Property management software makes managing a rental business easier than ever. Landlords with all shapes and sizes of rental businesses benefit from software designed to meet their specific, everyday needs.
Landlords looking for software have a lot of options. Many platforms offer additional features, various pricing models, and other benefits. Most property management software platforms, however, have the same key features. These features encompass the basic functions of a rental business (collecting rent, signing leases, etc.) and take care of general business upkeep.
No matter which software option you use, here are the five must-have features in property management software.
- Tenant Screening
Tenant screening is your first step in acquiring new tenants. To mitigate financial and legal risk, it’s essential to thoroughly evaluate an applicant’s credit, criminal, and eviction histories.
Property management software offers tenant screening features for landlords looking to streamline this process. It can be overwhelming to track down individual records separately for each new applicant, especially if you manage many units or have a high tenant turnover rate. Knowing where to find the information you need can be tricky. Because of the importance of tenant screening, many landlords simply accept that the process will be time-consuming, tedious, and costly.
However, property management eliminates these inconveniences. With property management software, all landlords need to do is enter applicants’ basic identifying information. The software will then produce accurate, comprehensive screening records within moments. This is because the software partners with third-party services to get you the most accurate information in the shortest amount of time.
- Document Signing
After you’ve screened and secured tenants, your next step is signing the lease. Property management software’s document signing feature is built especially for this purpose.
Instead of finding times to meet, go over leases, and sign them traditionally with pen and paper, property management software lets tenants read and sign entirely digital leases.
Not only are digital leases more convenient and accessible, but they’re also much safer. eSignatures are considered more secure than “wet” signatures because they retain extra information about the signer (for example, IP address, email, timestamp, etc.).
As a bonus, document signing is also a sustainable feature of property management software. You’ll never have to print long lease documents or addenda again, saving you money and resources.
- Online Rent Collection
SoSo, property management software helped you screen tenants and get their leases signed. What’s next? The first rent payment.
Online rent collection, for many landlords, is the most attractive feature of property management software. Online rent collection relegates cash and check payments to the past. Instead, tenants pay rent via debit, credit, or ACH transfer. You’ll receive those payments within a few days, when they’ll be deposited directly into your bank account.
Another benefit of online rent collection tools is that they generate automatic payment records. This means there’s no need for you to do manual accounting every time rent is due—you’ll be able to see which tenants have paid and exactly when they did so.
- Maintenance Management
Good maintenance management is essential for keeping long-term tenants and renewed leases. If you take maintenance concerns seriously and handle them efficiently, tenants will appreciate your care and are more likely to renew their lease.
Property management software offers high-quality maintenance management features to help streamline tenant requests. Tenants can submit maintenance tickets with pictures and videos of the problem directly from their smartphone or computer.
You’ll be able to view maintenance tickets all in one place instead of risking losing track of them in your email or text inbox.
What’s more, some software options include multi-user management. This feature lets you add maintenance personnel as secondary users of the software who have access to maintenance requests and can respond to them.
- Tenant Communication
Finally, tenant communication is a priority supported by property management software. If you want to improve tenant satisfaction and increase the likelihood of renewed leases, good communication is the first place to start.
Most property management software companies offer a “chat” feature specifically for communicating with your tenants. Instead of giving tenants your personal email or phone number, the chat stores and saves all your tenant messages in one place.
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Upgrade Your Business with Property Management Software
These five features are offered on most property management software platforms and are the priorities for most landlords, but many platforms offer more. For instance, be on the lookout for great secondary features like a mobile app or listing syndication. With any or all of these features, your rental business is better prepared to face the 21st-century challenges of rental property ownership.