When commercial real estate decision-makers are evaluating property management software – either for the first time or to replace an existing platform – they often start the process by asking, "What features do we need?" Then, more often than not, they poll their workforce and put together a big checklist, culminating in a bake-off between various providers to which company checks the most boxes. Easy, right?
Between the headaches that come with running a CRE property, the last thing property managers need is more agony. Is your property management software adding value or simply causing more pain and frustration?
If you can relate to these six pain points, chances are it’s time to ditch your current property management system and seek a different remedy right away.
1. You can’t access insights in real-time
Ask yourself: Do I know what’s happening in and across my buildings in real-time?
If your current technology doesn’t allow you to see what’s happening throughout your portfolio at any given time, you’re at risk of missing critical problems that will affect the happiness of your tenants.
Your property management software should be able to tell you at a glance:
- How satisfied tenants are on a daily basis, in any region, in any building
- Service performance metrics such as response and completion time
- Which buildings are performing better than others – and why
2. Your response to tenant requests is sloooow
Ask yourself: Are tenant requests followed up with quickly and efficiently?
If you’re not responding to tenant requests quickly, you’re setting yourself up for dissatisfied tenants who are less likely to renew their leases. It costs far more to acquire a new tenant than to keep an existing one – so ensure your property management software allows you to quickly respond to tenant work orders and service requests by taking advantage of workflows that you set once and will automatically work in the background without effort from your end.
3. You can’t satisfy executive requests with sufficient data
Ask yourself: Can I easily get accurate data related to the performance of my property or portfolio to share with your executive team? And
If you’re manually compiling reports for property owners or for tenants themselves, you’re wasting valuable hours that you could be spending improving the tenant experience – not to mention you’re at putting yourself at risk of human error.
Your software should be able to easily report on key operational metrics and critical alerts, including:
- Statuses of leases – which tenants leases are coming to an end?
- Statuses of certificates of insurance – are your COIs expired?
- Deteriorating tenant satisfaction levels – are your tenants happy or are they dissatisfied with management?
- Work orders – how many work orders are still open or overdue?
Additionally, it’s important that your property management software also allows executives to view building operations performance consistently (portfolio-wide) so that benchmarking can be established.
4. You cannot manage by exception
Ask yourself: Am I managing my property or portfolio proactively? Or am I constantly putting out unexpected fires?
Modern property management technology allows you to set performance targets that tell you when to apply more effort or resources. It should also alert you to critical issues before they impact tenant satisfaction and allow you to track statistics like work order completion metrics and tenant satisfaction over time. This enables you to manage your property proactively instead of reactively.
5. You’re dealing with sub-par support from your software provider
Ask yourself: Is my software provider invested in supporting and helping achieve our business goals?
Your software partner should provide you with a dedicated account manager and support team who is focused on helping you see the most value possible from the technology. Look for a software provider that has a vested interest in your success, rather than one that would disappear after implementation – or worse, charge boatloads for help you may need from them.
6. Your software provider has no innovation roadmap
Ask yourself: When’s the last time my property management software provider released a new software function to better power my business operations?
The CRE industry is rapidly evolving and property managers need technology that will keep up with the changes. According to The Real Deal, proptech investment already hit a record high halfway through 2019. This is indicative of the direction the industry is headed – technology development and innovation.
Your software provider should be invested in supporting your organization through the transformations we are seeing in the industry. If your current provider is behind the times, your organization will suffer. Upgrade to a partner with a clear commitment to innovation who shows a track record of continual development and enhancements that meet market demands.
Using the right property management software is a game-changer to help meet tenant demands, curb costs, and streamline work across your entire portfolio. Unfortunately, too many CRE organizations are relying on our dated or sub-par software (or worse, still using paper) to manage their properties. But choosing to upgrade to the right property management technology is a choice to be more competitive. After all, this critical system underpins your daily operations.