During the pandemic, property owners and managers discovered ways to manage their properties remotely.
In this article, we present five tools to manage your property, and we discuss their advantages and disadvantages. Some are more well-known (Excel and Google Forms), and others are more modern and were developed specifically for property management (Proprio Expert).
1- Excel and Your Real Estate Needs
Excel’s main advantages are that it is versatile and accessible. It is an inexpensive tool, and you can find many free spreadsheet templates on the Internet. However, some of its disadvantages make it less appropriate for property management.
For property managers, there is one main problem with Excel: its complexity. It is difficult to understand the formulas, to analyze data (for long periods of time), to search for information, and to access it.
Here is an example: every month, you enter the information about the payments of rent. If you wish to investigate a specific tenant’s payment history, you might find it hard to gather all the necessary information to complete the analysis.
Searching for data in your spreadsheets is another complicated task. Indeed, it can affect the reliability of said data. When you use keyboard shortcuts to search for something, you could accidentally modify a value, which could change one of your results. Unfortunately, any mistake can be costly.
2- Google Forms and Collecting Data Online
Google Forms is a free tool to create online surveys. In the real estate industry, you can use it to get in contact with clients and company employees. This platform allows you to create events, ask questions, and collect data through various forms.
Some of its advantages include the simple interface, the customizable design, and the large variety of tools to create different types of questions.
On the other hand, its disadvantages are that you need Internet access, that you cannot fully personalize it, and that it is not the safest (your data can get stolen if you use a weak password). Moreover, this tool has capacity limitations. Your text cannot weigh more than 500 kB; your images cannot weigh more than 2 MB.
3- Trello and Project Management
You can use Trello to manage your projects. With Trello, you can assign tasks to your team; your employees can create to-do lists, add subtasks, and share them with other employees. Furthermore, the design is customizable, so you can change it depending on the users’ needs.
This tool is user-friendly, appealing to the eye, and trustworthy. You can also easily synchronize the application and the website.
It is a good tool for property management. Nonetheless, this platform has a few disadvantages. In the free version, attachments cannot weigh more than 10 Mo, the communication between employees is very limited (no chat room), and the platform does not have a calendar.
4- Microsoft Project and Business Management
You might have already heard of Microsoft Project (MS Project). Businesses use this paid Microsoft software in multiple areas.
It has many advantages: it is integrated with Office 365, is trustworthy, and has a great reputation (it was created in 1985); you can use it for financial planning; it works offline; and it offers templates, so the customizing process is faster.
Although it is used worldwide, MS Project has its limits: one of them is that it is generic. In other words, this software may not have the features necessary to the management of a specific field.
Before you choose MS Project, keep in mind how much you will have to invest and how long it will take you to get used to the software. This tool requires training and/or experience to take full advantage of its features.
Moreover, remember the following disadvantage: the files are saved in a format that can only be opened with MS Project or viewer software.
5- Proprio Expert and Efficient Property Management
Technological advancements have resulted in the development of tools specifically designed for a particular industry. For instance, Proprio Expert is specifically designed for property management.
Thanks to Proprio Expert, managers can oversee their properties, receive important notifications, schedule events (like maintenance and repairs), send documents (like receipts) to their tenants and subtenants, keep records of leases, and manage their properties’ accounting.
On this platform, one can generate rent rolls, ask for electronic signatures, keep track of rental applications, and save documents in the PDF format. Not only that, but they can also manage renovations and keep track of the costs.
The manager can control the expenses and analyze the financial statements of each company, building, or unit. It is also possible to view the monthly and yearly expenses in real-time.
This property management tool, which is ideal for property managers, already has over 10,000 clients!