If you’ve been plugging away with the same tools and resources daily, you may not even realize the tell tale signs; it’s time to reevaluate your property management software needs. Your go-to tools should be working for you, not against you.
This article will let you take a moment to evaluate if your processes, including the tools you use, are serving you well.
Five signs you’ve outgrown your property management software
- You spend too much time on data entry and bookkeeping tasks
- The property management software lacks customer support when you need it
- Your business growth is stunted by software limitations and pricing gimmicks
- You’re concerned about security and compliance issues
- Data is inaccessible and difficult to share
One – Inefficient data entry and bookkeeping tasks
If you notice your time dwindling and your to-do list getting backed up because you’re spending too much time on duplicate data-entry tasks, it might be time to figure out the cause. In some cases, when you spend too much time on data entry, it may indicate that your software lacks integration and automation.
Am I spending too much time on duplicate data-entry tasks?
If so, check for software inefficiencies, such as a lack of integration like a bank sync to pull in your transactions or automation that posts online payments. When manual tasks abound, human error isn’t far away. Automation and integrations save you time.
Do I have too many separate tools to accomplish my tasks?
It’s time to consider an industry-specific one-stop solution built by and for landlords and property managers If you are using separate systems such as:
- Spreadsheets and QuickBooks
- Customer Service Management (CRM) software, and
- Document and file management software
Are my everyday tasks too complex and cumbersome?
If you need multiple steps to complete simple tasks, it’s time to find another solution. Your landlord software should be designed to simplify your life. Property management software should be easy to learn and easy to use. Not only should it be simple, but it should also have clear and straightforward instructions (knowledge base) when you’re stuck.
Is bookkeeping intuitive and easy?
It may be time to evaluate your bookkeeping needs if you find that reconciliations take too long and pull reports are not intuitive. Spreadsheets aren’t designed for the complexity of your rental business, and accounting software isn’t designed for the nuances of property management bookkeeping. You’ll want software that:
- Helps you become audit-proof
- Offers comprehensive historical transaction edit history
- Provides reconciliation reports
- Automatically posts electronic payments received and sent (rent payments, owner contributions, vendor ACH payments, etc.)
Two – Lacks support when you need it
Even with all the tools at your fingertips, there are times when you need a little support. Does your property management software company keep you waiting days for an email reply or never return your calls? What about a quick chat program built into your property management software? Your software should support you and not be another point of frustration.
When evaluating the landlord software you use and the other options on the market, check for:
Support options like calls, emails, and chat. The best property management software will have a system built-in for you to submit questions or chat with an available representative.
Response time shouldn’t take days. If during a business day, they typically call and email you back within 2-4 hours, you’ve got a support team that prioritizes you and your needs.
Self-service help should come standard with your landlord software. Check out their training and knowledge base to ensure instructions are easy and organized. Some property management software programs even provide an on-page help tool to connect you to the appropriate help article related to where you are in the program.
Feature updates are another way to know your property management software provider has your best interest in mind and is a champion of providing outstanding service. Look at how often your current software provider releases updates and features for success.
Three – Software limitations and pricing gimmicks
Your business growth could be stunted by the limitations of the software, such as a cap on data storage or user accounts. The limitation may be the combination of permission levels that let you customize your user tasks within the program.
We can also feel limited when growth means hidden or excessive fees that make expanding feel more like a punishment than something to be celebrated. Property management software should celebrate your growth with common sense billing and no hidden costs.
Check to ensure your software is a scalable solution that allows you to: add unlimited users with customized permissions and upload unlimited files with zero limitations on data storage at no additional cost.
When evaluating your software, check your invoices for ala-cart, hidden, and charges for extra services. Take the total costs (not just the monthly fee) into account when comparing with other providers. You shouldn’t expect unreasonable fees and increases without receiving tremendous added value.
Four – Security & compliance concerns
Does your current software put a premium on data-storage and security? What about compliance issues? Your business and livelihood are at risk if those are not a priority. You should be able to confidently access your data from anywhere and from any device without fear of compromise. You should also be able to accomplish your business goals in a software program built with compliance standards in mind.
Does your software:
- Block erroneous logins
- Provide 2 Factor Authorization (2FA) options
- Have settings available for VPM and travel precautions
- Deploy a redundant network in the ‘cloud’ for data outage protection
- Have a history of excellent uptime (minimal system outages)
- Incorporate the NACHA compliance verification for payment processing
- Provide bookkeeping options to meet trust accounting standards
Does your property management software have the tools to secure your business information? If you have any doubt, ask your provider. If unsatisfied, it may be a sign that you’ve outgrown your property management software.
Five – Data that is difficult to find and share
Your time is valuable, and getting the information you need at your fingertips and easily sharing it with others is paramount.
If your software (or combination of tools) isn’t cloud-based, you’re missing out on real-time accessible information. Waiting for back-office support or an onsite property manager to get you a file, report, or information is inefficient. Using a cloud-based property management software solution eliminates the gatekeeping information on specific servers or someone’s computer. When data becomes accessible, you can conduct business on the go. You can get real-time information while traveling on vacation or onsite at the property.
Property Management Software Growth Checklist
Does your rental management software meet your current needs and expectations while supporting your business growth? Make sure your software needs are met by being:
- Value added
- People-first designed
And take into consideration if it meets your storage, accessibility, and client support needs. If you’ve seen the signs and are ready to make a change, check out this helpful resource: How to Seamlessly Change to a New Property Management System