How to Choose Property Management Software | Fourandhalf - Internet Marketing for Property Management Companies

Choosing a property management software depends on your growth plans, and how your company is structured.

At Fourandhalf, we run marketing and growth for hundreds of property management companies. We’re often asked about how to choose a software platform.

We have seen the property management industry change. It’s gone from being shoved into the dusty back rooms of real estate offices to emerging as a prominent way for entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses. There’s lots of new technology and even some old technology that has been improved.

You need to know what you need.

Today, we want to help you choose the right property management software for your company.

Property Management Vision and Goals: Know Your Strategy

Property management software takes care of your operations. There’s a pre-sale function and a post-sale function. In this blog, we’ll focus on post-sale operations systems. Through the different stages of growth that you experience, you’ll probably find that different software is a better fit for your needs.

The first and most important thing you need to do is realize and understand your vision.

If you want to run a small but profitable company where you and one assistant manage 80 to 100 properties, you’re going to benefit from some specific software that can automate your processes. But, if you’re on a growth path, and you’re looking to build a company that manages 5,000 properties, you’ll have a different set of requirements when you’re looking for software.

There are three big companies that offer the best software for those of you managing single family homes and small, multi-family portfolios. Let’s take a look at them.

The Big Three: Appfolio, PropertyWare, and Buildium

The three largest software companies for property management are Appfolio, PropertyWare, and Buildium. These three organize differently. Your choice will depend on what your company structure is, and what your plans are for your property management business.

You can look at these companies like you look at your phone systems.

Buildium and Propertyware are more like android operating systems. They have integrations with different partners, and the functionality of the system is expanded with those partners. For example, Buildium partners with Happy Inspector, one of the best inspection software platforms out there. So instead of building inspection components into their own software, Buildium offers the service through that partnership. PropertyWare has a number of partnerships as well, and they are working on opening up their API for more integrations.

Appfolio is more like an iCloud ecosystem. It’s closed. They limit their partnerships, and they have talented men and women building their own technology. They have MVP (minimal viable product), which means that maybe you’ll get an inspection suite included for free with the software. But, it will be limited in its features until it’s completely built out and becomes functional. Initially, you’ll have limited features and functions, but your available technology with AppFolio will grow.

More Customizable, but Longer Implementation: Rent Manager

Another option is Rent Manager. This is an open API, and tech companies can contact them and talk about their products. If it’s a fit, Rent Manager will include that product in any integration. This is a really customizable software platform. For example, you can have your software include Roofstock, which helps you buy and sell single family homes online. You’ll get a dashboard and full integration. So, if you provide these services to investors, it’s a good way to see the online inventory and help your clients acquire and sell single-family homes.   

The systems at Rent Manager are so customizable that your implementation process will be longer. If you have clear processes and you’ve been in business longer, this is a good choice. But for growing companies, your output depends on how optimized and systemized you are.

If you need a quicker implementation process, any of the big three are the companies to look at. You need to find your balance.

Smaller and Larger Property Management Companies: Additional Options

If you’re a company with a smaller portfolio, you can look at Cozy. Buildium can also help you grow if you’re just starting out.

When you’re managing multi-family properties or you have a larger portfolio, consider something like Yardi or RealPage. 

This isn’t a simple topic, but we’re providing an overview so you can start your search with some unbiased advice. At Fourandhalf, we’re not paid to promote any of these companies. We’re simply sharing what we know from many years of working with many property management companies. 

If you have any questions, or you’d like to hear more, please contact us at Fourandhalf.

Alex Osenenko

About Alex Osenenko

Alex’s professional mission in life is to help small businesses grow and thrive. Alex is the President and CEO of Fourandhalf.com and a Co-Founder of the PM Grow, Inc. His business philosophy is simple: Happy Customers are created by Happy Employees, which results in Happy Shareholders. Alex's deep commitment to entrepreneurship and improving the lives of small business owners everywhere empower him to host “The Property Management Show” bi-weekly Podcast and speak internationally on the subjects of Growth, Marketing, Sales, and Entrepreneurship.

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Desired Growth (# of properties) :
Average Monthly Rent :
Annual Contract Value: $0
Customer Lifetime Value: $0
Estimated Annual Profit: $0
Estimated Lifetime Profit: $0
Estimated Portfolio Value Upon Sale: $0

How we got these numbers

• Annual Customer Value (8% of average rent multiplied by 12)
• Customer Lifetime Value (4 multiplied by ACV)
• Estimated Annual Profit (at 20% of ACV)
• Estimated Lifetime Profit (at 20% of LCV)
• Estimated Portfolio Value Upon Sale (1.2 times ACV)

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Alex Osenenko
President and CEO

Alex’s professional mission in life is to help small businesses grow and thrive. He is the President and CEO of Fourandhalf.com and is serving his 5th year on the Board of Directors for CALNARPM.

After spending 9 years in the trenches with his property management clients, Alex draws on his experience to host “The Property Management Show” Podcast and co-authors a weekly Property Management Blog on Fourandhalf.com. Alex has extensive experience speaking for various NARPM events at the local, state, regional and national level.

Alex is a graduate of San Francisco State University with an Electronic Commerce Systems Degree. His business philosophy is simple: Happy Customers are created by Happy Employees, which results in Happy Shareholders. Alex serves on the Board of Directors of CALNARPM (California Chapter of National Association of Residential Property Managers) and hosts a Podcast “The Property Management Show“, available on iTunes.

