Eric Wolfram's Writing, Property Management Software Tools - Reviews & Comparisons

Property Management Software Tools - Reviews & Comparisons

This is information we discovered during the course of competitive analysis in 2001-2003 regarding software solutions for property management. BOOKMARK THIS PAGE NOW.
  • Asyst Data Group -- Accounting
    ASYST data group is an accounting system that was created with the help of CPAs.Furthermore, they have at least 25 modules to make a suite of software solutions for property management. Association Management Company in Sacramento uses it, and they are ASYST's largest northern California customer as of September 5th, 2002. However, NONE of their customers use all of their modules.
  • AVGAR -- Accounting
    On December 12, 2001; AVGAR costs $1200/seat for 2-9 seats, and the modules are extra $300-$500/user/module. 10-24 users cost $1000/seat. 25-49 users cost $850/seat. Support costs 3% of total costs per month for 2-9 users and 2.5% of total costs per month for 10-24 users, etc. Avgar is an accounting solution, at this point it's focused on Association management, and they have a new "assessment collections" module or what I gather is a violations letter feature. They also advertise a Utility tracking module -- which keeps track of assests. They promise a CC+R package by Feb. 2002 and a work order feature by August 2002. The demo install took many steps, was difficult to follow, and it was unclear when or if I was done with the installation. This was because of a general lack of regard for user experience, old documentation for the install which was written for older versions of Windows, and the need to install database, products, the extra modules, and the ODBC driver. Also, each module and the demo required a 30 digit serial number, plus another 30 digit "product code", which took time as well. Once in the demo, there are hardly any keyboard shortcuts and the interfaces seemed, at times, counter intuitive. The sales guy said that he will add some keyboard shortcuts soon. AVGAR UI has three sections -- AR, AP, and General Ledger -- plus a new tab for each module that you purchase. It features a very flexible Cash or Accrual from AR --> GL or AP --> GL for each Association. Each association had it's own Chart of Accounts, and it was possible to copy one Chart of Accounts to a new Association if you wanted to copy them as a template. Avgar Violations module uses ODBC drivers to interface with Word97/2000 -- the ODBC drivers that come with Word only work well for Microsoft products like Outlook and SQL. I couldn't see the violations feature because my machine had driver issues -- which I needed to install new drivers but was unwilling to do so at the time. The violations letter feature basically takes care of writing and documenting violations letters by taking information from the database to insert into doc file templates. It also had the ability to easily print out each letter that was sent to be included in board meeting packages. There are 6 additional modules for AVGAR -- violations, utility tracking, collections, work order, job cost, and CC+R.
  • Yardi -- Enterprise, accounting, work orders, dos, windows
    Perceived market leader for accounting solutions for residential property management. Windows client with Oracle or MS SQL Server back end. Can be accessed with a Citrix client across the internet, but no web access. Yardi handles many features needed to run a mall or strip mall. As of January 2002, however, our summary below is designed to quickly help you understand how Yardi prices their products. There are four products, or levels. Starting with the most inexpensive option, Option #1 the "Professional Property Management" requires purchase of the software (single user) for $3,000, plus a $600 "annual upgrade and service plan" (required) plus $1,000 per extra user and $1,000 per extra module. So the total for a 5 person company, not including the price of the computers, the time it takes to install the system, or shipping and tax: Professional Property Management option ranges from approximately $7,590 -- $15,590. Option #2 is the "Enterprise Express Property Management" option. Starting with a $8,000 fee, yardi adds a requires $1,400 for training and implementation per day (3-4 days required), they also add a $1,500 fee for each concurrent user, plus three optional modules for $4,000 or $8000 each. On top of all that, they require an "Annual Upgrade and Service Support Contract" of 20% of the total product and additional seat costs. Therefore, a property management company who requires 10 yardi "seats" on Enterprise Express will encounter costs ranging $27,500 -- $48,000 (not including the price of a server with this configuration or the costs of tax and shipping.) Option #3 is the "Enterprise/Voyager property management" system. It starts with a $16,000 fee for the software (single user) and costs $2,000 for each additional user. Of course, they also add fees for Onsite training at a rate of $1,600 a day (3-4 required), plus a 20% fee based on your costs for the software and the additional seats which covers your "support contract", and single add on costs of $4,000 or $8,000 depending on which modules you require. The Yardi Enterprise/Voyager solution costs a property management company who requires 20 seats a total ranging between $55,000 and $71,000 (not including the price of a server with this configuration.) Option #4 is their Enterprise ASP product. This is their only product which doesn't require that you buy a server and an IT staff to run it. Yardi hosts the server and you use it over the internet. Their costs are $200 -- $300 monthly cost, per user, plus $400 per user for one time setup fees, plus $1,600 per day of training (they require 3-4 days). A company with 10 staff members would be charged a set up fee ranging between $7,800 to $8,800 plus a monthly fee ranging from $2000 or $3000 per month. A company with 20 staff members would be charged a set up fee ranging between $12,400 and $14,400 plus a monthly fee ranging between $4000 and $6000 per month. All of the above fees do not include Yardi's tax and shipping costs, which are passed on to the buyer.
