Multiple Solutions

IMG_9691Many property managers dream of expanding their property management companies. However, there are cost increases such as property management software associated with growth. Property Boss Solutions supports their property manager’s growth by using an unlimited pricing unit model. We spoke to Mario Villanueva, from Property Boss Solutions to learn more.

APM: Would you mind giving us an overview of Property Boss Solutions?

Mario: Sure. There are a couple of services we provide. We offer property management software and website design for property management companies. We offer web services like online payments that are tied to our software. This can either be tied into a third party site, where we integrate the services into an existing site, or we can do a brand new site that contains these services. We spend most of our time focusing on property management and handling the website services.

The company began in 1998. At that point it was designed for residential management, and it covered tracking management fees, paying owners and doing owner statements. From there, Property Boss Solutions grew to where we’re involved in multi‑family management, commercial management, association management, student housing, senior living, affordable housing and storage units.

With Property Boss you can customize the system, integrate your processes into the system and design a language specific to your portfolio. We expanded into all these different industries.

If someone were to ask me, “What are the main strengths of Property Boss,” I would say it’s the power of choice. We offer a web‑based option. We also offer a self‑hosted option, where you can purchase and own the software. The customer can decide what is the best fit for their organization.

For some folks who have the infrastructure to host an application themselves, the self-hosted option makes a lot more sense for them. Other companies don’t have the infrastructure to host an application themselves. In this case a web‑based option is more convenient. They don’t have to go buy a server or keep an IT person on file.

The choice is up to the customer. You can start web‑based, and from there you can migrate to the self‑hosted option and run Property Boss indefinitely. We offer a perpetual license. We also offer a choice in regards to accounting. We have an internal general ledger, and an interface to QuickBooks. If someone is using QuickBooks, and find they grew too large for QuickBooks to efficiently manage their properties, Property Boss can step‑in as the front‑end. You can see all your properties, tell which tenants are late, what available properties you have and what work orders are in process. Property Boss can also print checks or financial statements.

Having all these options might make it difficult for some companies to support. You need to collect information from the client in order to understand, “What is your specific configuration?” However, Property Boss Solutions believes this is a better option long‑term for a client. Clients design their own Property Boss system and integrate the power of the choices they make and the processes that are important to them.

APM: Can you maybe describe some of your favorite features?

Mario: Sure, when it comes to residential management, you are managing on behalf of other owners. Property Boss helps tie management fees to the transactions. It’s not a situation where you have to go into the software and claim your management fees. Property Boss has a balance associated with each owner. You can also set a reserve amount for the owner’s balance and hold the bill if there are not sufficient funds. Being originally designed for residential management helps our application. The experience of being in the industry helps how we approach accounting for our property managers.

Another big advantage is our web-option. Online applications, resident portals, owner portals are all available with our software. You don’t have to go with our web‑based option in order to have portals. If it makes more sense for your company to purchase the software, we can still offer owner portals, tenant portals, online applications and vendor portals. All of this is still available. I think the power of choice we provide is a powerful advantage.

APM: Great! If we were to talk to your top three customers, what do you think they would say about the products?

Mario: Well, we are willing to work closely as a partner with our clients. For years we have been receiving great feedback from our property managers, as to what they would like to see in the product, and their feedback is used in future implementations. It’s more of a conversation about, “What do you want to get out of the program, and how can we enable that growth?”

We also offer an unlimited unit pricing model. This works really well in the residential industry. Basically, the more properties you’re managing the more management fees you can collect.

You’re not penalized for growth once you’ve use Property Boss. Property management software makes you more efficient. It is how property managers can maximize growth on the front‑end. With Property Boss, as you add additional units, there are no additional fees.

APM: I can definitely see how property managers would appreciate that, especially if they are trying to grow. Usually, there is some sort of cost associated with that. I think they would really appreciate that.

Mario: Right.

APM: What do you think makes you stand out from your competition then?

Mario: Well, certainly the fact that we offer both a web‑based and a self‑hosted option. That’s becoming more rare nowadays, and we do not plan on doing a strictly a web‑based option. We’ve way too many clients hosting the application themselves. I also have not see the level of customization you can do in Property Boss in other property management tools. You can create an unlimited number of custom fields, and then design custom reports to incorporate the data from those fields.

You can create custom, what we call “Work Order Groups” in Property Boss. If you need to track activity around collections, or for associations for example, violations, any activity that is meant for your property management business, you’re able to track all of that in Property Boss with the core product. It goes far beyond just giving you the ability to see what a tenant’s balance is, or see what properties are available. It is a deep enterprise system. You can see the activity from your entire team, and analyze the important metrics for your business to enable that growth.

APM: Is there anything else you would like your customers to know?

