by Mila Nikolova
Published on 27 March 2014
Property management companies are some of the most proactive in terms of adopting software. As it decreases in price, smaller businesses and even amateur property managers are able to function using some of the best practices and become as efficient as big companies in the sector.
About 12 years ago I used to be involved in the family real estate business and the options in terms of using software to streamline processes were very limited or at least not affordable for an SMB. After all, at the time mobile phones had black-and-white screens! Today, I am fascinated by the amount of solutions available on the market and wanted to share a list of the type of applications that I consider will bring most value to property managers.
As banal as it may sound, I am never tired of repeating how important CRM is for businesses. When it comes to property management, you should from the very start, input contacts of property owners as well as leads interested in renting/buying as the volume may get out of control quite fast. Excel spreadsheets may be an option for a while but I bet you will have to import them into a CRM app very soon. Also bear in mind that some have a free plan for a small number of users!
This is a list of popular CRM apps for SMBs on the GetApp marketplace:
It has been created for freelancers and small businesses and the key features are CRM, marketing automation and e-commerce. It allows you to email customers, process payments, prepare quotes… Check out all the user reviews.
Again, this solution was meant to be used by small businesses and it has very powerful Gmail and Google Calendar integrations to keep track on communication with clients and visits to properties. You can also use it on mobile! Read what users say: user reviews.
I am a happy Zoho user myself and have to say their CRM solution is very complete. It has Gmail integration and you can follow your big deals with their Pulse feature. Best of all is that they have a Free Plan for up to 3 users! Read what users say: user reviews
Project Management may sound too much for a small property management business but if you think about it every process in sales or marketing is a project itself. Using project management apps will allow you have better organized brokers and eventually happier customers, not to mention the benefits of tracking time investment in the different tasks and being aware of the ROI.
My list of recommendations is the following:
It is very affordable starting at $11 user/month. The app has a complete set of features, including social collaboration and time tracking. Every property or group of properties can be a project or you can organize by department as in Sales and Development, and collaborate with external partners such as agencies. Read what users say: user reviews
As in the CRM option, Zoho offers a Free Plan for up to three users and the solution integrates Dropbox so you can easily keep track of contracts signed or photos taken. It also has an iPhone app and integration with Google Apps. Read what users say: user reviews
Easy Projects is a very simple platform for online project management that incorporates time tracking and allows free guest users so you can deal with your providers such as graphic design studios or freelance collaborators. It integrates Outlook and has a mobile app. With GetApp you can get a 50% discount! Read what users say: user reviews
If you manage or plan to manage vacation rentals, there is no need to explain why booking software is a must. 58% of all travel reservations are made online and 65% of same day hotel reservations made from a smartphone. It can also help you organize related entertainment services such as tours and transportation.
The top booking apps on the GetApp marketplace are the following:
Colibri PMS is specifically oriented toward multi-property management and has a wide range of features. Apart from booking, you can also manage cleaning, repairs and transfers, email marketing and guest registration cards generator. Read what users say: user reviews
The app enables you to manage reservations and payments and offers plugins into popular CMS products like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla! and Movable Type. Unlike traditional hosted software, Checkfront does not force customers off to an external website to process bookings or view availability. Read what users say: user reviews
BookingLive is a modular system, which facilitates managing your customers, sales and enquiries, emarketing campaigns, online bookings and staff at flexible pricing. It supports six languages and allows SMS/Text communications with customers. Read what users say: user reviews
If you would like to discover more applications and compare the ones listed visit us at GetApp.