For the most part, this depends on what you consider a "few tenants". If it's less than 20 or all in one building, you can likely get away with just using excel or quickbooks or the quicken rental software. I'm a property manager/Broker by trade and have used all of them at different levels of our growth (except Yardi, which I've researched a bit). However functionality and reporting are key to monitor the performance aspects of your property. The problem with the smaller solutions- excel, quickbooks, quicken, is that they do what they do well, but do not integrate the many facets of management into one software package. The bigger you get, the more streamlined things need to be so that you don't run into bottlenecks. I recommend a management software that integrates the maintenance, accounting and database of tenants, vendors and owners that to avoid having too many locations for too much information. We use rent manager. It has some flaws too, and I think Yardi is comparable as far as product offered. There is another program called Tenant Pro that we had previously, however, had to get rid of it because it wouldn't allow us to send mailed statement to alternate addresses for storage unit customers. It doesn't do much good to mail them to a storage unit address. They may have fixed that by now as that was about 3 years ago. However, if you only do residential or commercial, it may work fine. One other thing to consider is price. Tenant pro, Yardi and rent manager are all multiple thousands of dollars, so if you're looking for the cheap version for just a few tenants- excel or quickbooks is what I would go with.
Oct 7, 2010