Since the beginning of the summer we’ve been continually revising our website (LandlordMax Property Management Software) with several goals in mind. One of these goals is to proactively answer our pre-sales questions, and so far we’ve been doing a good job at it because the number of repetitive pre-sales support questions have reduced in number. That is to say, the ones we had a tendency of receiving over and over are now being answered directly by the copy on the website.
The current common question we’re in the process of dealing with is: “How many units can the software handle?”, or some version of this. The first and simplest thing we did on the website is adjust the copy on the front page to include “store 1000’s of units”. Even though the database engine can store a lot more, in the millions, we decided to use a much lower number that our customers would perceive as reasonable. The second and probably the most powerful is that we’re in the process of creating a showcase flash animation link directly on the front page to replace the screenshot currently there. This animation/tutorial will use a database that larger than what 99% of our clients currently use, the largest database I’ve seen so far from a customer was 652 units. I’m sure there’s larger that we don’t know about, but it gives a good idea to the vast majority of our customers that the support can support a large database when one of this size doesn’t even cause it to flinch!
In any case, the database we’ve created to showcase LandlordMax has 2797 units! In terms of buildings, it’s got 211 (several multi-unit buildings, including some buildings with about 200 units). The database also includes 2659 tenants with 2535 leases (some tenants are potentials, etc.). As you can imagine, this is a lot of data for most real estate investors or property management companies. Although we could add a substantial amount more data to it, I believe this is significant enough to showcase the software.
Even though I’ll be answering this in more detail on LandlordMax, here’s some of the performance results we’ve seen with this particular database. The time to display the list of buildings, units, tenants is under 1 second (this includes time for the database and the software to render them). By the way, for those of you who think Java is slow, here’s a clear example that performance is based on the quality of the code and not the language!
I also ran some further tests with our most performance intensive report, the Rent Roll, and the results were very good. Before I give the actual numbers, let me explain a little why the Rent Roll report is so performance intensive. First, unlike other property management software applications, we give you the ability to run the Rent Roll report between any start and end date. This might not seem like such a big deal, but now imagine what happens if you put no start and end date? It will then generate a report listing every single rent ever due from all your leases!!! That’s a lot of data! In addition to finding when every single rent is due, it will also cross reference this data with the rest of the data to show the tenants name, their residing building, and in which unit they’re in, if it’s applicable. That means it’s combining information from 4 tables for each rent due. Also remember that this is for each rent due, not each lease, so if it’s a year lease this will include 12 seperate monthly rental amounts due. Finally it then computes the total amount of all these rents due for the whole period. Now that you have some idea of what’s involved in tabulating this particular report, the results included 33,290 rents due, or 521 pages of printed data! How long do you think this should take to generate? The report is generated in under 12 seconds on my computer!
Anyways, going back to the main point, the moral of the story is that you should continually update your company’s website copy to answer the most frequently asked questions from your customers. Not only does this reduce your pre-sales/support costs, but more importantly it will increase your sales conversion ratios.