EPZE: Landlord 5 - Accounting
Software for Landlords
The first property I ever bought was back in 2005. It was a little 3-bed terrace in a popular area. It was my introduction to being a landlord but even though the location and tenant profile for the area were great, I wasn't really prepared for what that would entail.
Now, I count myself as a bit of a geek.
When it comes to admin I love a good spreadsheet to keep track of things.
But being a hands-on landlord - managing tenants - requires more than a spreadsheet, unless you don't mind getting bogged down.
In the early days, I thought that the job of being a landlord involved nothing more than the odd letter or phone call and that would be pretty much it. Managing a few tenants and a bit of upkeep would only involve remembering when the rent was due and keeping a note of a few other dates, besides.
Easy, right? Piece of cake.
12 months later, all was well and my sturdy, carefully-crafted Excel document was proving to be great at ‘tracking’ my rents and other important bits and pieces… I was on top of it all.
Or so I thought.
Fast forward, another 12 months and my admin was starting to fall apart. I had just taken on a couple of new properties and everything was becoming rather complicated.
Monitoring rents, managing tenant details and tracking things like gas safety certificate renewal dates, was becoming an uphill battle.
And I knew (even back then) that if I was ever going to scale-up my business, succeed in the property game and become the professional that I wanted to be, then spending hours-and-days keeping on top of repetitive, administrative tasks, was not the way forward.
I needed software, to pull myself out of this trap and after trialling a few alternatives, I settled on EZPZ's Landlord 5 and I haven't look back.
This doesn't mean that this service will be right for you. It's been great for me but everyone's requirements will be different. That is the nature of the beast.
And I haven't put this together because I have any financial relationship with EZPZ; I don't.
But because I found their services useful and because I thought it might be of interest, to our readers, I asked John, who runs EZPZ to pen a few thoughts on Landlord software and he kindly agreed.
Property Portfolio Sofware
by John from EZPZ Software
- Why do I Need Software to Manage my Property Portfolio?
- What Should the Software Do?
- How Much Will it Cost Me?
- Landlord 5
Possibly the most recognised reason for using software to manage your property portfolio is the fact that it allows you to be better organised by keeping all your information in one place.
The above question is seldom asked of me but is often answered by the prospective clients that call us looking for property management software. The caller has usually already decided that they need “some software” because they are struggling to cope with all the scraps of paper notes they have made or with getting their self-created Excel spreadsheet to do their bookkeeping for them.
They then realise that there is no need to “re-invent the wheel” as there is plenty of software already available that does the job.
Probably one of the most important things you want your software for is accounting.
You want to know which of your tenants’ rent is overdue and who has already paid. The software should offer some form of credit control allowing you to send statements, reminder letters and even SMS text messages to your tenants.
It is also very useful to keep track of what you owe to your suppliers and when they are due to be paid. The ability to balance your bank accounts would be an extremely useful addition.
A diary function or system of reminders is essential. Such a system could tell you when a tenancy will end or when you will need to renew a gas safety certificate. The possible uses are endless!
Most software will provide you with plenty of reports that can tell you things like whether a particular property is proving to be profitable or what furniture and fittings are part of the inventory for this or that property.
The software should also have the ability to generate standard letters with the tenant’s details already filled in for you.
The price of property management software varies considerably and could cost you anything from a couple of hundred pounds to a couple of thousand pounds. If it’s the right software, it will pay for itself over time by providing you with more accurate record keeping and saving you money on your accountant’s bill.
Many software suppliers will happily provide you with a demonstration or trial version of their software so that you can try it before you part with your hard-earned cash.
Take the time to do this; you may not be able to explore all the features the software has to offer but you will at least be able to get a flavour and know if it is going to be right for your needs. The very nature of software means that you won’t be able to get your money back if you buy the software and then, after using it, decide that you don’t like it.
Our software solution, Landlord 5, has all the above-mentioned features and more. You can download the software from our website and try it for 30 days free of charge by visiting us at Ezpz.
As you can see, a systemized approach to managing your properties and tenants is going to come with a lot of benefits.
For me, using bespoke landlord software has saved me a lot of time.
But it’s also been a lifesaver.
Because there are features to Landlord 5, I hadn't thought of.
My personal favourite is that is gives you the ability to print rent statements on demand, detailing charges, payments received, discounts given, dates, tenants details etc.
Sometimes, when rent is owed, a tenant will dispute the situation but a simple, printed-off, rent statement can work wonders, with regard to getting them back on track.
Personally I would recommend this approach.
If you have just one rental property then Landlord 5 might be a overkill.
But if you're looking to build a property portfolio and systemise your business, Landlord 5, or software like it, is going to be essential.