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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.

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Town and Country, UK Jan Thomas

Knowing we would be opening a new branch in Melksham during 2014 and the early success of the lettings department it quickly became apparent that the volume of transactions, to do lists, regular inspections etc. were becoming increasing time consuming to track within software not quite designed to do the job.

Read More Town and Country, UK Jan Thomas

The Lettings Company is a Trading Name of JRT Properties (NW) Ltd. A family run business that began as a property development company in 2005. After several successful years of buying, developing and selling; market conditions lead to a change in strategy towards Buy-to-Let. With an initial stock of 5 properties, management was straight forward.

Read More The Lettings Company, UK

Ashley Estates is an independent, family run business established in 2002 by David and Yvette Hannay and with over 30 years’ experience. In our first 7 years we specialised in renovating properties to a high standard and bought and sold well over 100 properties. In 2008, as the property market slowed down we quickly grew our management side of the business and we now manage in excess of 170 properties.

Read More Ashley Estates

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.

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The Park Lane Group Sue McGreevy ACA, Finance Director

We use Sage 50 for all our accounts information. We also have a construction package to manage our new homes division that links directly to Sage. At the time we also had a very outdated property management system to run our rental portfolio.

Read More The Park Lane Group Sue McGreevy ACA, Finance Director

I started the business in 2005 with a view to flipping properties, I soon realised rentals were the way to go. Having run a trading company before, I had used Sage and found it to be excellent software that my accountant knew inside out. The biggest problem here was that no other software was compatible.

Read More Sitwell Lettings Lisa Cusack, owner

Polar Choice has been trading since 2008 formerly Student Connect we manage over 20 sites across London and have clients from across the globe.

The Solution

Our business is quite unique in that many of our properties are broken down into bed spaces as opposed to whole properties. We found it very difficult to find software that would accommodate our unique requirements whilst giving us the tools to manage the house and utilities effectively.

Read More Polar Choice

Lithend Estates is a large private landlord letting to students in Hampshire.

The Challenge

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.

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Lithend Estates

One of the biggest problems with the software was that it lacked any accounting functionality. This meant we had to double entry all of our accounting information onto Sage. The software was expensive and if you wanted to use all of the functions available you had to buy add-ons.

Read More Lithend Estates

RedDoor Homes are property developers and private landlords with a portfolio of properties across the South East of England. RedDoor started out as an IT communications company who branched into property market. The company continues to operate within IT services as well as the property side of the business. The company remit includes the renovation, letting, advertising and complete management of the portfolio.

Read More RedDoor Homes

Thomas (Hampshire) Ltd are a private company based in Hampshire who own and manage business parks as well as running a warehousing division offering a full range of services.

Read More Thomas Hampshire Ltd Mike Thomas, Managing Director

Anthony Fear trading as Fromevale Properties has a rental division in Somerset letting properties owned by the proprietor.

The Challenge

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.

The Solution

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.

Fromevale Properties Peter Higgins, Manager for AG Fear and Companies