Author Topic: Rental Software  (Read 4672 times)

yddeyma

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Rental Software
« on: July 27, 2014, 09:33:27 PM »
I recently purchased my 2nd rental and want some software to help me manage them both.  Since I already use Quicken, I upgraded to Rental Property Manager (RPM).  Boy am I disappointed.  It can't even tell me who owes what rent....

I've tried buildium and propertyware.  I am not impressed with either.  They seemed geared toward large multi-unit complexes and can't even download my finance transactions automatically.  I have to enter each one manually.  Right now I am using acturent (at <$6/month) because it allows my tenants to pay online, gives me a website and handles things like applications and maintenance requests.  There is other software out there, but they all seem cost prohibitive.

What I am looking for is software that will do what acturent does with website hosting, and application tracking and maintenance request tracking but that will also track finances like Quicken does (okay, I really don't need it that sophisticated, if it can do like Mint.com I will be good to go).

I am about to get really frustrated and just use Excel and do it by hand...the thing is I want to by another property and I know if I continue to grow this business beyond half a dozen or so it will just not be realistic to do it by hand unless I quit my day job to keep the books.  Should I ditch Quicken for Quickbooks?  I just can't justify paying for both, and I am kinda addicted to Quicken although I suppose I could switch to Mint since its free (plus, every time I upgrade Quicken breaks something and it annoys me).

What do you all use?

escolegrove

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Re: Rental Software
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2014, 10:07:10 PM »
I use buildium because I love background/credit check. I was planning on figuring out the accounting system this fall. Unfortunately they just tripled their price so I don't think I can justify the new price with only 8 properties. I am still on the hunt. I would love a pm if you find one you liked.

I used quickbooks at my last job for corporate houses and was not impressed. If they had a real estate management feature/background/credit check/application plug in they would be perfect. Let me know what you find.

jmoney

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Re: Rental Software
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2014, 06:00:28 AM »
I've never used quicken but I've heard lots of complaints about it when you get larger. You might look closer into this if its what you want to do. Everyone at my local REIA uses Quick Books and they complained that quicken is not powerful enough for a rental business. I've never used either just passing along what I hear.

I am developing my own system that holds all receipts in a MySQL database along with actual pictures of rent checks and receipts. You probably don't want to go that route unless you have a software/IT background.

Fishingmn

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Re: Rental Software
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2014, 08:24:04 AM »
I've been using Quicken Rental Property Manager for 4+ years. Covers my personal finances, business finances (I'm a Realtor so an independent contractor) and my 11 rental properties.

I like the product. It does have some quirks and learning curve. Biggest issue I find is that I need to tell my bank to record every rent check as its own individual transaction so that I can then manually match the rent received against the rent I charged. It's very easy to record the expenses I have via either checks or credit card expenses as it automatically brings all of those in and I then tag the transaction to the appropriate property and type of expense. It then remembers that in the future for things like recurring charges.

johnhenry

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Re: Rental Software
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2014, 09:40:48 AM »
I also use Quicken Rental Property Manager and it gets the job done.  I was a quicken user before I got start with rentals.  It's a little quirky and cumbersome, but I can't find anything better for the price.  I am familiar with Quickbooks also, but I still prefer Quicken for personal and rental tracking.

At this point, it's hard for me to remember what the Rental Property Manager version of Quicken has that the standard (or Home and Business) doesn't.  Honestly, I think the Std or Home and Business version would work just as well for me.  I use Quicken heavily for tracking rental expenses/income and reporting.  But I don't use it much for "business management" reminders or displays like showing who owes what rent or which tenants have how long left on their lease, etc.  Really it's main advantage is that it can show personal/rental holdings all in one place, while still allowing rental holdings in a separate bucket.

I tried to Quicken PM to show those things, but it wasn't worth the effort of entering the info into the cumbersome system.  Personally I think I'd need to have more than 2 dozen places before it was worth paying for something more advanced that Quicken (complimented by Excel sometimes). 

Let us know if you find something that works better that Quicken or QB.

usmarine1975

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Re: Rental Software
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2014, 12:54:22 PM »
I started using the Quicken PM 2013 version got it for under $50 bucks.  It has some quirks but I like that it remembers things.  The rental income part is a bit clunky and could be brought up to speed more.  So far I like it, we are able to track all of our expenses and separate out the personal from the rental simply by classifying them.  Need to spend more time doing so and trying to figure out the rental income sheet.

yddeyma

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Re: Rental Software
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2014, 07:43:13 PM »
Found another I'm going to try.  It's called Wave Accounting.  It's free, so the price is right.  The only bad news I see is that it is accounting software (like Quickbooks), so you have to understand a bit about double entry book-keeping (nothing an accounting for dummies book couldn't teach you).  I prefer Quicken for its simplicity and b/c I'm not an accountant; but I think for the business this may be the way to go.  I am going to give it a try and see.  Otherwise, I will probably just stick with Quicken Rental Property Manager since I haven't found anything better for the price.

Blindsquirrel

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Re: Rental Software
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2014, 01:42:42 PM »
   We have used Quickbooks Pro for 10 years and it works pretty well.

arebelspy

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Re: Rental Software
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2014, 10:53:04 PM »
I use Excel.  Were I more familiar with Quicken, I'd probably use that.  But I use what I'm comfortable with, and everything looks like a nail spreadsheet.
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zinethstache

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Re: Rental Software
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2014, 11:32:04 PM »
I use Excel as well. I have multi-unit properties and each property gets its own file. Each file has 13 sheets Jan-Dec and a rollup annual summary sheet. During tax time, I send off the summary sheets to our CPA, she really likes them, says they are simple and easy for her to use . I built this for my two businesses years ago and extended it to the properties when we started that endeavor in 2011. I track mileage and general expenses in a separate file, again using the 13 Jan-Dec with annual roll up last sheet.  We do use a PM and receive statements from them. The books are so simple with the formulas and look up lists that I keep on the last sheet. The base info I enter at the beginning of the year and any variances and one off expenses/income I pop in monthly and let the formulas work their magic. I tried QB early on and it was way too complicated for me. I have always been an Excel Junkie...

arebelspy

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Re: Rental Software
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2014, 09:44:10 AM »
Sounds very similar to my system.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.