  • AMSI -- Enterprise, accounting, work orders, ASP module, web enabled
    AMSI is rather known in the property management industry. It handles rent collection, asset management and accounting. In addition, there are modules which web enable a work order request or service request, and there are modules which enable internal budget spending. AMSI enables managers to create abstracts and reports based on a centralized work order system. Although AMSI is heavily installed, they offer some web enabled sister products. AMSI achieve ASP status with their "Appcare" line of products. However, AMSI also supports a "host" of legacy dos products as well. It's difficult to tell where their focus is currently. As far as the ASP products go, a company can either host their own data (which is not ASP), or let AMSI Appcare do it for them. If you host your own data, AMSI charges $1,300 per user so if you have 10 people in your property management company, then it costs $13,000 (plus the cost of the computer that you install it on, and the costs of the person who installs it). Furthermore, they charge $700 per user per year as an annual maintenance fee (so that would be an additional $7000 for a 10 person company.) As far as the Appcare AMSI's true ASP service, they charge $275 per month per users, for instance, a company who manages 25 rental properties with on site managers, AMSI would assume 2 users per property -- some would have more -- and that would total $5,500 to $7,000 per month. In the case of a HOA manager with 10 staff members, AMSI sales person Cheryl Tritt said that they would charge $2,750 per month and "come up with something fair" to charge extra if we wanted to let the board members have access to some of the data.
  • Jenark -- Enterprise, accounting, work orders, ASP modules, architectural contol, rules, letter writing
    Jenark is a full suite of Property Management tools and an expensive solution, On October 15th, 2001, we met with one management company who recently purchased Jenark for accounting, work orders, architectural control, rules & regulations enforcement and as an integrated customer database. They have purchased a server which they keep on site with a DSL connection, and this server will one day speak to a main Jenark server and allow the uploading of customer data to a web site where customers of the management company can access the information. This is delayed by Jenark, however, for 6-9 months at least, because we suspect that Jenark doesn't have all the details of this development worked out yet. Jenark cost "more than $75,000" although we believe that this price excludes the cost of the consultants which were required to set up and administer on site. It doesn't include training costs or support costs either. I am unsure if it includes the monthly costs of the Jenark server that will one day host the customer's information on the web.
  • Corrigo --ASP, work orders
    Funded by at least $17.5 million dollars in second round funding (or so it says in a PDF file press release on their web site CAUTION: This press release requires the use of a PDF viewer), Corrigo offers a web based work order and customer request solution that is integrated with Nextel's web-enabled phones. The basic service costs $20 per user per month CAUTION: This file also requires a PDF viewer. Corrigo's focus seams to be on mobile applications, instead of on property management specifically. Although Corrigo didn't answers the phone when I called in August and September 2001, Richard Michaux, Corrigo's president assured me in January 2003 that they are still in business with about 100 customers managing over 5,000 sites, properties and/or facilities.
  • Electric Streets - We spoke with the president of this company and he is cool. He told us that his strategic partnership with Corrigo never resulted in a single sale which is further proof that these companies have too many MBA's with extra time on their hands. He told us that his CRM product was "rudimentary." Although we've asked for a demo, they haven't show us one. We suspect it's because their software doesn't work. Electricstreets focuses on the community aspect of internet services -- home pages, forums, chats, and a estore!
  • BuildingLink -- asp, workorder, issue tracking, contact database
    Internet-based system that manages all day-to-day communications, record-keeping and task tracking between occupants, building staff and property managers in residential and commercial buildings. As of Oct, 2002, they price by the unit for residential operations it is $8.50 per unit per year. So a 300 unit hi-rise or HOA would pay around $2500 per year.
  • INTEGRATED BUSINESS SYSTEMS INC. -- asp accounting, browser only
    81 Two Bridges Road, Bldg.1 Fairfield, New Jersey 07004 | PHONE:(973) 575-4950 FAX:(973) 575-4953 | New York Times article about how the company is founded by at least 8 property management companies from NY and NJ who invested $3 million to $5 million in software development and now they lease it to themselves.

