Quicken does it, so do many other programs. I’d like to outline the features of Quicken, Rent Magic and iiProperty. Specifically, I’ll outline what features each program has that can make a landlord’s job easier. I cannot recommend Microsoft Money, as several reviews on Amazon.ca suggest that the Canadian version of the software is not adequate for Canadian users.
Features: Quicken supposedly tracks rental properties, although to the best of my knowledge it does so in a very rudimentary way. So far, I’ve managed to set up my assets and liabilities, and it will update my loan balances automatically (I think). However, I have yet to locate any advanced features to keep track of tenants. I look forward to using some of the project tracking features that enable you to enter To Do type items.
Missing: Tenant tracking, property details, to-do lists for your properties, mailing letters, etc.
Price: Depends on the features, $0.00 up to $64.99/mo for up to 55 units.
Features: There is a somewhat limited free version that anyone can try out. The software provides tracking options for multiple addresses, multiple tenants, etc. One of the most useful features I see is the ability to advertise your properties. You can create your own real estate site for vacancies and properties for sale. The site will have your company name across the top, and shows a picture of each of your properties. For each property, you can then add pictures, and a flyer detailing the terms of the offer. Furthermore, when you upgrade to one of their paid services, iiProperty will send mailings such as late payment notices, statements, repair notices, etc. This feature sounds like a real time-saver.
The best feature is that you can access this service for FREE with some limitations.
Missing: Automatic account downloading, tax integration, Canadian flavour (although I am TOLD that this is on its way).
Price: Ranges, the hosted, online software is $10/month for 1-10 units. There is also a locally-hosted version, but pricing is not available on the website (read: expensive).
Features: Rent magic is a fairly robust package. It includes the ability to track as many properties as you have, track your income, expenses, notices and letters, tenancy agreements and legal documents, and also helps with all of your accounting needs. One feature that sets Rent Magic apart from other solutions is that it is able to do payroll for your rental business if you happen to have several employees. You can also set up access passwords for your different employees. Also, it integrates perfectly with Ontario rental law (the Tenant Protection Act), which is a huge bonus for Ontario landlords. The system is advertised as being powered by ManageUDA, so perhaps you can find localized versions for your area.
Missing: I don’t believe there is an advertising/marketing module similar to that offered by iiProperty.
This review is not meant to be exhaustive, it is merely meant to discuss some of the options that I have come across in the short two years that I’ve been a landlord. Please let me know if you know of any other rental software packages that you would recommend. Personally, I would recommend iiProperty for the small landlord with only a handful of units, and a solution like Rent Magic for the landlord with more than 10 units to keep track of.
I know that there are a lot of high-priced accounting packages that do the same thing, but I think these solutions are much easier to afford for the landlord with only a couple of units. I have signed up for iiProperty and will post more thoughts on it at a later date!