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August 8, 2022

10 of The Best Tools to Manage Commercial Real Estate

You can't always get one single platform that does everything perfectly. Whether you need property and maintenance management, lease management, or even tax management, you have plenty of options.

In the past, managing a portfolio of commercial real estate properties was a gigantic mess of paperwork.  

The invention of spreadsheets came about shortly after computers became standard. Still, it wasn't until the proliferation of software as a service and cloud-based data storage that it became convenient to use a centralized database that could be accessed from anywhere. 

Whether you are an owner or tenant, the responsibilities are the same. You need to manage your properties as well as monitor and track maintenance tasks and repairs. You need to manage the accounting. You need to track and appropriately manage taxes. 

And that's just scratching the surface. 

Whether you have a single commercial property, dozens, or hundreds, the dream is to have one single, centralized platform capable of handling everything you need to manage your portfolio. Large or small, the portfolio you manage has unique needs, and as a manager of those properties, you need specialized software solutions. 

Of course, you can't always get one single platform that does everything perfectly. Every aspect of property management is profoundly complex and may require its own software in order to manage it effectively, especially to do so with the nuance you need to save time and money while maximizing profit. Whether you need property management, lease management, maintenance management, or even tax management, you have plenty of options. 

Here are ten such solutions you can explore. 

1: itamlink by Rethink Solutions

While many technology solutions for property portfolio management (i.e.PropTech) are built to do a little bit of everything, at RethinkSolutions, we aimed to design software to do one thing and do that one thing perfectly.  

In short, itamlink is purpose-built to centralize and optimize your property tax data and processes. 

Anyone who has tried to manage more than a single property knows that property taxes (especially for commercial properties and larger portfolios) are insanely complex and time-consuming. You can have deadlines all throughout the year, on strange and inconsistent cycles. You will have responsibilities across multiple and diverse different jurisdictions for every single property. You will have varying tax rates from state to state, city to city, county to county, and more.  

Keeping track of all of it is a huge hassle, but it needs to be done properly, or you can end up in hot water. 

Our tax management platform offers a single, centralized location to manage all of your property tax data, including assessments/values, appeals, forecasts/budgets, and much more. itamlink leverages centralized and uniform data to provide built-in analytics and powerful reports that draw on historical data, highlight appeal opportunities, and visualize your current financial position. 

The software goes one step further by streamlining processes and information sharing and offering an API, along with many qualified standard integrations with industry-leading real estate/ERP software

We also know that your financial information is the most important part of your business. That’s why we have prioritized integrations that sync with accounting in real-time and all the while with built-in top-of-the-line security for your data. 

With different plans for different needs, it’s easy to set up itamlink to work for your business. Simply reach out and contact us today to get started. Together with you, we’ll review the strengths and challenges of your current approach and identify the ways itamlink can help you simplify your processes, save you more time, and mitigate any current vulnerabilities to your business. Then we’ll followup with a free and personalized demo catered specifically to the features you need.  

2: MRI Software

Broadly considered one of the best platforms for commercial real estate management, MRI is one of the most well-known names on the market. While much of what their platform offers is standard across the industry, they have a few perks that aren't seen in other apps. 

In particular, their platform includes features for investment management, strategic planning, lease abstraction (summarizing an otherwise lengthy and verbose lease for easy consumption), and public housing compliance.  

MRI also has the added benefit of being one of the oldest still-extant companies offering real estate management software and has kept up with the times through consistent upgrades and updates. It makes them one of the most reliable platforms. Anyone who has invested in a platform that has been bought and discontinued by a competitor knows how important this can be. 

3: Yardi

Yardi is one of the biggest and best property management tools for real estate on the market. They have dedicated tools and platforms for every kind of real estate imaginable, including single-family homes, student housing, social housing, senior living, industrial real estate, and even military, airport, government, and port/harbor real estate.   

Yardi has two leading platforms: Voyager and Breeze. Yardi Voyager is a web-based, end-to-end platform for large portfolios, and it provides all manner of features, including leasing, management, operations, analytics, and more. They also offer a wealth of innovative services for investors, property owners, and tenants alike. Yardi Breeze is a unique cloud-based property management platform that offers a handful of special features not found in any other management app.  

While most of what they offer is par for the industry, (like online rent collection, rental application management, automated marketing, maintenance management, and integrated renters’ insurance) they have features that set them apart, primarily by making use of modern technology and communications tools. 

One such feature is tied to maintenance requests. When a tenant identifies something that needs repair, they can file a maintenance request through the platform rather than calling in to describe the issue. More importantly, the tenant can take photos and attach them to the maintenance request, so everyone involved knows what they’re dealing with (and so you have proof of the issue’s scope.) 

4: AppFolio Property Manager

AppFolio is one of the better property management platforms for advanced users, commercial property owners, and those with large portfolios. In particular, they have three primary target audiences: landlords with large portfolios, community associations, and commercial property owners. 

Their suite of features is quite robust. They have a modern suite of communications tools to manage communications with tenants across the country, their accounting suite is top-notch, and they track, supervise, and facilitate fast-turnaround maintenance.     

On top of that, one thing AppFolio offers that many platforms do not is a training and onboarding suite. Not just to support training when you initially buy the platform, but for any new hires your company onboards who need to engage with the product in the future.   

