We are undergoing the painstaking process of find the right program for a property management software to best suit the needs of our residents, landlord clients, and of course, the Belaire Property Management staff members. We have been scouring through the online reviews, watching tons of YouTube videos to see what is out there, and comparing as many features as we can to try to find the right fit.
We are happy with the systems we currently have in place, but we know down the road to hit our potential growth goals, we need to make changes now to create a smooth transition to where we want to be. We also want to offer the best possible services to our residents and a transparent platform for our landlords. We want bot our landlords and residents to have online access to their accounts and provide easy ways to track payments, rents, and collections for all.
The task has become somewhat overwhelming to seek out the best hit with all of the needed moving parts to fit all of our business needs. We have set out on our task to continue the interview process and come up with a fair litmus test to compare the plethora of property management software packages on even ground. So after several brainstorming sessions we have developed a list of 50 questions we are currently interviewing software companies to sift through the options to get to the one software we think will punch the ticket. Although it is not totally inclusive to all of the bells and whistles we are considering before the pull the trigger we have compiled the following list below to raise the bar and set the standard for what we expect for performance from the software package we choose. Feel free to use this list as a jump off point in your own journey to find a suitable property management software should you find yourself on a similar path.
And now, our top 50 questions for the property management software companies…
Property Management Software
Product Evaluation Questions
- What are the start up costs to start using the software?
- What are any other additional set up fees?
- How are the usage fees structured?
- If per unit, how much per door?
- If flat rate, is there a cap on how many units we can add to mange?
- How would the rates be structured on 100 units; 500 units; 1,000 units?
- What are the additional charges or fees for other services?
- If so, what are those services and the associated fees?
- What are the additional costs for training?
- Is training a one-time fee, or do we have to pay again when we onboard new employees?
- Is there an online training portal library of training videos we can access 24/7?
- Can we access the portal whenever we need additional training, or is there a fee for that?
- Can I upload my lease as a PDF with form fields that renters can fill out on a tablet?
- Can I upload my own state specific forms?
- Can I upload my rental application as a PDF doc with form fields?
- Can renters access their lease docs online if they need to?
- How can renters access their rent roll records online? Web site? Mobile app?
- Am I able to brand my documents from the system for a consistent presence?
- What types of screening services are available through the software?
- Are they third party add-ons for a fee?
- How is the fees structured?
- Can credit reports and background checks be stored into the renter files?
- Can we store prospect leads when we have more renters looking than we have units to rent?
- Is the software set up to handle payroll for employees?
- Can landlord clients access their reports online, if so, is that an additional charge?
- Are landlord clients able to run the reports they need to give to their CPA?
- Are we able to automate processes like emailing late rent notices, announcements, etc.?
- Is there a mileage tracking feature in the software
- Is there a time sheet tracking feature in the software?
- Does the mobile app have all of the same functions as the desktop app?
- What are the differences from the mobile app to the desktop app?
- Can we integrate with the software to send our vendors and contractors work orders?
- How does the software track repairs to each unit and each landlord client?
- Can we upload photos for before and after repairs?
- Can our landlord clients view work orders from their portal access, and the pictures too?
- Can we track SKU numbers for materials we purchase for inventory consistency?
- Are there features for inspection lists of units; i.e. smoke detectors, annual furnace services?
- If we can create our own PDF forms for inspections, can renters sign on a tablet?
- How does marketing work through the software and which sites will it post to?
- How many rental sites will the software post ads to?
- What are the additional fees to post to these sites?
- Are we able to upload our photos and videos to be used in our marketing?
- How do we track renter prospect lead generation?
- What are the options available to receive prospect leads? Mobile app? Emails? Texts? Etc.
- Are there features in the software to retain data on past residents?
- Are all of the questions aboves answers accessible on the mobile app?
- Can we customize the software for specific documents we need in our business model?
- Are there any software training PDF manuals we can download for future reference?
- How are software upgrades and updates handled?
- How many users can use the system at a time? Are there additional fees for adding more users?
We are truly looking for a product that interfaces well in the field from a laptop or tablet device so our field agents can perform just as well as if not better than operating the desktop version of the software here in our showroom/office. And of course, we are absolutely particular on how the software looks to our end users to carry on the corporate branding. As we narrow down the list to get to number one, we will share our feedback with you on future blog posts. If you are currently using a product you would recommend, we are all ears!
Do you have any other ideas on this topic you could share to help our online community? Please chime in to share a comment or review. All feedback is welcomed!
Belaire Property Management
Regional Property Manager
(978) 448-0669 office
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