Staff versus software for property management

Geoff Roberts
Geoff Roberts | 3 min. read

Published on March 29, 2011

There’s no doubt about it—of all the business problems you could potentially have, being too busy is certainly not a bad option. However, being too busy can become a problem if you lack the bandwidth to stay on top of things.

If you consistently find yourself putting off certain tasks or letting them fall through the cracks altogether, it’s time to make some changes. Being overloaded can result in a slip in the quality of the service you provide or oversights, both of which may guarantee you’re not so busy for long.

The obvious answer to too much work is bringing more hands on deck. But, of course, just because you’re busy doesn’t necessarily mean you have the budget to hire additional employees. Property management software may give you the extra help you need at a lower cost than an additional salary.

Multi-Tasking Functionality

One of the great benefits of property management software is that it essentially acts as an office generalist. For example, hiring extra staff to take care of accounting work may alleviate that workload, but that same person can’t necessarily take on other tasks such as advertising. Modern property management software, on the other hand, handles a diverse variety of functions. It does accounting, allows tenants to make rent payments online, provides an advertising platform, runs credit and criminal checks, creates reports, and keeps records.

Cost-Effective Investment

Property management software requires only a nominal investment when compared to hiring new staff and adding an additional salary to your payroll. Depending on what type of software and package you choose, you may pay an upfront fee, an annual fee, or a monthly fee.

Streamline Systems

A good property management software system will do away with redundancies. Rather than entering information multiple times for multiple purposes, you only have to do it once, saving time and effort. For example, when you pay bills through a software program, it simultaneously records the transaction for you.

Buy Time

At the end of the day, property management software essentially buys you the oh-so-precious commodity of time. Not only does it take care of calculations, notifications, and receivables for you, but it can also decrease the time required on your part to provide great customer service. By providing relevant parties with usernames and passwords they can both look up records and enter things like payments and maintenance requests by logging on to the software program (assuming you select a web-based program).

There are certain situations when taking on a new employee is required. If, for example, you need help performing property maintenance or showing units to potential tenants, no software program in the world will do the trick. However, if you simply have more administrative, accounting, or customer service work than you can handle, software may well be just the cost-effective, low-maintenance solution you’re looking for—no salary or extensive training required.

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Geoff Roberts

Geoff is a marketer, surfer, musician, and writer. He lives in San Diego, CA.

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