 

John Bykowski
Chief Operating Officer

After graduating from the University of Michigan with a film degree, John proceeded to do everything but. During his career, John has specialized in operations and has developed processes for small companies in diverse industries, such as bleeding-edge marketing technology, social networking, trade shows and exhibitions, and cloud software. John and Alex had worked together previously, and when he needed someone to help take Fourandhalf to the next level and beyond, Alex brought in John as his first employee, and later, business partner.

In addition, now that he’s using his film school know-how to help property managers look their best in their blogs, his mom no longer feels his degree was a complete waste of time.

Danny Morris
Director of Account Management

Born in Australia and growing up in Israel, Danny has spent a lot of time traveling the world between those two places. After completing his military service in Israel, Danny began following his biggest passion, writing, which he discovered while backpacking South America and publishing his first book.

When it was time to unpack, he returned to Australia to complete his Journalism studies amongst the beaches of sunny Perth. Danny is a huge online fan and after working in a number of related jobs, he finally gets to combine his two favorite things, working with media and people.

Marina Osenenko
Product Manager

Marina draws upon her real estate, business operations and customer service expertise for Fourandhalf. Her favorite part of being with Fourandhalf is the opportunity she has to really get to know our clients, build professional customer relationships and truly be part of a team that assists in their success.

Her time away from work is happily spent watching her children grow up and attempting to keep up with them! Any spare moments beyond nurturing her children are filled with hiking, spending time with friends, exploring the Bay Area and squeezing in a non G-rated movie every now and then.

Marie Liamzon
Product and Marketing Manager

Before joining Fourandhalf, Marie worked for one of the largest banks in the world. She took on different roles, but couldn’t find what she was looking for. She pursued a variety of side projects until she finally decided it was time for a career change.

Marie is very passionate about helping people and learning new things. In her spare time, you might catch her exploring new places and taking far too many pictures.

Kyle McLean
Customer Success

Born in San Diego County, Kyle McLean has since migrated to the Oakland woods. A fan of tall trees and tall tales, he holds a bachelor’s degree from the creative writing program at the University of California, Riverside and is a licensed California Certified Shorthand Reporter.

After a few years as a freelance court reporter, Kyle has joined Fourandhalf for an opportunity in sales and digital marketing. In addition to reading and writing, his hobbies and interests include gardening, hiking, soccer, coffee brewing, and craft beers.

Karen Wyle
Account Management

Originally from the Philadelphia area, Karen moved eight times in seventeen years all over the East Coast and to the Midwest before settling here in Northern California six years ago. She is an alumna of Brandeis University with a BA in American Studies and earned a MBA in Marketing Management from Indiana University in Bloomington. Karen’s business career has been well-rounded, with experience including advertising, direct marketing, corporate retail, product management, new product development, and new customer generation. Beyond an office setting, she has been thrilled to volunteer her time giving back to the community with KPMG’s Family for Literacy, at her daughter’s school, and as a Girl Scout Troop Leader. Karen enjoys music, good food, traveling to new places, completing jigsaw puzzles, meeting people and making connections.

Karen became a part of Fourandhalf’s Account Management team in 2016, relaunching her marketing management career after a pause to raise her family. She is excited to rejoin the business world and to work with such a strong marketing management team.

Paige DeRuyter
Account Management

Paige graduated from Chico State University with a degree in Journalism. Her favorite part of working at Fourandhalf is helping clients create and produce educational blog content to grow their business. She is an avid sushi enthusiast who enjoys riding her bike and watching college football and in her free time.

Nissim Boozaglo
Web Hosting Support

After working as a Radioshack store manager, Nissim decided to change his career path and pursue his passion for music production by getting his B.A.S. from Expression College for the Digital Arts. Nissim has a beautiful 8-year-old girl and loves cooking delicious homemade food and going camping with her! At Fourandhalf, Nissim is responsible for the implementation of the clients’ Landing Pages and Google Adwords campaigns.

Theresa Barnes
Campaign Director

Theresa Barnes was born and raised in the Bay Area and graduated with her Bachelors Degree in Communications Studies at San Francisco State University. She worked in aviation at a private FBO for 3 years, and other industries, before joining the Fourandhalf team. She finds a balance between being a young mother, work, and living a healthy lifestyle outside of work by staying as active as possible. She is dedicated to customer satisfaction and having a great work ethic.

Brittany Stephens
Campaign Director

Brittany recently moved to the Bay area after graduating from California State University Chico with a degree in Business Marketing. She is known for her excellent communication, customer service skills, and shameless nerdyness. Her passions include: music, tabasco, Lord of the Rings, and the Golden State Warriors.

Logan Jones
Business Development

After graduating from CSU Chico with a Degree in Business Marketing, Logan moved back to the East Bay and pursued a career in sales. With an attention to detail and a relentless drive, he strives to improve himself and his passions each day. When not at work Logan enjoys playing guitar and writing songs, and occasionally performing around the Bay Area. He is an avid sports fan keeping up with everything SF Giants, 49ers, Cal Bears, and Golden State Warriors.

Hope Lumbley
Account Management

Hope recently moved to the Bay Area after graduating from Chico State University with a degree in Journalism. She is coffee crazed, dog obsessed and hopes to visit all National Parks. One of the greatest times in her life was when she lived abroad in Costa Rica and hopes to travel more of Central America in the future. She feels blessed to work for a company who supports her love for travel and the need to learn more about what the world has to offer.

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