The Ultimate Guide to Evaluating Property Management Software

Last modified on August 15th, 2022

Your relationship with your software provider plays a key role in growing your business, adapting to change, and staying successful. If you have a strong partnership, it’s easy to overcome challenges and stay competitive. However, if the relationship is holding you back or doesn’t provide support, it can quickly erode the integrity and confidence of your team and business. 

Whether you’re considering switching to new software or are looking for a technology partner for the first time, it’s important to ask the right questions and be methodical in your evaluation. Discover the top four things to look for when choosing property management software.

1.) Ease of use

One of the most common complaints property managers have about their software is that it’s too complicated or has a disjointed user experience. When a system is not intuitive, your team will spend too much time working through basic tasks and onboarding new hires, increasing frustration and decreasing productivity. 

You can avoid these issues by choosing a technology partner that prioritizes usability. When software has an intuitive, responsive design, it provides benefits, such as seamless handoffs and efficient onboarding and workflow processes, and decreases confusion and human error.

The ease of use will be immediately apparent, so it’s critical to get a hands-on experience with the software before making a final decision. You can ask for a demo to see how it works.

2.) Dedicated, ongoing support

Support is another factor in your search for a technology partner. Without dedicated, ongoing support, your business will struggle with onboarding and find it difficult to navigate changes or issues that arise, which can lead to inconsistencies, reduced employee productivity, and a lack of growth. Make sure the provider offers ongoing support from a single platform rather than point solutions or 3rd-party providers, which can lead to a disjointed experience.

Having a safety net of support, whether that’s on-demand resources, how-to articles, forums, customer events, or live chat, is vital for the longevity of your business. With a dedicated technology partner, you have these resources at your disposal 24/7. 

When your team feels fully supported, they’ll be more satisfied and productive, making it easy for your business to grow. Be sure to ask potential providers about the types of ongoing support they offer.

3.) Passion for innovation

As the real estate industry evolves, so do the needs of your business, which means your provider’s approach to innovation matters. What separates a technology partner from a vendor is how they think ahead and innovate. However, it’s not always easy to tell whether a software provider is truly forward-thinking. Here are some questions you can ask to narrow down the search: 

  • Do they keep up with the latest trends and technologies and inform customers of recent developments? 
  • Do they regularly host or participate in events or conferences that are focused on the future of property management? 
  • Do they openly ask customers for product feedback and implement that feedback?
  • What were their latest innovations, and how are they meeting the industry’s current needs?

A technology partner with a passion for innovation should be able to answer all these questions. They should want their software to incorporate the best innovations or technologies available and be committed to keeping your business at the forefront of the industry.

4.) Value over cost

While it’s understandable that the cost of property management software is important, it shouldn’t be the single driving factor in your evaluation. You should examine the full picture of what each software offers, as the cheaper option could cost your business more in the long run.

To get the most value from your software, you should look into the built-in features it offers and investigate how it will scale with your business. Some providers may seem to offer many perks, but once you read the fine print, you’ll realize they cost extra. Ask the software provider what their basic tier includes and how they will accommodate your needs as your business grows.

You should also see what current customers are saying about their experience. What are their pain points? How are they using the features? Has the software helped their business grow?

Once you have the full picture, it will be easier to weigh the pros and cons to ensure you’re getting the most value.

Find a long-term partner

Invest in the success of your property management business by choosing a technology partner that is committed to your relationship over the long term. Don’t be afraid to ask detailed questions. The best software for your business is the one that puts your needs first. 

At AppFolio, our customers are the heart of our organization. This is reflected in our intuitive design, our excitement for innovation, and our dedication to support. Our customers’ success is our success, and we make sure they use our software to its full potential. Here are a few customer reviews:

“AppFolio, to me, is a necessity. I can’t run my business without it. The partnership I have is incredible. We were up and running, not missing a beat, in a matter of weeks.” — Sherry Kent, Shaw Real Estate, 450+ units.

“In transitioning to AppFolio, we eliminated a lot of human error because most of the processes were automated. It was a huge relief for us. Plus, we were able to take vacations and actually go and enjoy life.” — Josh Wilson, JW Property Services, 330+ units.

“I don’t know of any other software that checks more boxes than AppFolio. I’m very pleased with the functionality it gives me.” — Wade Sorensen, Jamkee Properties, 400+ units.

Look at this expert guide to hear more about why it’s essential to find the best software for your needs and how to get the partnership you deserve.


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