When you start managing rental property, you will need to find a good accounting system to track your rent payments, expenses, payments, and profits.
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Accounting Systems for Property Management
Just like any business venture, you need to be able to track the monetary success (and failures) of your rental properties with a good accounting system. Keeping good records of your financials will help you secure funds if you ever choose to purchase additional properties as banks will want to see records of your reserve funds and profits from your current investments.
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You will also need to keep excellent records of your accounts for tax purposes and if you ever go through a real estate audit.
Search a portfolio of Real Estate Management software, SaaS and cloud applications for Mac. Save time with reviews, on-line decision support and guides. GetApp is your free Directory to Compare, Short-list and Evaluate Business Solutions. Save time with reviews, on-line decision support and guides. Mar 23, 2018 The Best Real Estate CRM Software for 2019. From condo associations to commercial property management companies, we review 10 customer relationship management (CRM) platforms that can help real. Oct 01, 2019 When shopping for property management software, it’s always important to compare prices as well as features. “PM software can be a bit pricey,” says Jaleesa Bustamante of iPropertyManagement, a website that offers reviews of property management products and services. “Make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Rental Property Tracker Plus is easy-to-use, residential rental property management software with which you can: keep track of all your rental units, tenants, rental income and expenses.
There are a few ways that rental managers and landlords choose to keep track of the accounting side of their properties: spreadsheets, QuickBooks, and property management software.
Spreadsheets for Rental Property Accounting
Some investors rely on spreadsheets or a pen and paper method for rental property accounting. This system is ok if you have 1 or 2 properties.
Spreadsheets on programs like Excel, give a landlord a way to track and auto-calculate totals from each spending category to provide you with your gross income, net income, and total expenses for the year.
Here is an example of a free Rental Income and Expense Worksheet from Zillow.
This spreadsheet from Zillow is designed for 1 to 5 properties, but as a real estate portfolio grows, you will need to find an accounting solution that gets easier, to accommodate the increased responsibilities that accompany more units. Modern bookkeeping-systems automate a majority of the job duties of a busy rental manager.
QuickBooks for Rental Property Accounting
QuickBooks is often at the top of any professional’s mind when they think about accounting software for their business.
QuickBooks can be used for managing your rental transactions by setting up properties as customers, tenants as sub-customers, and classes to track transaction types. The tenant sub customer will show all rent invoices, associated payments, and current balance.
QuickBooks also provides solutions for property managers, who often have more accounting requirements regarding paying owners and trust accounting. QuickBooks offers the following explanation for rental property accounting on their website: “QuickBooks Desktop allows you to set up a company file that lets you run your property management business and do tasks such as receiving and tracking rent from tenants, paying property owners and management companies, fees and overhead charges for property maintenance.”
Despite being the leading accounting solution for small businesses, QuickBooks has its limitations for managing rentals. Software designed specifically for property managers offers an industry-specific accounting system with the powerful reporting features of QuickBooks but it is already set up with categories and ledgers for rental management.
Quickbooks is great for general accounting, but it is missing all the tools that will truly make you stand out as the best property manager or landlord. With software designed specifically to your industry, you will get industry-specific tools like a tenant portal for your tenants to log into and make maintenance requests and pay their rent, an owner portal for owners to review their property performance, and built-in tenant screening so you can screen your tenants right within the same application.
Property Management Software for Rental Accounting
Often times, the difference between a positive experience and a negative one is lack of knowledge about the resources that will make property management easier.
The problems experienced by many property managers and landlords can be solved with improved organization and online tools that help streamline business tasks associated with managing rentals.
Property management software gives a rental manager or landlord all the tools you need to run a successful business.
Property management software accounting features:
- Full general ledger accounting for properties, tenants, and owners. You have the power to review, edit and print ledgers for every property, tenant, owner, and bank account used to manage your properties. Traditional accounting systems are not designed for property management and require double or even triple entry of transactions to maintain accurate and auditable records. With Rentec Direct, this double or triple entry is automatically handled, saving you time and eliminating error.
