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PM tips for software/business

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by dabbler, 12th Feb, 2017.

  1. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    Hi All,

    Curious on some feedback or thoughts from PMs or those that have worked in that side of the industry.

    What would you suggest when starting out ? Work as a PM first and start off slow, adding a property here and there as they come up, or, buy a going concern. Or if starting you own, just go all out ?

    Any tips on the software, I see some like PropertyMe, is this still what most are thinking here ?

    With the managing software, is it also useful for managing your own places even when you have a PM, but with the view to know the software well, or is it pretty straight forward. (am going to start a thread in general regarding software).

    What are you using for inspections ? Some PMs send me very low res camera shots, would be useless in a tribunal.
     
    Zoolander likes this.
  2. Zoolander

    Zoolander Well-Known Member

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    Curious too about software too for better monitoring.
    Currently use Trello for tasks to monitor and future actions to set reminders for. Excel data sheets for tracking key info like lease expiries, rates and bills, upcoming inspection dates.

    For repairs my PM uses My Maintenance Manager- the literally two clicks to approve, decline, or request discussion on maintenance requests is nice. https://my.mmgr.com.au/
     
  3. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    Have a look at the thread I just started in the general section, which is more geared toward owners.

    Can add info too both, good to discuss every so often anyway.
     
  4. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    No takers ?
     
  5. MyPropertyPro

    MyPropertyPro SE Qld Property Management & Investor Services Business Member

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    True cloud based software is definitely the way to go after we scoured the market. Most PMs aren't aware of this, but I think there's something like 80 different software platforms available. Most use Console or REST (both are rubbish on a comparative scale) and when you ask why, there's a blank look with, "Well that's what I've always used". It appears that Console and REST basically stay in business by most PMs reluctance to accept change and progress as better products enter the market.

    As for starting out, there's different ways as you've suggested. You could buy a small rent roll to kick off the cash flow but you won't be able to finance it on a commercial level and will essentially be a cash purchase. Or get together a group of friends, family, colleagues and known investors and sell yourself to them and why they should come with you. It takes a lot more work but is also much more stable and valuable.

    You definitely don't need to work as a PM before starting a PM business. In fact, it might be one of the worst things you can do. You'll learn bad habits and just end up churning out a product that is based on everything learnt from PMs who weren't getting it right in the first place. The industry is in dire need of a shake up and I think entrants with a blank slate and fresh ideas are the best way we're going to achieve that for all investors.

    PM is more about customer service (communication, accountability, empathy, problem solving and critical thinking) than it is about actual property. If you can get these things right the rest will come. Yes, you need legislative knowledge and a technical skill level, but on that basis it is the easiest part of the role as it's not complicated. The problem to date is that PMs focus on the wrong things and don't know how to apply all of the above as a combination in practice because they don't genuinely understand their role in the first place.
     
    Xenia likes this.
  6. 3k_Alan

    3k_Alan Member

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    Do you plan on purchasing a rent roll or management rights or build up a rent roll slowly?

    Try Farmbaye Caretaker if you are buying a management rights business or you can try Property360 if you plan on building up a rent roll.
    http://www.property360.com.au

    I wouldn't suggest propertyme as it's too expensive, especially if you are starting out.
     
  7. MyPropertyPro

    MyPropertyPro SE Qld Property Management & Investor Services Business Member

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  8. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

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    You'll need to get some training on what ever software you choose. None of them are easy or straight forward. We use Core Logic's RP Office
    As Andrew said, it's more about about customer service than anything else. As with most businesses it's relatively easy to keep clients (even more so with managing properties, no one wants to change agents unless they really have too and are backed into a corner) and relatively harder to get new ones.

    If you start off working as a PM to learn you'll probably change your mind after 6 months ;)
    It would be a hard slog starting from scratch with no experience and no contacts in the are.

    As I said we use RP Office software at work but there's no way I'd use it to manage my own properties. A large chunk of the software is compliance with state regulation. There's no need to comply with anything if you're managing your own properties. I use Xero for my personal properties and also use a managing agent close to the property.
     
  9. 3k_Alan

    3k_Alan Member

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    I did some analysis on the pricing awhile back. PropertyTree and PropertyMe pricing are almost identical, borderline price collusion. At the low-end propertytree is marginally more expensive while at the high end both products are priced the same. Suspiciously, they both have an identical set-up fee of $250.

    If you plan on managing over 100 properties for a management rights you’re better off buying CareTaker, but keep in mind it isn't cloud based. Their annual fee is $250 after the initial $995 if I'm not mistaken.

    Then you have Property360, the most competitive of the bunch for property managers that’s starting up a rent roll. Property360 doesn’t have all the bells and whistles but has all the features I need to manage my townhouse complex plus 4 other outside properties.

    graph.png
     
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  10. MyPropertyPro

    MyPropertyPro SE Qld Property Management & Investor Services Business Member

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    Great analysis and that graph is particularly impressive! Yes, the cloud feature is one of the "must haves" for us and I admit, it's been a little while since we did our last analysis of products on the market, although we do reevaluate every little while make sure. It's not just cost related for us, in fact that's almost the least of our considerations. It has to be user friendly on both ends and provide automation and those bells and whistles you spoke about to ensure the best UX for our landlord clients.

    Thanks!
     
  11. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    I am not really planning on buying a rent roll if I do go ahead.

    I would say that any software must have a critical following, or you risk them going belly up & that would be a disaster if you have grown and also put staff on.

    What about compliance, do they need to meet say some standard for NSW ?

    What does property 360 lack that others have ? and can you split your own properties so separate from clients properties ?

    I see most are saying better just to start doing your own thing, own way, that is encouraging.
     
  12. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

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    As soon as you start managing other peoples property for money you need to be licensed, setup a trust account and then the fun really starts. If you're managing you're own properties you don't need a trust account nor software that complies with the Act. Any old accounting software package will do....Although something that tracks 'paid to' dates et el would be handy.

    As mentioned before I use Xero for my personal properties. I haven't looked at the others mentioned above because I own a commercial agency and those packages are for managing residential properties.
     
    balwoges likes this.
  13. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    Yes, am aware of this. But if doing my own, would rather be used to something that complies now, not be learning the software when I have clients to look after, if that makes sense.

    Yes, am only thinking of resi.
     
  14. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

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    What time frame are you looking at until you manage other peoples property for profit?
     
  15. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    If things go to plan, 12-24 month approx.
     
  16. Xenia

    Xenia Best Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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  17. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the offer Xenia, would be good to talk to some of the known and successful PMs