Spectra Property Management Software Reviews

Spectra Solutions is a property management application designed for a wide variety of both residential and commercial property managers. Spectra’s software has over thirty different modules that users can choose from, including accounting, e-payments, integrated tenant screening and utility billing. Spectra was recently acquired by RealPage Inc., who took over the product line from software company Domin-8 Enterprise Solutions.

MARKET

Spectra’s property management software is designed to work within a variety of segments of the rental industry, including apartment and multi-family, commercial, industrial, manufactured, military, student, senior and vacation rental housing. It is ideal for owners and managers who manage over 200 residential units or fifty commercial units. The segments that Spectra’s software does not cover are homeowners associations, public housing and affordable housing. They also do not have any modules for operating overseas.

Features

The following are the primary features of Spectra:

General ledgerElectronic paymentsEnergy tracking
Payroll managementOnline maintenance requestsOnline work orders
Financial reportingOnline vacancy postingOnline access for owners
Owner statementsEmail payment remindersVacancy planning
Property-specific booksBank reconciliationOnline rental applications
Budgeting & forecastingDocument managementTenant screening

Spectra offers modules and features for nearly every segment of the rental industry but it’s also missing some key features that “modern” property management software companies are using to their advantage. The absence of an online resident or owner portal sets Spectra back against other leaders in web-enabled software. Spectra also does not offer CAM and OPEX charge reconciliation, which will disappoint commercial property owners.

Technology

Spectra is designed to Microsoft’s standards, which gives it a look and feel that is familiar to Microsoft users. While not a true web-based software application, Spectra is accessible over the Internet via a Wide Area Network and Microsoft’s terminal server. This gives owners read-only access to their accounts while also allowing staff to work remotely.

Spectra was developed in Visual Basic with the Microsoft Access Database development tool set and Access Jet database engine. This architecture allows for nearly seamless integration with Microsoft Office products, such as Word, Excel and Outlook. Currently, Spectra is a Windows-based only (XP and Vista) software product although it will run through the Firefox browser in addition to Internet Explorer.

Differentiators

Buildium presents the following as key differentiators in their product:

  • Can manage nearly every property type
  • Familiar Microsoft look and feel
  • Over thirty optional modules
  • Extremely robust set of tenant and lease management features
  • Tracks a building’s energy consumption
  • Interfaces with Argus Investment Analysis software

Pricing

Spectra’s pricing starts at $5,000 and increases with the number of units managed and number of users added.

COMPANY

Spectra is currently owned by multi-family software giant RealPage, Inc. RealPage has acquired a number of property management applications over the years, resulting in a robust portfolio of products. RealPage employs over 1,110 people and generated over $140 million in business in 2009. They are headquartered in Carollton, TX, a Dallas-Ft. Worth suburb.

 

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