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5 Ways Property Management Software Can Make You a Better Landlord


Property management (PM) software is arguably the most important subscription you should use in your business.

The right software will automate everything from late fees and rent payments to lease termination reminders and lease signings. It will streamline finding new tenants, communication, and maintenance. It will also serve as a buffer between you and your tenants, and will help you establish boundaries and stick to your policies. 

In turn, when you can run your business efficiently, you can provide better service and experiences to your tenants, leaving them happy and satisfied. Using property management software presents you as a professional business to your tenants. It establishes a precedent that you take your business and property seriously. 

Here are five benefits of using property management software. 

1. Quicker Maintenance Responses

Having a system that houses all of your maintenance requests in one spot is not only great for you as the landlord, but it benefits the tenant. Deferred maintenance is a common complaint from tenants. You can keep your tenants happy and paying by simply being on top of any maintenance requests. 

Make sure to train your tenants to understand that all requests need to come in through your portal. If they do call you with a request, I recommend saying: 

“Hi [Tenant], please input this request into the portal so that our maintenance team can see it and get back to you as soon as possible so we can get everything fixed. If you call or text me your request, the maintenance team doesn’t know about it, and I might simply forget about it. Once it’s in the portal, you can see the status and communicate directly with our repair people. Thank you!” 

Always make sure to frame your workflow to the tenant in terms of how it benefits them. If people understand a valid reason behind the purpose of doing something, they are likelier to do it.

2. The Ability to Send Tenant Communication Blasts

Most software offers a feature that lets you announce communication to all tenants. We all know that communication is key, and that tenants just want to be aware of what is going on and be communicated with. 

For example, if you are planning to replace a roof at a multifamily property, a communication blast is great to keep all tenants in the loop on timing. There may be tenants who work from home and need to coordinate a work spot for the day. If the roofing work and noise come as a surprise to them, they are likely not going to be happy. 

Severe weather is another key topic that should be communicated with tenants. As landlords, we want to make sure tenants do certain things at home during freezing temperatures to prevent burst pipes. On the other hand, if you provide snow removal for tenants, they will probably want to know when that is being done, as they likely have work and life to get to. 

Using communication blasts to pre-communicate these things to your tenants will make everyone’s lives easier. 

3. Regular Tenant Communication

Like anything else, having an organized and central system is the best way to make sure something gets done. As the landlord, it is your responsibility to communicate with tenants about any questions or concerns they may have.

If you have one tenant who usually texts you, one who emails, and one who calls, it can be very chaotic and stressful trying to remember how to communicate using all these different methods. Using property management software will eliminate this stress, as all your communication will be done in one spot. This way, you can easily get back to your tenants in a timely manner to ensure they are happy in their living situation and take care of any issues that may arise. 

On the other hand, it is a lot easier to text someone with a complaint or question than it is to go into the tenant portal. This creates a needed barrier between you and your business. Like any business owner, you should not be expected to reply at all hours of the day, every day of the week (except for emergencies, of course). Property management software gives you some breathing room and also creates professionalism on your end. 

4. No More Losing Leases

There isn’t anything scarier in the property management world than losing a lease. If you do not have a contract to rely on, it could quickly become a he-said-she-said game. 

Too many landlords have no organizational system and misplace leases. With the right property management software, your lease is stored online for both the tenant and landlord to easily refer to. The lease, after all, is your source of truth and is very important. 

E-signing is another great feature that comes with most property management software. This saves you time and stress by not having to run around town to meet tenants to sign your agreements. Rather, they can log in to the property management software and sign. 

5. Eliminate Late Fees

If you are collecting rent by hand, it’s hard to actually enforce late fees. It can feel a bit personal to have to text your tenant that they actually owe another $30 for paying late. 

Also, there are no auto reminders for your tenant, or any way for them to set up an automatic payment to ensure they don’t ever have to pay late fees.  So often, it just feels easier to let it go. 

But when you do this, you are leaving money on the table as a business owner. Your tenant is contractually obligated to pay you late fees, and there should be no reason that you are not making sure they are. 

When you have an adequate property management system in place, you don’t have to make the emotional decision of whether to charge late fees. Rather, the system does it for you. The best part is that the tenant doesn’t have to be mad at you, as it is as simple as whether they paid on time.

If a tenant does complain about the late fees, you also have a great solution for them. Any adequate property management software will have an easy autopay solution. You can let your tenants know that they can be guaranteed to never pay late fees again by setting up autopay. This is also great for you as the landlord because it means you know exactly when you are getting your rent each month.

As a tenant, this is a great solution to guarantee no late fees. Remember, a happy tenant is a good tenant! 

What Software Should You Consider?

Here’s a look at some property management software options. 

TenantCloud

When I was selecting a PM software, I wanted something that was user-friendly, yet powerful. I also didn’t want to pay per property, like a lot of PM platforms require. 

Both of us use TenantCloud for our rental businesses. I have been using it for three years, and I highly recommend it. You can use TenantCloud for as little as $13 per month. I pay for the Growth plan, the highest noncustomized plan, and it is only $50 per month. If I value my time at $100 per hour, then I only need TenantCloud to save me 30 minutes per month to make my return on investment

Buildium

Buildium is a very powerful software commonly used by very large management companies. The price ranges from $52 to $166 per month. 

Almost any management feature you could think of, Buildium will have. It has more advanced reports and financial features than a lot of other platforms. However, while Buildium has great accounting integrations, it’s less user-friendly than other software. 

RentRedi

RentRedi is another user-friendly platform that boasts a tenant-friendly mobile app. Other features included unlimited document storage, the ability to connect with local handyman or maintenance contractors, and no cap on the amount of units you can manage with your plan. 

Plans start as low as $9 per month and go up to $20 per month. Readers with a BiggerPockets Pro account have free access to RentRedi accounts. 

Other options

You could spend days comparing different management software. As mentioned, it’s best to start with what you want to get out of software, add in what you want to pay, and then try out a platform. Most platforms offer free trials and even free software demos. 

Other popular platforms include:

Save time and money with this refreshing guide to managing your own properties.

In The Self-Managing Landlord, Amelia McGee and Grace Gudenkauf share the secrets of efficient property management, tenant screening and onboarding, and scaling your business—all to help you break free from the 9-to-5 grind and create lasting wealth through real estate.

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.



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