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So you’ve been evaluating property management platforms and you’re thisclose to making a decision. Next up on your to-do list: getting a firm price proposal. This is what could make or break your software choice – and best-in-class providers don’t come with a flat rate. In fact, a lot of factors go into determining price.

Before you even start to discuss numbers, you should talk to your potential partner about the problems you are currently experiencing. Share your vision for the “perfect” solution. If the provider can understand your primary goals, then you’re starting the conversation on the right foot and able to openly discuss the aspects of the solution that are most relevant. You need to make sure the provider can actually meet your specific needs/wants. Without that discussion, you could get a quote that includes features that aren’t really relevant to your operational goals, or omits features that are.

Then, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty:

  • Square footage – This is the main metric used to monetize, as it really is the primary driver for actual usage (e.g. the number of tenants, engineers, PMs, etc.).
  • Property type – This really determines likely module usage. (e.g. Retail spaces place the onus for property maintenance on the tenant, so a significant set of functionality isn’t applicable.)

It’s also essential for a potential provider to know what other systems you have in place so that the expectations for integrations are clear (e.g. a financial system for bill-back data, security turnstyles for visitor access management, etc.).

In addition, providers need to know if you have a property management platform in place today so they can ask the right questions pertaining to historical data migration, how accessible your data is, and how much work will be required to cleanse and load that data into the new system. This is both a services cost driver but also a driver for resourcing requirements in the client and deployment timeframe.

Finally – and again less about cost but more about helping you, the client, get your arms around the internal resourcing requirements and timeframe – we encourage any prospective client to work with us to create a representative environment that would reflect how they might use the platform BEFORE they buy. Granted, for a smaller client this may be as simple as a customized demonstration built following some detailed discovery, but for others it may mean a temporary deployment in a building. The key here is that it allows them to extrapolate the effort they expended in getting to that point so they can quantify their soft cost investments and financial spend with the vendor.