Commercial property management requirements are different from residential properties whether it is office space, retail or industrial. Good commercial software should be able to create detailed financial projections and budgets, to auto calculate rent increases, to create recurring charges, to calculate expense recoveries and common area management (CAM) charges and to perform reconciliations.
Common features of Commercial Property Management Software
Software should enable user to manage individual units or floor spaces of any size as per business requirements.
Accounting for commercial real estate firms is more complicated (though less transaction intensive) than residential firms due to complicated nature of real estate leases, accounting for expense recoveries , intricate CAM reconciliation, detailed financial reporting, frequent use of escrows and need for advanced budgeting tools.
Lease Management is an integral part of any commercial property management software. The software should be able to handle the different leasing rates and rates across the complete lifecycle of the lease. Leasing module should be able to handle staggered lease terms with differential leasing rates and CAM recoveries, rent reviews, and options such as first refusal rights for the tenants.
Maintenance Portal refers to section that enables the manager to handle tenant maintenance requests, track maintenance tasks, set-up schedules and alerts regarding upcoming due maintenance. A good software should provide options to renters to submit maintenance requests directly to their property management company at their convenience. Property managers get notifications of maintenance requests on mobile and can take action promptly.
Owner Portal classifies the features property owners will be able to access and complete online. Providing owners with the ability to access property inspection reports, financial statements, personalized statements, and avoid annoying lost password calls with a secure password recovery system reduces the need for owners to reach out to property managers directly.
Every software is capable in generating reports like rent roll, unit status, and delinquency reports but the best commercial management software provide detailed and custom reporting at unit, property, entity or investor level. The software should also allow for memorized reports across different user types such as investors, management , accounting etc. Software which able to provide a comprehensive suite of reports including investment grade rating, lease maturities & rental rate growth, vacancy rate, gross initial yield by property can be considered. Dashboards are a significant add-on as they are simpler and can visually represent complicated information.
Common Area Maintenance (CAM)
CAM accounting is one of the most complicated aspect of commercial real estate accounting. Software with inbuilt functionality of CAM billing and reconciliation is a big asset. A good software must provide you to track, bill and reconcile the shared common area expenses and income for your commercial properties. It should also be able to handle different types of expense recoveries across different leases /across different periods of the same lease. This include popular CAM allocation basis such as a per sq ft allocation, flat fee allocation, proportionate share or a custom defined one. Yardi & Appfolio have added CAM feature in their software’s with utility rebilling & charge codes functionality.