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Now in 993 land ...
 
aigel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: L.A.-> SF Bay Area
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Property Management Software?

Do any of you landlords use a property management software?

It looks like a good way to have applications, background checks, rent collection and accounting all in one place.

My biggest concern would be to commit to a company that's not solid in terms of data security but also survival. Looks like a ton of startups competing in this space and one would hate to move platforms frequently if at all.

I only did a bit of reading before remembering to ask the brain trust here. The only company I find that has sizeable backing looks to be Zillow.

Thanks,

George

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Old 02-11-2021, 06:06 PM
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Zink Racer
 
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I've transitioned to using a property manager. I got to the point where worrying about landlord/tenant laws and dealing with plugged toilets on the weekends were beyond my ability to be competent and patient while enjoying my non work life a bit more. Prior to that I used quicken rental version for accounting, a local tenant screening company for applications and my local landlord association for forms. I briefly checked out using a full suite of software but just didn't find something that worked for a small time operation like me. I only have 1 building with 6 units.
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Jerry
93 VFR750, 1968 R50/2
911's and 914's of various vintages and in various states of repair
Old 02-11-2021, 06:13 PM
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LWJ LWJ is online now
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I have some property managers that hide behind poor software. When I managed my own, I used Manila files.
Old 02-11-2021, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
My biggest concern would be to commit to a company that's not solid in terms of data security but also survival.
Self host off your own machine and you worry about your own security.

Not in the LL business, but a quick search shows a couple of Free/Open ORPM software. Install it on your laptop or desktop and fireup your browser. If you like it, get some support from them to set up a server in your office or a VPS hosted elsewhere like linode.com (linode rocks).

If you want something changed, find a dev and pay them to change it. Or learn PHP and change it yourself. College kids work cheap and have the skills.

Of the ones I found, this looks like real software written by a sensible person (just going on the documentation)

https://bigprof.com/appgini/applications/online-rental-property-manager

Good luck!
Old 02-11-2021, 06:16 PM
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Now in 993 land ...
 
aigel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Hi Guys - thanks for the input so far. I think I need to clarify. I am talking about modern cloud based systems such as

https://www.appfolio.com/
https://www.avail.co/
https://cozy.co/
https://www.zillow.com/rental-manager/

Anyone use one of these or similar ones?

Thanks,

G
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Old 02-11-2021, 08:35 PM
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944 S2
 
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Take a look at Cozy.co. It’s does all the application (background and credit), Previewing and reaches out to third party locations like Realtor.com, apartment.com etc and collects rent all for free! Been using it for years and very happy with it. All I do is show the place and have them sign my lease. All they do is hold the payment for 5 days, then deposit directly to your account.
Old 02-12-2021, 06:15 AM
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+1 on Cozy. I’ve used cozy.co for about 5 years. Easy to use and no issues with any of the rent collection functions. Application functions are excellent. Maintenance request function is really good, tenant initiates request, sends you an email, and reminders until the request is closed. Also easy to add any fees if tenants are late on rent, etc.
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Old 02-12-2021, 07:03 AM
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Now in 993 land ...
 
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Great input guys. I like the idea of easy payment functions. I don't like "the check's in the mail". 944 S2, are you actively using cozy as well? Do they have a comprehensive background check they are offering? I will read more about them.

Thanks, please keep suggestions and experiences coming!

G
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Old 02-12-2021, 10:52 AM
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944 S2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aigel View Post
Great input guys. I like the idea of easy payment functions. I don't like "the check's in the mail". 944 S2, are you actively using cozy as well? Do they have a comprehensive background check they are offering? I will read more about them.

Thanks, please keep suggestions and experiences coming!

