by Diogo Costa
Published on 12 August 2015
Is your real estate management business in a real state? Perhaps it's time you switched to a cloud-based solution to help keep tabs on things more effectively.
Cloud-based property management software offers many advantages over traditional, on-premise systems. In fact, this kind of software makes the job easier and more reliable for every party involved in the process, as the information can be easily accessed, used and spread. One of the biggest concerns about using any cloud-based system (and online property management software is no different) is to not have the database installed on a local PC. However, once the benefits are well understood, all concerns will disappear.
For example, take the word of Donald Roebuck, accountant at property management and rental firm Realty Consultants, who uses property management software Buildium: "With Buildium, we are able to keep track of the in-flow and out-flow of money more efficiently. We're also able to offer owners and tenants access to their accounts 24/7 and the application processing is quicker and more accurate. Over the course of 18 months, Buildium has shown that it is always improving to make our efficiency better."
The offer on this market niche is huge, which makes it even more important to know what to look for. Let's take a closer look at five features essential to any property management software.
This is one of the most important features and, often, the most neglected. Property management requires a great deal of mobility, so it is essential to be able to access important information when needed, from wherever you are, and on any device.
Ideally, all that is needed is a web browser that can connect to the property management software system. The computer does not need to have any special software or hardware, which saves money and increases access to information.
Making sure that your vacancies are seen by prospective tenants is crucial. Just listing a property on your own marketing site is not enough.
Most property management software have listing syndication partners, which means that you can post to listing sites right from within the app. With a few clicks, you can list a vacancy on the most recognizable listing sites out there, like Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads, Apartment List, and others. And once the vacancy is filled, you can take the listing down but store all the information for that rental on file. That way, you are always ready to list the property if it becomes vacant again.
Communication with tenants is one of the most important aspects of property management. However, sometimes you are so caught up in other tasks that you don't even have the time to take a phone call.
Giving tenants access to their own online portal will allow them to access the information they need, without taking time out of your day. They are able to pay rent online, check their status, and submit maintenance requests. This is a very simple way to improve rental services and something that a capable property management software should be able to provide.
When using an online property management system, a company is no longer responsible for software updates, which has two very important advantages. First, the software is always kept up to date, giving everyone using it the most reliable experience possible. In addition, all updates and new features become immediately available to all users, regardless of their location or the last time they accessed the software.
Secondly, this is done at no cost to the software owner, which means that there is no need to hire employees with special skills to keep the software updated and running, which reduces costs.
Any good online property management software should have specialized methods for data recovery in order to ensure a continuous access to data and software, even in case of a disaster that could result in the lost of information.
This means that the database is constantly supported by other servers, located in different locations. Therefore, in the event of a disaster, data can be retrieved from the servers that were not affected. The cost of this service is shared by all users of the software, so the high cost of having reliability and constant availability of data is not the responsibility of a single company.
If you are on the lookout for a good property management software and agree that these features are essential and fill your needs, then Buildium is a good choice.
This post was brought to you in conjunction with property management software Buildium.