Select the right Software for Property Management

Opting for the Best Property Management Software

Leasing out condos or premium apartments to buyers does not end with the handover. Instead, it goes a long way almost in a cyclical manner to oversee the operations and management via close monitoring. Dynamically managing multiple residential or commercial real estate establishments could, in fact, prove to refine it all together as well as endow a consistent experience to the tenants.

The landowner or a real estate company benefits from able to supervise every cent of property they own and leases. It equates to improved productivity enabling the owner to gain a competitive advantage by striving for customer satisfaction at every fronts. This could be a rather not brief definition of property management. And with technology like software integrated into it, we can christen it aptly as property management software.

Investing in an apt property management software elevates and rethinks how realtors or landlords manage their swathes of property. Whether small modular condos, high rises or dedicated commercial hubs, property management using software takes it to the next level. The need to switch becomes more prominent as conventional methods have often failed to demonstrate exemplary levels of property management.

Software alters it into a convenient dashboard, where the owner could simply manage, monitor and operate day to day activities linked to a piece of real estate. Ensuring timely rental payment, maintenance and upkeep, searching tenants for occupying could all be effectively carried out using a property management software. The key is to opt for the right one since the wrong choice would end up curtailing existing practices by cutting out efficiency.

Clinging to Conventional Practices Risks Lagging Behind

As it turned out, property management involves a lot of hurdles that leave the owner frustrated and stressful at times. The job profile when it comes to managing multiple portfolios of real estate assets dispersed across varied locations coupled with maintenance requests, tracking lease expires, routine inspections, ensuring regulatory compliance, responding to inquiries concerning vacant properties and lot others would be equally challenging.

Extensive documentation remain a core aspect when it comes to property management. Besides, the above-mentioned aspects when not managed appropriately could add up to the inefficiency of the job, which reflects in the productivity and performance. Property management software is new and adopting it will definitely warrant less clutter involved in the process. Still, adhering to conventional practices like paperwork or documentation proves time consuming and cumbersome.

The right property management software makes life easy for property managers, improving their productivity and contributing to improved customer satisfaction in a big way. In fact, the right software becomes a valuable source of competitive advantage, enabling the firm to gain a one-up on competition through efficiency improvements and by spawning innovative business practices.

However, the trick is to have the right property management software on hand. Here are some ways to identify and deploy such software.
Good Property Management Software Distinguishes with Ease of Use

The whole purpose of deploying software is to ease things. Software with poor UX, and or convoluted processes, which is a pain to operate, defeats the very purpose. The best software has a smooth interface and navigation, and simple, yet powerful dashboards.

Handy property management software automates routine processes related to rental collections, renewals, and other repetitive functions.

It offers basic functionality like search with multiple fields such as tenant name, property id, or any other relevant identifier, to access the required information easily, and throws up what is required in an easy-to-consume way.

The software is now delivered as mobile apps, making it very easy and convenient to get access to the latest and relevant information on the field and capture field-based inspections as well. Responsible design or a mobile-first design approach improves the ease-of-use of such mobility solutions.

Good Property Management Software Feature Robust Technical Stack

Enterprises vary with regards to their technical maturity. Some enterprises may be perfectly at ease experimenting with newer but unproven technology, which may offer huge benefits but also come with the risk of crashes. Other enterprises prefer stability over potential. Either way, the cloud is fast becoming indispensable.

Cloud-based software spares the cost and hassles of installing software or managing the databases on in-house servers. The data resides on the Internet, enabling anywhere, anytime access, from any device. Besides, it spares enterprises from cost-center activities such as taking backups, updating the code at regular intervals, and other administrative hassles.

Property management firms placing their key data such as rental information, financial reports, documents and everything else on the cloud can streamline operations, thus saving time and reducing costs.
Sync with Technical Capabilities Enhance the Dynamism of the Suite.

Smart solutions, especially mobile-based solutions leverage the latest that technology has to offer to enhance the capabilities of the property management suite. A case in point is a messaging system to engage with landlords, tenants and service providers on a direct, real-time basis, to close and resolve issues or deals quickly, and with clarity.

