If there is one silver lining from the pandemic, it’s this. It sparked a surge in entrepreneurial activity in the United States, completing a 180-degree turn from a downward trajectory over the past decade.
The desire to take risks and follow dreams took center stage, surpassing the comforts of a traditional 9–5 job. Some industries were more appealing than others, as the idea of a side hustle or starting a small business took over daily conversations.
But one industry, in particular, saw a massive surge in demand, running the supply into the ground as everyone searched for homes with more space to sprawl out. A rental home in the suburbs quickly became a hot commodity.
And with that, becoming a property manager turned into a lucrative opportunity. In fact, it currently ranks as the 27th best small business idea in 2023.
But your business is only as strong as your weakest link. So if you’re tired of using multiple spreadsheets or a notebook to keep track of your properties, this article is for you.
We’ve compiled a list of the top seven property management software features that’ll help streamline your operations and take your business to new heights.
From online rent payments to maintenance request tracking, these features will make managing your properties a piece of cake (or pie, if you prefer).
Are you ready to learn more?
Let’s dive in.
1. Online rent payments
Gone are the days of waiting for physical checks to clear or manually collecting rent through the mail or a centrally stationed rent drop box.
When was the last time you went into a bank for a personal transaction? We guess it’s been a while. Online banking is as common today as sliced bread.
Residents are eager to pay rent with a credit card or checking account. Not only does this save time and reduce the chance of processing errors, but it also provides a sense of convenience for residents.
You’re also more likely to receive rent payments on time (read: fewer headaches down the line).
2. Maintenance request tracking
One of the best aspects of renting for residents is the biggest pain for property managers and landlords. If something in the unit breaks, the renter isn’t responsible for fixing it (the perk of renting vs. owning).
But that means residents need a way to contact someone who can stop by and promptly fix a broken washing machine or a clogged kitchen sink.
A good property management software should have a system for residents to submit maintenance requests and for property managers to track and assign these requests to the appropriate parties.
This feature not only improves communication between residents and property managers but also helps resolve maintenance issues quickly and efficiently.
The last thing you want is a broken pipe flooding your property without any way for your resident to report this emergency issue.
3. Lease management
Managing leases can be tedious, but with the right software, it doesn’t have to be.
Keep an eye out for property management software that has a system for creating, tracking, and renewing leases. For the cherry on top, there should be an option to digitally sign leases and send automatic lease renewal reminders.
Say goodbye to vacancies and hello to high occupancy rates when you use a property management system with a seamless leasing feature. You’ll always know what’s coming down the pipeline — no surprises.
4. Accounting and financial reporting
Managing a property is similar to running a business. The goal is to make money.
And without the proper reporting methodologies, you can quickly end up in the red without even knowing. It’s essential to have accurate financial data to help you make informed decisions about your properties and prevent fraud.
Ideally, you want to set up a one-stop shop for managing everything associated with your property. After all, why work harder when you could work smarter?
Keep an eye out for software like ManageGo that houses a full accounting solution, or easily integrates with your existing accounting software. That way, you can accept payments online, manage resident support, store your documents, send updates and notifications, and view important accounting information in one seamless application.
And sometimes, you might want to choose another way to visualize your data, like histograms vs. bar graphs, and good software (with compatible integrations) should provide you with these options.
The best property management software should also be able to generate various financial and accounting reports, such as income and expense statements, cash flow projections, and occupancy reports. With ManageGo’s new accounting solution, pull reports with the click of a button, and get all the valuable information you need in seconds.
Having these automated reports displayed in a well-designed dashboard can help you stay on top of your finances, reduce human errors, and quickly share the information with various stakeholders.
5. Rental applicant screening
Screening rental applicants is a severe bottleneck that most property managers struggle with. It’s tedious, time-consuming, and, let’s face it, boring.
But it’s an important step not to gloss over. Opening your doors to someone with a criminal record or poor credit might cause future issues.
Hone in on property management software that offers streamlined options for screening applicants, such as automated credit and background checks. Access to this information helps ensure your property’s safety, security, and current residents.
Consider a screening feature like a customer data platform to help manage new leads and nurture existing ones. It enables you to find the best possible residents to fill your vacancies, reduce future problems, and pay rent in full (and on time). That’s the recipe for success at any rental property.
If you operate a pet-friendly building, you might consider digital pet management add-ons. This way, you can access data about every pet in your building, including vaccination status and breed details to make managing humans and pets a breeze.
6. Multi-channel communication tools
Clear communication is the key to any relationship (personal or professional).
Email and text message compatibility are critical for creating and sending mass communication blasts to residents, which keeps everyone in the loop and avoids misunderstandings.
Multi-channel communication also allows you to quickly address any concerns or issues, leading to a better resident-landlord relationship. Think of it like a one-stop-shop concierge service where residents can book amenities, ask questions, or report problems.
But these channels of communication shouldn’t stop with your residents. Some property management software even includes AI for marketing that allows you to craft personalized emails, ads, and letters to target new leasing prospects.
And the channel to keep an eye out for is integration with your virtual meeting or board management software to maximize the efficiency of your remote team meetings.
When it comes to running a successful business, communication should always remain a top priority.
It’s like trying to bake a cake without sugar. It might look good on the outside, but the result will taste terrible. So, if you want your property management business to be a sweet success, don’t skimp out on the communication tools that matter most to your business needs.
7. Data security
Choosing the best real estate CRM and property management software for your business comes down to a critical element: data security.
If the software lacks enhanced security protocols, you can kiss your improved operational workflow goodbye and hello to numerous lawsuits.
In today’s digital age, data security is more important than ever. It’s your responsibility to protect sensitive financial data and resident information from unauthorized access.
Look for data encryption, secure logins, and data backup features to keep sensitive information safe and ensure compliance with data protection regulations. Plus, you’ll sleep a little better at night.
The right property management software features can turn your small business into a cash cow by streamlining your workflows and reducing human error.
With features like online rent payments, maintenance request tracking, and lease management, you can easily keep track of all the details across your properties in one platform.
Plus, with the ability to generate financial reports and screen rental applicants with the touch of a button (or on any mobile device), you can make data-driven decisions about the future of your properties.
Ideally, that means more money in your pocket at the end of the day and happy residents that refer to their friends and family. Don’t underestimate the power of adding good property management software to your tech stack. Unlock all of these features and more when you try a free demo of ManageGo today.
About the Author
Ryan Robinson is a blogger, podcaster, and (recovering) side project addict that teaches 500,000 monthly readers how to start a blog and grow a profitable side business at ryrob.com.