As a busy property manager, you don’t have time to waste hours, days or weeks trying to research and compare the many options for property management software. What if there was a way that you could systematically and strategically pinpoint the precise solution you need without wasting valuable man hours in the process? Our goal at Netintegrity is to help others in the industry find ways to make their lives easier and their businesses more profitable. As such, we’ve put together a simple, 4 step process for choosing the best software for your needs (even if it’s not ours).
Step 1: Define and narrow down your fundamental needs
The first step in determining which property management software would be best suited for your business is to identify your biggest pain points. These will help you match up a solution that can best resolve those issues. If you’re unsure where to start, here’s a helpful guide for conducting a needs assessment. Ask each member of your team to jot down what matters most to them and then prioritize your needs by level of importance.
Step 2: Compare features
You should be able to narrow down your list of options pretty quickly by eliminating those software products that don’t align with the needs you’ve identified. For instance, if managing maintenance requests is one of your top priorities, cross off any solution that doesn’t offer a built-in maintenance tracking feature. Then match up the features of the solutions left on your list to the critical problems you’re trying to solve. So, if running reports for customers is taking up too much of your time, look for a product that offers a robust self-service portal.
Step 3: Carefully price out your options
The next step involves determining your budget and comparing prices. Keep in mind, however, that the sticker price on a particular property management software solution might not necessarily reflect the true cost. Rather, it’s important to evaluate how the expense can be offset by the benefits the software provides. For example, when you calculate how much time and money your company will save by automating your accounting activities, that savings may make the actual cost of the software much less expensive.
You’ll also want to be careful to understand exactly how each vendor’s pricing works. A solution that seems quite inexpensive upfront may come with a bunch of hidden and ongoing fees. Do your homework and recognize that the cheapest option may not always provide you with the greatest value for your investment.
Step 4: Research the vendors
The final step is researching and learning about the companies you’re considering. The goal is to find property management software that you can use for many years to come, which means you’ll be working with the same vendor for a while. As such, it’s important to know what you’re getting into.
The two most critical criteria are whether they’ve been in business for enough time and if they specialize in property management related software products. Other things to consider include what type of support they offer after the sale, their commitment to ongoing research and development and whether their company goals and values align with those of your business.
Once you’ve gone through these four steps, you should have a nice short list of options. From there you should be better able to figure out which of those options best suits your company’s needs and goals, both now and in the future.