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 around four years ago. The company continues to operate within IT services as well as the property side of the business. To date RedDoor have around 40 properties on their books. The company remit includes the renovation, letting, advertising and complete management of the portfolio.
As private landlords, the main issue for RedDoor was trying to keep track of incoming rent, maintenance jobs and keeping up-to-date information for all tenants and houses, including renewing tenancy agreements and importantly the annual safety checks required by law.
Due to RedDoor's existing IT Company, they were already running Sage Line 50 and all staff were familiar and competent with the software. They needed the equivalent functionality from property software. Originally, RedDoor kept all the information on their current Sage software. However, as the portfolio grew, they found the software did not allow for diary entries or communication logs with tenants neither was it able set reminders for tenancy agreements and safety certificates.
RedDoor purchased new property management software. Although this software could provide them with the missing key areas, it lacked on the financial side. It very difficult to log all communications, financial activity, rent due and incoming funds. It was easy to miss if rent was not paid on time and it did not enable all staff to see outstanding figures. It also required extra administration as data was input twice, once into the software and then again into Sage. The new software proved neither timely nor cost effective for RedDoor.
The biggest issue for RedDoor was that some rental payments were sent directly from the local authority for tenants entitled to housing benefit. The software did not allow this to be entered in the same account. It was necessary to run two separate accounts, which never gave RedDoor or the tenant any clarity on the account. However, if the accounts were not run separately it was impossible to have a clear view of what the tenant owed, as the local authority made payments in arrears and rent from Tenants is always due in advance.
RedDoor searched the market again, looking for property software that was easy to use, simple to understand and be able to keep up-to-date with all tenant and properties details.
When RedDoor found Landlord Manager for Sage, it seemed to be everything they required. The link with Sage ensured one-time data entry and the familiarity with the Sage software meant staff were already competent and required no formal training.
RedDoor can now view exactly when rent is due and can log all communications by saving letters to the software. In addition, they can email and text directly from the software and this data is automatically added to the tenant account. It enables them to keep track of all work orders, safety certificates and sets reminders for all diary activities. It will even keep a list of all suppliers contact details and link these to the appropriate work orders. The system was very easy to set-up and enabled staff to input all the housing benefit details directly to the tenant account, yet easily see what the tenant owed versus the proportion owed by housing benefit.
It has made RedDoor much more efficient and knowledgeable regarding tenant accounts. This clear overview has enabled RedDoor to set up payment plans and is helping to ensure that current and previous tenants are able to clear their debts - previously this information was easily overlooked. Rent arrears are lower than before because of the detailed overview, previously some of these debts would have been completely written off.
RedDoor have found the technical support to be extremely good and have an open dialogue regarding improvements and suggestions for future enhancements. The software is exactly what RedDoor had been searching for and would recommend it without hesitation.