5 Reasons to Finally Get Property Management Software
Most landlords have faced this question during the last few years – is it worth investing in Property Management Software?
It is a complicated question to answer, as the finances are only part of the investment. It also takes a lot of time and energy to convert all your tenancies onto one system but, like any good investment, it pays off in the long run.
There are 5 key benefits that Property Management Software offers to both landlords looking at to be rid of spreadsheets and phonebooks as well as those thinking that outsourcing to management companies may not be their best option.
#1 Rent Collection
The most important part of any management system has to be the finances. Not only robust but also easy to navigate through and produce statements. Basic systems only offer a manual input where rent is a jazzed up excel sheet with pretty graphs but comprehensive systems offer integration with financial packages.
Some older integrated account systems come at the price of modern functionality but with Xero integrated management systems, finances can be seamless and astoundingly simple.
Rent reconciliation, when integrated with all your finances, can be almost completely automatic and here in lies a real benefit of the comprehensive Property Management Software. The old saying “you get what you pay for” most definitely still applies to management software but you can still ‘spend smart’ (see point #5).
#2 Tenants All in One Place
Now onto the least favourite part of any property management, the tenants. Here most Property Management Systems will not be much help, focusing on finances and prioritising information storage not interaction and proactive management.
With a system like Arthur, the tenant receives a free account (at no charge to themselves or the property manager) and can complete everything to do with their tenancy in one place. This includes the ability to ‘raise an issue’, such as a broken pipe, which the tenant can then track and interact with as it progresses by messages or uploading photos.
Furthermore all tenant documents are stored in the cloud and there is an inbuilt messaging system in software like Arthur that automatically creates an audit trail. All this functionality brings peace of mind to the tenant and has been shown to improve landlord-tenant relationships.
#3 One Touch Contractors
Solving issues becomes simple with Property Management Systems. Approved contractors are stored on a public database or landlords can upload and keep their own private contractors for repeated use. This means that when a tenant raises an issue, contractors can be assigned in one touch.
The alternative for DIY landlords is to call a bunch of their current contractors until one is available then :arrange a time, notify the tenants, cancel and call the contractor back because the tenants are all out… It can go on and on and you can spend hours on one issue, not to mention the invoices that have to be made, sent and chased up. Once again, with Property Management Software, invoices can be automatically created, sent, and paid.
This is probably the most powerful function that software can offer. Automation does not just apply to rent reminders and can, with a quality system, reach almost every aspect of property management.
With a system like Arthur, there are over 200 customisable automations that are triggered by a number of changes. For instance, when a tenant decides to end their tenancy, a landlord can not only send an immediate reply outlining the next steps but also an email to the property owner notifying them of this change and one to a letting agent to publicise the vacancy. And all of this without having to raise a finger?
Now to the crux of the matter – how much does it cost? Obviously prices vary depending on the quality of the system but a bargain price doesn’t have to mean a shoddy system.
Arthur bases their price per unit, which means whether you have 9 units or 900, you get the same comprehensive software. The price per unit decreases the more you have and this is where you can spend smart. Take note of the cut off points for price changes, for instance, having 25 units would cost you £31.15 a month yet having one more (fictional or not) would reduce that to £26.
So the average price for a unit is somewhere around the £1 mark per month. That’s it. No extra charges for call outs, no price for finding a contractor, no extra cost for more accounts/services.
Compare this to property management companies who not only charge a base rate but also add a premium onto additional work and changing tenants. With most software there is free unlimited support ranging from online walk throughs to one-to-one tutorials. The difference comes from the service, management software has a fixed price and therefore the quality and service needs to justify this whereas property management companies the bottom line is their first priority, meaning service and value is an after thought.
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Article Courtesy of: Arthur Online