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How To Move To A New Property Management Software Without The Headaches

Re-Leased 11 March 2021

Congratulations, you’ve decided on a new property management software to boost your commercial real estate company’s performance! But before you start seeing the benefits, you’ll need to get the system setup and running. 

This process can have many names – implementation, onboarding, migration – and it can be an unknown if you’ve never gone through it before. 

The ideal scenario after you’ve purchased your software is that the implementation runs smoothly, you get to learn the ins and outs of the platform, and then you’re ready to hit your target go-live date. 

In this blog, we’ll outline 4 steps to get your company ready for the move and get up and running without any headaches. 

If you haven’t quite settled on your new software of choice, read through our guide to selecting the best platform for your company here

 

Understand what’s involved in the implementation 

Firstly, it’s important to know you will have to commit time and effort to the project during implementation. Having someone in your office who will own this on your end is key. They will act as the bridge between the software provider’s implementation specialists and your team. 

There will typically be a kickoff call with the software provider and this is where they will outline what will happen each week and the training sessions that will take place. A standard implementation can take three months, so having buy-in from your team is critical to keeping the momentum going as you progress through the onboarding. 

Working together with your software provider and asking for transparency in each stage, helps to stay on top of the implementation. While some companies might be looking for a quick fix when it comes to bringing on new software, the reality is that you have to be prepared to commit to learning and understanding a new system to get the full benefits.

 

Clean up your data

One of the main questions companies have when moving to a new system is, ‘What should I do with my data before migrating it?’

The simple answer is to clean it up by making sure everything is correct and up to date. Often, businesses are not as vigilant as they should be in ensuring data accuracy. But, once again, putting the effort in before making the move will streamline your data migration and the overall implementation. 

Important data to check and update:

  • Inspections and maintenance tasks that need to be closed off
  • Reviewing owner and tenant profiles - name, contact number
  • Rent reviews and lease renewal dates
  • Outstanding invoices that need to be paid
  • Check your whole database - have you got information in there that you don’t need?



Attend the training sessions

No one expects you to become an expert on a property management system straight away. That’s why it’s essential to attend the training sessions and get familiar with how the different features, workflows and dashboards work. 

These are some of the typical sessions you will have with your provider:

  • Introduction to core features and functions
  • Property management functions
  • Tenancy management functions
  • Expense recovery
  • Trust Accounting functions

 

Before or after these sessions, your software provide might also direct you to their Knowledge Base or Help Centre which will have articles and videos with comprehensive step-by-step guides on how to use specific features. The Knowledge Base is a valuable resource that should be taken full advantage of to help speed up your learning. 



Inform your clients, tenants and owners of the change

While you would have communicated the system change with your staff internally, it’s just as important to notify your clients, tenants and owners. 

This is a great opportunity to reach out to your clients and let them know all of the benefits they’ll now experience with the new software, such as access to a mobile app or online portal, or greater visibility of a property’s performance. 

Keeping clients updated avoids any surprises on their end when they see some of these changes. 

 

Going live

Reaching the end of your implementation should mean you are ready to go live with your new software. But don’t fret that you’ll be left on your own, the implementation team will be on-hand for that first month while you get fully acquainted with the system. After that, you’ll have access to the customer support team who will be your port of call for any issues, guidance, or questions you may have as you start a new chapter.



Check out our in-depth guide for more tips and insights on streamlining the implementation process so you go live in time for the new fiscal year. 

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