Join Australia's most dynamic and respected property investment community

Self Manage Efficient Software Option/s

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by WestOz, 4th Jul, 2015.

  1. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    625
    Location:
    WestOz
    Hi All,
    Yes that old chestnut again, realise Property Management Software has been discussed previously over at SS (& other sites), however usually ends up with most recommending excel, I've used it previously and personally unless you have the time/patience to comprehend coding etc I believe its cumbersome, time consuming and very limited compared to time saving off the shelf modern programming which all communicates efficiently automatically with other requirements.

    After a rocky past few years (divorce) I'm finally back in the saddle rebuilding a portfolio again, albeit now much older (but wiser) than I'd rather be. Just picked up two with another on the way.
    Wish to start off data entry efficiently from the gecko rather than 1/2 cocked and having to redo/catch-up with a different software down the track, as I've had to do previously (hindsight is priceless).

    Please note this thread isn't a question of whether someone should or shouldn't self manage, its about efficient tools available to assist, for anyone considering the Pro's & Con's of self management see this thread - https://propertychat.com.au/community/threads/property-managers-are-they-necessary.115/

    I'm preferably seeking an all-in-one product;
    Auto or import of bank statement (.ofx etc) which auto allocates debit/credits to predefined codes, considers CGT.
    Auto reminders, dispatch notices/docs too/from tenants (tenant portal) within State legislation (in my case WA).

    Whilst I've researched quite a few, checked out youtubes (those that have them, very lacking or old) at the moment I'm considering RentHQ (from our Kiwi cousins, where's the Aussie value effort?), $7.00 base fee + 45cents per property per month, or discount with advanced large payment - http://www.renthq.net/Price.aspx
    They have detailed video tutorials which is a BIG + for me - http://www.renthq.net/Support/Tutorials.aspx
    however whilst it prob has all requirements the interface looks a little like something from Win95 or earlier, tried the demo (runs via Silverlight) and seems slow, however not sure if that changes with subscription.

    Note: Re specific state legislation doc requirements, i.e. for WA - http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumer-protection/landlords-tools-and-checklist where I can download all forms in either .pdf or .doc, in this example I'd download a .doc
    In the mail merge video you'll notice he creates a blank template page, simply copy the contents of the .doc and paste it to the template, add/edit the required auto entry fields, save it as a name you'll remember (i.e. Form 10) so its always ready when required, rinse/repeat with all other doc requirements.

    I like the idea of outright purchase and install to local with RentMaster however prefer to have app functions with HQ
    HQ vs RM https://www.renthq.net/Features/HQvsRentMaster.aspx
    $22.50pm for RentCall is a bit rich - http://www.rentmaster.co.nz/products/rentrecall.aspx

    I like the look of RentingSmart, seems to have allot to offer incl discount listing options for Realestate & Domain .com's, but the site info is very limited, can't find any tutorials, videos etc - https://www.rentingsmart.com.au/
    Whilst that's a .au link the demo is .com so guess it redirects to the US (I'd rather AU program), got to the point of trialing the sending of Inspection notice to tenant, click on the link takes me to dropbox with "The file you’re looking for has been moved or deleted" All other links did the same, not a good first impression...

    Xero + Pocketrent is a great option but a bit pricey (~$70pm) compared to the others for small holdings.

    So, keeping in mind I (& others) aren't LJ Hooker etc with 100's of properties to manage, not interested in excel spreadsheets, are there any other affordable/efficient all-in-one software recommendations I may have missed for those of us self managing small portfolios?

    For future reference/consideration of others coming across this thread via google etc I'll add suggestions below (excl excel), placing the most popular/recommended at the top;

    Thanks All ;)

    Free Options;


    Buy Outright Options;
    http://www.rentmaster.co.nz/ (NZ)

    Subscription Options;
    http://www.renthq.net (NZ, $22.50pm AU for RentCall)
    https://www.rentingsmart.com.au/ (altho possibly redirects to USA?)
    https://pocketrent.com/ (not all-in-one without Xero, believe it's UK based?)

    While I'm at it, other stuff discovered if anyone's interested;
    $35 National Tenancy Database Check - http://www.rent.com.au/landlords/rentcheck
    Free Accounting Only Package - http://www.freeaccountingsoftware.com.au/
     
  2. Pistonbroke

    Pistonbroke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    395
    Location:
    Guangzhou
    I use Rentmaster - it imports statements, does purchase orders, puts expenses and income to appropriate accounts, handles gst and leaves me with a nice warm glow.

