The ultimate goal of all tools that manages real estate investments is integrated ‘one stop’ solutions. Condo property owners, managers and investors seek all services in one website or app. Convenience, accessibility, costs and ease of use determine which software is chosen. The current trend in technology is towards cloud based computing. This review will look at software that offers this feature and many others that make real estate condominium management easier.
Property Operations Work speed real estate software by MRI offers a rich suite of services that boasts end to end services. It provides mobile friendly features. Service requests can be logged by tenants, tracked by owners, fixed by maintenance with status updates and monitored by tenants for true end to end operations. Preventative maintenance is another valuable feature. Maintenance contracts, repair schedules, outdoor repairs, winterizing schedules can all be planned, monitored and completed with centralized planning and real time monitoring. Very importantly, mobile support can be done in the field with Android and IPhone use. Business analytics provide rich data in with reports and graph allowing owners. Reports can be scheduled to stakeholders who help to monitor portfolio health. Work speed is good for multiple properties but customization is not readily available and buyer may depend on Work speed to create unique applications. Workspeed has to be contacted for pricing.
Rentec Direct boasts one-stop software for owners and property managers. There are many handy features that allow tenants, owners and property managers to interact. A handy offer from this software company is a 2 week trial. Its website is easy to navigate. Customer service is USA based. Purchasers of Renter Direct software can create a customized website. This is a handy feature because owners can highlight property strengths and help it to stand out compared to competitors. Accounting package in this software provide full accounting features. Full bank, owner and tenant interfaces allow seamless transactions that save time. For example, rent payment include several steps such as writing the check, deposit and recording the transaction in the tenant, owner and bank ledgers. Rentec Direct treats these steps as one transaction as records flow smoothly from bank to owner to tenant. Similarly, editing one transaction allow changes to be posted on all ledgers.
Tenant screening helps to protect owners and guard against tenants with criminal backgrounds and foreclosure of prior rentals. Owners are always looking to find tenants with solid payment history who are also free from a history of lawsuits including evictions, rental transgressions such as property damage and even criminal behavior. Owners have a strong selling point by advertising that office, maintenance staff and tenants are screened.
Another handy feature for condominium management software is enhanced advertising of vacancies. This software allows vacancies to be posted to 20 plus websites including industry leaders like Zillow and Trulia. Potential customers can access property description and highlight with the click of a mouse. Also, applications and fees can be done online. The outcome is fewer vacancies and tenants who will be loyal and stay as happy residents.
Buildium Property Management software boasts that it is one of the most used in the industry. Ironically, its website is poorly constructed. Information is limited and the website has little visual appeal. Buildium boasts that it is used 15,000 plus property management companies use it software in many countries. It offers a free 15 day trial. Proof of its quality and industry dominance is presented by four and a half star ratings from reviewers on Capterra and Software Advice websites.
Buildium’s services are divided into business operations, accounting and leasing. Business operations consist of resident and owner portals, property inspections, lease and document management and maintenance request tracking. Accounting includes sections on property accounting, financial accounting, company financials and online payments. Leasing offers resident listings, rental applications, elease and tenant screening. This suite of services is more comprehensive than smaller companies. Priced at $47 per unit/month, it is on the high side. However, it is proven in the market and may be better suited for large holdings.
360 Facility with asset management software by Accruent promises increased operational functionality. 36 Facility brochure claims that it can save on workplace asset management costs. It estimates that this account for 30% of non-payroll expenses. It claims to cut maintenance costs by up to 35% by automating the work process. The software can be used to ‘manage schedule changes and key milestones proactively, enable cross team collaboration, and improve team communication by centralizing data to improve operational performance’. 360Facility was designed to manage maintenance or service requirement. It can be tailored to address recurring maintenance issues. However, the other important features such as accounting and business operations including tenant documents, lease renewals, comprehensive reports, banking and screening is not present. 360facility is more like a ‘one trick horse’ because its sole function is facility maintenance. While it may do a good job at this, it cannot offer the comprehensive suite as the former 3 software. Property owners will need to get additional software to perform those tasks. Compatibility issues arise when owners and tenants use multiple software packages. This is not advisable. Also, this software caters to larger property owners so small property owner need to look elsewhere. Pricing is not available, but shoppers can make an appointment for a free demo.
Finding the right real estate management software is a daunting task. There are many products with a wide variety of features. Some products like 360Facility and Buildium were created for corporate users. Owners and managers of small condominium developments may need to look elsewhere. Costs also vary. The more popular and internationally used software may demand higher prices. Owner must decide on how much they are willing to spend. It is strongly recommended that potential buyers take advantage of free demo offers where available. Combine this activity with calls to current users. Reading reviews on specialized sites is helpful but insufficient. Call current users and have candid discussions. Find users of properties similar to yours and note pros and cons. Then take advantage of free trials. It is a good idea to ‘test drive’ the software. It is a big expense and the impact is huge. It will affect your bottom line in meaningful ways. Put in the time and effort. See more visit: Condo Websites.