There are dozens of excellent desktop-based property management solutions to choose from, but very few, if any, are suitable for part-time landlords with a small number of properties to manage.
Enter The Property, a new iPhone and iPad application for managing rental business financials on the go. Launched earlier this month, The Property is designed for self-managing landlords, private let-to-buy investors and residential property managers managing small portfolios of single family homes, apartments or houses in multiple occupation (HMO). It's described as a private and personal app that lets landlords keep track of their rent payments and expenses history, and create invoices and receipts directly from their iPhone or iPad. The app also displays instant financial reports, provides reminders for payments, expenses and invoices due as well as upcoming lease agreement renewals.
The Property aims to fill the gap between manual spreadsheet-based management of rental properties and specialized, desktop-based property management software, explained Jurgis Kirsakmens, Founder of E-protect, the company which developed the app.
“I became a self-managing landlord about 5 years ago, and started managing finances in Excel,” Kirsakmens said. “But after three years of using customized spreadsheets, it became obvious to me that's the wrong way to do it.”
For Kirsakmens, one of the biggest problems he found with using Excel was that it's almost impossible to do anything with it on the go, even with the sophisticated abilities of the iPhone and iPad. “Even the simplest spreadsheets on the iPhone are very difficult to use,” he said. Kirsakmens also found that essential tasks such as linking data with photos and sending messages with payment receipts to tenants were impossible to do using Excel.
Kirsakmens began looking for something to make mobile property management, well, “more manageable” but was surprised to find that after a thorough search of the AppStore, he couldn't find anything of use.
“I found two kinds of apps – those that are very primitive and limited, and those made by Web-based property management software makers,” Kirsakmens said. But the problem with the latter apps is these were made “just to have something there”, resulting in an awkward user experience.
It was then that Kirsakmens decided the only option was to build his own, full-featured, mobile-centric app from scratch, and that's exactly what he did.
“I wanted to create simple, easy-to-use and focused app that works great on the iPhone and the iPad for managing rental business financials and is more convenient than spreadsheets,” Kirsakmens said.
The Property app is not meant to compete with existing Web-based property management solutions, which Kirsakmens says are designed for a different type of landlord with numerous properties to look after. Instead, The Property is designed for what Kirsakmens calls “self-managing landlords” with a small number of properties to manage while they're out and about. A landlord with a regular day job, for example.
“The point of The Property app is to be personal, private and mobile solution in the era of smartphones,” Kirsakmens said. “It's always on your mobile device and works just awesome.”
You can download The Property app from iTunes today.