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Expert Advice on Choosing a CRM Property Management System

CRM Property Management System

Running a property management business can be tricky. Property managers have to deal with an overwhelming number of daily activities, like marketing, arranging repairs and maintenance, screening tenants, signing leases, and accepting payments.

A CRM property management system can take a significant workload off the day-to-day operations of property managers and vastly simplify their workflows.

In this article, we will go over the merits of the CRM system for property management. You will learn what features to look for in the app and get a comprehensive list of the best property management software.

What Is CRM for Property Management?

In general terms, a CRM is a tool for managing interactions with existing and potential customers. A CRM property management software performs the same function – it helps property owners or property managers build successful relationships with current and prospective residents and effectively handle daily tasks.

In this light, a CRM works as a centralized database storing information about residents and prospects. You can view, update, and even analyze data to cultivate a stronger connection with them. It may also serve as a project management system, ensuring you stay focused on the activities that bring value to your business or tenants.

Property software covers two facets of the business: interactions with residents and prospects. Establishing communication with these leads involves different processes, so the CRM should enable the property agent to manage both groups effectively.

How CRM for Residents’ Management Saves the Day

When it comes to managing existing residents, the goal of the resident relationship manager lies in making the tenant satisfied with the living conditions.

A property manager may handle dozens of communications daily through various channels (email, phone, text, and a special platform). CRM ensures they can keep track of everything that is going on with every resident from one spot.

You instantly get access to information like the resident's name, exact address, contact information, previous requests, and notes. In this way, you know how you can help the resident based on the previous experience, which may cut down on the problem-solving or response time. An option to submit tasks makes CRM especially handy. In this way, you will never miss the resident's requests and will provide them with the assistance they need.

Why Is CRM for Prospective Residents Beneficial?

As a property manager, you also have to deal with acquisition, retention, and communication with prospective residents. A property management CRM system can significantly facilitate these processes.

A CRM software stores information about the leads, so you will get in touch with them as soon as possible when there is a need for that. You can filter the prospects in your database based on the critical criteria (like the source of the lead and the stage of the lease process) to build effective communication and make more personalized appeals.

It also provides the tools for effective marketing campaigns to drive more prospects to a web page or email list.

The greatest advantage of a CRM system is that it keeps all the essential information in one spot, so you can easily track the outreach or plan new communications with the prospective residents in a timely fashion.

Benefits of Using CRM for Property Management

There are different types of CRM software. Some are light, so they include only the core features for managing interactions with the property residents. Others are more advanced, and they offer tools for simplifying other aspects of the business, like marketing or accounting.

Overall, property management CRM systems have a huge potential to transform how you nurture relationships with residents. From automating the processes to helping you expand your outreach, such CRM solutions will have a truly powerful impact on the performance of resident managers.

Communication With Tenants Is Simplified

Your residents are probably reaching out to you in all sorts of ways. They send you text messages, emails, and posts on social media. Not to mention phone calls. You may even run into each other on the street. And all of them need something from you.

A property management software CRM carries the primary function of ensuring seamless communication between the property agent and the resident. Therefore, most CRM systems integrate common communication channels (telephone, email, text message) to enable you to effortlessly contact every lead in the preferred channel from a single hub.

In this way, you do not have to switch between the apps and use different devices to get in touch with an existing or potential tenant. These CRM solutions have all you need to run communication from one spot. More sophisticated tools have an option to set up chatbots for automated communication.

Effective Data Management

Property management CRM software is also an effective solution for keeping the resident records centralized. This aspect of the CRM has several merits:

  • Property agents who work on-site get access to records from any device with the Internet.
  • All team members gain the required data instantly without requesting info from other employees.
  • By streamlining data and running a centralized database of leads, you avoid the risk of data duplication.

In this way, the property manager or owner is able to respond to the tenant much faster and without additional questions. It also gets easier to track communication and requests from every resident when you have a CRM solution.

A CRM tool allows you to organize data in a way that seems relevant to you. You can sort the leads based on their position in the sales funnel, address, or source of lead acquisition. Thanks to this, you can perform bulk actions or set up more personalized communication.

Better Request Flows Due to Dashboards and Alerts

Property managers have a lot on their plate, so a CRM system serves as a great assistant and ensures all team members are focused on the highest priorities.

Most CRM residential management tools feature dashboards that pinpoint the activities every agent has to follow up with. In this way, the managers plan a daily agenda to cover the most urgent tasks or activities. There is also an alert function to ensure you do not miss a thing. For example, it will remind you when you have to make a call or visit the tenant's apartment.

