Is your Property Management software giving you everything you need it to? We’ve put together a list of 21 essential jobs your software should be helping you with in 2021.
Remember when we used our mobile phones for nothing more than making phone calls and sending texts? Now we can take professional quality photographs with our mobile devices, add filters, make adjustments and email them, message them or post them to our social media feeds. But when the first camera appeared on a mobile phone, functionality wasn’t quite as slick and easy. Even now that we do have professional looking photos available, the mobile device will (most likely) never replace a professional camera for professional photographers. Photographers need the features and benefits of a piece of equipment that’s designed specifically for the job they do.
Why am I talking about mobile devices and cameras? When we apply the same rationale to property management software, the same can be said for a lot of what is on the market. Like mobile devices with cameras, there are a lot of software packages that can provide property or block management features. But it’s unlikely that those software packages will offer the same level of expertise and benefits of a tailored, professional standalone camera.
To kick start 2021, the CPL Software teams in Glasgow and Southampton, have pulled together a small list of 21 (!) essential jobs that your property management software should have no problem doing for you. So here they are, in no particular order…
1. Complete audit trail for trackability and traceability. Not just financial audit trails. Your software needs to provide you with something a filing cabinet or email inbox can’t. And that’s the ability to track and trace all communication in, out and around the business.
2. Dashboard for easy to access, easy to view information and real time management reporting. Can you login and view all the portfolio information you need to? It should include the ability to view SLA’s, communications and gain real time management insights.
3. Scalability – grows in line with your business. If your software can only take you so far, your business might outgrow it. Your software must be able to shift up a gear when your portfolio does. And your software should also help the growth of your business with constant improvements, customer focused solutions and new, improved features and benefits.
4. Modular – flexibility of visibility of what you need to see most. Each department or job function should be able to pick and choose the relevant parts of the software that they need to see most often. By tailoring views to the needs of each team or individual, productivity will be improved.
5. Fully supported by a responsive, local team. We’re not saying you won’t get the support you need from a non-UK based team. What we are saying is that a UK based team might be able to provide you with an extra level of local care and attention that might otherwise be lost with overseas support teams.
6. Automated management of invoice processes including reversing invoices and the ability to fix mistakes. We are human after all and your software needs to recognise that we all make mistakes. And by recognising you make mistakes, your software should help you to fix them.
7. Smooth and automated management of repairs and maintenance. Your property management software should take the pain out of manual, everyday tasks with smooth, automated processes. One such process is the continuous requirement for repairs and maintenance and the need for ease of communication with contractors.
8. Integrated client payment portal/app. Standalone client portals or apps will do what you need them to but will they work with a different piece of software that generates your invoices?
9. Easy apportionment of charges. No matter the size of your portfolio, apportioning payments for work done on a building is a headache that never gets easier. Your property management software should handle these calculations with ease.
10. Automate and manage client credit control. Following on from number 9, if your client payment portal and app are linked to your credit control, you will find the task of managing your portfolio and your client’s much easier.
11. Stay on top of purchase ledger processes. Are you running two separate systems to chase jobs, contractor invoices and charges to your clients? You could be managing this entire process in one place. Enter contractor invoices, then bill to your clients fluidly. From job to contractor invoice, to charges to clients, to payment of the contractor – bringing into one place is less of a headache and ensure that your contractors can receive their payments on time.
12. Automatically allocate incoming emails to the appropriate person. Does your email system push emails to the right person? Does your info@ or admin@ inbox need to be manually sorted? If so, your property management software might not be doing the right job for you.
13. Expertise in the industry. Going back to the mobile device analogy, Canon, Olympus, Nikon and Ricoh are experts in manufacturing high quality cameras. So if you want professional photos, you choose the experts. The same goes for your property management software.
14. Traffic light system. With a useful traffic light system, teams and management can reduce the risk of not hitting SLA’s, reduce the risk of something not being done and reduce the risk of wasting time on FFT’s.
15. Financial forecasts. If your business participates in property management planning for the year ahead or the next 3, 5 or 10 years, then financial forecasting is a must. Your property management software must be able to generate reports, data and information that allows you to get an idea of what the future will hold financially so you can set aims and objectives accordingly.
16. End of year reports. Generate and utilise important information and year end data to help plan for the year ahead. Set SLA’s, objectives and goals and use to conduct appraisals.
17. Looking after your keys. How many sets of keys have you lost across your portfolio? Do you spend thousands replacing keys or waste time trying to find them? What if your property management software could help you keep your keys safe and sound? Time and money saved in one easy step.
18. Produce and view graphs. Sometimes a graph can paint a more accurate picture of what you want to communicate. Graphs can also enhance presentations and be used to show clients or contractors useful information about how the business is performing. How easily can you generate graphs that are legible and useful?
19. Automated statement of service. When your property management system automatically does things, it means it’s less for you and your team to have to think about and do. Automating your statement of service ensures you meet industry standards and saves you time and money.
20. Online checks, inspections and reports that can be signed, emailed and stored for future reference or use. Still using pen and paper, a spreadsheet or a standalone software solution for your inspections or checks? You could be missing out on a more streamlined approach that plugs into other relevant areas of your property management system.
21. Customer driven solutions. If your property management software is an afterthought and not specifically made for purpose, chances are the solutions aren’t serving your property managers. Customer driven solutions can only be achieved when there’s a focus on what the customer needs and that can only come with tailored software solutions.
A software package that’s built to offer the specific solutions for you, your team and your clients will always deliver better results for your property management business or organisation. And your tailored software package must be backed by a team that has the expertise, knowledge and responsiveness to suit your business needs. The ongoing support, the updates to the software, training, meetings, advice and consulting with you to offer you what you need are all just as important as a bespoke residential property software system. By implementing all of this into your business or organisation, you will reap the benefits of improved productivity, decreased costs and increased efficiencies.
If your property management software isn’t quite doing what you need it to. Or you think it could be doing much more, please get in touch with our UK based team.
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Call us: 0345 646 0240