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Is Your Building Management Software Helping or Hurting Your Business?

By Ben Shepardson | October 17, 2018

Building management software is designed to make it easier to own and operate an investment property. But not every management platform is the same. Is your building management software helping your real estate business or is it just making things harder?

First Things First: You Won't Get Far Without Building Management Software

Before we begin, let's be clear -- you need a good building management platform if you want your real estate investment business to be as successful as it can be. Even the most modest of real estate holdings need to be managed extremely carefully. Whether you're striving to meet your legal responsibilities in providing a safe and habitable space for tenants or you're simply keeping your business running smoothly by keeping things like maintenance and work orders organized, you need to have a solid system in place.

The real estate investment community as a whole has long grasped the importance of property management systems. In fact, one recent survey found that an overwhelming 84.91% of property managers used some sort of software to keep their investment property running smoothly. This statistic reinforces how absolutely integral it is to ensure you're using not just a property management platform; with property management software so indispensable, you need to be using the right kind to keep your business on track.

Every Property Management System is Different

Despite the old saying, what's good for the goose isn't necessarily good for the gander. Real estate investment isn't a monolith; there are a number of different investment styles, none of which are identical to one another. A business that specializes in providing commercial office space, for example, is going to have vastly different needs than a business that provides residential homes to renters.

By the same token, every property management software platform is likewise different. In the example above, a commercial real estate investment property owner would do well with a platform such as Accruent's 360Workplace software, which is designed specifically for that type of real estate. Meanwhile, if your company just owns a handful of residential units, a smaller-scale solution such as TenantCloud is likely to have the types of capabilities that will be more beneficial for your needs.

Other Issues to Keep In Mind

In addition to whether the property management software you're using is geared towards the type of rental properties you have, there are other issues to keep in mind. Cost is one of the biggest factors. There are many management platforms that are either free-to-use or more affordable than others, all of which might be just as appropriate for your investment property management needs as the high-priced service you're using currently.

Another issue to consider is how closed your property management system is when it comes to importing or exporting data. Even the most rudimentary property management software should permit you to export tenant or unit data to a spreadsheet for further analysis, for example, which should also make it easy to transition to a new platform sometime in the future if necessary.

The Final Word

It's true that property management systems are an absolute requirement in the world of real estate investment today. Yet be sure that the property management software program you do choose is appropriate to your type of business, has features that support your needs, and that won't bankrupt you in the process. Otherwise, something that's supposed to make your life easier is just going to make it harder than it needs to be!

Ben Shepardson is a Realty Biz News Contributing Writer and has a long track record of success in online marketing and web development. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems, he worked doing enterprise-level SEO and started an online business offering web development services to small business customers.
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