LandlordMAX, our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award winner, has a unique pricing policy in a property management software market dominated by rigidly tiered pricing models. LandlordMAX has one price that would be justified even if it managed a single property. The price of this property management software includes 12 months of free software updates, and it is the same whether the product manages a dozen units or 120. Another unique feature is free technical support for life, which is unusual in a rental property management software market where the norm is to charge for support.
The product is intended to help a single user who either manages personally owned properties or manages properties on behalf of clients. For those who use the program for rental property management on behalf of owners, it keeps track of multiple landlords and provides accounting support to create and track commissions. If a property has multiple investors, this property management software is sophisticated enough to track and group accounting entries for each landlord, adjusted according to the percentage of the building that the individual owns.
Email is available from within this property management software to facilitate communications with tenants and vendors. The email capabilities include mail server-based ISP or domain systems, Outlook and Gmail. The email integration means that any email you send from within the application appears in your external email application’s sent folder. Other tenant management tools include the ability to track all contact details, including information about a tenant’s employer, references and vehicles. The application accepts attachments to be associated with database entries, so landlords can attach documents such as digital pictures from move-in inspections. Vendors stored in the database are linked to any associated work orders and accounting entries. There is a notes field so that miscellaneous information always remains linked to the vendor. Properties are linked to all relevant information; not just to accounting, vendor, work order and tenant information, but also to mortgage policies, pictures and associated notes.
LandlordMAX is property management software with a clean user interface that protects users from ever becoming lost down a rabbit hole. A simple list of functions down the left side of the screen provides direct access to any specific component. There are a number of ways to configure this property management software to match individual preferences. All tables within the application can be sorted by clicking on the table column headers. Until it is changed again, the new order remains in place even after quitting and restarting the software. The application accepts the user’s logo so that it can be incorporated into communications with tenants and vendors.
The accounting module allows users to control the color codes that signify how early or late any entry should be labeled. In order to locate a particular entry, filters are available by date, accounting type or category. A database stores details for tenants, vendors and properties. The database maintains strict integrity of data. For example, if a user attempts to delete a tenant who is referenced by any other data item, the application explains that it can’t delete the tenant because the tenant is referenced by another section. Once all of the references to the tenant are deleted, the tenant can in turn be deleted. The application allows users to create multiple accounts for banking and credit cards. Accounting entries can then be linked to the accounts. If, in the process of adding an accounting event, it turns out that the user forgot to first create the account that it relates to, it is possible to create a new account without first exiting the accounting module. The account and its related transactions can then be the source of reports that are generated according to the user-specified calendar dates and with customizable titles.
The user has control over general preferences for leases, printing, dates and work orders. When creating a new lease, there are options to tell this property management software application to automatically create a scheduled accounting entry, invoice or receipt. The system takes the new lease data and creates suggested entries for accounting, invoicing or receipts, which the user can accept so that it appears in the accounting list. The convenient method of suggesting entries for the user to accept also extends to late rent payments. The system presents a list of overdue rents for the user to accept so that they are moved into the accounting list and color coded according to their status. Another convenience that reduces data entry chores is the ability to set advance notices for scheduled entries such as accounting, receipts and invoices. The scheduled entries turn into suggested entries that the software recommends based on the advance notice time that the user selects. If any field within the suggested entry needs to be modified, the user can edit the necessary field. Taking advantage of this automation takes much less time than completing an entry from scratch.
This property management software has printing-preference options which allow comments to show up on printed documents such as account entries, invoices, receipts and work orders. Calendar date format is configurable. LandlordMAX receives and categorizes data easily. And just as easily, it provides reports on what it contains. There are about 150 reports available, which slice, dice and combine data in almost every conceivable way that a landlord might need to turn rental business data into actionable information. The reports are available in numbers or graphs, according to calendar year, fiscal year or any unit of time. If exported to an Excel spreadsheet, the report graphs are also received by Excel. Users can print or email reports as a system-generated PDF.
This property management software installs onto Windows or Macintosh computers. And it is possible to move the LandlordMAX backup database back and forth between the two operating systems for restoration onto either platform! The LandlordMAX contact list can import from and export to Outlook contacts. Outlook contacts can also be specifically directed to the LandlordMAX lists for contacts, tenants, vendors or landlords. There is likewise a fine level of control over which LandlordMAX contacts export to Outlook.
LandlordMAX provides a free real estate analyzer online to help investors identify good opportunities. The product manual is conveniently located online. This property management system is so well conceived and implemented that there is no help button, and we were surprised to discover that we never missed it. The vendor provides free technical support by email. We tested the email support and received a response within a day. This property management software exports and imports data in QIF format (a standard Quicken export file). Any of the reports can be exported to RTF (for word processors), Excel, CSV and HTML.
Even though the majority of the rental property management software market is migrating to cloud-based services in order to host multiple users and incorporate Web 2.0 features into their products, there will always be a market for platform-specific products. Some users are wary of the security claims that the online product vendors make. Some users really don’t mind taking responsibility for backing up their rental business data. Many users are reluctant to commit to an online solution that will require them to make monthly payments for the rest of their property management careers.
Our job at TopTenREVIEWS is to separate the sheep from the goats. As we screened candidates for our property management software review, we discovered quite a few amateurish rental property management products that manifested catastrophic bugs, outdated code, and profit-based technical support policies. When we discovered LandlordMAX, it was a breath of fresh air. It has a lot going for it and it works as advertised. It is property management software that runs on Windows and Macintosh computers. It costs the same whether it manages one rental unit or thousands. Technical support is free, responsive and professional. It supports the marketing of vacancies by conveniently providing a place to save the wording of classified ads that have proven to be successful. The accounting mechanisms are robust and enforce the controls necessary to keep the user from getting into accounting trouble. There are a stupendous number of available reports that convert data into useful information.
LandlordMAX looks good and behaves well in an elegant, no-nonsense fashion. It is not a personal financial manager. It is written from the ground up as dedicated property management software. The developers consciously resist the temptation toward feature creep in order to maintain ease of use and affordability. The customer base for this property management software is loyal. If you are just looking for an easy and affordable way to organize and account for properties that you own and manage, LandlordMAX is the best in its price category.
LandlordMAX has one price for unlimited units under management.
Minor nit: check writing is not available from within the application.
LandlordMAX successfully scales from one unit to thousands.