So, you’ve finally decided to invest in a software platform to manage your real estate portfolio? First and foremost, congratulations on making this bold move. Many real estate investors steer clear of digital tools oblivious of the benefits they stand to enjoy from adopting tech.
In case you didn’t know, real estate investment management platforms implement a combination of tools and algorithms, to help you analyze potential deals and also help you in the day-to-day management of your investment portfolio. Without investment management software, your work will be threefold that of investors who use them.
Part of the reason many investors stay away from digital investment tools is because they don’t know how to select one or how to even start. Worry not. We’ve done all the dirty work for you.
Here are some essential factors you need to consider when narrowing down your options. Let’s dive right in.
This should be the first step when shopping around for a real estate portfolio management software. Leverage your network and ask them what they use. You can also reach out to several real estate experts and seasoned managers to ask for recommendations.
Some guiding questions to ask are:
- Which solutions do they use?
- What does the onboarding and transition process look like?
- Does the provider offer support?
- What are its main pros and cons?
- Has the software offered any practical solutions?
These are some of the guidelines that’ll help you get an insight into the most popular solutions and their benefits.
However, you need to keep in mind that each business has unique needs. You may not receive uniform answers from everyone and what works for them may not work for you. Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to expand your network.
What are your Business Needs?
It’s vital that you choose a software that serves your business needs. You don’t want to go through the rigorous process of shopping around only to end up with a solution that’s not practical for your business.
Why do you really need the investment management platform? What are some of the business challenges that you’re seeking to solve with the software? Is the software going to solve these issues?
For example, if your main business pain points are in the administrative processes, you can select a software that increases efficiency by automating the workflow. Also, if you’re looking for a solution that’ll help you cut costs and reduce overheads, you could choose an all-inclusive software with all functions on board, so that you don’t spend on add-ons.
Some of the most essential property management software features include:
- Cloud storage: The biggest benefit of cloud storage has to arguably be accessibility and flexibility. Cloud software also comes with reduced costs, simple backup and boosted security measures.
- Mobile App: Most property managers are always on the road. This is why property management systems with mobile apps have become a necessity, not a privilege. With mobile apps, you can access the system’s data , schedule maintenance, and communicate with tenants remotely.
- Smooth communication: Good property managers are reliable and don’t compromise with communication. Great property management systems have streamlined communication features that help save time.
Investment management software platforms offer many other features including accounting workflows, maintenance, inspection and support. Ask your team what their priority features are and use them as your top software requirements.
What is your Budget?
As in any business operation, you should put into consideration the cost of acquiring a property management solution. Sometimes, the price of running an integrated solution can run up to a few hundred thousand dollars per year.
When it comes to pricing, the rule of thumb is to prioritize the system’s features, rather than the price. While it might be tempting to make the cost of the software your chief consideration, evaluating the software’s individual features carefully can help unlock opportunities for you and your tenants.
Since cost is also vital, we’ll go ahead and talk about it. Some solutions require a monthly or annual subscription fee, while others have one-off payments where you don’t need subscription fees. Also, there could be packages that have different plans. These packages may make a huge difference in the long run. Again, the package of your choice will depend on your business needs.
You’ll also need to ask whether you’ll have to pay more for onboarding, training and support.
Also factor in any hidden costs. For example, if you’re paying for an add-on, you can find a software that comes with those in-built features.
Carry Out Trial Runs
Once you’ve narrowed down your search to two or three solutions, it’s time to take them for a spin. Most solutions nowadays have demos where you can sign up and immerse yourself. Make sure you’re prepared before with any questions you might have.
Demo accounts usually allow you to see whether the software is easy to use and whether it can solve your problems and satisfy your needs. The software company may provide free resources, such as guides, blogs and training videos. Utilize them and get an insight into what you can expect.
Also make sure you check out the company’s clients testimonials and social media. This will allow you to know whether their clients are satisfied and how often they release software updates.