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How do I choose a property management system?

Choosing the right property management system (PMS) is about finding the best fit for you. Consider user-friendliness, features, data security, scalability, integration, and price. 

Here’s a roadmap to help guide you through the selection process so you get the tools you need for success. 

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  1. Know Yourself, Know Your Rentals: Before diving into property management software options, take a moment to assess your situation. How many properties do you currently manage? Are they single-family homes, apartments, or a mix? What are your most significant pain points? Is it finding reliable tenants, chasing late rent payments, or coordinating repairs? Identifying your goals is also key. Do you prioritize maximizing rental income, minimizing vacancies, or freeing yourself from day-to-day property management headaches?
  1. Value Your Priorities: Compile a list of the crucial functions you require in a PMS. For many, this could include online rent collection, tenant screening, or work order management. By prioritizing these functions, you play a vital role in shaping the system to meet your needs.
  2. Consider User-Friendliness: The system you choose should be intuitive and easy for you and your staff (if applicable) to learn and use. Look for well-labeled interfaces, straightforward navigation, and supplementary documentation when you need an extra hand. A user-friendly PMS will make your job easier and increase productivity and efficiency. Also, consider if the system offers mobile app access for on-the-go management, which can be a huge time-saver for busy landlords
  3. Research and Compare: Don’t settle for the first PMS you encounter. Research online review platforms and forums frequented by landlords (like Reddit) to gain valuable insights from others’ experiences. Shortlist a few systems that tick most of your boxes and dive deeper into the software. Most platforms offer free trials or demos, and others have a free tier that enables you to collect rent for free so you can test drive the product and see if it’s a good fit. 
  4. Price It Out: After you’ve looked at several PMS options, consider the ones you liked working with the most. Then, get quotes and check out pricing pages to understand how much the PMS will cost. Be sure to account for subscription and per-unit fees and factor in the value the system will bring to your operation in terms of saved time, improved processes, and improved efficiency. Investing in a robust PMS can free up your time to focus on bigger-picture goals, boosting your ROI. 
  5. Data Security is Key: Ensure the PMS provider you choose prioritizes data security. Make sure to account for features like data encryption, secure SSL, and fraud detection. Regular backups also ensure that your information is safe in unforeseen circumstances. 
  6. Don’t Forget Support: Reliable customer support is essential to choosing a PMS. Find out the types of support offered by the vendors you’re interested in. Options include in-app help centers, chat, email, and phone support. Also, be sure to consider the availability of support during your typical working hours. 
  7. Factor In Scalability: Don’t get stuck with a PMS that limits your growth. While you may be managing a few properties now, consider your future goals. In other words, choose a scalable PMS that can grow with your portfolio. To achieve that goal, look for systems that allow you to add properties easily without breaking the bank. 
  8. Integration With Apps: Integrations enable you to get more out of your software. Look for solutions that integrate with other apps to provide the most necessary functionality. Some must-haves include accounting, maintenance, and e-sign capabilities. These integrations further streamline your workflow and eliminate the need for manual data entry.
  9. What Can You Get for Free?: If you’re starting out, paying an arm and a leg for an overpowered PMS won’t do you any good. Sure, a compelling list of features is great, but they’re not in your best interest if you don’t use them. Look for options that provide excellent functionality for free. 

Try TurboTenant For Free Today

TurboTenant is the best property management software you can get for free. It offloads tedious manual tasks, saving property managers and landlords time and stress. With online rent collection, property marketing, and tenant screening all included at no cost to the manager or landlord, it’s a great way to streamline operations for an unbeatable price. 

Sign up today for a free TurboTenant account and put the software to work. With no credit card required or limited-time trials, there’s nothing to lose. 

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