Software Advice, a widely recognized provider of detailed software reviews, recently sampled 385 property management professionals, and established that while 53% are yet to switch from manual to automated computer-based systems, 28% have already done so, and 9% claim that they do not run their businesses on any system. It’s almost impossible to imagine managing properties without a manual or computer based system– but hey, I guess we’ll probably even start seeing cars running without wheels in future.
For now, let’s focus on the leading property management firms- those that actually understand the importance of running on a comprehensive property management system. When asked why they opted for computer based systems, the majority of the respondents said that they were attracted by increased efficiency. Gone are the days they were forced to rely on manual systems that were not only extensively erroneous, but also pretty hectic. Property management software provides instant access to critical information, and subsequently generates important reports that are relevant to tenants, property managers and property owners.
To help you streamline your operations as you implement a comprehensive property management solution, we’ll walk you through some of the most critical reports you should be getting thanks to your software.
Let’s face it- Your business would pretty much be as good as a skeleton if you ran it without accurate financial figures and facts. In a typical property management firm, all decisions are usually directly or indirectly tied to financial reports. That’s primarily because they are the only reliable way to assess the precise position of a firm as far as profits and losses are concerned. Without comprehensive reporting, you’d be blind to your expenditure, incomes, and overall net difference.
A good property management system should be able to generate holistic financial reports emanating from all elements of your business. In addition to overall property finances, you should have the option of zeroing in on specific property units, and produce custom reports over a selected period of time. If you’re managing multiple apartment buildings for instance, you should be able to generate comprehensive reports on a specific apartment, covering all payments made and corresponding expenses incurred.
Additionally, the reports should also compare debit and credit items side by side, as they apply to a specific account, owner or property. These can be organized to include owner security deposit and affiliated balances.
Tenant Screening Reports
Good property management software doesn’t only apply to tenants who’ve already moved into your property. The process begins at the top, right at the foundational stage- tenant screening.
With the current boom in the U.S. real estate market, demand for rental property is progressively rising, particularly in cities and zones popular with millennials. Now, of course that’s a good thing for property managers- but it’s also means tedious tenant screening processes. While you could go the cumbersome traditional way of tenant screening, it’s always advisable to rely on accurate reports for informed decision making.
A solid tenant screening report should contain all information relevant to a tenant’s payment abilities and behaviors. That’s why in addition to criminal and background records, you should be able to organize and generate credit ratings and past landlord reports. And that will help you pick out the most qualified individuals.
Since federal and state discrimination laws require property managers to notify prospective tenants on reasons for disqualification, the resultant tenant screening reports will substantially help you defend your decisions.
These are reports that contain information specific to your tenants, according to their respective lease agreements. Since firm organization and lease arrangements across all states may not be the same, an ideal property management solution should have the option of customizing reports to uniquely fit your specific structure.
If you deal with both commercial and residential properties for instance, the software should provide the option of specifying type of lease in addition to associated properties. For effective revenue management, you should also be able to break down the reports into amounts paid and owed by respective tenants. Property Matrix is capable of extending such credit reports to bear cost details of maintenance works carried out on their respective premises.
Tenant reports are also very critical when it comes to planning for the future and possible tenant turn over. By showing move out dates for example, your firm should be able to plan for maintenance repairs, advertise the property, and subsequently get started on the tenant screening process.
And finally, there are reports we call miscellaneous. Although they are not considered primary performance indicators, they are still critical in running and streamlining your entire property management business.
Take for instance an owners’ report, which contains details of all the active property owners, including emails addresses and phone numbers. It would definitely come in handy when you need to contact them in case of any concerns or queries. Such a report would even be more pertinent if it displayed additional information relating to respective properties- reserves, expenses, etc. That’s the kind of information you’d find extremely useful in analyzing the performance index of a specific group of units.
Another element which commonly falls within miscellaneous reports is maintenance. A maintenance report should provide a consolidated list of vendors, their contact information, plus maintenance works and their corresponding costs. These, combined with all the other reports, should help you critically analyze your business on a day to day basis, identifying both strong and weak points, plus establishing your overall performance against your projected growth.