There are a number of property management software programs out there in addition to Yardi and Real Page, so you may want to wait before you dive into major training. You can get an overview of these two programs at their websites:
I hope this helps - Good Luck on your job search! Doug
Really and truly you never know what a system will do for your company because they are so easily modified to do only what the business owner requested.
RealPage's Onesite is BY FAR the better program to work with, but it is also MUCH MUCH more expensive. See Realpage only does Residential Property Management software. Not Commercial Property or anything else.... Residential Prop Management Only. Onesite takes pains to consult with professionals in the industry, and writes their software accordingly. Little things that you would never think of that make you job SO much easier. Yardi is a product of a large software company, INTUIT I think... or is that HBO? Either way... they both suck from an on site perspective. Who's ever seen corporate to run their own reports anyway? How would they know?
All that said, Yardi would probably be better for you to learn. It's one HELL of a lot cheaper, and anybody in property management will tell you that corporate is only looking at the bottom line. You'll have a lot more job oportunities if you learn Yardi.
I think of lot of this decision is based on my personal capacity at the company I work for. I work on site. Yardi is very, to use your phrase, "unforgiving". At least at the on site level. Just a couple of examples...
In Yardi, the primary resident has four or five spaces for phone numbers... work home mobile fax other... something like that... but there is no place at all to put a phone number for a roommate or other resident on the lease. On reports... ONLY the work phone number can be displayed. If it's left blank, and a lot of times these days, it is, you don't get a phone number in your report, or work order.
In Onesite... there's an order to which numbers are listed if others are not available. You can also pick which resident is making a particular payment or calling for service and have THAT persons information displayed. In onesite... if you need to correct a persons phone number while writing up a work order or entering a payment, you can make the change on the screen you're in.... that persons phone number will be updated through out the system... Not YARDI... you either have to go back into the resident screen and enter it there too, or, as is all too often the case, just forget about it and whoever takes their next work order can get itfrom the resident again.
Onesite has lots of little things like that... it just makes life easier... If there's something missing in the system, it'll remind you. If you're pulling up that person to make a comment on their account (which you can do in both NOW) it'll remind you of info you need to get.
In my company we also use check scanners to initiat ACH transactions for rent payments.... Yardi suck at this too.
In Onesite... you just sit there and scan checks all day. Even as they come in, you just scan them. No closing batches, no printing little reports that nobody want. At the end of the day they go to the bank... that easy. IN Yardi... you have to create a batch, and then go to a completely separate part of the program and print an unposted batch report (which it insist on) and then Post the batch. If you don't your payments are not submitted to the bank for payment...
If anybody out there has ever used Onesites call center.. OMG... they were amazing... they answered all out leads from website, and forwarded e-mail to us with the information on the people who were actually looking for an apartment in a reasonable amount of time. They were already in Onesite when we got the e-mail. We just had to read their e-mail and give the people a call.
Our calls were forwarded to them during the day as well... you know.. after a few rings... never an answering machine... always a live person. Residents appreciate that.
But again.. for 15 properties... the cost of onesite was... if I remember correctly... about $75,000 more per year. But that was with the call center, and accepting credit cards, online applications, a really great website.
If you're gonna' be on site... push for One Site... I promise. 10 years in the business and nobody's better than Realpage... NOBODY.
Yardi allows you to create a report from scratch via Crystal Reports. It provides you with the database structure to allow you to create any type of report you so choose at any time you desire. Realpage does not allow this whatsoever