Assessing the use of property management software in residential property management.
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Property management once a job heavily weighted with administration tasks and paperwork has evolved into more strategic market positions due to the advances in information and communications technology. About 71% of Kampala households live in rental properties; this percentage has been increasing every census (CAHF, 2018) and a significant proportion of these properties are managed by property management companies. However little is known about how and to what extent property management software is used by residential property management companies in Kampala. Employing a questionnaire survey and in-depth interviews with the different residential property management companies, this study examined the current use of computer software in the residential property management sector and property managers’ perceptions and experience of the software being used. The study identified that the different residential property management companies were well equipped in specially designed property management software packages and invested substantially in information technology for further upgrading of software. Software packages performed a wide range of functions relevant to property management such as tenant database management, rent roll and payments, vacancy management, maintenance record keeping, financial accounting and reporting, and communication with tenants. Reporting capabilities, ease of use, technical support and security procedures were the main criteria property managers considered when selecting software. The results suggest that property managers were mostly satisfied with mail merge facilities, scalability and storage and retrieval facilities offered by software. Most property management companies used software developed in other countries and as a result experienced issues with the flexibility of software and technical support. Though property management software was extensively used in residential property management in Kampala, it was revealed that they did not explore the full capacity of software. The findings highlight the significance of property management software in modern property management practice.