    Updates are now free.
     
  3. Lil Skater

    Lil Skater Well-Known Member Business Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    385
    Location:
    Melbourne
    If you have a few more properties and want a "full" PM system, you could look into something like PropertyMe. I think it's $55/month for up to 50 properties.
     
  4. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    625
    Location:
    WestOz
    Thanks for the suggestion Lil, I came across their site during research, like some of the other options available it has a modern colourful interface which for whatever reason as a straight male I'm attracted too, however for that kind of money I'd prefer a little extra on something like Xero+Pocket Rent.

    For small holding value I'm currently trialling RentHQ, seems to be a great product with everything required for self manage including Tenant portal (in short this facility means tenant can never justify legally they weren't or didn't have the ability to be aware). Video tutorials are well detailed and very handy for anyone with no previous book-keeping experience which is lacking with others. I have previous experience but somehow keep going back to review the vids to ensure I have the t's crossed, i's dotted.

    However (or the BUT) as said previous the interface is unfortunately bland, for me after a long day at work it quickly gives that fatigued feeling like I've been driving the freeway for a few hours on cruise control, need to pull over for a break, in my case get distracted with something else (like typing this).

    It could do with a major overhaul in appearance, some bright colour modernising to keep me focused/awake, like other options and soon to be released official Win10, not difficult to implement, not my place to tell them how to run their business, if I did decide to wait for however long to implement.

    An extra thought to data entry;
    When we go for new IP (or any) loans we fill out forms detailing everything including current personal monthly expenditure etc, we then scratch our head and take a stab at it...
    Detailing everything in an accountancy package would cover this, prob also assist the accountant for the most efficient return possible, something I'm currently researching.
     
  5. Pistonbroke

    Pistonbroke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    395
    Location:
    Guangzhou
    Trust accounting compliant software is different to your traditional accounting packages. They are specifically written for property management functionality and comply with the audit requirements of the office of fair trading etc. They differ substantially from accounting software in their audit trail & that each landlord is an account.
     
  6. Lil Skater

    Lil Skater Well-Known Member Business Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    385
    Location:
    Melbourne
    To be honest, you really don't need a full on system - even with quite a few properties (unless you really want to).

    As PB pointed out, there are options (like PropertyMe) which is like a mini version of a full system. It gives the functionality of paying unlimited invoices, owners etc. with a few clicks of a button and you just upload the file into your banking system - which is something that your personal accounts won't normally have anyway.

    So if you can find something smaller scale that doesn't have the trust accounting software, although it might be bland, stick with it! As long as you can keep track of everything and you know the legislation for the state your properties are in, you should be okay.
     
  7. Beelzebub

    Beelzebub Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    569
    Location:
    Lost
    I just downloaded the demo for Rent HQ... or at least tried. Something about Microsoft Skylite? It also tells me it doesn't run well on Chrome?

    I just want to live in the cloud. Is there any subscriptions out there that are cloud based and don't require me to download software? I want to be able to access the info from multiple devices wherever I am.

    Edit* That would be Rentsmart, but at $27 PM it's a exy. Still, if it works well, it would be worth it.
     
    Last edited: 8th Jul, 2015
  8. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    625
    Location:
    WestOz
    Yes I thought as much, just sometimes question keeping better track of my personal expenditure, where it actually all goes etc, no biggy

    @Beelzebub
    RentHQ is cloud only, no local install etc, other than backing up data file (local or drop box)

    It runs via Silverlight (part of microsoft), not sure about Chrome as I run 64bit Waterfox (part of firefox) when first running RentHQ a popup appeared asking if I was happy to allow Silverlight to run, gave it permission, all good from there.
    If similar isn't popping up with Chrome perhaps check options/setting controls?
    (or change browser but that's a whole other debate for tech forums)

    https://www.waterfoxproject.org/
    If you don't have Silverlight installed do a manual "Windows Update" check, see what appears in "Optional" get stuck let me know
     
    Last edited: 9th Jul, 2015
  9. Nick Valsamis

    Nick Valsamis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    504
    Location:
    Sydney
  10. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    625
    Location:
    WestOz
    Trialed a few now but pretty sure I checked that one out Nick, can't/didn't see any video tutorials etc, something I like very much about hq till I get the hang of it, also more than double the monthly cost in my case.

    (P.S. I'd add it to the OP but the edit feature is no longer available, wasn't aware that would happen)