In an attempt to isolate two possible property management software solutions from the many available, it was imperative to look at a significant number of options and choose the best two options from that list. Six different software solutions (Buildium™, PropertyBoss™, Propertyware™, Rent-Right™, Tenant-Pro™, and Yardi™) were chosen to be included in the initial comparison based on an internet search for “property management software” and an ad-hoc conversation with a property management professional. The search was specific to the management of 50 properties without regard to specialization in the various property types as it is assumed that any robust solution should be able to handle any property type with little modification.
Figure 1 shows the six chosen solutions, in table format listed in random order of search discovery, correlated with ten requirements (a document management system, a property portfolio, a tenant portfolio, automated financial management, tenant complaint and incident tracking, a service request management system, a work order management system, vacant property marketing tools, tenant screening tools and customizable report generators) which were chosen as valuable traits for any property management solution. Two of the solutions are commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions while the remaining four are internet-based solutions, or products from application service providers (ASPs). The two COTS solutions (Rent-Right™ and Tenant-Pro™) were immediately discounted as they met the least of the requirements while not having any comparatively significant cost savings (Domin-8 Solutions, Inc., 2007, 2008).
Of the remaining four solutions, all ASPs, Yardi™ (Gnosio, 2002a, 2002b) became obvious as the most costly option and was discounted as a viable option leaving three solutions to compare.
The three remaining solutions appear to be robust and feature-rich with comparable pricing. Of the three remaining solutions, PropertyBoss™ was removed from consideration for lack of available information on specific pricing options. PropertyBoss™ also proved to be the most costly of the remaining three products (O’Bannon, 2006; Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, 2004).
The greater list of six solutions has been narrowed down to two robust and viable options for a property management solution, Buildium™ (2009) and Propertyware™ (2008). Though both would be fully recommended based on the initial research and greater product comparison, the stated goal is to narrow the available choices to a single recommendation. To this end, a detailed comparison of features and cost must be made.
Buildium™ and Propertyware™ both meet most of the requirements. Propertyware™ lacks only customized reporting, though it does allow for customized fields within the database that are reportable. Though this feature requirement is not met in a strict fashion, it may be a feature that is not adequately advertised. Buildium™, on the other hand, meets all requirements but charges extra fees for some services, and the direct needs of the purchaser should be accounted for to ensure no significant increased cost for these services.
In review of all available information, the recommended solution must be Propertyware™. This recommendation is made with caution as the specific needs of a property manager may very well be better met by another solution. Business owners who rely on software solutions to track legal records should both research their options themselves and consult an attorney for any legal considerations.
Buildium, LLC. (2009). Buildium online property management software. Retrieved June 12, 2009, from http://property-management.buildium.com/
Domin-8 Enterprise Solutions. (2007). Rent-right property management software. Retrieved June 12, 2009, from http://www.rent-right.com/Version3/Features/Features.htm
Domin-8 Enterprise Solutions. (2008). TenantPro 7 property management software. Retrieved June 12, 2009, from http://www.tenantpro.com/products/tp7/
Gnosio. (2002a). Email from Paul T. Monson. Retrieved June 12, 2009, from http://www.gnosio.com/gnosio/business/yardi.adp
Gnosio. (2002b). Software solutions for property management. Retrieved June 12, 2009, from http://www.gnosio.com/gnosio/business/solutions.adp
O’Bannon, I. (2006, January). PropertyBoss solution [Electronic version]. The CPA Technology Advisor. Retrieved June 12, 2009, from http://www.cpatechnologyadvisor.com/article/article.jsp?id=1067&pageNum=1
Propertyware, Inc. (2008). Propertyware product feature comparison. Retrieved June 12, 2009, from http://www.propertyware.com/products-compare.shtml
Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. (2004). Real estate software directory [Survey]. Retrieved June 12, 2009, from http://recenter.tamu.edu/soft/overview.asp?id=1400
Yardi Systems, Inc. (2009). Residential Voyager [Brochure]. Retrieved June 12, 2009, from http://www.yardi.com/US/VoyagerResidential.asp
Figure 1. Comparison chart of six Property Management Software solutions indicating the two most viable options.