While the current strength of the multifamily market presents great opportunities for property management companies, business is still by no means a cake walk for anyone in this industry.
Even if you are able to beat out the competition and expand your portfolio, expectations for customer service and accountability are extraordinarily high these days, making it necessary to have a solid infrastructure in place that supports sustainable growth.
For this reason, more and more property management companies are realizing that they need systems in place that have been designed specifically for this industry in order to:
• better utilize their human resources
• cut costs and increase profitability
• deliver exceptional customer service, and;
• position themselves for sustainable growth
However, just as there are a plethora of competitors out there offering property management services, there are also a vast range of suppliers offering property management software solutions.
So how do you determine which one is the best property management software for your business?
Step One: Conduct a thorough analysis of what your current (and projected) needs are. The following questions can serve as a guideline to get you started:
• Analyze your current processes and identify which ones are working. Which ones are not, and why?
• What are the biggest frustrations or bottlenecks in your organization?
• What are the steps required to solve these problems?
• What will happen to your organization if these problems are not addressed?
• What are your goals? What do you want to achieve?
• How many system users will you have?
• What features and functions are most critical to your organization?
• What reporting capabilities will you need?
• What is your budget?
Knowing the answers to these questions upfront will go a long way in helping you to find the right solution.
Here are some important aspects to investigate with potential solutions and vendors:
• How easy is the system to learn and use?
• What is the degree of automation offered? (There are different levels of automation. Ask about specific features and examples of time and positions saved by existing customers)
• Does a single vendor offer everything you need and is the system fully integrated?
• Are they willing and able to customize the solution to meet the specific needs of your organization?
• What is the level of reporting and business intelligence available?
• What sort of staff training and ongoing support do they offer?
And last but not least… follow your gut.
You want a business partner, not a vendor who will cash your check and then dodge your calls after implementation.
Does it feel like they will be a reliable partner who is committed to your success? If the answer is no, continue your search.