Five Questions You Should Ask Your Property Management Software Service provider

Estimated read time 5 min read

You may feel overwhelmed with the decision-making process if you’re considering adopting a new property management system in the New year. It can be hard to decide which solution is best for your multifamily portfolio because there are so many bells and whistles. What features are essentials and which ones are nice-to haves? Which features are attractive but turn out to be lacking, or worse still, frustrating for the on-site team? What will have the biggest impact on your community’s profitability, efficiency and performance?

Avoid being blinded by bright, shiny objects when evaluating your options. Focus on features that can improve your property management.

Asking property management software vendors 5 questions is a good start.

1. How can the solution save time?

The property management teams, including leaders and community staff on site, are always being asked to add new tasks to their calendars. The days aren’t getting any longer, but the last time I checked. It is not possible to add new responsibilities while eliminating or streamlining others. The first question to ask for any new initiative is: How will it save my team time?

Be realistic. If you’re not sure that the solution is going to improve your portfolio, it could be a drain on human resources. You may not be able to realize the full benefits of the solution because your team will simply lack the time to properly use it. It’s worth rethinking if it is just an additional application that complicates your tech stack, and requires time to implement. If you can’t use the software, there’s no point in investing.

2. How can the solution increase resident retention and renewing?

The responsibilities of rental housing providers are diverse and vast. You may be doing anything from organizing resident packages, to cleaning up overgrown garden beds, to processing payroll. There are software and services to help with every task.

Which solutions are most effective in driving leasing and renewals of residents? Your portfolio will not succeed without what is known as “heads on beds” or occupied apartment communities. It’s important to consider how a new program will affect occupancy and retention. If not, it may be better to consider it a nice-to have solution than a technology that is a must-have. Property management software providers must also be able show quantifiable results and provide case studies to illustrate how their products and services can help apartment communities.

3. How can the solution enhance the sense of belonging at our properties and how do we achieve this?

The strength of the community within an apartment complex is one of the main drivers of renewals. SatisFacts published data in 2022 that examined close to 5,000 resident survey responses. The “sense community” was the top renewal driver. The National Apartment Association’s UNITS Magazine refers to multifamily as being in a “great life-style reboot” following the pandemic. Barbara Ballinger, a magazine contributor, says that after being cooped up in their apartment for so long, residents want to meet others.

The data shows that if you want to increase resident retention, it’s imperative to prioritise building and strengthening relationships between staff in your community and their neighbors. Consider whether the new tools you consider for your portfolio will help bring neighbors together. Resident activities, for example, are relationship-builders. Organizing resident events that are appealing to your customers and well-planned can help you to get neighbors to interact. Message boards and social media can be used to encourage interaction between neighbors and staff. Apps that provide a cutting-edge resident experience should be able show how their features and tools encourage resident engagement and community building.

4. How well does it integrate with other systems that we use?

You should look for a candidate who will work well with your existing team members when you hire an associate. Adopting new technologies is no different. Does it integrate with the other systems that you already have? Integration is important, as it can make the difference between saving time or costing time. You may have to deal with duplicate data entry or additional steps in the workflow of your team if you don’t achieve seamless integration.

Ed Wolff , a multifamily technology enthusiast, explains this in the following way: “Software Integration combines products into a single-source solution.” Integrated products work together by using the same database, instead of sharing information across boundaries.

5. Does the solution have enough value to warrant its continued use?

We’ve done it all: we added a new work tool in the hopes of increasing productivity. But after a few months, our enthusiasm for that tool has waned. I regularly delete apps from my phone that I installed with high hopes but rarely use after the initial excitement wore off.

How can you avoid the same thing happening with your new software? Ask for long-term metrics from other multifamily clients when selecting software for your team. You will likely sign a contract for at least one year. Will you want to continue using the tool in a year? Make sure you do your research to ensure that the investment will pay off not only in the short term, but also in the long run.

Prop tech’s purpose is to increase your efficiency and profitability. If you find that your property management providers are using a lot technical jargon and providing ambiguous responses, it is important to translate the language to something more understandable. Listen carefully and ask the right questions to choose software solutions and partners that are best for you.

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