Why boards should purchase property management software

Date Published : Sep-01-2020

Written By : Phillip Livingston

A great property manager will help condos and HOAs with some of the most challenging and time-consuming aspects of caring for a property. They can implement better communication systems, help reduce costs and improve the overall enjoyment of the building or development for residents and owners. Some even provide property management software, which streamlines and simplifies certain processes such as work orders/service requests, online payments, and violation tracking.

Unfortunately, if your board decides to part ways with the property management company, all the documents and data that was stored in the system could be lost. And, even if you are able to maintain the data, the next property management company may use an entirely different system, forcing the board and owners to start from scratch for a second time.

For these and many other reasons, boards should be proactive and consider purchasing their own property management software.  

 

Property management companies don’t cover the cost of the software

Property management fees will vary based on a variety of factors, including the type of property they are being hired to care for, and the extent of services they provide. The company may charge an initial setup fee along with their monthly management fee. Almost every property manager will charge a fee to manage the property on a monthly basis. The contract you sign will detail how this fee is calculated and what services the fee includes. Some companies charge a higher monthly management fee, but the cheapest choice isn’t always the best one.

If the management company offers property management software, the cost of the software is generally incorporated in the monthly fees. So really, the owners are paying for the software, regardless of who owns it.

 

Take control, stay in control

If your owners are going to pay for a software system, the corporation or association might as well own it too. Ownership means the board has uninterrupted access to the software, and it’s much easier to maintain and pass on records, documents and reports from one board to the next. Plus, the board can make the decision about which software system they choose and how much they pay.   

Furthermore, the data that you generate from software like Condo Control Central can be invaluable at times. The board can study monthly or annual reports for maintenance activity, parking permits, package delivery details, board meeting reports, and much more. Reports help to highlight trends or patterns that can be hard to identify without long-term data. Boards may spot a problem they didn’t know existed, and can create a plan to resolve the issue. Losing this data not only causes headaches, it can translate to prolonged inefficiencies and financial setbacks as well.       

While property management software can’t do all of the work for you, it can offer some much-needed relief from reoccurring frustrations, and provide additional convenience to owners and residents. For example, owners can book and pay for amenities using their own online account, and board members don’t have to spend precious time making sure the party room or elevator isn’t double-booked, or depositing cheques at the bank.

 

Room for all

The great thing about smart property management software is that it can grow and adapt to your evolving needs. If the condo or HOA does hire a new property management company, or if the community decides to self-manage, the board can make the appropriate changes and provide or remove an admin account.

 

Property management software is worth the investment  

There are many condos and HOAs who get along without any property management software at all, and that’s okay. But, communities that have some sort of online tool to help facilitate communication, simplify record-keeping, and provide additional convenience to owners tend to operate with less friction, and spend less too. Below are some solid reasons why boards should use property management software. 

 

Up-to-date records

Boards can create secure and detailed records for owners and renters. Keep track of email addresses, emergency contact numbers and even pets for each person in your community. An up-to-date unit file means you’ll have fewer bounced email announcements, and better communication with your entire community.

Condo Control Central also allows boards to see any notes that admin has included about a unit or home, and which homes have been issues violations. Furthermore, boards can keep detailed records of meeting minutes, purchase orders, maintenance tracking, and more.

 

 

Improved communication

Communication is often the number one problem for condo and HOA boards. It’s not easy trying to get a message to hundreds of people who have different schedules and preferences. Having property management software brings the entire community together by offering different distribution options.

Announcements, for example, allow boards to write and send messages to the entire community in seconds. The announcements are sent through the software system, so every person with an account will receive it. No need to pay for print or postage costs. Announcements can also be sent through text or voice message, and they can be displayed on lobby or elevator screens as well. Boards can even select who messages should be sent to. This means they can communicate with just owners or just renters if they need to.

Poor communication leads to frustration or disengagement. With an affordable and accessible system, boards can easily improve communications between themselves and their community, and help ensure everyone stays in the loop.

 

Streamline admin work

Logging and processing service requests, architectural change requests, visitor parking, etc., can easily become a full-time job. However, no board member can or should spend all day on administrative work.  Property management software provides boards with a time-saving system, and eliminates the need for paper forms, logs or documents. Everything is processed and stored online, and changes and edits can easily be made as necessary.   

 

Flexible pricing options   

Most reputable software systems offer more that one package to fit your community’s needs. A large condo building is going to require different features than a small HOA. Condo Control Central understands this, and will work with boards to create a package that works for them.

 

Before you buy

Not all property management software systems are the same. Ensure that you do your research before you commit to one system.  

Ask questions, and if possible, request a demo to see how the software works. Make sure it has everything that your community needs. Will you want to use the system on your phone as well as a desktop or laptop? Is the system regularly updated? Can it grow with you?

Price is important, but it shouldn’t be the only determining factor. Ease of use, functionality, and speed are also very important. And, find out if there’s a support team available to help you if you do run into trouble. A good software system quickly becomes useless to you if there’s no one available to help you resolve an issue.

Owning property management software is extremely beneficial for condos and HOAs. It makes life easier for boards, property managers, and residents.