Purchasing property management software can be a daunting task, especially if this is your first time managing your properties via software. Adapting to modern management techniques can become overwhelming, but thankfully there are plenty of property management software applications that work to streamline your workflow and make your management experience as easy as possible. Property management software reviews are available for you to read and make an informed decision, but not all reviews are equally as helpful as the next. When you are reading a property management software review, there are some key points you need to look out for to ensure you are being pointed in the right direction.
The Makings of a Good Property Management Software Review
Property management software reviews should be an articulated conversation that points out the features and advantages of a particular software solution. The writer of that review should clearly inform their audience on how these features are beneficial to the completion of tasks involving property management. To make the software purchase worth the time and money of a landlord, the reviewer must also convince them that the software will not only streamline the management experience but also be more efficient with time: improving security measures, while also having the information remain easy to understand for the landlord and their staff.
It Takes Two to Create a Good Review
A review can be well-written, concise, and articulates all the nuances of a particular property management software, but if the reader has no idea what they should be looking for in a software solution then the review still fails to accomplish anything. The landlord needs to do their homework as well to make the most out of a review.
Knowing What You Need is Half the Battle
As a landlord, you need to compose a “grocery list” of features that you know will benefit your real-estate operation. Your list might include automatic payments from tenants, automatic payments to contractors employed by the landlord, or an integrated tax calculator. Basically, you need to compile a series of tasks in your management workflow that need improvement or that could be improved by an automated system. Once you have a clear understanding of what exactly you need, then you can start actively comparing products.
Comparing Property Management Software Reviews
Obviously features will be a great determinant on which software package to obtain, but there are also others factors to consider. We live in a day and age in which computers are everywhere, and there are all kinds of computers. That smartphone in your pocket? Yep! It is also a computer and very well may be capable of running property management software. There may be software options available that can be operated from a traditional desktop as well as a mobile phone. A landlord who travels often could potentially benefit from being able to manage their property from wherever they are. Software packages may also have hardware or software limitations. Your operation may run entirely on Macintosh computers and the software you were most interested in may not support that platform.
Most commercial software applications are designed to work with the Windows operating system, so that is also something to consider. Software that spans multiple operating systems should be a positive sign. Also, software needs to be updated regularly to make sure it is compatible with newer versions of an operating system. If there is a property management software that is still running on Windows XP, that should be a red flag for you, as Windows XP is not secure nor is it supported by Microsoft.
Since this is computer based software, we also need to discuss licensing. You need to ensure that the license you purchase covers all of your computing needs. A particular publisher may only license their software to be installed on one computer per license. If you have multiple computers that need to run this software, you will be in trouble if you only purchase one licenses. Thankfully, most software publishers allow multiple installs, but its always better to make sure all of your needs will be met before finalizing your purchase.
Customer testimonials will provide your second best impression of a particular software package. Make sure you view testimonials from an independent source, so you can see unbiased reviews and comments from customers like you, who bought that product expecting it to help them in a meaningful way.
Your Best Bet
The best property management software reviews know their product is superior to the others and extend their assurance to you in the form of a free trial of their product. Depending on the trial length you may find a product to be not worth your time at all or a product you simply cannot live without. Taking advantage of free trials is your best bet to align yourself with the best property management software available. Remember these reviews are supposed to be there to help you, not only with managing your property, but maximizing your return on investment!