Ask anyone renting an apartment, home, or workspace today: how do you pay your rent? A good majority are going to say online. There are a number of features renters can access online now, including rent payment, maintenance requests, and a slew of others. The option still exists to do things the traditional way. Most any landlord takes checks, and you can likely still call a number to reach someone for maintenance. Still, the convenience and accessibility of online software cannot be ignored. In fact, it’s a growing trend that many landowners and renters see as a necessity, rather than an added bonus.
From the property management side of things, there are a lot of tasks to balance at once. On the one hand, it becomes cumbersome managing which vacant properties are ready to show, or need an extra touch-up. Plus, large-scale property management operations handle a lot of leases, all of which might have little details that makes each one different.
Like many sectors of the working world, digital tools provide property managers with a number of great resources. The benefits of property management software are quite meaningful and effective, no matter what software to which you subscribe. If you want to understand the many benefits to these useful programs, then let’s discuss what these influential and popular services provide to landlords, property owners, and renters.
What is Property Management Software?
Property management software helps to streamline many tasks and processes needed to run a property. Both the landlord or management team and tenants benefit from these sorts of digital programs and resources. For all parties involved, software allows for three keys to a healthy tenant-landlord relationships. Firstly, any program you subscribe to or purchase allows for all expectations and features of a rental property to be streamlined and organized. If a tenant has a question about their lease, then they can find a digital copy on their resident portal. Likewise, when a landlord needs to review which properties are going to soon be vacant, they can do so in an easy way.
Secondly, property management software provides resources both renters and property managers with tools to best fulfill their end of the lease. For renters, it’s expected that you pay your bills on time, keep your apartment up and running, and notify maintenance when something is wrong. It’s much more common for tenants to do these things if they have easy access to a portal in which they can pay rent, file maintenance requests, and easily contact property managers. Likewise, landlords can keep up to date on necessary refurbishments to vacant properties, as well as the needed fixes requested by current renters.
Lastly, the utility of these programs takes stress off all parties involved. As a renter, the process of filing your lease for regular reference, remembering to pay rent, and properly adhering to policies is much easier with online tools. Likewise, property managers can easily access contracts for each individual tenant, as well as manage vacant properties in need of filling, without the hassle of multiple places where the information is traditionally stored.
All in all, rental management software is the easy, convenient way to keep rental properties running smoothly for everyone. Specific advantages of using software like this make any sort of admin costs well worth the price.
Advantages of Using Digital Solutions to Manage Rentals
The advantages of using property management software helps to keep the act of maintaining the financial and organizational well being of property seamless. Thanks to a number of key elements of these programs, landlords benefit greatly from utilizing these digital solutions. Plus, features of these software programs are often mutually beneficial for tenants.
Offering Tenants a Resident Portal is Highly Influential in Filling Vacancies
Many renters today want the ability to pay rent online. It’s a faster, more convenient process than writing a check or taking out cash. Plus, like any bill, residents can pay part of the rent during one portion of the month, and the rest at another. This method is ideal for people who get paid bi-monthly and want to split up the cost. It’s not fair to say every renter expects a resident portal nowadays, but many see it as a perk as they search for a new place to rent.
Track Leases and Simplify the Logistics of Vacancy Management
Before digital solutions, many property owners and managers kept track of vacancies in a spreadsheet or document. Now, software keeps track of which units of a property are vacant, as well as when they will be up for renewal. From a management perspective, this tool allows management of the sales process to be much smoother. Rather than waste time double checking spreadsheets, you can simply see which units need filling and which are nearing vacancy. Plus, when you see a tenant’s lease is expiring soon, you can simply reach out to them through the portal, which connects to the next point in our advantages list.
Communication is Simpler with Modern Software
Many resident portals utilize messaging systems that connect straight to your email address. From here, you can answer questions. Likewise, residents can file maintenance requests in the software portal, allowing for a streamlined request and notification process. If you’ve ever tried managing a large property where residents don’t know what email to send their questions to, then you know how time consuming it can be organizing requests between the management team. With these sorts of digital tools, every request, question, or inquiry goes right to who it’s meant to go to.
Everything You Manage is In One Place
Digital tools aren’t necessarily new, but software for property management does a great job at keeping everything in one place for you. Instead of a separate payment portal, and a website, and a text box for questions and concerns, everything exists in once place. Everyone always thinks of financial losses in strict dollars and cents, but wasting time on monotonous aspects of property management is costly too. Software helps to save time and energy, meaning money is also saved in the process.
Common Features to Research – What Works Best for You?
