A property management system must have a many features that help the property manager. They help manage the rent of the units they are managing but many other activities around the property. They must keep track of all cash flows which include rent income and expenses. All work orders that are associated with the property for repairs and maintenance that need to be completed are included. Some owners want a lot of detail so they can review how costs are being managed and others do not. This is something that can be used by the property manager to differentiate your business from other competitors.
Property Management System – Information Readily Available
They must have these reports and information available should the board call for the information or the board asks for an audit of all cash flows and expenses. It is common for an audit to be completed every year to assure the owners that all cash flows are correct and that owner policies are being adhered to.
As a property manager you always need to be prepared to provide all of the information as needed. An excellent property management system will allow you to meet your own property management needs as well as the owners of the buildings that you are managing.
Reporting should be excellent as well so that the manager can quickly tell how many units are rented at what rent level, who is coming up for renewal and how much money is being spent on each unit. Units that are triggering a lot of unnecessary expenses should be flagged in some manner so that they are brought to the attention of the property manager immediately. Sometimes there are a lot of incidental expenses which by themselves are not very expensive, bit over a year can add up to more than expected.
Information for Owners from Property Management Systems
Reports also need to be available for the owner or investor of the building. Accounting reports showing the total income and expenses by all categories with bottom line summaries is usually the minimum that is required. These reports should allow drill downs to individual units that may have higher numbers than what are the average for advertising or repairs as an example. While paper copies are helpful, with today’s systems, online reports that allow browsing of the results and drill downs into more detail should be available.
Investors also want alerts for high expense, for rent renewal, for non-payment of rent etc. There are many items that should be tracked with property management software which helps the senior management team manage large numbers of units and stay on track with various issues. Weekly reviews and monthly reviews of all of the top line numbers with exception analysis should be the norm. A good property management system can help a great deal to make this process smooth, while providing the answers at the same time.
Complex Property Management Software
Property management software is becoming more and more complex all of the time. Property managers either must invest in training for their people to learn how to maintain and use these systems or they need to hire someone who knows your software inside out so they can deliver all of your needs. There is nothing more frustrating when the support people from the software company tell you that a feature or report is available, when your people should have been able to deliver these results from the beginning.
Software systems can be expensive, but they can deliver significant results. Invest in appropriate training for your system and utilize the train the trainer approach to keep everyone up to speed on all of the features. Once you have mastered their use, your customers will be impressed with the information provided and your attention to details which is enabled by the property management systems you are using. Invest wisely and use your customers requirements as a means to select the best system for your needs.