Property management software has many benefits for small landlords and experienced property managers alike. Whether you are just starting out, or are managing a large portfolio, great rental management software can make your job easier than ever.
What is Property Management Software?
Property management software is software designed to help landlords and property managers organize and streamline their business tasks associated with managing rental properties.
Landlord software or property management software will include features similar to general business management software, such as banking and financials, but will also include desirable features that help with tenant screening, marketing and communication, insurance needs, and even leasing and inspections. Simply put, property management software makes rental management tasks significantly faster and easier to tackle.
Learn more: What Does Property Management Software Do?
Advantage #1: Maintenance Management & Tracking
As an investor and landlord, one of the best ways to protect your property is to ensure regular maintenance is completed in a timely manner. This requires tracking important visits to the property for regular seasonal maintenance tasks, as well as responding to emergency maintenance issues, like a burst pipe. Alongside scheduling your own maintenance visits and occasional inspections, landlords need to schedule and track any outsourced tasks that vendors need to complete. This can be a lot to juggle with just one property, but manual tracking can feel impossible as your portfolio grows. Property managers know this all too well.
Easy maintenance monitoring
Both landlords and property managers can benefit from a property management system that can seamlessly track maintenance requests from tenants, assign vendors or on-site managers a particular task, and track the job’s completion with any relevant notes.
24/7 support & customer loyalty
Maintenance will always be a chore, but providing tenants with an online portal to easily request repairs and include any relevant photos in their request, makes it a lot easier than vetting phone calls all day long. It also ensures that tenants feel empowered to submit a request at any time–regardless of your hours of operation. A mobile compatible maintenance tracking system can do wonders for response time, and will allow you to easily prioritize maintenance tasks from different tenants.
Advantage #2: Tenant Applications & Screenings
Marketing your property can take up a lot of your focus, but it is only half of the battle. Getting interested tenants to apply is the end goal, and if you’ve spent a lot of time creatively marketing your rental property, you will want to have a good conversion rate.
The key to ensuring that your listing generates a lot of interest is to ensure that submitting a rental application is seamless for your prospective tenants. Online rental applications are vital in today’s digital world. A property management software allows applicants to easily submit any relevant info to you from wherever they are located. This not only provides convince for local prospective tenants but can allow tenants who are relocating an easy way to apply for your listing.
Tenant screening is some of the most important work you can do as a property manager. Finding excellent tenants can make the difference between a great experience as a landlord and a very arduous one. Handing tenant applications and tenant screenings correctly–and legally–is vital to your success.
It is important to know your area’s landlord-tenant laws regarding the application process and to have clearly defined written tenant screening criteria. This can ensure you are being fair, won’t unintentionally act in a discriminatory manner, and will end up with responsible tenants.
Learn more: How to Create Written Tenant Screening Criteria
A rule-abiding tenant who pays their rent on time makes your job easier, and if you are a great landlord, you will likely have reliable tenants who want to stick around long-term. This reduces stress and ensures that you don’t suffer a loss due to vacancies or the need to pursue the stressful eviction process. Remember that not all tenant screening is equal, so be sure that you do your research to find the most reliable tenant screening application for your needs.
Learn more: Are All Tenant Screening Reports Created Equal?
Advantage #3: Online Payments
In the digital age, online payments have become vital. Online payments are key to ensuring that payments are paid regularly and on time. Data shows that renters who use online payments are more likely to pay rent and pay it on time–even in a drastic situation like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Online rent payments have other advantages for landlords and property managers. They ensure that funds don’t come late because of the classic “lost in the mail” excuse, and they guarantee that tenants won’t be out any funds from something truly getting lost in the payment process. Mailing cash can be unreliable and depositing a check that has been mailed can result in fees if the check bounces. Even a simple trip across town to pay rent in person is inconvenient for renters–especially if they need to find time during their workday to make the trek. With all of the barriers that online payments eliminate, it is no wonder that tenants who pay online are more likely to pay on time.
Quick benefits of online rent payments:
- Eliminates the unreliability of mailing cash
- Eliminates the risk of a bounced check
- Increases the convenience for tenants
- Reduces the need for in-person contact
- Reduces trips to the bank for landlords and managers
Advantage #4: Contact Management
A great property manager or landlord understands the need for excellent customer service and connection. This requires devoted attention to contact management. There’s no better way to ensure great connections between you and your tenants than guaranteeing that you have all the information you need to accurately and efficiently communicate with them. Managing your contacts on your own can get overwhelming fast.
Through a software solution, you will be able to manage tenant communications, easily access tenant information, access email history between you and your tenants, and even get notifications when a tenant works in the software. Contact management tasks with every tenant become easy to track making it simple to pick up where you left off. Send text or picture and video messages right from your software, or email multiple tenants about an upcoming resident event or upcoming property maintenance. You can even automate your communications and reminders to tenants, owners, and vendors with text messages within your software account. Keeping track of your tenants and your communications with them will ensure that tenants feel seen and heard.