Not all program options are the same. When we talk about property rentals, the conversation includes many different situations. For example, property managers work with apartments, townhomes, condos, houses, retail spaces, and office spaces. All types of buildings in between warrant various needs that can be met more easily with property management software. So, when it comes to the features needed to best utilize the task at hand, what are some important things to look for?
A great way to reach new potential renters is through digital marketing. Email and text campaigns are great for people who have visited your rental website. Rather than reach out individually or on a completely separate software, many property management programs feature the ability to track website visitors. By doing so, you can craft copy and information for follow-up marketing materials.
Once residents are living in your property or units, you might want a software solution that keeps track of their standing. Tenant management solutions include whether or not they’ve paid their rent, when their lease is up, and a history of maintenance requests. It’s an organized and detailed way to stay up to date on your tenants. The feature becomes even more important and helpful when a lot of tenants are occupying a single property or collection of properties.
A lot of property management software includes the option to provide a payment portal to tenants. Not only are payment portals highly desired by potential renters, but they streamline the payment process. Most software solutions for property management include some sort of portal. A lot of times, checking accounts will not include a fee, but a small percentage may be added on for payments using a credit card. It all depends on the software.
Any rental property is going to require some sort of maintenance management. For smaller operations, it’s not too hard simply taking email requests or phone calls. When managing multiple properties or units, the requests can become cumbersome. For that reason, many living rental software programs utilize maintenance portals, not unlike payment portals. In this section of the website, tenants can request maintenance, often with an area to describe the problem. The requests can be sent straight to an email address, or even show up as text notifications on some software.
Financial Planning and Analysis
Within many top software programs, information on tenant’s rates and leases can be integrated into forecasting and analysis reports. For example, if you have 50 units in an apartment complex, some software will display what your current income is from tenants, what your total potential income is, and even forecast how it will change given the lease agreements. It’s a great tool for deciding how to tackle sales and marketing. Rather than doing all the math yourself, it’s great to have these tools right where you need them.
Why Renters Want Their Property Owner to Provide Digital Tools
When we think about amenities, the things that come to mind are often physical. Access to fitness centers, pools, and dog parks are some of the most popular forms of sweetening the offer for potential renters. When looking for a new property to rent, another amenity comes to mind: digital tools. As discussed, resident portals provide a slew of options to tenants they really appreciate. Nowadays, some renters have only ever lived in places with residential portals. Spend a year without one, however, and it’s easy to see why they’re such a necessity in today’s world.
Renters want property owners to provide digital tools because they make every aspect of renting easier. It goes without saying that most bill payment occurs over the internet today. Renters want to be able to pay from their phone, tablet, or computer whenever they want. Studies on digital payment options even show that offering online payment reduces late payments and negligent tenants. Not to mention, property management software also provides the ability to easily access the lease, maintenance requests, and other tools relevant to the property.
It comes down to a mutual benefit. For renters, you can pay your bill easily, at your convenience, without the hassle of checks or drop-offs. For property managers, you simultaneously entice potential renters and keep things simple for current tenants with property management programs. The real estate market is increasingly competitive now that we’re over a decade removed from the 2008 financial crisis. While some areas of the country continue to recover at a slower pace, others are right back in the heat of competition. A program to help you manage these things might be exactly what’s needed to edge out the competition.
How Property Management Software Is Priced
With just a few exceptions, the cost of property management software is based on these factors:
- How many rental units do you manage?
- How many applications do you need?
- How do you want the system deployed?
- Monthly minimum.
For example, Buildium charges on a per unit, per month basis with a $47 per month minimum. Other costs include setup fees, support fees or hardware expenses. In addition, costs may differ for on-premise or cloud-based deployments; cloud-based software is generally a smaller investment up-front.
Conclusion – Is Property Management Software Worth It?
Property managers can use software solutions to keep up with the growing demands of the job. Tasks are always growing, expanding, and demanding more from management teams. The best way to tackle everything from renter’s requests and questions to vacancy selling is a comprehensive software program. With so many options available, finding the right choice for you and your property is easy. Between the various cost ranges and features that pertain to your situation, software solutions are a welcome tool for both managers and renters.
Digital solutions of all kinds strive to make things easier. One of the most promising areas of progress in property management is the facilitation of digital solutions and its many solutions. Renters are consistently looking for portal access when searching for new apartments, condos, and homes. Managers operating with business spaces for rent or lease can also benefit from these useful tools. The key to any great management plan is organization, and everything you need to keep your property occupied is in one place with the right type of program or software. Moving forward, explore what benefits are available through a digital solution that works. It might be the big difference that drives your business forward.