Mario: Our options across a variety of industries, contributes to our client’s success. For example with our unlimited unit model, someone can have 30 HOA’s and 1,000 residential units, and it’s not going to cost them $3,000 a month to use our product. As they bring in additional associations and properties, they are also simply bringing more money in for their businesses.

To Sum It Up!

Property Boss Solutions is property management software that provides property managers the choice between choosing a web-based option or a self-hosted option. Property Boss Solutions can customize their experience with the software, and should they continue to expand they can take comfort in knowing that they use the unlimited pricing unit model.

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March 27, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Going For The Max

Landlord MaxProperty managers invest in different property management software in order to make their day-to-day process easier. However, software can make their lives more difficult when upgrades take place with unexpected costs are done or when new features lose old information. LandlordMax is different in that even when upgrades take place, property managers can choose to keep their original data and do not need to worry about losing their current information if they are unable to pay for the upgrade. We spoke with Stephan Grenier, from LandlordMax, to learn more.

APM: Please describe LandlordMax.

Stephan: We’ve been in business for a little over 10 years. We’ve been growing by anywhere between from 50 to 100 percent a year. We started as a desktop‑only application. Now we have a network‑based system, as well. You can have a central database and as many users as you want connected to it with different editions and so on. Our focus is on trying to simplify the workflow and day‑to‑day operations of property managers without them struggling with the software. The software is an extension of your work. Our pricing is based off of your purchase. It’s not based off the number of units like a lot of our competitors. One of our big advantages is that we are fairly affordable.

APM: Can you please go into some of the features that are offered with the software?

Stephan: There are a few main features. We have a quite an extensive accounting system. It’s made to be as automated as possible. When you create a lease, for example, or create a scheduled rent related to that, every month that rent will be automatically generated for you. You can sort through the data. You can access the current or previous month’s rent. You can do partial payments. Basically, the accounting entry is completely open-ended. Whatever you decide to associate with your accounting entries like a tenant, a building, a unit, a vendor, everything is optional and will help you with the reporting later on.

We have over 150 reports that allow you to do things like find your late rents, find your vacancies, create a list of expiring leases, and develop rent reports. There are numerous types of accounting reports.

Another big feature is our price range, as far as we know, there’s no one anywhere near our price range that offers the availability to manage different property owners. Quicken is the only similar product, but they only allow you to manage for yourself. It’s a personal finance software where our software focuses on property managers and different property owners.

Other than us, the next price range you’re getting into is the $500 to $1000 range. For the desktop application, we’re at $165, just to give you an idea. For the network edition, we’re also pretty much the most affordable. You’re getting into web‑based solutions and those come with their own risks.

One of the other big advantages is you own and manage the data. This means if you buy the software, you can always keep the current version. If you never upgrade and let’s say something happens like you do not like our new pricing or new features, you can skip the upgrade. You own your data. You control your own system.

If you go with a web-host solution, which is what the market and some people are going with right now, there’s convenience because you can do it from any browser. The problem is if they decide to change their price, you have to go with that. You have to pay a monthly price, no matter what.

One of our big competitors recently dramatically increased their price, almost four to five times the price overnight. These people are either stuck paying it or they lose all their data. With a subscription service, if your credit card expires and you forget to change your credit card data, you could lose all your data overnight.

If the service closes, you don’t get a warning. It’s gone. With a product like Landlord Max, you get safety with your data. It is a similar concept like Word documents; you basically get to keep everything on your system.

Another feature we offer is our work order management. Using the network version, you can actually create vendor users where vendors can only feed their work orders and work off the software to see what they have to do. If it’s the desktop version, you can manage it, print and give them to your contractors.

You can have invoicing receipts. You can manage all your leases. You can give tenants eviction notice, place noise notifications and manage contacts. There are the small details also like selecting date formats. Being able to specify your date formats throughout the application actually ends up being one of the most highly used features.

I would say that 95 or 96 percent of our features come from customer requests. We always look at what people tell us in our support system. We track everything. For each version, we look at the request volume for specific features. We also make sure to look into any trouble-shooting our customer?s experience. We use this information to determine what the updated version will look like.

The upcoming version is going to have document management. You can store files, Word documents, PDFs and lease agreements basically all your tenants, landlords, buildings and vendors correspondence.

The next version is also going to have the ability to manage checks. We’re also going to do something called automation, which is the ability to run scripts within the software. For example, at the end of the month, if you’re a management company, you can run one script. The script will do everything for you in one shot instead of you having to go through each report

APM: If you were to talk to your top customers, what do you think they would say, in terms of feedback of the software?

Stephan The most common testimonial is that it is easy to use. Customer support is actually really high. Our focus is on easy to use, but what we’ve found is that we get a lot of feedback on customer support. The reason for that is, first of all, it’s free. That’s a big one. Our official guarantee is one to two business days. The average response time is under three business hours.

