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CRE Software Partner or Vendor? 5 Ways to Tell

This is a guest post from our partner Building Engines. Building Engines is a leading provider of facility operations software, providing tools for work order management, tenant communications, and equipment maintenance tracking. Learn more about Building Engines.

Think about the last time you bought property management software. What triggered this need? A communication gap between you and your tenants? The need for more efficient operations? Preventive maintenance tasks missed?

At the end of the day, I’m willing to bet you had a pain point in your business that needed some relief.

Many times, companies invest in software only to solve that immediate problem. And we’ve found that these are the ones who aren’t always as successful as they could be. The reason? Solving a problem is only one side of the coin. There are tons of companies who can solve a single problem. But to achieve long term success for your company, it’s important to view buying software as entering a partnership with the vendor.

A software partner vs. just a vendor encompasses these five traits:

1. They have a deep understanding of your company’s goals. 

Software providers who are eager to understand the goals of your company before you even sign the contract are the ones who will set you up for successes. Every company has different goals. It is important that the company you choose to partner with for property management software understands your specific business goals and knows how to help you get there. They understand that you are both entering a partnership and the selection of the software is just the beginning of the relationship.

2. They are available to help 24/7.

Not every CRE software company provides the same level of support to their customers – at least not without charging a fee. Technology can be unpredictable at times and having a support team at your beck and call is important to your success. Not to mention it provides an extra sense of security knowing that if there is something wrong with your software, you have a team willing and able to help you fix the issue when you need them.

Property management technology is the backbone of your property, that’s why at Building Engines we are there 24/7 for our clients to keep their systems running properly and powering their operations.

“Building Engine’s best feature, by far, is their staff. If something isn’t up to standard, they do whatever necessary to make it right. Customer service at its finest!”

-Northwood Office

3. They ensure you are getting the most out of your software investment.

A true partner knows that it’s just the beginning of a long-term relationship when the software implementation is complete. Be warry of software providers who implement software and disappear into the abyss.

A software partner who is constantly trying to ensure you are getting the most value from your software will help you also ensure you are achieving great success. This means they schedule regular meetings to review how you are using the software and provide suggestions about how to improve the use of the software to ensure you are getting the utmost value.

That’s why at Building Engines we have a specific team that is dedicated to the success of our clients. They schedule regular meetings with our clients to help them understand how effective our software is and how they could improve their use case.

4. They listen to their clients when making product enhancements.

Users (property managers, engineers, vendors, etc.) of property management software are the ones on the front lines every day. They are the ones who understand best what would make their lives easier. Partnering with software companies who take the time to listen to their clients to understand their challenges and update their technology based on the feedback they receive can make a big impact on end-users. Software companies who do this are able to provide better technology with their end-user in mind.

Building Engines is committed to continuing to provide the best software for clients. We’ve invested tons of resources into meeting with end-users – everyone from building engineers to property managers and tenant coordinators. We aren’t just creating software blindly. We are always trying to understand how we can continue to improve our offerings.

5. They are focused on continuous product innovation.

Most – if not all – business and industries aren’t stagnant; they transform as the ecosystems they are a part of the change. In CRE this is happening faster and faster every year. Today’s software providers cannot remain static. They must change as the industry does in order to support the customers who use their software.

Companies who refuse to do this and don’t continuously update their products can’t provide the value their customers need for success in the future. Ask yourself – when’s the last time your software company showed you a new feature?

“What impresses me most about Building Engines, is not only how quickly and painlessly they converted our new buildings to their platform, but also their commitment to continuous improvement and innovation.”

-Urban Renaissance Group

Of course, the process of buying software typically starts with the need to resolve a specific pain point. But it is critical to expand beyond only solving that pain point when searching for a technology provider and rather think “how can this company support my business in the long run.” Investing in a software provider that will act as a business partner will enable you to get the most value possible from your property management software.

Read the original post on the Building Engines blog.