    TenantDirect - This seams to be a proprietary software which has limited web enabled capabilities. We will know more about this software after attending the CAAM conference this August.

  • Tenant File - MS Windows, accounting, property management
    Tenant File software is for Owners or Managers. It comes in two versions: up to 100 units for $224.95 or unlimited for $359.95. It has accounting, property management, and automatic reminders features.
  • ResidentDirect - Same as tenantdirect -- it's owned by the same company.
  • Real Page/One Site - One site is the featured product of this company, and the product offers just that -- one web site to manage the web sites of all your properties. It is a templated site system with basic functionality specifically created for apartment managers. They have no CRM or work order system, however, is obviously funded and could attempt to compete with us.
  • PSI - Accounting system which can handle utility billing.
  • DataTrust They want to help businesses effective process to handle enquiries, sales, orders, deliveries and support. They say that they have over 60 years in combined experience. They have helped the Publishing, Leasure, and telecommunications industry. They claim to be team of dedicated professionals who share a unique range of technical and business skills. This sounds like custom solutions for a company that is bigger then our target market.
  • LogicBuilt Inc.
    Logicbuilt provides software solutions for Real Estate, Construction, Maintenance and many other service-based industries. The software runs on Windows servers and cost anywhere from $350 for a lite version to $1750 for an advance version and beyond for an "enterprise" solution where you buy the hardware, support, training and software.
  • Lotus inotes email moduals iNotes Web Access is a Web client that delivers leading Domino messaging, collaboration and PIM (Personal Information Management) capabilities to Web browsers.
  • Essention Essention's InfoCentre is an integrated Web-based service center that includes a 24x7 service desk, staffed by customer service representatives, for the facilities and property management industry.
  • Tops Software Handles single or multiple associations, it has network capabilities.
  • Winning Edge
  • C3 Written by ATG Online. One of the few software packages written specifically for home owner associations. Windows client with MS SQL Server back end. A web front end is in the works. This package is used by Massingham and Associates in Freemont.
  • RentRight
    Shrinkwrap software that you install. It helps you organize tenants, buildings and units. It helps you keep track of security deposits, personal information, incidents with the tenants, addresses, vacancy reporting, and income. It helps remind you when rent is due. They charge based on number of user. Their basic version is $160.00 and their "pro" version is $1700 per seat.
  • Peak Property Management In Feb. 2002, Peak had over 200 corporate customers and they're growing. They provide a centralized accounting system that replicates with data which is inputted at remote locations. Plus, the centralized data is replicated to the remote offices -- so it's "two-way replication." The database is SybaseSQL. Peak is configurable down to the field level, and it has multiple user access, so different people can see different things and Peak's customers can decide what those things are. They've been in business since 1994. They have an "all in one" pricing that is derived from a formula based on the number of properties, the number of units, the number of regional offices, the number of workstations, and the size of the database required to service these systems.
  • Workspeed Workspeed is a provider of Internet-based, collaborative applications for commercial real estate. This is a company with headquarters in San Francisco. They apparently do what Gnosio and Corrigo does for commercial real estate. They have 12 investor groups funding them and they have only 5 upper level managers listed on their web site.
  • Association Voice This is a community web site provider designed for Community managers and property management companies who serve Home Owner Associations. Vi Kelly and Drew Regitz are principals of this company -- they are very open and nice. They provide a suite of "smart tech" productivity tools -- Web sites, Intranet, email, list servers, shopping carts, web publishing tools -- for HOA managers (and other association markets.) They also are national speakers about technology at industry conventions. They have a tool called "Messenger Service" which allows management to communicate with home owners via email and online newsletters and they also generate a mail merge list for people who aren't online. However, they claim that 78% of households with a $75K income have access to internet, computers, and email. They capture email of users when they sign up, and then allow them to add more information as the user goes along. They reached profitability in March, 2001. They recently signed a new client who manages over 25,000 units. They seek to reduce HOA manager's call volume by creating "3rd generation" web sites with self publishing functionality, and interactive query tools.
  • HOACentral Another community web site portal like NeighborPlace or CommunityVoice.

    About This Page
    Most of these comments and links come from a few of the great internet developers who are my friends and associates. If you have something to add, or if something is misleading, please let me know.

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