Thinking about investing in software to help you manage your properties? That’s a smart idea. Most property managers who choose to use a software system only regret that they didn’t make the decision sooner.
However, selecting the perfect program can be a stressful process. There are a lot of options to consider, and what works for one property manager may not be appropriate for another. Below, we’ll take a look at the difference between property management software and QuickBooks, and help you determine which option is best for you.
QuickBooks is an accounting software program designed specifically with small and mid-sized businesses in mind. The system helps managers, boards, and accounting admins with income and expenses, including bill payments, taxes, payroll, online payments from owners, and budgeting.
Automate payments from owners
QuickBooks allows you to set up each unit or home as a customer so that you can issue monthly statements and automate invoices. Owners can take care of recurring expenses such as maintenance fees online, meaning fewer bank trips for you.
There are several solutions to choose from since different people have different needs. There are basic packages, and more advanced solutions for more complex business problems. The cloud-based version allows you to make updates from your desktop, laptop or mobile phone. While it can be hard to select one package, the good news is that you can take advantage of their free 30-day trial before you commit to one product.
QuickBooks was designed to be easy to use. You don’t need to be an accountant to navigate this system. It provides simple, yet detail-rich reports that allow you to see income and expenses, and how they flow over time. Having these insights can assist with future planning and budgeting. Reports can also be beneficial if you need to provide financials to clients, such as board members. With a reliable and consistent flow of information, it’s easier to build trust, and long-lasting relationships, with clients.
Property management software
Property management software goes far beyond financials. It works to help condos, co-ops, and HOAs with communication, record-keeping, security, and day-to-day operations. There are dozens of different programs to choose from, so make sure you do your research and ask questions before you invest in one solution.
Almost every association struggles with communication. Effective property management software bridges the communication gap between residents, boards and management. The software allows each resident to create their own account, and when a new announcement is posted to the platform, residents are notified through email, text or automated voice message. You can send the announcement to every member of the community, or select individuals, and you can even schedule when the announcement will be released. If your building has a lobby display or elevator screens, you can direct messages to those screens so that everyone gets the message, even if they aren’t online.
Some software, like Condo Control Central, also offers an events calendar, a discussion forum which can be moderated, and a special architectural change requests feature.
Generally speaking, the better connected a community is, the happier it will be. Residents don’t have to chase down management to get the information they need, and they can bring forth problems right away and get them resolved in a timely manner.
Simple record-keeping solutions
Service requests in a binder, meeting minutes in an old box. Managing a property requires significant documentation, but that doesn’t mean you need to rent out a storage locker to maintain it all. Secure property management software allows you to upload and properly organize every document. Create one folder for board materials, another for governing documents, and a separate one for community newsletters. Share important and useful documents with the community and help keep everyone informed.
You can even set permission levels so that only the intended parties can view specific documents. Condo Control Central’s File Library supports multiple file types including pdfs, Word documents, and Excel spreadsheets.
The best part is you can locate any file in seconds. Just use the search bar and type in a keyword; it’s as simple as that.
Customized security and concierge features
Property management software can really come in handy for those common issues that make you say “ugh.” Security and concierge are being asked to do more with the same amount of resources, and there may be days where they feel like they are being bombarded with packages, visitor issues and unexpected incidents.
Many online software systems are equipped to tackle and simplify package tracking and visitor parking. Instead of manually completing repetitive tasks to fulfill requests and process deliveries, security and concierge can use a program to automate tasks. The online features are easy to use, processes can be customized to cater to the needs of the community, and the software saves condo and HOA staff dozens of hours. Increase productivity and resident satisfaction using multifunctional property management software.
More for your money
You may notice some standard features across all property management software, but Condo Control Central has designed unique features inspired by real client feedback. Our Violation Tracking feature and Asset Management feature, for example, have helped improve day-to-day operations for property managers and eliminate some of those tedious, time-consuming items from their to-do lists.
CCC has over 40 features in total. We listen to our customers and build the features they ask for, so as your portfolio grows, our software grows with it.
Condo Control Central integrates with a variety of software systems so that property managers can enjoy the best of all worlds. We’ve collaborated with QuickBooks, and this integration allows for two-way sync of data between CCC and the online accounting system. Contact information, like phone numbers and email addresses, can be updated on one system, and those changes will be reflected in the other. Not only does this cut data entry time in half, but owners can do everything, including make a payment and view their account balances, from just one account.
QuickBooks or property management software?
Now that you have a better understanding of what each system does, you can make a more informed decision about which product is right for you. If we had to make a recommendation, we would suggest investing in both QuickBooks and a property management software system. That’s because both systems have distinct strengths that can make your life easier, both save you time and reduce administrative and printing costs, and the programs work well together. Moreover, both programs are user-friendly, affordable, and help with transparency, documentation, and flow of information.
When trying to find the perfect property management tools, there is no “right answer.” Your needs, and the needs of the communities that you care for, will largely dictate which program (or programs) will work best for you. For small communities, an online accounting software program might be exactly the thing you need. But, for larger, busier communities, property management software may be more capable of handling recurring issues. Before you make any big decisions, do your research, ask questions, and don’t settle for something that’s just okay. The software that you choose should work as hard as you work.