All the manual managerial processes in businesses often steal large quantities of time from leaders and employees. The automatization of such tasks can increase a business’s productivity and efficiency, helping refocus attention on first-hand tasks instead of paperwork. As a result, these changes can speed up a company’s growth and improve its customer service.
Overall, automatization seems like the most efficient, if not the only reasonable, option when you run a rental business. That’s where a PMS system steps into play. Property management software is meant to replace all manual, time-consuming processes by digitizing the entire system.
Hence, it can handle such mundane yet crucial functions as booking, billing, screening, etc. The software can make these processes more efficient while simultaneously making them easier to navigate, track, and analyze. Why use property management software may still be a lingering question. The above benefits alone should be convincing enough for someone who has their doubts. However, let’s also see some data to prove the point.
From a market value of $8.98bl in 2017, the global PMS industry has grown to $10.1bn in 2022. What’s more, the growth is expected to continue, reaching over $12.89bl by 2025. Today, 310,000 enterprises work with an automated management system. Such a tendency started back in 2008 along with the advancements in the tech sector. Yet, it has started to skyrocket over the recent decade.
For example, according to the 2021 NAR report, in 97% of the cases, people choose to seek their housing option online. Hence, in the current market, the real estate business simply can’t exist without a strong online presence.
The main trick here is how to build property management software that fits all your business’ needs and requirements. It’s easy to accomplish when one learns the essential data on common PMS features, ways to compliment the nature of the business, and purposes of such a system in various niches.
Hopefully, you’ll have the answers to your questions to create the best property management software.
So what is a PMS system? In short, a property management system is an automated process of record keeping that replaces manual spreadsheets. Its purpose is to save time and costs by enhancing business’ efficiency. Such software creates a centralized record of all client-owner activities. The diverse uses of property management system benefit a large variety of real estate enterprises across several industries.
Overall, the automated system allows computers to manage all essential procedures specific to the industry. Thus, such software can deal with booking processes, check-ins and check-outs, billing services, collecting client data, marketing, business-client feedback, etc.
Overall, such software is cloud-based, however, there are local server options available.
These are the most prominent property management system examples:
- Landlord Studio,
- Rent Manager,
- TenantCloud, and
Real estate company leaders often choose among these pieces of property management systems software to enhance their work processes.
They all aim to provide clients with the best services while easing the businesses’ workflow. Property managers in a variety of industries choose these programs to handle their most mundane tasks and responsibilities.
Each of these types of software presents certain advantages and disadvantages for a business owner. Yet, no off-the-shelf app can really check off all your goals and expectations; that’s why building a custom property management system should be your number one priority. Though, you better be fully convinced of its benefits before committing to such a development process, right? So, here’s some food for thought.
The given market is still young but already prominent and ambitious. For years now, business owners have been switching to digitalization of their management processes. The possibility of creating your own management software is just a more advanced step towards the ideal managerial system.
Overall, transforming most of your work online can simply open up more perspectives for growth and unique opportunities. Thus, owners will enjoy the abundance of free time after automating spreadsheets and other secondary tasks. You’ll also not have to worry about file protections, fraud, errors, etc. A reliable piece of software will keep the data safe and secure. Overall, you can choose your own reasons to build property management software.
However, these are the six solid benefits of a property management system you can’t deny.
Multiple property management
Wherever you have multiple properties to worry about, it becomes a hassle and a headache. Fortunately, now you can put all those estates under one management system via one app. Such a system will keep all the essential information, from accounts to notifications and updates.
That’s why every PMS has an owner’s portal. Such a feature helps owners get instant info and access to business processes. As a result, you end up with a centralized record that drastically increases sufficiency and work speed. One app – multiple solutions.
The digitalization of management processes is a guarantee to higher data security. First of all, no more paper documentation. That alone reduces the chances of human error, lost documents, and confusion. Not only can you find any report in a few clicks, you will also ensure a high-level of protection for your clients and business-sensitive data.
Additionally, with custom-built software, you will always know if there were any cyberattacks or breaches in security. The provision of information and alerts regarding a breach when using another company’s software may not occur as the attack is transpiring. Chances are you only learn post-factum once your data has already been compromised.