Enhanced Marketing Attribution

While basic CRM systems might not have the capabilities to run your marketing campaign, more sophisticated solutions do provide you with the tools to capture and retain quality property management leads.

The list of marketing tools can range from more advanced statistics and email marketing instruments to sales funnels, social media management, and web page builders.

In sum, CRM software will help you define the winning approaches for attracting new leads and keeping them n.

How to Choose the Right CRM for Rental Business

There are thousands of apartment property management software that address different aspects of the business. So, as you are picking the app for your company, you want it to serve your team to the best of its ability. With this in mind, we recommend you meticulously study competing products, determining what features are critical for your daily objectives.

What is worth mentioning is that CRM systems for property management share the same standard features as general-use CRMs. This may include:

  • Lead management for tracking up-to-date information about residents
  • Cloud data storage for accessing information from any device
  • Desktop and mobile apps for ease of use
  • In-built communication platforms like telephony, messengers, and emails
  • Dashboards and alerts that help visualize workflows
  • Automated import of leads from spreadsheets or other legacy CRMs
  • Performance reports on every property manager

But these features may not be enough to deal with the day-to-day activities of a property manager effectively. That is why CRM software for apartment management has been created. These apps provide property management teams with the toolkit they desperately need to deliver a better service to their clients while making their work less cumbersome.

Optimize Tenant Screening

Finding reliable renters can be a tall order. Even though you can run a rigorous screening process without a CRM, this app will significantly simplify the procedure. It will give you more control over data about every candidate and particular workflows.

  • You can filter prospects based on the stage they are in before signing a lease
  • You can check the history of tenants
  • You can make notes to avoid confusion and keep priorities top of mind

Collect Rent Easier and on Time

Setting and collecting rent for the property is one of the primary functions of any property manager. While you may do without a CRM for assessing the property market to set a fair rental price, this tool can be handy for collecting rent from tenants and spotting those who are late on payments.

  • You can set notifications to remind you to check the payments on a specific date
  • You can send automated messages with payment notifications for every renter
  • You can set tags to differentiate between those residents who paid on time and those who  should be reminded
  • You can send follow-up messages to let renters know that you are waiting for the payment

Streamline Property Maintenance Activities

CRM properties for rent is also a great platform to organize property maintenance workflows. You can rely on CRM software when you've got to deal with accepting maintenance requests, scheduling inspections, and managing the database of the best technicians that provide quality services at competitive prices.

  • You can communicate with the tenants across different channels from one CRM app
  • You can note down what issues the renter has
  • You can schedule inspection or technician meetings
  • You can set other maintenance-related tasks that will help you keep your residents happy

Key Features to Look For in Software for Property Management

Below, we will go over the property management-specific features you may want to have in your CRM tool.

Effective Property Marketing Tools

A functional property management system for apartments is not only focused on helping you communicate with your tenants easier and more effectively. It also gives you the ability to manage your marketing effort to attract and retain more leads to your real estate business.

The marketing toolkit may comprise various instruments. For example, the CRM system may have the tools to create email roadmap templates or send newsletters across select groups of people.

You may be able to sort new leads based on their source. It might turn out that a potential renter who has found you through a  referral may require a slightly different communication approach than the tenant who entered your list via a social media ad.

Also, you can track website or ad conversions, create landing pages, and manage Google or Facebook ads using the metrics generated by CRM software.

Resident and  Prospect Notes

The notes and descriptions provide specific insights about residents and prospects. This data may be used by you or shared with colleagues. When you leave notes, you avoid awkward situations of second-guessing or asking the same question repeatedly.

Resident notes will also allow you to keep track of important actions carried out to satisfy a renter's request.

Lead Generation

On top of communicating with tenants, handling their maintenance issues, collecting rent, and even conducting evictions, property managers also have to deal with attracting more leads and signing leases with them.

Leading property management software will provide you with lead generation tools that help attract prospects interested in the property and turn them into renters.

Lease Signing

A lease signing process can be unnecessarily complicated. A CRM system can significantly expedite this process. It may be a place to store the templates, which you can send through the unified CRM platform, so the tenant can sign and forward them to you. In addition, you may store a digital copy of the lease attached to the resident’s profile to get quick access whenever needed.

Maintenance Requests

Renters may use numerous channels to make maintenance requests (email, phone, messenger, or even a special portal). A CRM system will enable you to gather the requests in one spot and keep track of their fulfillment through a dashboard. You may set reminders not to miss the implementation of any critical tasks.