Such a system could either be custom developed or more easily achieved by seamless integration with Skype or some other messaging tools. Similarly, many property management suites integrate with QuickBooks for accounting.

Likewise, good property management suite improves internal processes, making the overall business more efficient. The easy tracking capabilities on offer make stakeholders, especially service providers, more accountable. An optimized navigation system renders role-clarity to employees and agents.

How we optimized a MEAN Stack project for better performance

MEAN Stack – Performance Optimizations

In the past few years, MEAN stack went from ‘yet another shiny JS thingy’ to being a viable alternative to build high-performance web applications. We have quite a few medium to large apps running, that are MEAN.

One of our recent MEAN projects saw rapid growth in the user base (hundreds of thousands of users within the first few weeks), resulting in the system hitting the initially designed max-loads much earlier than anticipated. Hence we had to review the architecture and performance parameters to identify and fix the bottlenecks.

This blog is a quick rundown of the whats and hows in our initial performance tuning. Since the system was hosted in AWS, we used Amazon services wherever possible.

We implemented the following to improve the MEAN Stack project performance.

  1. NodeJS Clustering
  2. Amazon S3 as CDN
  3. Mongo replication
  4. Microservice implementation

Load Balancing

When it comes to increasing the performance of websites and web services, there are a couple of options:

  • Improve the efficiency of the code.
  • Throw more hardware at it.

Option two (throwing in more hardware) is the fastest and easiest solution to mitigate the performance woes.

Let us discuss how we can scale the Node.js server infrastructure using ELB, which stands for Elastic Load Balancing. ELB automatically distributes the incoming application traffic across a group of backend servers. The load balancer routes the incoming requests to the second server when the first server is busy processing other requests so that the end user does not experience any delay in getting the response.

  1. Application Load Balancer
  2. Network Load Balancer
  3. Classic Load Balancer

Application Load Balancer is best suited for load balancing of HTTP and HTTPS traffic and provides advanced request routing targeted at the delivery of modern application architectures, including microservices and containers. Operating at the individual request level (Layer 7), Application Load Balancer routes traffic to targets within Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) based on the content of the request. The socket forwarding is supported only in the application load balancer.  So we have used the Amazon AWS application load balancer to scale the server architecture.

The decision on how many servers to be used in the load balancer depends upon the traffic expected in the server and the number of concurrent requests the server needs to handle. Moreover, it also depends upon the system configurations in which the server is hosted such as the number of cores, memory, etc. We also need to change some web server(ex: nginx or apache) configurations as described here.

To discover the availability of your EC2 instances, a load balancer periodically sends pings, attempts connections, or sends requests to test the EC2 instances. These tests are called health checks. The status of the instances that are healthy at the time of the health check is InService. The status of any instances that are unhealthy at the time of the health check is OutOfService. The load balancer performs health checks on all registered instances, whether the instance is in a healthy or unhealthy state.

The load balancer routes request only to the healthy instances. When the load balancer determines that an instance is unhealthy, it stops routing requests to that instance. The load balancer resumes routing requests to the specific instance when it has been restored to a healthy state.

The load balancer checks the health of the registered instances using either the default health check configuration provided by Elastic Load Balancing or a health check configuration that the developer configures. In the second case, the developer has to give one health checking URL ({main domain}/health) to the IT team (who are doing the ELB implementation), which serves as the health status of the instance.

The health URL should be an API configured in Node.js program, which connects to the database and fetches some lightweight data to make sure that the instance is properly working i.e, it ensures the health of web server (Nginx), server (Node.js instance) and the database server (MongoDB). If this API could respond with the HTTP status 200 within a particular time (Say 2 seconds, which we can set in the load balancer configuration), the instance is marked as healthy, otherwise, it’s marked as unhealthy.

