Town and Country, UK Jan Thomas
Town & Country Estates has been trading for over 26 years with branches in Trowbridge and Westbury. Just over two years ago we decided to open a lettings department to compliment the estate agency. During the early months of our new lettings venture we simply used our existing estates database to track our enquiries along with a spreadsheet and our usual accounts software, Sage.
The Park Lane Group Sue McGreevy ACA, Finance Director
The Park Lane Group consists of a number of entities that owns and manages its own rental portfolio of approximately 150 units as well as building new homes.
Lithend Estates is a large private landlord letting to students in Hampshire.
We had been using the same property management software for approximately 17 years. This wasn’t because the software was particularly good but rather that we had been unable to find anything better.
Fromevale Properties Peter Higgins, Manager for AG Fear and Companies
Anthony Fear trading as Fromevale Properties has a rental division in Somerset letting properties owned by the proprietor.
We invested a large amount in a property management system from a competitor, the system was complicated, impossible to install without the technicians. The system was full of bugs, slow, unreliable and was simply not compatible with our needs. We found that we were doubling our accounting workload because our previous property management software could not link to Sage 50. We would need to enter the account information in both on Sage, and the letting software. This was time consuming, and created a higher risk of errors being made.
When we discovered our previous provider was not going to make any immediate changes or improvements to the software we looked extensively at many alternatives. We were looking for something which was affordable because of what we had already invested, yet affective for our needs. There would be no point investing in a property management solution just because it was affordable. We needed a solution which would not only manage our property portfolio, but would maintain our accounts also. We decided to try Landlord Manager for Sage in April 2010.
We found that everything we needed was built in to one package. Landlord Manager for Sage connected to Sage very effectively, and allows us to view tenant accounts without opening Sage, view profit and loss, and financial information, which previously could only be viewed within Sage after being entered manually. Some financial reports are viewed more easily in Landlord Manager rather than Sage such as profit and loss by property.
In regards to property management, the software manages every aspect of the property throughout the tenancy from start to finish. The areas we were interested in were the set-up of a tenancy, communication with tenants with letter generation and templates, property maintenance including repairs, safety issues including reminders for inspections, and gas safe checks, rent arrears including reminders and arrears reporting, key press information, utility meter readings, commutation with suppliers, utility providers, contractors, and authorities, invoice schedules and posting on to Sage.
It's daunting with any new major change to a company's account/management software, which is why Visionbase Software provided us with support. We found the UK based support extremely beneficial and friendly, and we have developed an excellent relationship with them. Fromevale properties would gladly recommend Landlord-Manager for Sage.