Store tenant details:
Have a lot of tenants to manage? A good rental software will even allow you to leave notes to help you personalize your communications or simply remember each tenant. You can make notes like “has the blue heeler puppy” or “loves airplane facts” or even store birthday information to send a card when it is time. Contact management goes beyond current tenants, however. Property management software can also assist you with maintaining lead-tracking information whenever an applicant expresses interest in your rental property. This ensures that whenever you are facing a vacancy, you have access to potential tenants before you even begin marketing your rental.
Advantage #5: Advertising & Marketing
You only get one chance to make a first impression. Online marketing is the key to attracting excellent tenants and making your rental’s first impression a good one. Most renters are starting their searches online, which means the key to getting a number of qualified applicants is to ensure that your online presence is optimized.
Property management software makes marketing online rental listings seamless. Together with your management software, an excellent marketing plan, and thorough tenant screening you will virtually eliminate the likelihood of choosing an unqualified or rule-breaking tenant.
Easy rental listing syndication:
A large application pool can allow you to pick the best tenant possible for your rental. Getting your listing on as many rental sites as possible will guarantee more qualified tenants. Property management software makes it easy for landlords and managers to get their listings in front of as many eyes as possible through rental listing syndication.
By utilizing a rental listing syndication network, you can input property information one time and with the click of a button, post your rental vacancy advertisement to the most popular rental listing sites. Within your software account, input property details, photos, contact information, and instructions on how to apply online or in person. Vacancies can be automatically posted on the most popular websites visited by renters. When choosing your property management software, make sure it has a robust syndication network to guarantee that you are getting the most from your investment.
Professional Property Management Website:
A property management software can benefit landlords and managers in multiple ways when it comes to website management. Some will offer template websites where landlords can fill in their listing information through the software. Others may also work with another respected company and offer integrative features allowing that company to help their clients create a beautiful, custom website that will attract renters and stand out to clients.
Advantage #6: Financial Management
The nitty-gritty of financial management is difficult for any business owner, but it can be particularly confusing for landlords and property managers–particularly first-time landlords. Few tasks are as stressful as navigating banking and financials without the right tools on your side. Unfortunately, traditional accounting systems are not designed for property management and require double or even triple entry of transactions to maintain accurate and auditable records.
Property management software is specifically designed to help landlords, investors, and property managers accurately and efficiently complete their accounting and bookkeeping tasks. Gain access to full general ledger accounting for properties, tenants, and owners. And have the power to review, edit, and print ledgers for every property, tenant, owner, and bank account used to manage your properties.
A robust management platform will save a remarkable amount of time and headache. Landlords and property management teams alike can benefit from the industry-leading services and integrations to guarantee that you have the best tools in your arsenal when it comes to rent collection, banking, tax requirements, and more.
Additional and beneficial financial management features to look for:
- Electronic cash payments: This allows tenants without access to traditional banking to pay in cash while landlords minimize the risks of handling cash in the office.
- 1099 Tax E-filing and Reporting: This helps landlords handle the stress of tax season without breaking a sweat by allowing your software to file your 1099 tax documents with a single click.
- Secure Bank Sync: This ensures the days of pen and paper transaction matching is a thing of the past. A bank sync tool allows your software to streamline the account reconciliation process by easily matching your bank accounts with transactions within the software.
- Online payments: This guarantees that tenants have a convenient way to pay rent. Accepting rent online is one of the most reliable ways to collect rent payments each month.
Advantage #7: Lease & File Management
Paperwork is at the heart of any business and the rental industry is no exception. Whether you currently shuffle through physical paperwork or you need a solution for online file clutter, all landlords and managers can benefit from the lease and file management features available in property management software.
The file library of property management software acts as a robust document management system for landlords and property managers. Your software application will allow you to edit, store, and finalize important documents and landlord-specific software should even integrate with companies that can offer templates for important documents.
You can keep track of all of your important documents and data within your software application. Import documents and store information related to your lease agreements, tax and compliance documents, marketing material and photos, tenant records, financial reports, tenant screening documents, and other sensitive data that must be stored securely.
Ease for Tenants and Filling Vacancies:
A feature-rich landlord software will also provide tools to allow tenants to fill out online applications for the rental property and even sign legal documents online once approved for tenancy. Tenants will benefit from the convenience of online applications, and access to e-signatures for documents means they don’t have to schedule an appointment or drop by the office to sign lease agreements. This makes filling vacancies more streamlined than ever before.
Making the Most of Your Property Management Tools
The best property management software will be consistently updated to ensure that its features are continually optimized for the ever-changing needs of the rental industry. The biggest advantage of online software is the ability to receive updates. A good software service will listen to their customers and provide new features based on their clients’ needs.
For this reason, it is vital to stay up-to-date on any product updates or new features that the software announces. After all, if you are paying for a service, you want to be making the most of your tools by ensuring that you use all of the features your program has to offer.