G
Yes, actively using for several years now. The potential renter can apply online thru Cozy and submit for a background and credit check (I believe around $40). Cozy strips the Social Security # for your protection (no liability) and sends you the report. Honestly they are doing a large portion of the property management with what they offer and all they do is hold your payment for 5 days. You can opt to receive it quicker (3 days I believe) if you pay a very small fee. No worth it for a couple of days IMHO. Iím good with 5 days.
Old 02-12-2021, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 944 S2 View Post
Yes, actively using for several years now. The potential renter can apply online thru Cozy and submit for a background and credit check (I believe around $40). Cozy strips the Social Security # for your protection (no liability) and sends you the report. Honestly they are doing a large portion of the property management with what they offer and all they do is hold your payment for 5 days. You can opt to receive it quicker (3 days I believe) if you pay a very small fee. No worth it for a couple of days IMHO. Iím good with 5 days.
How difficult is it to learn that program?
Old 02-12-2021, 12:22 PM
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944 S2
 
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Originally Posted by look 171 View Post
How difficult is it to learn that program?
Thereís no program to learn really. Just sign up to set up an account. Once you find a renter they sign up thru Cozy for rent payments and that get deposited into your account 5 days after rent is due. It really is easy (dang I should get paid to advertise them!)
Old 02-12-2021, 12:59 PM
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Now in 993 land ...
 
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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I just watched some of the cozy 'how to' videos and it looks straightforward. Good to hear it has been around and there are two real people that use it and like it. Online reviews are always great, but you have to wonder ...

Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2021, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 944 S2 View Post
There’s no program to learn really. Just sign up to set up an account. Once you find a renter they sign up thru Cozy for rent payments and that get deposited into your account 5 days after rent is due. It really is easy (dang I should get paid to advertise them!)
Thank you, thank you, thank you. My wife does all that. She just use Zelle and it gets deposited into an account. We keep track of the various deposits. Tell me more about the background check and such. How does that work? We use an agent to fins us the client with the exception of the duplex. All the other properties are a bit higher end, so renters feel better dealing with a pro instead of a dirty, ugly looking guy like me
Old 02-12-2021, 05:11 PM
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944 S2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by look 171 View Post
Thank you, thank you, thank you. My wife does all that. She just use Zelle and it gets deposited into an account. We keep track of the various deposits. Tell me more about the background check and such. How does that work? We use an agent to fins us the client with the exception of the duplex. All the other properties are a bit higher end, so renters feel better dealing with a pro instead of a dirty, ugly looking guy like me
List your property thru Cozy (they reach out to other sites too) and I also do some advertising myself, like thru Zillow or Craigslist. Once they contact me, I show them the property and if interested I direct them to fill out an application on the Cozy website which requires a background and credit check send to you directly. They pay Cozy directly for the application and you get the reports. Hope that helps.
Old 02-12-2021, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 944 S2 View Post
List your property thru Cozy (they reach out to other sites too) and I also do some advertising myself, like thru Zillow or Craigslist. Once they contact me, I show them the property and if interested I direct them to fill out an application on the Cozy website which requires a background and credit check send to you directly. They pay Cozy directly for the application and you get the reports. Hope that helps.
Sounds good. Thanks. We still do it the old fashion way, through email and ads we put on Zillow and others. That's the ones we do ourselves. The agent takes care of the onew we don't want to deal with. Its first month rent. That's freaking 4000 bucks, but they do the credit checking, show the place, and all that jazz
Old 02-12-2021, 08:52 PM
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In England we have OpenRent. You can advertise for free on their site or pay a small fee and the advert gets much higher exposure and another small fee and the deal with vetting and the contract and the deposit holding( a legal requirement here).
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Old 02-13-2021, 12:25 AM
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I use mysmartmove.com, a trans union site. I send a prospective tenant a link, they fill out and send back. I get background check, criminal, evictions, etc... Can actually look at their credit, will confirm income is accurate or not. It will even suggest accept or reject. Very easy to use.
Old 02-14-2021, 07:26 AM
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Zink Racer
 
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Just make sure whomever you use for screening and lease paperwork knows your local laws. It's not just by state, it can be down to the city level. For example, it was recommended that I just see the yes or no decision from the screening service and not all of the detail as knowing that can lead to more liability. Our landlord/tenant laws are leaning more and more to the tenant side which finally did it for me. I'll let the pro deal with it. Finding a good one and then giving up control was the hard part. I applaud those who self manage their properties. I just got tired of trying to keep up with the ever changing legal issues.

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93 VFR750, 1968 R50/2
911's and 914's of various vintages and in various states of repair
Old 02-14-2021, 08:24 AM
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