The Role of Property Management Software in Improving the Tenant Experience
To be a truly successful property management company—whether you’re managing apartments, condos, or homeowners’ associations—you have to do more than simply maintain the property and collect the payments. Your job, if you want to build a strong reputation and grow your business through referrals from happy customers, is to create a frictionless tenant experience in every aspect of your work.
This means responding to maintenance requests in a timely manner (and ensuring the work is done right!), communicating proactively and effectively with residents, and making the billing process as easy as possible, for starters.
It’s a lot to manage, and not easy to do well, particularly for managers of large complexes or managers who oversee several different properties.
Imagine this scenario: You’re managing a large condominium complex with a high percentage of renter-occupied units mixed in with the owner-occupied units. The building is starting to age, and maintenance requests are piling up—the elevator doesn’t always work, the HVAC system is sluggish in the summer heat, and there’s a leak somewhere on an upper floor that’s dripping water into the units below. You’re getting emails from both renters and owners about repairs (sometimes both renter and tenant are emailing about the same issue), and your inbox is full. It's taking a long time to coordinate maintenance efforts, and residents are getting impatient. Meanwhile, while you juggle all of that, you forget to send out a reminder about the new payment instructions for quarterly management fees, and you miss an important notification from the landscapers about a payment that’s come due, incurring a hefty fine and a cessation of services.
It's too much.
Certainly, it’s too much to manage manually. And even with a few different platforms in place to automate tasks here and there, it’s easy for important responsibilities to fall through the cracks. The result? Lost revenue, angry tenants, a damaged reputation…the list goes on.
So how can property managers automate all of their communication and organization processes, streamline workflows, and integrate every part of their job to avoid repetition of tasks or gaps in services?
The answer is in the systems. The right software—a cohesive platform that streamlines every aspect of the role—can remove the friction from property management in order to ensure efficient workflows and happy residents.
What Is Property Management Software?
Property management software is designed to save property managers time, money, and headaches by streamlining day-to-day operations. (And when the back office runs more smoothly, then so do interactions with residents.) This could include any number of features, including (but not limited to) the following:
- Billing: Including the collection of regular rent and/or management fees and special assessments as needed
- Maintenance: Including the receipt and approval of maintenance requests as well as coordination of repairs with third-party vendor
- General resident communication: A means to keep residents apprised of upcoming events, changes to landscaping schedules, community rules, etc.
- Resident records: Owner and renter contact information, lease agreements, payment and communication histories, etc.
- Schedules: An up-to-date look at what’s coming up in the community, including regular landscaping days, preventative maintenance, payment due dates, community events, etc.
There are off-the-shelf property management software solutions that can help property managers with a few of these responsibilities, and it’s possible to cobble together three or four different systems in order to get it all done. But often, the process of puzzling together different software requires more time, expense, and maintenance than it’s worth — and, when the disparate solutions don’t integrate seamlessly, mistakes that tempt frustrated tenants to look for a new management company.
A Custom Property Management Software Solution Makes Mangers’—& Residents’—Lives Easy
While off-the-shelf platforms may enable property managers to create a piecemeal network of systems, the real answer is a custom property management software solution designed with the management company’s every responsibility, function, and workflow in mind. For property managers, custom software really is the secret weapon to optimizing operations and improving the resident experience. Here’s why:
- No more juggling contracts with multiple vendors
- No more gaps or redundancies in data (or efforts!)
- Seamless integration between departments and functions
- Ability to adjust the system as the company grows and evolves
- A single platform from which to manage all needs (as opposed to separate platforms for lease management, investor relations, marketing, billing, project management, and vendor management—all with different contracts, user interfaces, and login requirements, of course…)
And what does all this back-office improvement mean for residents?
- Faster response times when maintenance requests or questions arise
- Easy access to important community information and documents
- A more collegial relationship with management
- Less time and energy worrying about the logistics of home and more time enjoying it
If your property management company is ready to become more sophisticated, the Syberry team would love to talk. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of custom property management software and whether it’s the right choice for your organization.