Personally, I am fortunate to be trained in 8 trust accounting software due to the fact of it being a requirement for my role as a Property Management trainer and trust account specialist.
Although even I am having trouble keeping up with the variety out there with these amazing upgrades, so one can only imagine how new business or frustrated users are feeling.
I receive calls all the time asking for my advice in “what is best for them”?
The question that first comes out of my mouth is “What do you want from the software”?
80% of the time – something cheap that does the job and the other 20% something that will make our job easier.
As I am over the phone I do the silent sigh and eye roll and think to myself – here we go again however I reply, “really is that all?”, you don’t care if it is Cloud based so your team can utilise it on the road or your trust accountant be able to have a holiday at end of month and still perform end of month if the need should arise? You don’t care about increasing staff performance and profitability or having a software that new team members can pick up easily?
Naturally now the conversation gets a little more interesting.
So again, I ask, “What is it you want from your software?”
How about I tell you which would suit you. Now I personally have my favourite but remain Switzerland as do our consultants as what works for one agency will not be the best choice for another. Some may only have 45 in their portfolio so do not need the expense of the software with the bells and whistles and some have the Department Managers that have been there for 15 years that refuse to change. Change is the SCARIEST thing!
Ask yourself this:
- Do you want a Cloud based system?
- Do you want one with an inbuilt inspection app or are you happy using one that will still import via another method (another subscription cost however)
- Would you like one that barcode scans all those hundreds of rates and water bills at the end of the month
- Do you want one with Document management system – so you can be paperless
- What about a tenant and or owner portal?
- Sales – how many do you do per month as some software may not be “up to speed for a great number of sales
- Do you have commercial properties?
- Would you like something easy to balance?
- Can it import aba files from a non-top 5 bank?
- With new Property Managers changing jobs (and utilising temps) so frequently these days would you prefer a top 5 software so that generally they may know the basics at least without training (yes, it is like the top 5 banks)
- Support – This is a big issue now – who has the best, is it easy to follow online tutorials and do we have to pay?
- Ability to integrate with other supporting software (IRE, Maintenance Mgr, ADL, Real Forms etc)
- The biggest concern –What cost you can afford per month include users too – as some software charge for this.
If you begin to narrow down the above bullet points into your top 5, I will be able to tell you which software would suit you best however I do recommend getting a demo of at least TWO to compare (remember you may already being using one so you can then compare three)
My email is at the bottom and I am more than happy for you to email me your top 5 preferences and I can assist your decision making.
The toughest battle you will have is CHANGE. If you are a Principal reading this and sick of the cost that you are paying or hearing your team whinge I suggest you look at other options however you may have that one Department Manager that refuses and says she/he will leave if you were to do that.
Change Is happening everywhere and technology is evolving with it. I think many of you would be amazed at how real estate software can make your life easier (in the long run – I say this as with every change – you must do a little bit of work!)
Director – Real Strategix