Landing Page Builders

Landing pages can be a great means for driving more leads and providing information to existing tenants. Some apartment management software gives you a chance to build your own landing pages using a special website constructor. In this way, you do not have to hire a web development team, buy a web host, and deal with other challenges of developing a website from scratch.

Prospect Engagement

If you are at the stage where you've gathered some quality leads and now you have to grab their attention, you will find some useful tools in more advanced CRM systems. With these more sophisticated solutions, you can set up actions for every sales funnel stage to nurture cold leads, as well as reach prospects at the right moment with the right message to inspire them to sign a lease with you.

The Best CRM for Property Management: Top 10 Reviews

It's hard to say what is the best property management software for you right away. You may come across different CRM solutions, and you may find that one app is more efficient than another at different stages of your business development. With that in mind, we have created a comprehensive list of CRM solutions for effective property management. We reviewed our top 10 property management system examples to give you a better idea of which will satisfy your needs.

Zoho

Zoho is a general-use CRM that offers an additional solution for real estate agents and property managers. Zoho rental management CRM ensures omnichannel communication to keep your inquiries organized, so you do not miss a thing when a new lead reaches you, or the existing resident asks you for help. You will find project management, lead management, drip email campaigns, and third-party integrations in this app. Setting up the project management, however, is no easy feat as it requires integration with Zoho Projects software.

Zoho is highly customizable and allows you to configure the app to meet your property management needs. The social media tools are quite robust as you can integrate your Twitter and Facebook accounts and manage lead generation.

Zoho fees are competitive, and you get a great set of features for the price. There is also a free plan for three users with limited features.

zoho pricing

Salesforce

Salesforce is a leader in CRM technology, and this holds true for property managers who are looking for advanced software to help boost tenants' satisfaction levels and higher property ROI.

Salesforce for property management is highly customizable and features plenty of integration capabilities to fine-tune the program based on your needs. You will enjoy the advanced features for managing your property-related tasks. For example, you can filter the activities based on the due date, send emails, log calls, and create new detailed tasks in just a few clicks. Assign tasks to leads or other contacts and set priorities for every task.

Managing tenants is also easy with Salesforce. Users can make notes that support text, images, or links, communicate through various channels, and log calls without switching screens. What’s more, you can easily track property information – including property details, documents, and communications related to a specific address from the Salesforce dashboard.

The Salesforce subscription should be paid upfront for a year, but the plans are flexible. You will also need to pay for add-ons if you want to add extra functionality.

RentDynamics

RentDynamics is a multifamily CRM system meant to ensure quality communication between the property manager and the tenant throughout the entire resident journey.

It features powerful instruments for omnichannel communication, lead acquisition, task management, reporting, marketing, and more to maximize your efforts. You can set prospects' preferences to match them with the perfect property, track activity history, qualify leads for certain deals, and track rental payments with this  CRM.

Yet, some features look clunky and require a further upgrade. Specifically, you may have errors when generating weekly or monthly reports.

If you want to figure out the available plans, you've got to request this information from one of their product experts, as this data is not publicly available.

Knock

Knock offers an integrated suite for property managers and real estate agents. It equips the operators with the levers required to fulfill day-to-day tasks, improve efficiency, maximize NOI, and retain high-quality renters for the long term.

This CRM rental management system supports marketing endeavors with source attribution data, automated campaigns, and tools for every channel. You can also seamlessly communicate with leads and tenants via texts, email, or phone. Knock enables you to manage tasks through a gamified leasing experience to increase NOI and even lets the prospects schedule tours to boost tour volume. However, the scoring is somewhat hard to understand at times.

The app's interface seems intuitive and eye-pleasing, but onboarded team members may have a little trouble catching on to all the features at first.

You won't find the pricing information on the company's website, but you can request a free demo with one of the CRM's product experts to figure out more details about the system.

Entrata

Entrata is a great option for property managers. It provides teams with plenty of capabilities to help position their apartment business for success.

This CRM solution is packed with handy functionality and APIs that simplify the work of every property manager. With Entrata, you can build a website, accept or schedule payments, sign leases, manage accountant activities, and manage residents from one hub. You also get the tools to track rents and manage residential properties, finances, and credits. You will also be able to arrange maintenance with this CRM software.

If you are afraid to switch to a new app, Entrata offers a detailed knowledge base, phone support, and chat to help your team with onboarding.

Entrata is available on desktop and mobile. But you may find that some of the features are hard to find and use. There are also outages occasionally, making it difficult to stay in touch with existing and prospective residents.

Entrata does not provide the pricing, but you are welcome to request a demo to learn more about the CRM service and its plans.

