Property management software (PMS) exists to ease the day-to-day burdens that landlords and property managers face. By centralising the systems, files, and data that you regularly access, and leveraging the powerful potential of automation, the right PMS can alleviate your key pain points.
A good property management software solution will enhance the efficiency of your everyday tasks, but a great one will automate the whole rental cycle seamlessly and effectively, and elevate your business processes.
So, how can you tell the difference? What should you be looking for in a truly efficient, effective property management software? We break down the top ten features that could make a real difference to the way you manage your property portfolio.
10 property management software features to look out for
1. Viewing management
The first step in the rental cycle is listing your property and arranging viewings with prospective tenants. This can be a heavy administrative burden, involving lots of liaising with house-hunters and letting agents. When availability is restricted, it can cause frustration on both sides. A good PMS solution will allow you to set up available viewing slots and view, reschedule, or cancel viewings directly from within the system. That way nothing is ever lost or confused. A great PMS will allow you to integrate the viewings system with your calendar, so prospective tenants can only ever book viewings when you are available. Imagine the time and hassle you'll save.
2. Tenant referencing
Referencing prospective tenants is one of the most time-consuming and frustrating elements of the letting process, for both property managers and tenants. The right PMS tool should allow you to digitise and centralise this referencing process. Prospective tenants will be able to upload their documents to the platform and have full visibility of where they are in the process of credit and right-to-rent checks. Similarly, you can keep an eye on the process from the other side, so you know when it's time to initiate any next steps or prompt further action.
3. Contract signing
Most of the administrative elements of the rental cycle are now digitised. As such, investing in lots of tools for each stage of the process (referencing, document signing, reporting, and so on) can become costly and inefficient. The right PMS tool should allow you to do all of this from one centralised location. With a powerful PMS platform, you can create, send, and even sign custom documents and agreements without using a separate document-signing subscription.
Want to take it one step further? Allow prospective tenants to instantly book your property directly from the listing with the StuRents Book Now feature.
4. Deposit protection
As you know, organising deposit protection is one of your legal obligations as a landlord. Why not make the process simpler? With the right PMS, you can create, send out, and sign deposit protection certificates, keeping everything centralised and secure.
5. File manager
As your property portfolio expands, admin can begin to build up. Don't let your documents get on top of you. An effective PMS can help you store, organise, and share key files related to your tenancies easily and efficiently. You'll be able to maintain full visibility of all your crucial documents, set up reminders for expiring files, and update any out-of-date versions - all with just a few clicks of a button.
6. Integrated payment collections
Are you frustrated with chasing tenants for late rent payments? The right property management software should let you collect deposit and rent payments through the platform via Direct Debits or manual payments. Plus, setting up automated payment reminders will help to keep your tenants on track, saving you the time and hassle of manually following up with them.
7. Tenant portal
Despite the name, property management software is not just for property managers. If your PMS is also benefitting your tenants, it's a sure sign that you've picked the right one. With a dedicated tenant portal, your tenants will be able to log into the PMS and access key information like their tenancy contract, any files linked to the tenancy, rent collection schedules and more. They should also be able to make deposit or rental payments and receive any notifications related to their tenancy. This helps to make everyone's life more hassle-free.
At StuRents, we make things even easier with our own white-labelled tenant app, where tenants can submit maintenance tickets, view upcoming and past rent collections, and see documents relating to their tenancy, all from their phones. Because it's white-labelled, you can brand the app to reflect your business.
8. Property maintenance system
When issues arise, both you and your tenants want them to be solved as quickly as possible. An effective PMS will let you organise and manage your property maintenance in one place, while maintaining a clear and documented path of communication with your tenants. You'll be able to allocate jobs to contractors from within the platform, allowing them to see job details, provide quotes, and submit completion evidence and invoices for their work. As we all know, efficiently resolved tickets add up to happy tenants, which means far fewer headaches for you.
9. Custom report builder
As a property manager, you need to ensure that your reports are up-to-date and organised across your property portfolio. You should look for a PMS that will help to speed up this process, by allowing you to create and export custom tenancy, payment, and enquiry reports. Look out for property management software that has integrated tools to assist this, like report builders or templates.
10. Statement of accounts
The right PMS will help you streamline your accounting processes from beginning to end. This means it will also help you to report on your finances more clearly and efficiently. Look for a PMS that will allow you to create a statement of accounts that transparently, concisely, and accurately reports on income and expenditure. This is particularly important if you are a property manager who needs to report back to a property owner.
Ready to upgrade your property management software?
The property management software features we've mentioned are just the beginning. For a PMS that goes the extra mile, consider StuRents Operations. We make it our mission to make the entire rental cycle seamless and allow you to manage your property portfolio with ease.