When you are talking to the different companies in the marketplace who are extremely large, and have a tremendous amount of staff and fancy websites, you get the impression they have it figured out... Well it is always good to do your homework first. Just because a company can put out all the bells and whistles doesn't mean they are ahead of the game. This leads me into the topic of discussion for this week.... Software.
There are countless versions available, from any price range, promising to provide a multiple array of services, but are there any that stand out above the others as a better value? For anyone who maybe newer to the Property Management Field you have common names such as Tops, Yardi, Buildium, Property Boss, Jenark, almost an endless supply. Many of those Software's are phenomenal packages but often times, you get more than you will ever use. It is my belief that the average user will not make it further than 50% usage of the features inside these Software's. So what is the solution? There are two great values available that I have personally had experience with... Pilera and PropertyWare. Both of which can be found by easily typing their names into Google.
What stands out about these to programs is the simplicity of the interface, and the ability to jump in to learn the product instantly. Secondly, both of these products are very advanced in the functionality and features that are built in. They have many of the bells and whistles that the major Software's are touting such as Electronic Communications, Automated Phone Messaging, Managing Personal Websites, and Cloud Computing to name a few. To top all of that, the entry price to get in are very very reasonable.
The only downfall to the two programs is that they work in combination with an external accounting program such as Quickbooks. Many people see this as a downfall which is why I also list it this way, however in my mind this is also a positive. In learning Quickbooks it is completely obvious that it will do anything most management companies would need. The problem is that most people refuse to take the time to learn how to use it. That is just the way our culture is. This is a positive to me and should be to any Entrepreneur out there as well and encourages me to spend time learning every nook and cranny of the Software. With 4.1 Million users you can run a profitable Property Management Company, and a very profitable consulting business teaching other Quickbooks users what is second nature to you.
Do your own homework on the Software regardless if you are a Self Managed HOA, Small Time Landlord, Property Manager or any other Entrepreneur. Don't jump into a big purchase of a large Software when you can keep your costs low with a product that is comparable. When you get started in this manner you are steps ahead of the game.