Choosing a Multifamily Housing Software
Looking for the best multifamily housing software can feel overwhelming. It’s such an important decision, and there’s a lot to consider. The must-have qualities on your list earned a place there because of specific pain points you’re experiencing or innovation you’ve heard about. But there may also be other features that you didn’t know to look for or that may turn out to be more important than you expected.
Your discovery process will go more smoothly if you know what you want to get out of your multifamily housing software. Setting goals and understanding the capabilities of each platform you’re considering will drive your decision. The right platform will help you increase efficiency and achieve your goals.
To help you in your search, we’ve identified ten of the most important qualities to look for in a property management platform.
- Ease of Use
- Efficient Workflows
- Big Picture Visibility
- Open API and Native Solutions
- Support for Affordable Housing Compliance
- Frequent Software Updates
- Expanded Revenue Potential
- Scalable Solutions
- A Platform That Offers a True Partnerships
1. Ease of Use
Naturally, no one wants a platform that is difficult to learn and use. Investing in cumbersome software that your staff won’t want to use is not a smart business decision. The best return on your investment comes from a complete buy-in from your staff, and that can only happen with an intuitive solution.
To ensure ease of use, get a demo of each software you’re considering. Have a sales representative walk you through routine tasks your team will perform each day. The best multifamily housing software has a simple user-interface and a powerful search function to help your team get to the information they need in three clicks or less.
2. Efficient Workflows
Operational processes affect more than time and office morale, they impact your bottom line. Cumbersome software creates inefficiencies across your team, which can ultimately result in low conversion rates, poor resident experience and less tasks accomplished.
Your software should help you get out in front of your needs by helping you create efficient workflows. The best multifamily housing software allows you to get to or enter information in just a few clicks.
Pro Tip: Working with a property management platform that has a team with extensive history in the property management industry is likely to bring a higher level of innovation in this area. What is the provider’s story?
Manual processes subject your operations to the risks of human error and failures in compliance, which further impact your bottom line. Modern multifamily housing software automates as many processes as possible, enabling staff to more easily manage daily tasks, focus on high level goals and provide personal attention to residents and prospects.
Automated processes to look for include:
– A budgeting tool that uses automation to eliminate errors and provides accurate data
– Automated recertification notices for affordable housing
– Leasing automation with an integrated CRM to nurture leads even while you sleep
A big part of running a property is keeping track of what you need to do and when you need to do it. A platform with automated alerts helps ensure nothing falls through the cracks. Receiving alerts in your platform’s dashboard keeps your team focused.
4. Big Picture Visibility
The right multifamily housing software supports more than your staff’s daily operational tasks. It also provides comprehensive visibility into property and portfolio performance.
A platform with a robust dashboard allows you to view high-level metrics at-a-glance and dive into reports to analyze operations in granular detail. This keeps you informed of day-to-day performance, as well as make proactive decisions for the future.
The right platform will also alert you to irregularities and dips in key performance indicators (KPIs), like NOI and occupancy rates. These alerts allow you to react quickly to analyze past and current data, forecast future metrics and make data-driven decisions to mitigate risks and reach your goals.
5. Open API and Native Solutions
Having robust native functionality is essential—the most seamless processes are when the functionality is native to the platform. That said, most organizations use a variety of technology solutions to manage operations.
That said, an open platform provides the most flexibility. A multifamily housing software with an open API and best-in-class integration partners gives you certainty in knowing you have the functionality to address specialized business needs.
A hybrid solution like this allows you to get the best of both worlds. Not only does it offer functionality, but it also allows you to simplify billing and business relationships.
6. Support for Affordable Housing Compliance
If you have or may one day have affordable properties, choosing a platform that supports affordable housing compliance well is important. Not all platforms have the depth of knowledge and commitment to the affordable industry.
Consider a multifamily housing software that keeps up with the ever-changing affordable housing landscape and alerts you to regulation changes to help you stay compliant. Find a solution with a complete compliance dashboard. This ensures you have a real-time, at-a-glance view into your compliance, from recertification management to building compliance.
7. Frequent Software Updates
Property management is among the scores of industries that have been disrupted by residents’ evolving expectations and rapidly expanding technology. To stay competitive, you need a platform that aligns with your residents’ needs.
The platform you choose should be constantly evolving and improving to help you attract and retain residents. To do this, your provider must be in tune with the industry to understand changing needs and listen to customer feedback to improve the product.
Equally, your platform must enable you to operate efficiently to help you maximize NOI. A provider that’s hyper-focused on enhancing their platform keeps your needs front of mind and is consistently innovating to help you improve.
8. Expanded Revenue Potential
With all the upheaval experienced in the property management industry lately, companies are looking for ways to maximize economic occupancy more than ever. A platform with strong marketing capabilities, like a powerful CRM, website solutions, virtual leasing and AI-powered chatbots, can help you attract and convert high quality leads to minimize vacancies and avoid the need for rental concessions.
Property management platforms can also help you expand traditional revenue-share programs, like utilities. Explore how the system will enable you to generate additional revenue streams through any valuable concierge service you could offer with little effort required on your part. Here are just a few:
– Credit reporting
– Renter’s insurance
– Tech support for residents’ computers
– Security alarm services
– Ad space for big brands (like sports drink ads in the workout room or gym)
– Daily door-side trash or recycling pick-up
– Appliance and furniture rental
9. Scalable Solutions
If you plan to scale your business, it’s important to find a solution that can accommodate you as you grow. A flexible solution that allows you to add features as you need them is ideal for growing businesses. Look for a multifamily housing software that has a track record for supporting customers that have successfully scaled their businesses.
This isn’t only about what the platform can do today. Beyond its current capabilities, look at its mission, industry involvement and history of innovation. Explore the platform’s ability to be a business partner and respond to your unique organization’s specific needs.
10. A Platform That Offers a True Partnership
Choosing a property management platform is an important decision that can impact your every aspect of your business. Understanding what your company needs from software and considering your daily workflow, budget and future needs can help you find the best platform for your business.
Most importantly, though, this decision isn’t solely about the technology itself. While checking all the boxes on features and functionality is important, often it’s the company and the people behind the technology that has the greatest impact on your success. Instead of thinking of a platform as a provider, think of this decision as entering into a partnership.
The right partner for your business is one who understands your industry, offered the functionality you need, and is committed to being there for you when you need help or run into issues. Be sure to find a partner that listens to your ideas and helps you to use the technology to its fullest so you can realize your potential as a business.