Property Management Apps- Why Every PM Company Needs One in 2016

Property management apps are uprooting the way things are done in this industry. Just a few years ago, everything had to be done via laptop in the field (although you probably didn’t have internet,) or started with pen and paper and transferred to a computer later.

The ability to always stay connected with apps is changing the game. You can do everything from the road now, giving you much more flexibility to meet with clients and tenants and visit properties while still getting “office work” done.

That said, not all apps are the same. To get one of the best, make sure it has these features:

Property Management Apps Must Handle Maintenance Orders

Maintenance is one of the most frustrating – yet important- tasks for a property manager to handle effectively. Even though there are occasionally periods of time where everything may seem to be okay, there’s a good chance that something could use a little elbow grease.

The traditional way of doing things goes something like this:

  1. Tenant has an issue and calls the PM
  2. PM receives the complaint,  and gets all the details
  3. The PM contacts the maintenance guy about the order and gives him the details
  4. The maintenance guy heads out, relying on the PM’s instructions
  5. Everything gets fixed
  6. PM contacts the tenant to verify everything is fine
  7. Tenant gets back to them and confirms

There are even smaller sub-steps in there, but you get the point. There’s a lot of back and forth!

But the right app will minimize all of this. It ensures both the PM and maintenance team have the rental repair management down pat. The tenant is able to report everything faster and more accurately. The amount of communication is cut down, leading to a faster response time.

Property Management Apps Can Manage Payments

While some tenants still pay by check, most prefer to pay online. And while some companies offer this benefit, many still force their tenants to pay with a check in the mail!

property management app

A good app will have some kind of payment system built-in. This does a few things:

1. It makes the transaction more secure. Putting a check in the mail- or even in the office mailbox- just isn’t as secure as paying through a secure software program.

2. It is easier on the tenant. People are lazy. They don’t like writing checks, wrapping them in an envelope, addressing and stamping it, then walking down to the mailbox. Instead, give them the opportunity to just pick up their phone and push a few buttons to pay.

3. It’s easier for you to receive and track funds. When money goes directly into your bank account without having to head to the bank, that’s a win. Likewise, when you need to pull up financial records, having electronic copies generated for you automatically is amazing.

Property Management Apps Should Keep You Updated

Would a simple news feed of what’s going on with your properties be useful? Of course landlords love it, but larger property management companies also can’t do without it. When you’re managing hundreds (or thousands) of units, having something to keep you in the loop is crucial.

The news feed usually includes major things such as maintenance orders or payments received. It can also alert you to an upcoming contract expiration, weather issues in the local area, or the real estate industry news.

While you may not need all of these things all of the time, it is nice to know that they’re all in one convenient location.

Finally- They Should be Affordable!

Don’t mess with free apps- this is your business. Free is for businesses that don’t take themselves seriously.

That doesn’t mean you have to invest in the most expensive app on the market, either. Instead, find one that’s competitively priced but has a lot of great features. While a more expensive property management app may offer more features or benefits, they tend to be bells and whistles that don’t add to your bottom line.

About the author

Justin Stowe

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