Their premium plans also offer advanced analytics and reporting on portfolio performance, workflow efficiency, leasing, and a host of automation options.

5: RealPage Buildium

Buildium is a platform offered by RealPage. It can control, track, and manage nearly every aspect of your commercial property, including online rent payments, maintenance cycle tracking, vacancies, and general accounting. Property managers made it, so every feature is designed with an eye for what property managers want in a generalized all-in-one platform.   

While RealPage is a highly robust platform that offers pretty much everything you could need, it’s also quite complex. It has a lot of “micro transactions” for additional services along the way.  

RealPage offers a huge array of services and solutions throughout the real estate industry. They do everything from leasing to marketing, site management, expense management, accounting, and more–their portfolio of services is near-unmatched in the industry. 

6: Nexus Systems

Above, we mentioned that some platforms do a little of everything, whereas some do one thing and do it well. Nexus Systems focuses on a single function and has become a best-in-class platform. In their case, it’s financial management and Accounts Payable. Anything you need to manage with payment processing, Nexus Systems can handle. 

One of the essential benefits Nexus Systems brings to the table is automation for accounts payable.  

Streamlining your payment processes saves you time, person-hours, and overhead. It also helps prevent human error and common types of fraud.   

Additionally, Nexus Systems has created what is now an industry standard, the Nexus Virtual Card. These virtual cards work much like credit cards – and are backed by Visa – and are widely used by real estate vendors. They’re fast and easy to use, secure, and have fewer delays than paper checks or ACH payments. 

7: Entrata

Entrata is another reasonably comprehensive platform for managing commercial real estate portfolios.  

They have an extensive list of modules, each providing a specific kind of service, which all can be used as stand-alone products or integrated into one overall Entrata installation.  

It’s not one-size-fits-all; it’s customizable. 

Entrata Core is their main offering and covers everything a property manager needs, from leasing data to accounting to facilities management. They have modules for various features, such as Entrata Affordable, which helps manage compliance with affordable housing regulations.  

Property management modules include military, student, commercial, and accounting services as well. 

That’s far from all, though.  

They also have a variety of additional services, including marketing and prospecting, reputation management, leasing, residential self-service, automation, and much more. You can request a demo from their site to see what combination of services they can offer you and how they can benefit your portfolio. 

8: Accruent

Accruent is a professional services provider with a wide range of products and services, including managed services, training, lease administration, and more. 

Among their many different products is Lucernex.  Lucernex is a comprehensive real estate management solution that includes functions to manage every part of real estate, from site planning and construction to ongoing management. Lucernex itself has four core modules: 

· Lx Contracts: A lease accounting platform that accurately calculates and manages leases, expenses, and other financial obligations and generates accurate and compliant reports. It can also help identify underperforming assets for action. 

· Lx Markets and Sites: An analytics module that helps provide real-time data to make decisions based on market conditions. It helps primarily with site selection and marketing. 

· Lx Projects: A construction project management module that handles all the nitty gritty details of construction management, from planning to the grand opening. 

· Lx TransactionManagement: An integrated lifecycle module that smooths over disparate data sources and streamlines various processes. 

Lucernex is influential in particular due to its focus on compliance with various standards and regulations that apply to commercial real estate, including standards like FASB ASC 842 and GASB 87. 

9: Tango Analytics

Tango Analytics is, as you might imagine, heavily focused on data and analysis. It exists to help you analyze commercial real estate portfolios across dozens of metrics, providing valuable reports and actionable insights that can improve profitability, streamline usability, and enhance every part of a commercial real estate portfolio.  

As a next-gen real estate analysis platform, Tango heavily uses AI, machine learning, and advanced data analysis techniques– this can lead to unique insights other more traditional platforms can’t provide.   

They also offer many standard real estate management tools, like lease management, maintenance management, retail real estate control, etc. The star of the show, though, is Tango AI and its predictive analytics, offering data you can’t get quickly anywhere else. 

10: Procore

One often-overlooked aspect of commercial real estate is the need to develop a property, which often means constructing a brand-new facility, multi-tenant dwelling, or mixed-use building on a site. Construction management is often outsourced, but it’s difficult to hand off so much control without a proven system managing it for large portfolios. 

Procore is a trusted construction management system. They handle everything from pre-qualification, bid management, and design coordination up to the development of workforce management and productivity tracking. On top of that, they also offer financial management features to ensure proper tracking of invoicing and expenses, quality and safety reviews, certifications, and analytics for construction-related data. 

While Procore is often aimed more at general contractors and project stakeholders, it’s indispensable for commercial real estate owners who need to develop new buildings rather than exclusively dealing with already-constructed facilities. 

So, there you have it; ten of the best tools commercial real estate property owners use to manage their portfolios, large and small. There’s something here that suits your needs no matter what you have going on; all you need to do is find it. 

What did you think? Which tools are you using to manage your commercial real estate? If you manage, own, or occupy multiple-property portfolios, contact us today for a free demo to see how we can help. 

Every aspect of property management is profoundly complex and may require its own software to manage effectively. Here are ten such solutions you can explore.

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© 2023 Rethink Solutions. All Rights Reserved