So you’ve finally decided to bite the bullet and enter the 21st century when it comes to managing your property portfolio. It’s time to pick a lease administration software that fits your business’ needs. You crack open an industry publication or perhaps, enter a few key terms into a search bar online and voila: results. “Free two-week Trial”. “Free 60-Day Trial”. “Buy a year, get a free car”.
While admittedly the last of those may be an exaggeration, we aren’t far off. Property management software companies will do nearly anything nowadays to get your business. Anything, that is, other than make sure their software is a good fit for you and your business, in many situations. And that means that “Free” trial run for a generic lease administration program could end up costing you big time.
Time-is-Money (Except you Can’t Print More of It)
While there are hundreds of companies producing some variation of lease administration, or broader property management, software, not all of these will fit your individual lease administration needs. Some companies may offer bells and whistles such as additional reporting modules or sophisticated multi-user platforms, that you’ll never end up using. But that doesn’t mean you still won’t be paying for these built-in or pre-packaged options.
Additionally, setting up this software and integrating your current property and portfolio information takes time and internal resources. Many lease administration programs have proprietary information upload methods that don’t easily allow you to transfer data from one place/platform to another. And you can bet that integration assistance isn’t provided as part of the initial, no-cost, program. This means that the “free trial” you signed up for could end up locking you into software that isn’t optimal, just as the renewal period comes around and the prospect of repeating the data entry work seems daunting.
A Little Research Goes A Long Way
Before you run for the hills the next time you see an offer for a trial period, there are some benefits and ways that the savvy investor can capitalize on promotional and trial offers. First, don’t be afraid to do additional research on that product that is offering the too good to be true introductory deal. Online resources for independent reviews can prove especially useful in seeing how your peers and competitors in the CRE market have enjoyed (or hated) the particular platform.
Next, don’t discount the value of speaking to a professional analyst or even a company representative for the platform you are looking at. Quality and experienced companies such as Quarem Property Management Solutions, know that a product is only good if it works for the individual end users. To that end, before you spend time and resources implementing one of Quarem’s lease administration solutions, one of our industry expert consultants will speak directly with you regarding your individual portfolio and user needs. Based on this, Quarem can not only help select the appropriate program, we can also provide recommendations for customizing existing software or in adapting the platform to integrate into your current framework.
The Bottom Line
While free trial offers may be compelling selling factors, beware the time and cost sink that may be wrapped in that shiny package. Choosing and implementing the right lease administration software for your portfolio is a large step in effectively managing your CRE empire. While free trials or limited time offers can offer instant financial appeal, the potential downsides outweigh a few weeks or months of cost savings. When it comes to lease administration software that fits your needs and budget, consider the age old axiom: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is!