Why Use Property Management Software?

An Analysis

Why?

What are the benefits of buying a property management software package? I think for existing landlords it’s a valid question, but I think from the perspective of someone who only has one property could be valuable as well. I’m hoping to outline a few reasons from that exact perspective in myself. Why would someone like myself be writing a blog post about property management software you might ask? I think weighing this option now is beneficial because by the time I’m at that point I’ll have my choice well thought through, as opposed to simply winging it once that stage comes around. It gives me time to really look at the features I need from a software package, so even though I’m only at two units now, I’ll be ready when I do have more.

Features I would want

The first feature I would be looking to have is some sort of database that keeps track of tenant details would also be an incredibly helpful feature in managing not just the tenants, but the relationships with those tenants. At the end of the day, you’re providing a service and as a landlord, ideally, you want to be providing a decent place to live and develop a good and amicable relationship with the person you’re renting to. To do that with even a dozen units might become tough over time so having a database that you can easily store details about each person as you get them would make management of those relationships much easier and smoother for the landlord.

As a beginner, I don’t know what most of these forms are.

– Kyle Harkes

A second feature I would be looking to have in a property management package is an online payment platform. I’ve heard nightmares from my friends of tenants paying in small bills, coins or not at all. Depending on the tenant, you can run into complications in getting the rent for various reasons. Some tenants are skeptical of using online methods because they think you’ll overcharge them or they’ll have their credit card number stolen online or some other form of paranoia. Obviously this will be a tough sell with people like that, but it could probably be done with some convincing. Online security is pretty decent these days and informing them of the secure payment platform might just quell those fears so you can get them in the system and get their rent managed with the rest of your tenants. With an online payment platform I’ll be able to manage my tenants rent payments very easily as well as send notices for rent being due, or being overdue as the case may be. This particular feature is a necessity to streamline the whole process of rent collection.

The final major feature that would be great to have in a property management package would be a unit management platform of some sort. If I as a landlord have 12, 20 or even more units, it could become very difficult to manage all of them. I could use a spreadsheet maybe, but that could suffer from any number of faults. File corruption, data loss or computer crashes are just a few that come to mind. Even if one were to use a cloud-based program like Google Sheets, it’s still cumbersome, can be slow and isn’t as useful in a mobile format. A unit management platform would make such a task much easier and more secure from the previously mentioned problems. It would also allow me to keep track of which units were available or under renovation which would be an added bonus.

Practical benefits

These features are fine and great, but what about all the forms I have to know about now? As a beginner, I don’t know what most of these forms are. I know an N11 form is signed by the tenant when they’re agreeing to move out by a certain date. Other than that there are other forms, that’s the extent of my knowledge. Great huh? It seems to me that an exceptional piece of software would include not only descriptions of the relevant forms, but the ability to fill them out and sign them online. This would make things like tenant eviction, lease signing, standard rent increases, maintenance requests and other actions requiring such forms much simpler. I know for a fact that the Control Your Property platform will be integrating this into their feature list come September.

Another practical benefit of the Control Your Property ecosystem is the online application tool. Taking that process from a manual pen-and-paper system to a digital system will streamline the front end of being a landlord and make that whole process much simpler. Doing everything through Kijiji, email, text, messenger or wherever else can become very cumbersome very quickly so Control Your Property has taken that and vastly improved it.

” At the end of the day, you’re providing a service and as a landlord, ideally, you want to be providing a decent place to live and develop a good and amicable relationship with the person you’re renting to. “

– Kyle Harkes

The final benefit of the platform is the fact that there’s a set monthly fee versus a percentage of your monthly cash flow which means that as you acquire more properties and add them to your account, the smaller a percentage of your overall monthly income the fee becomes which for me is a highly attractive feature.

Taking into account all of the other features, this platform has a lot to it that make it an attractive choice for a newer landlord interested in acquiring more properties.

Conclusions

Knowing that the Control Your Property management package contains all of these features, it certainly looks to me like an attractive choice for me as a beginner landlord. I love the idea of being able to completely manage my tenants’ personal details for the purposes of relationship management, all with one application. No more number management, no more forgetting who is which unit, and no more damage to relationships accidentally by forgetting details. At the end of the day, as a landlord,  if you can make people feel special by remembering little things like birthdays then you want to do that. That’s a no-brainer right there. In addition, having automatic rent payments and being able to send out notices also is a great feature. I would rather avoid non-payment if possible and I don’t want to deal with cash for every unit I end up owning and positioning myself as a professional landlord would go a long way towards onboarding people to the online payment method. I could also use it as a bit of a tenant screening method. Managing my units through this application will be so much simpler in the long term than using a tool like a spreadsheet which I will 100%  forget to update, especially if there’s a major turnover at some point. Just knowing which units are available, under renovation or rented would be a huge help to someone like myself.

The practical benefits far outweigh the downsides to running a large number of units in a more manual way and for someone like myself who’s just getting started, it could be a huge help to get a property management software package like Control Your Property now and position myself as a more professional landlord early on in my investment journey. Once the ability to fill out, serve and sign the various forms is fully implemented, I think this software package will be a very attractive option and at a small fee of $99 a month relative to the amount of cash flow your properties brings you each month, I can say Control Your Property would definitely be a great option to manage my properties.

As a landlord myself who only owns two units, I really have to question why I might want to invest in a property management software package and doing it now is more beneficial than it would be to wait until it’s an absolute necessity. From the perspective of someone who’s only got two units, I think investing in a property management software package would definitely be the best way to position myself as a professional landlord early on which would help me in attracting higher quality tenants. It will allow me to effectively manage every aspect of my rental business from the start all in one location. It’s just too perfect to pass up and for the fee I can’t really see too many reasons why I wouldn’t invest in the package early on.