AppFolio

AppFolio is a powerful CRM properties management solution that helps resident managers effectively deal with their duties, especially in the residential, commercial, and associated subindustries.

The AppFolio CRM covers every aspect of the resident manager's work. From marketing to leasing and maintenance, you get the essential tools to provide the renters and prospects with exceptional service.

With this app, you can build a residential portfolio to drive more leads and make offers to prospects. You receive the capabilities for effective communication with your leads, including online portals that unlock a wide range of actions from any device. Furthermore, accounting and reporting provide you with more accuracy on financial matters, while the maintenance and operations instruments enable you to resolve maintenance requests easier and faster. You can even arrange and track staff training to ensure newcomers do not lose a thing when they join the team.

However, the AppFolio CRM doesn't have open APIs, so you can't integrate it with other essential tools. It also lacks customization for the layout of the property financial statements.

The AppFolio fees are not fixed. Instead, you pay a certain amount of money per unit based on the plan, which determines the access to the features you get.

AppFolio pricing

Buildium

Buildium is a feature-rich CRM that allows property managers of residential and association properties to gain full control over their business.

As this CRM is available both in mobile and desktop variations, it allows you to handle payments, resolve maintenance issues, and approve lease applications from anywhere with Wifi. You can pay vendor bills directly from Buildium and arrange communication with leads or renters, both individually and in bulk. In addition, the app provides a Resident Center, where tenants can submit maintenance requests and pay fees.

One drawback with this solution is that there is no in-person training if you want to switch your team to the Buildium CRM. Yet, the company provides documentation, webinars, live online sessions, and videos for a smooth onboarding. In case of any issues, you can reach support via chat, email, or phone. You are welcome to use the forum and knowledge base to troubleshoot your issues.

Buildium offers three plans for you to choose between. The most affordable plan ($50) offers the basic instruments to up your business, while the Premium package ($460) gives you access to more advanced features.

Buildium pricing

Propertyware

The Propertywave app is a customizable CRM that would help property management companies simplify processes, communication with residents, and reporting.

With a pack of useful features covering every aspect of the property management activity, you will streamline your business and get to your goals faster. Gain control over the finances with the accounting tools that enable you to control received payments, access vendor bills, and documents from one secure place, manage fees, and generate reporting. With advanced tools for tenant screening, you will mitigate the risks of signing the lease with unreliable tenants. With Propertywave, you also get a marketing solution that allows you to drive and retain leads interested in your property. Accept maintenance requests through convenient channels, including a customizable platform.

The menu is well-organized, so you can easily access the necessary features. The reporting feature is meant to help provide more insights into overall performance, but the report formatting is convoluted, making the data hard to grasp.

The pricing caters to clients on a per-unit basis. The Basic plan will cost you a minimum of $250 per month.

Propertywave pricing

Rent Manager

The Rent Manager CRM system offers all the features that property managers require to run their business from an integrated platform.

The Rent Manager property management CRM setup can be difficult without corporate training, but the service provider gives you plenty of options for app onboarding. With this CRM system, you can build relationships with existing and prospective residents, control finances, run marketing campaigns, fulfill maintenance requests, and schedule regular inspections. Moreover, the app is customizable, so you can create your custom workflows or actions.

There is a free trial, but the Rent Manager team doesn't provide pricing details.

ResMan

ResMan is a property management tool focusing on operational and accounting solutions. It simplifies the management of conventional multifamily properties by providing robust capabilities for financial, maintenance, lead management, and marketing activities.

The ResMan allows property managers to connect and manage leads through a single platform. Gain a 360-degree view of all leads and communicate with them in bulk or individually through in-built processes. Build your website and set up the online portal to drive leads and accept requests from them. This software lets you accept payments, control bills, and manage other full-cycle accounting data in one system.

Thanks to the free trial, you can check whether ResMan is a suitable solution for you. But you've got to request pricing details from the product expert if you would like to pick a suitable payment plan.

Conclusion

With a variety of apps on the market, you may find it hard to choose the best property management CRM solution that meets all of your needs. At Ergonized, we've implemented dozens of ready-made and custom CRM solutions for property management companies, giving us extensive expertise in this industry. If you would like assistance in deploying a specific CRM software or would simply like a qualified opinion on the best solution for your business, just let us know, and we can schedule a call.

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Written by

Arthur Koryaka

Starting from 2007, Arthur managed to successfully help automotive, insurance and healthcare industries to adopt a CRM system. As an experienced consultant, Artur proved his practical knowledge by passing certifications for the different Salesforce roles. Over the years, Arthur is developing his expertise in the financial industry and helps clients migrate to Finance Sevices Cloud.

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