With personal software, one can set all kinds of security protection measures, such as enhanced authentication, encryption, and other methods.
Automation is one of the most efficient advantages of having a PMS. After all, that’s the reason the system was created in the first place. Businesses can achieve much better results in their industry by automating repetitive, mundane tasks that machines can do better than humans.
In addition, automated tasks can save hours of time for employees, which they can in turn spend on more crucial aspects of the business like customer service.
24/7 customer support
Most businesses can’t afford or choose not to have people work 24/7 only to answer customers’ requests and questions. Property management apps, on the other hand, can be available for any client interaction 24/7 any day of the week. For example, you can build software chatbots or other forms of virtual assistants that can handle more common, simple queries and tasks from clients.
Not only does such a feature save you time and money, it gives employees more free time to deal with higher priority tasks at hand. It also provides great customer service and reliable support at any time and any corner of the world.
By the way, proper software for property management can do more than just support. It can also personalize your marketing strategies, have notification features, calendar synchronization, and much more. You should consider strategies to appeal to international clientele as well, that is if you go beyond your local market.
You show higher appreciation to your clients by enriching their experience. In the end, build as many client-oriented features as you’d like to enhance your customer appeal and make your app a pleasant place to be. Fast, easy, and with logical navigation – that’s all what a user needs from a well-built application.
A PMS will always have the potential and space for growth. The industry and tech market is constantly evolving. If everything goes well, a business eventually scales up and expands with time. Fortunately, a good property management system in the hospitality industry can grow along with the business.
Scalability means any new function can be built-in once the need arises. So, you may start with a basic but well-functioning software. Yet, you leave room to adjust the program according to the growing potential of your enterprise.
Most field leaders in the hospitality industry use real estate property management software for organizing key processes, saving time, and offering tenants better serving conditions.
Overall, there are four main fields, each of which requires its own type of property management systems. Let’s have a brief look at every such example.
Residential property management system
Residential real estate fields have to navigate multiple properties and family housing. Hence, PMS software can help keep such work organized and centered. For the most part, such features include
- space management;
- e-payments; and
- maintenance management.
Here, the most prominent programs on the market are Buildium, Total Management, and AppFolio Property Manager.
Commercial property management system
This software will help office buildings and/or retail site owners manage their properties in an efficient and productive way. These are the main PMS benefits for commercial property owners:
- property maintenance feature;
- lease data collection;
- online reporting;
- schedule for rent changes (increase, terms, etc); and
- collecting payment via online payment systems.
The most well-known apps for property management in this field are InnQuest, DoorLoop, and RealPage Commercial.
Apartment property management software
For the most part, such software can simplify the job of being a landlord and create a more organized and secure way of managing the renting process. Landlords expect to tackle such functions as
- collecting rent,
- maintenance tracking,
- managing accounting needs,
- resident screening, and
Quite often, users in this field choose programs like Buildium and AppFolio Property Manager.
Hotel property management software
Of course, hotels are on this list. In fact, the hotel business is probably the most devoted user of PMS in their management operations. A good property management system for hotels will help in the following ways:
- manage online payments and bills;
- book rooms;
- track and distribute available spaces;
- check-in and check-out; and
- collect data.
The best examples of such hotel software are Cloudbeds, Hoteltime, and Mews.
Now, we’ve already covered what crucial solutions an online property management system can deliver, let’s see how it happens. Overall, there is no traditional route each rental property app should take. However, there are certain fundamental features to expect from any PMS. These are the features we’d recommend considering.
Features of property management software for landlords
This feature is essential when you’re dealing with multiple properties. It helps centralize the account, manage properties, provide updates on availability, etc.
Such a feature helps navigate and manage all rental activities and control the business by observing, tracking, and customizing property details when needed.
Things that don’t require your personal attention can easily be done by a PMS. Hence, all the check-ins and check-outs, vacancy listings, payments, auto-responses, reminders, etc. are a part of this feature.
Multi-calendars should display reservations from different channels and show each property’s room status. Consequently, you have all your essential information in one place, leaving little room for confusion, overbooking, or other errors.