- The ability to accept online rent payments via eCheck(ACH) or credit card from your tenants.
- Property managers can pay owners electronically via ACH. With two simple clicks in the system, you can quickly identify the distribution amount due to an owner and electronically transfer the funds from your account to theirs. No checks to print, stamps to lick, or envelopes to stuff. The owner gets an electronic deposit into their checking account a few days later.
- Trust account certified software that complies with your state’s real estate board.
- Built-in 1099-MISC e-filing system to make tax season easier.
- A comprehensive set of financial reports and useful reports is included. With specialized reports for property portfolios and owners provide you the most relevant data quickly and easily for your clients. All reports can be emailed, printed, or exported to PDF or Excel. All your data can also be synchronized with Quickbooks to provide a familiar format to CPAs and bookkeepers.
- A mobile system that can be accessed on the go. Imagine traveling and one of your owners requests a report. You can log into your property management software from any internet-connected device to access a report to provide your owner. Or give your owner access to their own portal for them to view their own reports.
But My Accountant Loves QuickBooks
Good news! Most property management software solutions provide options to get your data over into QuickBooks with ease. You can also download reports and ledgers for your accountant to upload and view in QuickBooks. Easy peasy!
When selecting an accounting solution for your rental needs, the most important part is to choose a system that works for you.
Related Reading For You:
We may be in the digital age where online listings help homebuyers find a great property at a great price through a listing database, but that isn’t the only way technology is changing the real estate game.
Enter real estate property management software.
From rent and vacancy tracking to contract and insurance management, real estate management software solutions help you maintain and organize payments, tenants, and even craft your own property website.
With real estate software, you can go from managing a few properties to more than 50 while remaining organized and aware of what’s happening at each.
There are plenty of real estate management tools out there; Capterra’s directory has more than 200 products. It can be overwhelming and time-consuming to sort through these options on your own. Sometimes the best way to get started is to check out what others are buying to determine whatthese solutions can offer you.
Below, I’ve outlined the seven most popular real estate property management software solutions (in alphabetical order), determining their popularity based on SEO ranking, social presence, and number of reviews.
1.360Workplace for Commercial Real Estate by Accruent
360Workplace functions as a suite of systems (offering facility maintenance management, space management, construction project software, and lease administration) for those looking to manage real estate with more than just a single solution.
Users can monitor important assets and inventory, track vendor interactions, observe construction goals and schedules, stimate expenses and ensure tax compliance. There’s no cap on the number of users and the platform is cloud-based, meaningusers can access 360Workplace anywhere with an internet connection.
360Workplace is built with corporate real estate in mind, so smaller businesses seeking a more customized solution should look elsewhere.
Pricing isn’t listed publicly, but if you’re interested, you can schedule a demo or contact Accruent’s customer support team for more information.
Have you used 360Workplace? Leave a review!
2. Appfolio Property Manager by Appfolio
Examples of Appfolio’s dashboard on multiple devices
This cloud-based property management system is good for the real estate agent on the go who wants to monitor properties anywhere, at any time. In addition to an owner portal where you can manage everything and view reports, the software also allows you to create professional websites for your properties.
Capterra reviewers praise the software for its ease of use and customer support. They also report that the company listens to user feedback and updates the software in response.
A variety of users cited multiple different features they would like to see added, suggesting that AppFolio is somewhat of a work in progress. Other users want support to be a bit more responsive.
AppFolio charges $1.25 per unit, per month for residential usage and $1.50 for commercial. For student housing, that fee is $1.25, and for community associations it’s $0.80.
Have you used Appfolio? One man band mac software 2017. Leave a review!
3. Buildium Property Management Software by Buildium
Used by more than 12,000 property managers and 175,000 property owners in 46 countries, Buildium Property Management is a top choice in the industry.
Buildium’s software tackles accounting, business operations and leasing. Users can monitor business expenses, make and accept online payments, and file 1099s during tax season. Buildium also offers a resident portal for processing maintenance request and payments, an application system where you can accept rental applications, run tenant screenings, and store documents in the cloud. Buildium also helps users create their own websites to host rental listings.
