If you work in multifamily property management like we have, you’ve probably experienced what it’s like to switch property management software systems.
You get inundated with document requests, engage in a long back and forth with endless questions, wait 3-4 weeks for your new software to be fully functional, and deal with a ton of inconsistencies and data issues once you actually have the chance to log in.
For most property managers, the only thing more painful than the constant bugs and terrible customer service is the thought of having to switch property management systems... so they just deal with it.
When you get started with Fortress, you’ll receive a brief questionnaire and a list of documents to provide. Once you’ve answered the questions and submitted your data, the Fortress team gets your portfolio loaded with minimal downtime and headaches for you – a two-day process on average.
We do this by (1) leveraging an AI-driven document intake system that seamlessly ingests rent rolls and operating data, which we have access to as part of our partnership with Walker & Dunlop, and (2) relying on our best-in-class customer success team, led by property management industry veterans who know exactly how painful it is to transition from one management software to another. Yes, we’ve been in your shoes.
Many say they offer white glove service, but with Fortress, we have the technology and the team to make good on that promise.
Team morale has never been more important, too. A normal employee turnover rate is between 12-15% annually, yet according to data from the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and the National Apartment Association (NAA), property manager turnover rates are between 33% to 36% every year. Why so high? One reason is the deplorable state of leading property management software.
We’ve surveyed dozens of property management companies on their experiences with traditional property management software, and the same complaints surface nearly every time:
- Legacy Software is Extremely Difficult to Use – It’s no secret that on-site teams generally are not the most tech savvy people… and they shouldn’t have to be. Would you rather have them spend time trying to learn outdated software, or resolving maintenance issues, scheduling tours, and signing leases? One survey participant mentioned there are literally dozens of ways to navigate to the same areas and perform the same functions within his software, which is a huge no-no from a user experience standpoint. No question, the industry leading options for property management software leave much to be desired from a user experience standpoint. This is a huge source of stress for on-site teams.
- It Takes a Very Long Time to Learn – The training process for most products in the industry is unnecessarily drawn out, comprising multiple sessions over a period of months with a third-party onboarding manager. This process takes valuable time that could be spent actually managing assets. One of the managers we surveyed joked that it takes the equivalent of a 4-year degree to fully leverage his property management software. When we asked how much of the software’s capabilities he was actually using day-to-day, he estimated only 50%... so you spend months learning overly complex software, only to use half of what you’re paying for? Sounds fun and cost effective.
- Support is Almost Non-Existent – It’s incredibly important for managers to learn their property management software well… because if they experience any issues, they’re essentially on their own. The #1 complaint about the property management software industry leaders in our surveys was the lack of responsive customer support (which btw, they have to pay for separately). Most respondents indicated a several day turnaround time for bugs or issues, describing their support requests as “going into the void”. Additionally, it wasn’t uncommon to be passed around to several different customer service teams for weeks before receiving a resolution. Better pay close attention in those months of training sessions!
In the high-pressure world of property management, time is money. When managers have to sit through months of tedious training sessions, struggle through unintuitive software, and wait weeks for customer support, it’s no wonder industry turnover is so high.
This is where Fortress truly shines. By providing an interface where all your portfolio data is on one screen, your property level performance metrics on another, and your critical tasks are on a third, we ensure that owners, regional managers and on-site teams all have just one place to go to see all the data they need to operate. Providing a simple, intuitive interface is one of our core values as a company, and it’s clear we hit the mark when 8 out of 10 managers say they’ve saved hours every week using Fortress.
What about the months of training though? Don’t managers still need that? Not with Fortress. From day one, we’ve incorporated guided in-app training in the platform that can get any user to expert status in about 3-hours. That’s less than half of a single workday. What’s more, if you forget anything you’ve learned, you can re-run the in-app training to help you through the specific tasks you need to perform. Some of our users actually use the in-app guide every time they open the software because it’s incredibly easy and they enjoy it so much. Time is money indeed, and Fortress gives your time back.
In the next article, we'll talk about the real-time data and reports in Fortress, and how they save property managers a ton of time every day vs legacy software by eliminating the need to pull dozens of separate reports. Check it out below: