Switching property management software can be an intense and painful process, especially during the implementation period. Today, we are talking with Alex Harleen, the CEO of Kynetic Consulting, on 3 steps to help you switch software without losing your mind. Alex Harleen has plenty of experience helping property managers implement new software from his time in AppFolio and has leveraged that to start his own business with Kynetic Consulting. They specialize in the use and optimization of property management software.
One thing we notice with our clients is that these software transitions are often painful because there is short term pains affecting three groups: your company, your owners, and your tenants. So, the goal with any successful software switch is to minimize the pain to those three groups. Here’s how Alex recommends you do that:
Your Property Management Company
Recognize what your capabilities are. A software switch is a big project; one delay or hiccup in the process can cause major headaches. Will you be able to handle that switch? Will you need outside help to lead the project?
If you’re going to find help, get someone with accounting and software knowledge. If you already have that person in your company, then they will be a fantastic candidate. If not, we’d recommend that you get help from an outside consultant, as attempting to oversee it yourself can cause a lot of pain when you already have many other things you are responsible for.
Recognize that this is a huge project that will require a lot of hours. Your employees already have a lot of responsibilities, and they probably cannot dedicate too much time to this project. Alex learned that it can be advantageous to hire a part-time data entry person to take care of some basic tasks so your property managers can focus on what they do best. Let your employees avoid the intense process of a software switch so they can continue providing outstanding service to you owners and tenants. This will make the switch for your company far less stressful.
Make sure your owners are excited about the new software. There are so many great benefits to upgraded software. You will be able to:
- Lease properties faster.
- Get higher rent.
- Be more effective with marketing and maintenance.
- Collect rent faster.
- and pay your owner’s faster.
It’s important that you communicate these things to your owners. Some companies change software but they don’t think about selling the owners on that software. Change is hard, and owners rely on the old reports and the old way of doing things. We recommend you meet with your biggest owners and explain how the new reports will bring benefits. Explain how it better serves them. Meet face to face, and then send out a detailed email to your other owners. When you can make them understand why you’re excited, and inspire them to be excited as well, you’ll have an easier transition. Let them know that this new software will make their properties more profitable.
This is also a great opportunity to sell your owners on your other services. If you have local owners, organize a meet-up. For the owners that are out of town, set up a Google Hangouts. Invite other partners like your accountants and lawyers to do a presentation. You can use this time to:
- Ask for referrals
- Demonstrate the new software
- and create an extra opportunity to sell your services.
It’s a great way to enhance your customer experience. This doesn’t have to be a painful process. You’ll increase the owners’ trust in what you’re doing.
Manage expectations for your tenants. Often, it’s disruptive. Switching tenants to a new method of paying rent only gives them an excuse to pay late. Preempt that by communicating with tenants a month before the new software goes into effect. You can provide a handbook on how to sign up for the portal, and give detailed instructions on how to pay rent within that new system.
If you have any questions about switching property management software, and you’d like some help, contact Alex Harleen at kyneticconsulting.com. As always, you can also contact us with any questions at Fourandhalf.