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Some Capterra reviews note that setup time can be a little long and cite an initial learning curve for first-time users.
Buildium’s pricing model breaks down by number of units and can be paid monthly or annually, with annual costs higher than monthly installments. Prices range from $45 to $1,800/month or $540 to $21,600/year. Properties with more than 5,000 units should contact the company’s sales department for custom pricing. A free trial is also available.
Have you used Buildium? Leave a review!
4. Planon Real Estate Management by Planon
Planon Real Estate Management is intended for medium, large, and global businesses looking to organize their data in a more structured and helpful manner.
Planon’s real estate software lets users organize and structure data such as property and tenant details as well as lifecycle costs. Planon also offers processes such as transaction management, letting users create and evaluate scenarios for more efficient financial planning. Users can forecast potential costs and identify possibly saving opportunities. For those looking to eliminate spreadsheet dependency, Planon provides user-friendly, centralized dashboards for better management.
Because this solution is tailored toward medium and large businesses, Planon may not be ideal for smaller companies.
Those interested can request a software demo, but pricing information is not publicly available.
Have you used Planon? Leave a review!
5. Property Operations Workspeed by MRI Software
Property Operations Workspeed’s dashboard
MRI’s Property Operations Workspeed has more than 2,700 clients worldwide and touches on risk management, business analytics and visitor management.
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This real estate management solution handles a variety of aspects essential to maintaining multiple properties. Property Operations Workspeed users have access to an equipment library as well as a service contract and warranty management component to ensure timely maintenance and inspections to maximize the lifespan of property assets. The program also offers a service request tool so that property managers, tenants, engineers, and vendors can submit request and work orders (including through a mobile app).
Workspeed is a basic solution and doesn’t allow for much customization, meaning you may have to rely on other MRI solutions to build out this platform.
Pricing isn’t available publicly, though you can request a free, personalized quote through their website.
Have you used Property Operations Workspeed? Leave a review!
6. Rentec Direct
Examples of reports created by Rentec Direct software
Rentec Direct bills itself as a “complete management solution for professional property managers.” The software includes automatic ACH payments, tenant screening, logins for both tenants and owners, data security, and the ability to publish vacancies online. Rentec Direct claims that users can be up and running within 10 minutes of getting the software.
Capterra reviewers describe the customer service as friendly and responsive. They state that the software is easy to use, reporting that it effectively tracks payments, expenses, and maintenance calls while keeping everything organized in an online portal.
Some users noted that the reporting option could be improved and made more customizeable.
Rentec Pro generally costs about $0.90 per month, per unit. It’s $1 per month for Rentec PM. However, you only get that price if you buy in large quantities. If you only purchase 10 units, for example, you’ll have to pay $35 to $40 per month. The company also offers a two-week free trial.
Have you used Rentec Direct? Leave a review!
7. TRIRIGA Real Estate Manager by IBM
It’s no surprise that IBM makes the top five, likely due to brand recognition and reputation.
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TRIRIGA is a great option if you’re looking to get a better grasp on your lease accounting as it comes with prebuilt lease accounting controls and automated lease payment reconciliation. TRIRIGA automates the creation of real estate and asset-lease contracts, as well as payment schedules, with the option of adding automated notifications for important dates, such as contract expiration. Users can also expect drilldown options such as side-by-side comparison of current terms and transaction scenarios, “smart” clauses that list data attributes for each clause or option, and balance sheet and income statement analysis.
Judging by TRIRIGA’s features, this solution makes sense for larger businesses. There’s no mention about potential scalability for smaller businesses, so keep that in mind as you explore this solution.
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IBM’s TRIRIGA is on the expensive side, running at $13,500 for a software license.
Have you used TRIRIGA? Leave a review!
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Did we miss any great real estate management software options?
Are there other popular real estate property management software solutions you’re familiar with? Let me know in the comments below so we can consider them for future updates!You can also explore free real estate management software options if you’re on a budget.
Looking for Real Estate Property Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Real Estate Property Management software solutions.