This feature will send you updates, statistics, progress, fees, etc. Such a feature can be customized to perfection so you can enjoy flawless analytics on each of your enterprises.
Features of a property management system for tenants
Such a feature will allow clients’ independence in dealing with all mundane tasks like checking the status of a lease, making payments and security deposits, submitting requests, viewing notifications on rent changes, etc.
Tenants will appreciate an easy to use messenger to communicate. This will give them direct access to the owner’s contacts, thus creating a fast, convenient, and available communication channel. Such a feature may also store your chat history, receipts, etc.
Users should be able to pay for rent via app. Such a feature will save time for users by eliminating banks from the equation. Thus, users have a simple, secure, and fast way to pay for the services.
Also, a rental property management app may include reminders (push-up notifications, emails, etc.) as well as other per-request additions.
Anyone can create perfect managing software by following the fundamental stages of such development. These are four main steps on how to create a property management app.
To learn how property management system works one must start from the beginning. Hence, it takes research and exploration to build a solid foundation for your future creation. Begin with setting the right goals of your property management app. Set your mind on all must-have requirements while reducing unwanted features.
Remember, the property management software for apartments will respond slightly differently to requests than, let’s say, a hotel property management system. Meaning you better focus on app elements judging by the goal you want to achieve.
Next, complete a market analysis. Understand your competition, what they are good at and where their weak points are. From there, you can develop ideas on how to stand out or, on the contraire, follow suit. Seek to fully understand your target audience, who they are, what they expect, and what they need.
Choose the software provider
Decide how you want to go with the development process. The options are many – freelancers, in-house teams, or development agencies. The cost and quality of such productions will vary, though. With the right software provider, you can be certain of high-quality work throughout all development stages, starting with market research. Plus, most products will also require post-launch support.
Professional developers should know their business and the market they work in. Hence, they can help you discover the best property management apps’ features, unique designs, etc.
Wireframing + UI/UX design
The next step is drafting your first software prototype. Here, you get to draft user flows, main processes, design concepts, and a visual representation. Step by step, you make the skeleton for your future product.
Focus on how users will see the app. Develop a unique brand design with rich functionality. But don’t overcrowd it by developing impractical processes. Instead, outline the main PMS features first. It can’t, however, be too simple as it becomes of no use. Yet, too many features makes it difficult to handle and navigate. It needs to be well balanced, easy to use, intuitive and meaningful. Something packed with meaningless features, on the other end, will be too challenging to navigate.
Testing & launch
Testing is an obvious final step before releasing a product. Screen for malfunctions and other errors. Finalize the optimization stages so the app fits for any gadget or browser. Lastly, your marketing work should go hand-in-hand with the launching process to maximize the results.
The development of customized software for property management companies is no longer such a novelty on the market. In fact, such a simple addition to your property management system can bring your business to the top in your industry. It will help you organize the process, show appreciation to your clients, and get things done at an unseemly pace.
Overall, you can see the importance of a property management system for yourself. Yet, it’s the development process that may cause a lot of questions.
At Eastern Peak, we have the needed experience and drive to turn your software idea into a reality. Contact us to schedule a free consultation and discuss your future PMS in greater detail.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is PMS software?
A PMS or a cloud-based property management system is software for property management optimization. It’s designed to help property owners and managers automate certain processes to create an efficient workflow.
What does property management software do?
A PMS assists businesses, primarily ones in the hospitality and real estate industries, by providing a centralized system of operation. The software can perform numerous activities, such as record maintenance, payment systems, rent collection, tenant screening, etc.
What is the best app for rental property?
The best property management apps will depend on the purpose and nature of the business. Thus, it will meet the main needs of the business and simplify the management processes for owners. For example, apps like InnQuest, DoorLoop, AppFolio Property Manager, Buildium, and RealPage Commercial are considered to be the best on the market across various real estate niches.
How do you create a PMS system?
It’s best to create a PMS system with an experienced team of tech experts. A custom solution takes several steps in making, such as research, drafting, building an MVP, testing, and post-release maintenance.