For property owners, filling rental properties means answering phone calls, collecting move-out checks, finding new tenants and lots of paperwork. AHRN.com wants to lighten your load with these 8 Property Management apps that will make your PCS season easier.
Sure, smartphones are fun for games and looking at cat videos, but can they actually save you time and make your life easier as a landlord or property manager? Increasingly they can — with more useful services and apps coming online every month.
Here are eight of our favorite apps for landlords and property managers in 2015, along with some of their standout features.
An excellent organizational app, RentTracker helps you organize your properties, tenant information, rents received and lease expirations. It will generate year-end financial reports to help with tax preparation, and its simple user interface makes it easy. Perhaps the best part is that it syncs with other mobile devices and your website account, so it is accessible from any device, anywhere.
Cost: Free for the first three tenant records, then only $1/tenant.
2. Pendo Rent
In addition to tracking properties and payments, Pendo Rent allows for collection of rents directly from tenants from your mobile phone or tablet. With an emphasis on tracking your properties’ cash flow – and helping you improve it — Pendo Rent connects right to your bank account, and will keep your property financial data centralized.
Just take a photo of any property, and Homesnap will pull up current or past MLS listing information. You can browse interior photos, past sale information, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and even public school information. Additional neighborhood data is also available, although the analysis is not as comprehensive as that offered by Zillow or Trulia.
4. DIY Landlord
DIY Landlord is an Apple app that allows property managers and landlords to track not just properties and rent rolls, but allows for partial and abnormal payments as well. Photo logs for properties, expense tracking, financial reporting and a dashboard that offers a snapshot of this month’s performance all help managers stay on top of their rental units. And it’s integrated with DropBox, for automated backups and access through other devices.
Cost: Free for the first two tenant inputs, then $0.99/tenant
5. The Property
The Property is an iPad/iPhone app that helps you to organize your rental properties on your mobile device. You can manage tenants and rent agreements. Prepare and send rent invoices to tenants, track rent payments and tenants’ balance. Keep track of related expenses. Use your mobile device’s camera to add important details. Then, easily export and share your financial data with your accountant or bookkeeper.
Cost: Free lite version, one time $8.99 price for premium version with expanded capabilities
Take your business paperless with the syncing power of Evernote. Free for the basic version, Evernote allows you to access records seamlessly from your desktop and mobile devices. Inside the app, you can create a notebook for each of your properties or tenants and keep your records conveniently sorted. Stay organized and on top of annual maintenance with a checklist for each property.
Cost: Free, additional premium features available
You are likely already using Google products in some form. Google Calendar is a frequently underrated tool that can be harness to seriously increase your productivity! As a property manager, you have appointments that must be kept – with tenants, service providers and more. With Google Calendar, you can share your schedule with anyone you want: your assistant, spouse, child, or friends. Additionally, it’s mobile. When users create an event on their computer, it will be synced to all the devices on which you access Google Calendar. You can set up your calendar to send reminders that will notify you when it is time for appointments, calls or simple task deadlines. We all know we need some reminding to do our lead generation! Minimize wasted appointments by inviting people by email.. and it puts the appointment in their calendar automatically. You can also schedule video meetings, called Google Hangouts, with your clients and attach documents to the meeting directly.
All of the above smartphone apps are free to download and try, although most start charging after the first few rental properties, or for the more advanced features. Try each out to see which ones work best for you, and remember: while smartphones are great for quick data access, in-depth research and tenant placement is best done on full websites.
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Meet Your Contributor:
Brian Davis is a long time landlord and the vice president of ezLandlordForms, a resource for rental forms, tenant screening reports and more. He has appeared on radio shows ranging from CBS Radio to The Wall Street Business Network, and is an avid advocate for mom-and-pop real estate investors and landlords.