Property management software is changing the way that landlords, property managers, and real estate investors do business–and it’s all for the better. With powerful software solutions at their fingertips, real estate stakeholders streamline their operations, get more done in less time, and grow their businesses by working smarter, not harder.
David Bitton is the co-founder and CMO of DoorLoop, the highest-rated property management software online. We got together with him to explore the many ways in which property management software solutions are working wonders for real estate businesses.
We talked about how software addresses the most important obstacles faced by property managers, which features are the most useful and why, and the qualities every real estate business should look for in order to choose the right software. Take a look at David’s (often surprising) insights below.
What are some of the most important issues that property managers and landlords experience today?
Managing any number of properties means having to stay on top of dozens (or even hundreds) of tasks, requests, and deadlines all at once. Without some way to streamline and complete all of these tasks in a timely manner, it becomes extremely difficult to achieve scalable, sustainable growth.
Managing leases and tenants is difficult on a good day, and it becomes even more so when issues arise. Some of the most common issues we’ve seen landlords and property managers experience with their tenants include:
- Not being paid rent on time (or in full)
- A lack of adherence to community rules
- Submitting insufficient information on maintenance requests
- Broken lease terms, especially when it comes to ending a lease or vacating the unit.
How can a rental property management software solve these issues?
Most property management companies and landlords use a bunch of different systems to run their businesses: QuickBooks for accounting, DropBox for file sharing, Excel for tenant rosters and deadline management, and maybe Asana or Trello for task management.
The most useful thing about a comprehensive property management software is that it has all of those functionalities–and more–in one place. Instead of shuffling between browser tabs or desktop apps to get daily tasks done, users can complete their tasks in seconds and store all of their data in one place.
Here are some easy but massive benefits of property management software that solve most business’ biggest issues:
- Automated payments – You can get paid automatically and on time every month when you offer your tenants the option to pay their rent and recurring fees online via credit card or ACH payment. If someone happens not to pay in full, you can add automated late fees at intervals of your choosing. You can also track upcoming, due, and overdue payments right from your software dashboard.
- Streamline maintenance requests – Streamlining maintenance requests (and addressing them in a timely manner) is a major pain point for thousands of property managers. With software, you can automatically accept maintenance requests from your tenant portal. Then, you can create work orders, assign them to vendors, and track every step of their process to make sure everything is done on time.
- Lease alerts – You don’t have to count on your tenants to notify you about lease renewals or unit vacancies. Instead, you can set up automatic alerts for yourself and your tenant about upcoming lease expirations and renewals. This will help you make sure you always know who is occupying your units and when.
There’s an undeniable pattern when it comes to the biggest issues rental property managers experience: miscommunication. When you use a bunch of different platforms to manage your properties, important tasks or details are bound to fall between the cracks. This leads to disappointed tenants, inconsistent occupancy rates, and poor reviews.
Miscommunication is a serious issue for landlords and property managers, but it’s also one that can be resolved easily with the right systems and software.
What portfolios are supported?
Every software is different, but the majority (and, in my opinion, the best ones) support any type of portfolio–including mixed-use portfolios. This includes:
- Residential properties (single-family homes, condos, apartments, senior living facilities, and other options)
- Commercial properties (office spaces, retail storefronts, medical spaces, etc.)
- Student housing (dorms, student apartments, and more)
- Manufactured homes (also known as mobile homes)
- Affordable/Section 8 housing
- Self-storage facilities
- Community associations and HOAs
Who can (or should) use property management software?
It doesn’t matter if you manage 1 unit or 1,000; property management software is an incredibly useful tool to help you get more organized, spend less time on administrative tasks, eliminate double data entry, and grow.
With that said, I’d say the professionals who benefit most from property managers are landlords (or investors who manage their own properties), property managers who manage properties for other owners, and property management companies with several clients.
What does the future of property management look like?
That’s the big question! I wish I could glimpse into the future and provide a surefire answer, but the truth is that nobody knows for sure. What we do know is what data tells us–especially when it comes to the huge amount of money that private equity investors and venture capitalists are dedicating to property management software. That alone bodes extremely well for the future of property management software.
Over the past decade or so, there’s no denying that we have collectively sought out automation tools at higher and higher levels. From simple every-day tools like the “Reminders” app on our iPhones to powerful tools that save major companies millions of dollars every year, getting things done in less time is the bread and butter of technological innovation.
When it comes to property management software, automation can help you dramatically cut down on time spent on administrative tasks. Some of those automation possibilities include:
- Maintenance requests. Automatically receive requests from tenants. Create workflows for each type of maintenance request that you can easily apply to specific work orders. These workflows will include all of the tasks associated with the project, the vendor responsible for the project, and the urgency level. From there, the software will automatically track each step of the process until the job is done.
- The entire rental process. You can list your properties on a custom website, receive applications from tenants, run background checks in one click, select the tenant of your choice, send them a lease, collect eSignatures, and set recurring payment deadlines–all in one place.
Another crucial piece of the puzzle that goes hand-in-hand with automation is artificial intelligence. It seems like you can’t throw a metaphorical rock on the Internet without hitting a think piece about how AI is shaping our future–and that’s for good reason.
When it comes to property management software, AI is an incredibly powerful tool. With AI, computers use data to run all kinds of projections and predictions. The more data you have in one place, the more accurate these predictions will be. AI in property management software, for example, can help you determine critical elements of your business, including:
- How much to charge for rent based on your location, property size, and market demand
- Which applicants will make the most reliable tenants for your property
- Which tenants are likely not to renew their leases or even cancel early
Property management software is perhaps the most powerful tool available to real estate property managers and landlords right now. If I had to guess, I’d say that its usefulness will only continue to grow in the future.
What is DoorLoop, and how does it help property managers and landlords?
DoorLoop is the easiest-to-us property management software (and I may sound biased when I say that, but our five-star reviews don’t lie).
We believe that property management software should be stacked with a full suite of powerful features–but, at the same time, that those features are useless if they’re difficult to access and implement. That’s why we’ve spent so much time making the software as user-friendly as possible.
Though we work hard to make sure you don’t really need it, we also have a responsive, world-class Support team to help our users every step of the way.
Everything I talked about in this article is featured on DoorLoop, and the best way to see them at work is to set up a demo with us. You’re also welcome to reach out to us if you have any questions before taking that step.
Our team of Loopers is pretty amazing (again, I may sound biased, but I stand by that statement). If you let them know you came from Rental Housing Journal, we’ll get you set up with a special deal.
If you couldn’t already tell, I’m super passionate about helping real estate businesses become more efficient, effective, and successful. If you have any questions about the tools I mentioned above or simply want to talk about automation strategies, please don’t hesitate to contact us!