Transitioning to property management software is a smart decision for your rental business. But as is the case with all new software, you’ll first need to spend some time setting up your account.
After making your account, selecting a plan, and paying any fees, you’re ready to get started. You’ll need to enter information about your current tenants and units as well as assist your tenants and team members in setting up their accounts.
Some free property management platforms provide extra services during onboarding. As a result, these platforms may charge additional onboarding fees. If you choose a plan with onboarding assistance, a customer service representative will walk you through the setup process.
If you’re apprehensive about software or struggle with technology, paying for onboarding assistance might be a good idea.
The following steps describe the general process of setting up your new property management software.
Enter Tenant Information
Before setup, you’ll need to gather tenant information. You may keep a spreadsheet or separate file for this purpose. Specifically, you’ll need tenant names, phone numbers, email addresses, and their current lease details. Email addresses are crucial, as this is how you’ll invite tenants to make accounts.
You’ll also need the addresses and rent details for each unit. Your software will ask for this information to appropriately designate lease roles and rent charges when the time comes. For example, the software needs to know whether you rent by unit or individual bedroom so that the appropriate number of tenants can be assigned to each.
After you’ve entered tenant details for each unit, it’s time to invite your tenants. If you entered their emails correctly, your software should do this automatically. Tenants will receive a link in their email inbox directing them to instructions for creating tenant accounts with the software.
Tenants should only need to create a username and password to gain access to the payment portal, maintenance hub, chat, and lease details.
Have a customer service representative’s phone or email on hand in case your tenants have questions during the account setup process.
Create or Upload Leases
The next step is to create or upload leases. If you’re transitioning to software from manual management, you likely already have lease documents in place. Great! Uploading these documents into the software is straightforward. If you’re a new landlord, most property management software platforms include templates such as a real estate vendor excel spreadsheet that can help you to design leases.
After editing your leases, you’ll need to designate lease fields. Drag and drop appropriate fields (for example, name, date, or lease term) to their corresponding areas on the lease. This step lets the software know where to autofill information as well as where tenants can sign or initial.
When done, choose the option to share your lease. Your tenants will receive signable copies of the lease in their inboxes.
Link Your Bank Account
If you haven’t been prompted to do so already, be sure to link your bank account to your software. You’ll need both your bank account and routing numbers.
Your tenants will also need to set up payment details before paying rent online. Tenants can pay by debit, credit, or ACH transfer. If they choose ACH transfer, they’ll also need to enter bank account and routing numbers so that the software knows which account to withdraw funds from.
Add Your Team Members
You might want to add your team members to your software as well. Some property management software companies support multi-user management for this purpose.
With multi-user management, you can add your accountant, maintenance provider, property manager, or other personnel as users of the software. You can then customize their roles and allow each to view and manipulate the particular features they need to do their jobs.
The First Rent Payment
If you’ve completed all these steps, it’s time to collect your first month’s rent on your new property management software. If you did everything right, this step is painless—you don’t have to do anything! You should be available to answer any tenant questions, but your software will do all the hard work of charging the correct price per unit, withdrawing funds from tenants, processing them, and depositing them in your designated bank account.
Onboarding Made Easy
Setting up your property management software is no sweat. As long as you enter the correct details, your software takes care of the rest. You can get started collecting rent and maximizing your software tool in no time.