implementing the perfect software solution to bring your business to the next level and beyond.
Find out what more you can do to boost the productivity of your business. Download a free copy of The Property Manager′s Guide to Maximizing Productivity.