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5 Tips For Migrating To Property Management Cloud Software.

As great as the cloud is, it’s not necessarily easy to migrate to it. Before you dive in, make sure you know which property management software is right for you, and how you should go about transitioning to it.

At this point, you must know why people like the cloud.

Particularly, cloud-based versions of the software they already use.

Whether it’s your property management software (as we explore below), or any other programs you use for work, moving it to the cloud offers a number of key benefits:

  • You can access your data from anywhere with an Internet connection
  • Cloud solutions are easy to scale up as you gain more clients and hire new employees
  • Pay-as-you-go subscription pricing gives you an immediate ROI

And so on – the cloud is not new, so there’s no need to go into detail about it.

What you do need to know more about is cloud migration.

Specifically, if you’re trying to figure out whether cloud-based property management software is right for you, then migration should be one of your primary concerns.

When it comes to a platform like these — Property Tree, Console Cloud, PropertyMe) — migrating to one of them from your current IT environment is no small task.

That’s why you have to be sure you know what you’re doing.

Before we get to the 5 steps you should follow for a perfect cloud migration, let’s consider your options…

Which 3 property management cloud platforms should you consider?

The cloud is an immensely popular topic these days, which is why there are so many providers trying to get you to buy their product.

Let’s make this simple and consider what have generally been found to be the top 3…

Property Tree

Backed by Rockend’s 40 years’ of experience delivering property management software in Australia, Property Tree offers a range of features you should look for in a cloud platform:

  • Owner and Tenant portals.
    Property Tree assists on both sides of the property management relationship with online portals for both the owner and the tenant. All the necessary information, from rent notifications to documentation and more can be accessed directly online.
  • Business process automation.
    Property Tree lets you automate the many tasks you would otherwise have to handle manually – arrears notices, receipting, ownership statements, inspection reminders and more.
  • Compliant accounting.
    A key consideration for property management software in Australia is whether it is legislatively compliant.Property Tree’s many accounting features – Sales trust account transactions, direct debiting, bank reconciliation, reporting – is all fully compliant with Australian legislative guidelines.

Console Cloud

Similarly, Console Cloud takes its traditional on-premise software that users have come to enjoy and sends it all to the cloud.

Key features include:

  • Console Pay
    This direct debit solution makes it as easy as possible for tenants to pay their rent securely and on time.
  • Trust Accounting Dashboard
    This portal puts all the financial actions you may need to take in one place – daily banking, bulk receipting, Console Pay, and more.
  • Automated reporting.
    Console Cloud also provides users with the capability to develop accurate reporting, viewing ledgers, balances and cash books, along with detailed on reconciliations, financial year statements, bond listings and more.

PropertyMe

The last Australia property management software solution we’ll examine today, PropertyMe is feature rich, highlighting areas not covered by the other options:

  • Inspections portal.
    Every consideration you may need to make for an inspection is covered by PropertyMe, allowing you to schedule via a map view, send notices and reminders to tenants, create inspection reports, and more.
  • Real-time dashboard.
    This dashboard provides real-time updates to a range of data on a property manager’s assets, from job status overview to rent and invoice arrears.
  • Live tracking.
    You can monitor each and every task you team undertakes in real-time to double check that progress is being made – jobs, repairs, inspections, and more.

Now that you know a little more about each product, you may have an idea of which you’d want to migrate to – but we’re forgetting one of the most important considerations…

How much should property management cloud software cost you?

This is often the most important point, and for good reason. You need to be able to budget what you spend on Australia property management software.

Property Tree: $129 – $4899/month

This pricing model is based on how many properties you manage:

  • 1 – 49: $ properties/month (…from that low-end, all the way up to…)
  • 4,800 – 5,000 properties: $4899/month The price per month increases incrementally along that range of managed properties.

Console Cloud: $125/month

While Console offers three different plans, the one most suitable for up to mid-sized agencies, Console Cloud, is $125/month.

PropertyMe: $110 – $275/month

Lastly, PropertyMe offers two plans:

  • Core – $110/month, offering the standard range of features.
  • Pro – $275/month (including premium features such as Bank feeds and KPI insights)

No matter which plan you choose, there is an additional $495 all-inclusive onboarding charge.

5 tips for migrating to property management cloud software.

Planning makes all the difference between a successful migration and a disastrous one.

Follow these steps and take your time to execute an effective migration:

Plan ahead.

When preparing for your migration to your new property management cloud software, it’s important to plan efficiently and thoroughly.

The best way to achieve this is with an actual meeting with those who are involved in the process. You should talk through a number of key factors both in the migration, such as:

  • Why are we choosing to migrate?
  • What benefits do we expect to gain from migrating?
  • How will our infrastructure change during migration?
  • How will the user experience change after migration?
  • How will we train staff members on using this new property management cloud software?

This is an especially vital step because, if you don’t have answers to these questions, then you probably aren’t ready to migrate.

Knowing how to answer these questions means that you can avoid common pitfalls and hit the ground running with your new IT environment.

Furthermore, you’ll want to make sure your entire staff understands what migration means for their work. What kind of downtime will they encounter, what are the benefits they will have access to once it’s complete, etc.

Plan for your infrastructure.

The property management cloud environment will be built on the foundation that is your infrastructure, so you better make sure it is up to the task before you start.

Infrastructure-based considerations should include:

  • Bandwidth You should assess your bandwidth to zero in on exactly how many concurrent client machines are connected to the network at any one point in time. In theory, your bandwidth should be able to support at least that many concurrent machines running the property management cloud software, which dictates that necessary network segments and connections you’ll need.
  • Hardware Migration is a great opportunity to take stock of your hardware. For example, in your new environment, will you need a server onsite servers anymore? Or will you be moving the bulk of your systems to the cloud, meaning you can downsize and save more money? This is the type of question you need to answer (and do something about) before you migrate, and not after.
  • Software If properly chosen, your new property management cloud software provides virtually all the software you could possibly use, there isn’t too much to take stock of in your old environment.
  • Equip yourself with migration support. As we’ve mentioned, migration is no small task.  That’s why it’s not uncommon for cloud providers to offer some type of migration tool to assist with the process. If that’s not an option, you should also consider enlisting support from an Australia IT company – finding someone with the right experience with and knowledge of the cloud migration process will help to make sure you don’t encounter any problems.
  • Lay out the end-user experience. Once you’re done migrating, you’ll want your staff to be able to hit the ground running, right? Then make sure they can actually do so before you start the migration.
    • Supported browsers: Is the property management cloud software you selected supported by the browsers you and your staff already use?
    • Operating systems: Is the property management cloud software you selected supported by the operating systems you and your staff already use?
  • It’s time to migrate. Now that all the groundwork has been done, you’re ready to migrate.  Remember, there’s no rushing this process. If you want it to be effective, and if you want your new property management software to work as planned, then be patient and follow the steps carefully.

Published on 2nd September 2019 by Ian Brady.

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