It’s that time of the year when rental companies are preparing to shop for rental management software to help streamline their businesses in an effort to improve operational efficiencies and ultimately profits. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and sometimes confused when reviewing the plethora of software currently on the market. Here are a few tips that may help provide some clarity as you wade through the good, the bad, and the ugly in the world of rental management software.

      1. Ease of use

It must be easy to learn, intuitive, and handle all of the basic rental store needs. It must run on a Windows operating system; older text based systems do not have the sophistication needed today and are typically difficult for new employees to learn. Fast contract writing and real-time inventory management will allow your employees to work with customers confidently knowing they are giving the customer accurate information. You should consider other automated functions such as operational dashboards, billing, statements, emailing, and faxing. Does the software provide detailed inventory analysis and marketing reports at your fingertips? Lastly, an efficient, easy-to-use system should bring immediate value to your business, allowing you to work on growing your business and not just maintaining it.

      2. Functionality

Robust functionality makes your day-to-day activities run much smoother and more profitably. You should ask yourself questions such as “Will the software grow with my business?”, “Does the software offer mobile functionality?”, “Are standard rental processes automated within the software or will I still have to perform basic operational tasks manually?” and “Can the software be accessed remotely so I can stay connected to my business even while out of the office?” Choosing software that offers complete access to your business, real-time inventory management, and dashboards designed to ensure nothing is overlooked are must haves in the world of rental management software.

      3. Value

Don’t let a low price fool you; purchasing software is a long term investment. What may appear to be a great bargain may cost you more in additional support fees, or worse, replacing a system that simply does not work. Add initial purchase costs with recurring costs over five years to better compare what companies are offering. Ask software vendors for unedited customer lists so you can talk directly to those using their software. Consult trusted online forums such as American Rental Association’s member forum. Look for software companies that have replaced lots of their competitors, have been recognized as an industry leader and have a reputable support service. A company with a good reputation should definitely be placed at the top of your list.

Building a relationship with a software company that will bring value to your business is something that should not be taken lightly. Regardless of what you rent, your business deserves software that is an industry breakthrough, providing ease of use, functionality, value, and much more. So with thorough research, you should have no problem finding the best rental management software for your business.