Landlord Property Management Software – Evaluation and Analysis of Different Letting Software

What is property management software?Property management software or as it is sometimes known, letting software is software that allows landlords to manage their rental business by enabling them to organise and store the data relating to a landlords letting business. There are a whole range of software companies that produce suites of property management software for landlords, often with various levels of functionality.What functions can property management software be used for?There are a whole range of functions that property management software can perform. The main things that property management software is used for in managing a landlords business is as follows:∑ Recording rental payment from tenants∑ Providing a financial overview of a landlord’s portfolio in respect of the buy-to-let mortgages secured against the residential investment portfolio and the total value of the residential investments∑ Enabling a landlord to record key dates such as the dates for the landlord safety certificates or renewal of the landlords buy-to-let insurance∑ Most landlord software packages will provide the key lettings forms required by the landlord such as: tenancy agreement, section 8 notice, section 21 notice for possession, section 13 notice for increase of rent, inventory.∑ The landlords and tenants contact details∑ A means to calculate a landlord income tax liabilitiesThere is some property management software which offers much more than these basic functions. These ‘high end’ property management software suites are very much aimed at the professional full time landlord who probably has a portfolio of at least 10 residential investment properties and derives their main income from letting out residential property to tenants. The sort of additional functionality available in these property management software packages would be:∑ Repair monitoring & maintenance schedules∑ Invoice facility∑ Preparation of advertising material relating to residential investment properties∑ Account reconciliation∑ Creation of a landlords own website to host their rental properties∑ Financial report writing facilityFor most landlords with several properties a basic property management software package is probably adequate to carry out their day to day landlord duties. In fact a more comprehensive property management software suite could be a disadvantage. This is because their complex nature featuring all the ‘whistle & bells’ means that for a landlord to learn how to operate the ‘high end’ property management software will take a landlord many hours if not days to understand and master. It will often mean a landlord having to go on courses and being instructed by the property management software company. This is both costly in terms of the landlord’s time and the overall price of the property management software package.How much does it cost?For the basic property management software package landlords should budget about £100. This type of landlord property management software will enable the landlord to carry out the basic management functions relating to their portfolio. For the more advanced facilities a professional landlord would have to pay several thousands of pounds for a full property management software suite. This will of course include full support by the software company and will probably include training on how to use the property management software.It is also effectively possible for landlords to obtain property management software for free. There is one UK website for landlord’s called Property Hawk that provides within the website the basic functions of landlord software referred to earlier. Technically it isn’t the same as property management software in that it does not sit on the individual landlord’s computer. Instead the landlord’s data is kept on the website’s server. This means that the landlord can only access the data through an internet connection. It does have the advantage that the data relating to their residential investment portfolio is available to the landlord using any computer at home work or any where else they can get an internet connection, rather than only being available on their single chosen PC. It should also mean that should the landlord suffer a hardware failure or loss, that the landlord’s critical property management data is not lost.What software should a landlord choose?Landlords should consider carefully the advantages and disadvantages of using specialist property management software. For those landlords with a single property the advantages of purchasing a specialist package of property management software is probably not going to be worth the £100 purchase price given that much of the data recording can be done using a simple spreadsheet. Those landlords with several properties may find the added facilities of property management software useful in organising their residential investment portfolio, particularly if they are unfamiliar with spreadsheets or are not naturally good at organising their lettings business. Those landlords that use the Internet regularly and have good internet access at home, work or even remotely through 3G or WiFi may consider that a web based application is preferable; particularly if it is free to use.For professional landlords that may employ specialist staff an outlay on ‘high end’ property management software amounting to several thousand of pounds may be justified for their residential investment business. This is because the efficiency savings may allow a landlord to quickly recoup the initial expenditure of the property management software package.

» Tags:

Comments are closed.