New report says property managers want tenant portals

Jim Gallant
Jim Gallant | 3 min. read

Published on October 30, 2014

In a just-released industry report, Software Advice, a company that publishes reviews of software applications, details what’s driving property managers to ditch pens and paper and Excel spreadsheets in favor of property management software.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I must note that Buildium is a Software Advice client. Needless to say, at Buildium, we’re big fans.)

One new development in this year’s report stands out: the surge in popularity of the tenant portal, which lets property managers and renters communicate online. Tenant portals, also known as resident sites, didn’t register a blip on buyers’ wish list of property management tools in Software Advice’s 2013 report.

Bernard Smith, a former property manager and owner of Apartment News Publications in California, explains why buyers are now clamoring for tenant portals. According to Smith, property managers want these portals, also known as resident sites, because they let tenants pay rent online, which cuts down on chasing tenants for rent, late fees, and other charges.

Smith also predicts tenant portals may reduce or eliminate the need for running background checks because they store tenant screening information. In the future, property managers within a city, town, or region can share this information with each other to avoid renting to the wrong people.

Additionally, he says portals can drive the evolution of the “paperless office” because property managers and tenants can do away with the burden of physical checks. (And as a property management pro, you never accept cash payments from tenants, right?)

This fall, Buildium released a tenant portal that’s fully responsive, meaning it runs on any device, from PCs and Macs to smartphones and tablets. (Sorry for the shameless plug.) So I asked Buildium Product Director Alo Mukerji for her take on the value of tenant portals.

“Letting tenants easily make payments and interact from any device and from anywhere is top of mind for property managers,” Mukerji said. “It saves them valuable time and, in some cases, resources. And tenants love the convenience, too.”

Speaking of tenants, the #1 tool buyers are looking for in property management software is the same as it was in 2013: tenant and lease tracking.

Check out the entire report, which reveals many insights about what property managers are looking for in property management software in 2014.

And we’d love to know… as a property manager, what other pain points do you hope technology can solve?

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Jim Gallant

Jim Galant is a freelance writer from Boston, MA.

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