The load balancer periodically (Say 10 sec, which we can set) checks the health status of each instance (If we scaled to 2 servers – checks these 2 instances) through the corresponding health URL, to mark it healthy or unhealthy. So, when the next request comes, the load balancer routes the request to a healthy server instance which is available.

Empower your Business with Mobile Application

iOS App Development: Grow Your Business With An iOS App

With smartphones and tablets emerging as the device of choice for most people, apps are in a boom phase. Businesses are joining the bandwagon in a big way, rolling out apps that offer a world of convenience to their customers and employees alike. However, while doing so, they need to be wary of losing focus.

Apps are not just another channel to execute the entire gamut of organizational functions. The most effective apps serve specific purposes, and in the process empower the business.

Businesses also need to take a serious look at iOS application development, considering iOS apps have proven to be very engaging. An average iPhone user spends about 75% of her time on apps, probably owing to iOS applications being able to leverage the advanced features and functionality of Apple devices.

Here are some ways in which you can empower your business, using iOS application.

Roll Out Customer-Facing Apps

Customer facing iOS app is a good idea, considering Apple devices, such as the iPhone, has more than a 15% share of the total smartphone market. Such apps not only promote sales but help in engaging with customer better. Marketers may send out push notifications on key milestones, keep track of customer behavior, issue special offers when a customer is in the vicinity of a store, and do more. Customers may be given several self-service options, from keeping track of loyalty points to access of neutral product reviews, and more.

Empower Internal Teams

Imagine the world of convenience when the salesperson, on meeting with a potential or existing customer, pulls out the iPhone, opens an app that draws on data from the CRM, and gather all details about the customer, right from his purchase history to open inquiries, his preferred channels of communication, and so on. The salesperson also gets highly customized tools and relevant insights, such as market surveys, reports, and more. iOS apps facilitate similar empowerment across all functional area, be it accounts, HR, logistics, and other teams.

Forge Deep Relationship with the Ecosystem

More and more businesses seek to develop apps that help the company forge deeper relationships with their ecosystem partners, such as suppliers, contractors, and others. An app that makes explicit real-time stock levels and issue alerts would prompt suppliers to make timely deliveries, and improve the efficiency of their business as well. Contractors could log into another intuitive iOS application to get a list of open projects, deadlines, billing, and more. Channel partners could also gain from first-hand access to a ton of resources, and all the information they require, without having to make follow-ups, or spend time seeking information.

Facilitate the “Internal” Customer

An iOS app could likewise benefit the “internal customer” of the enterprise. Employees could, for instance, use an internal employee app to make leave requests, access their payroll details, stay updated on everything from upcoming team meetings to office parties, and more. Such apps eliminate complicated and time-consuming paperwork, be it filing trip sheets, expense reports, or appraisal forms. With the bulk of information readily available at their fingertips, employees can focus wholeheartedly on their core tasks, improving their productivity manifold.

Transform Organizational Processes

Rolling out iOS applications could even eliminate certain traditional functions altogether. For instance, a training app that delivers instructional videos, handbooks, and other resources to the employee’s iPhone could completely eliminate the need for training sessions. The cost saved in terms of arranging training resources and the trainer’s time alone would repay the investment in the app many times over. Employees could also leverage such apps to unlock training and development opportunities not available before. The impact on employee performance and commitment are worth its weight in gold.

All the possibilities come to pass only when the app development is done right. iOS developers would do well to customize enterprise apps by giving it a distinct look and feel that resonate the brand image, offer appropriate options such as choice of languages, flexibility to enable or disable certain features, location mapping and more. The ability to customize the app and the presence of value-added features make the employee feel more connected and enhance the worth of the app.

Development of iOS apps is a far more straightforward process, compared to developing Android apps, as Apple provides standardized SDKs, APIs, and IDE needed for the application development. However, Apple’s app store discards apps that do not meet its guidelines, and as such iOS app development requires a much more concentrated and focused effort. A partnership with a reputable company to develop the iOS application helps pass the iTunes test and ensure the effort invested in the app development process does not go waste.