APM: That’s great.

Stephan: It’s free, so you have to remember that too, which is compared to our competitors, who either charge a higher price for their software or charge for support. The other big thing also, is how we handle support. When you call a company, you talk to a person who reads a scripted answer. We differ because it’s all online support, and we have someone who triages it. Right away, your email is sent to the right person. You can actually skip one or two levels of support and go right to someone who is knowledgeable on the topic at hand. That might not seem like a lot but it can save you a couple days of turnaround.

APM: No, that makes a big deal for customers especially with some things that you don’t really have a few days to wait to turnaround anyways.

Stephan: Exactly. We didn’t expect our support to have such high positive testimonials, but you’ll find that that’s our second biggest testimonial. It surprised us, but in a good way.

APM: Is there anything else you would like your customers to know?

Stephan: Yes, regarding our licenses, when you purchase the software, you get a year of upgrades. If a new version comes out, it’s included in your license, so that way you don’t have to worry and say, “Oh, I just missed a new version.” Or, “I should wait a couple months.” It’s yours.

To Sum It Up!

LandlordMax is property management software that offers a range of services, including accounting, for an affordable price and also allows you to keep all your data. Property managers can relax in knowing their information will be safely stored despite any changes that take place within the company.

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March 20, 2014 | 0 Comments More

One Location. All Your Property Management Needs.

Real PageMost property management software programs help benefit property managers and their teams. It is rare to see property management software that also helps build better relationships between tenants and property managers. RealPage is all-in-one property management software that is customizable. Property managers can use the software to work with students, seniors and military housing residents. For example, RealPage allows students to find roommates, see floor plans in advance and sign lease documents online. This is a great feature for out-of-state students looking for accommodations in another state. We spoke with Katie Jones, from RealPage, to learn more.

APM: Please go into more detail about RealPage.

Katie: Within Real Page, our two main products are OneSite and Propertyware. OneSite is built for a wide range of property management companies, while Propertyware is built for more low‑density, multi-family and single‑family home management companies. Within Onesite, we offer pretty much any of your business strategic initiatives. Some of the solutions that OneSite offers are leasing and rents, accounting, budgeting, forecasting, purchasing and document management platforms.

We also work with LeaseStar and integrate it into our sales and marketing suites. Within LeaseStar you can purchase the marketplace suite or the social suite. This places listings onto different social media platforms, as well as classified and syndication services. Think of it as an automatic tool that helps you list your properties on different sites. LeaseStar can also provide website design and SEO functionality services. We also have a contact center that helps capture more leads and lease more apartments by answering all calls and emails. In addition, LeaseStar also provides a welcome home resident portal, online renewals, electronic payments and 24- hour maintenance calls, resident screening services and renters insurance.

Using YieldStar, we offer revenue and spending management, office technology reports, utility management and advanced energy reporting. Our MPF research reports provide apartment market trends to help you stay competitive with different apartment complex prices in your area. Since our work is done in the cloud, it?s important to note that all your data is kept secure.

APM: For property managers who don’t really have a lot of time to differentiate between products, what would you say makes your product stand out?

Katie: OneSite is very versatile, and can work with other software, but if you want the option of using only one software, OneSite can do it all for you. We basically offer everything in one system. ?With only one subscription you get one account that offers everything rather than having to go to different websites to access different aspects of your business.

APM: Is there a specific feature that stands out to you and your own experience with it?

Katie: I think the resident portals are probably my favorite. My own apartment complex uses OneSite. I can go online, pay my rent, submit and oversee my maintenance request. There is up to date tracking, so I can go online through my own portal and see if someone read my maintenance request. I also receive questions asking for permission to enter my apartment when I am not home or notifications when someone is working in my apartment. I can submit my request in the morning, watch the progress throughout the day and come home to a fixed apartment. That’s probably my favorite, the resident portal and online payments.

APM: That is a great feature. I am sure many tenants would appreciate this system to help manage their maintenance requests. Is there anything else that you would like your customers to know?

Katie: I think I mentioned the most important aspects. Sometimes we have customers who compare prices and tell us they pay $20 a month for a service, but they find themselves paying $30 for another service. Eventually, they are paying for multiple services instead of paying one fee for one service that offers multiple features. Propertyware offers several features that save property managers from using multiple software.

To Sum It Up!

RealPage offers several services including Onesite and Propertyware to help property managers oversee their day-to-day affairs. Property managers can manage several different property types, work with diverse tenant groups and handle office management affairs like accounting. RealPage’s list of features gives property managers the ability to manage their properties from one location instead of needing to use several different property management tools.

Like this article? Check out other similar articles with information on technology resources on our Property Management Tech Tools Resources Page!?

March 20, 2014 | 1 Comment More

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