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Comparing Property Management Software

Updated on January 26, 2011

Managing Residential Communities

Changing Property Management Software

Managing rental or residential properties requires a range of special features, and even unique tenant communications needs such as rent reminders to maintenance requests. Property managers or owners of properties are looking for tools, to make their jobs more efficient and easier. They are also concerned about developing more tenant affinity by offering online services such as package delivery notifications or community portals. The range and number of property management solutions is rather large, and they vary in capabilities. Today, on-line property management software solutions offer reasonable prices, expanding capability, and easy to use web browser interfaces, making these the first choice in property management software.

Who needs Property Management Software?

Cost versus functionality, will still keep small property owner considering inexpensive options such as Quicken Rental Property Manager, and the basic Office tools. When properties exceed the number of units over a hundred, being more efficient is necessary. The benefits of investing in property management software has a higher payoff as the number of units increase.

Key Functions of Property Management Software

There are many common needs when managing properties such as rent tracking, but different locations do demand their own features. A high rise in Manhattan will look for property management features that enhance tenant security with visitor management, while condominiums in the ski areas will need instant communication with tenants for snow removal. It may be that no one property management software will have all of the features at a cost that fits a budget. An option is a solution that has good integration with other solutions. Below are some of the major functions a property management software should have or be integrated with:

  • Financial Accounting & Management (Asset Management for tracking income & expenses)
  • Tenant Management & Pre Screening (Credit Checks)
  • Work Orders & Manage Vendors for Building Maintenance
  • Resident Portals for Community Bulletin Boards & Information Sharing

As much of this information needs to be shared between property managers, owners and tenants/residences, where it is being stored is important. Property management software should be built on a shared database, otherwise this could severely limit future enhancements. Also, as smart phones with Internet connectivity such as the iPhone grow, the ability to access this information for a range of devices is vital in tenant communications.

Properties & People Included

The concept of property management software is evolving, where they recognize that people also have a role in the property management process. Happy tenants can become long term tenants if the tools you deploy to management tenants provide real benefits. Instead of a car getting towed from a parking violation with little warning, a message to their phone that was instantly looked from a license plate creates less tenant issues. This helps develop a more positive community atmosphere. As you compare property management software, go beyond the basics of financial accounting and also review functionality that includes features targeted for at the community that “pays the rent”.

Sending Out Package Notices

On-line screen of the Package notice the Property manager would send out.
On-line screen of the Package notice the Property manager would send out. | Source


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      brustici 6 years ago from New Hampshire

      Thank you for your comments. I am aware of a on-line property management tool that is very focused on the community aspects. You may want to check out

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      Lynn G. 6 years ago

      I couldn't agree with you more about the changing roles. I managed an over 200 unit apartment complex and I'm spending way too much time sending out notices to tenants. It seems like the communication aspect of these propertry management tools is very limited. Any suggestions of what I should be looking at.