Rent manager and paylease testimony


#1

As a way of giving back to the forum, and helping other people save time, i feel compelled to share my experience with Rent Manager. I see many questions about Rent Manager and feel sharing my experience may help others. I’ve owned parks for 15 years. A little over a year ago, I began using Rent Manager.

The learning curve was large. I paid for the extra training and am glad i did. My trainer was kind and knowledgeable. She even gave me a little more time then I paid for. All in all, It took me about 6 months to train my tenants to pay using the new methods, and for me to feel really comfortable using the software. Rent manager does have pretty good service, but with software this powerful there is a learning curve, no way around that.

Before rent manager I did all my receivables by hand. I had my tenants mail checks to a po box and I drove to my po box and bank often. I figured late fees with pen and paper. I spent about 5 hours a week doing all this. Now with rent manager, most everything is automatic. I was processing about 150 checks a month. I should have gotten the software several years ago.

Paylease offers 3 options to my tenants.

  1. Pay online via my website, either with a checking, savings, or credit card. $1 fee for checking and savings, and like 3~% for credit card. I pay the $1 fee, but I don’t pay for credit cards fees.
  2. Pay via automatic withdraw ach that I activate once per month on the 5th. $1 fee I pay.
  3. Pay at Walmart with cash. $4 fee, tenants pay

All of these options are integrated with rent manager and all I have to do is run a report on the 11th of each month to see which tenants are delinquent.

When I rent to a new tenant, I have to take about 15 minutes seeing them up in the software. Things like inputting their rental rate, adding their name and whatnot.

I also am able to run my water meter readings through the software. Once I put the readings in, the program automatically charges the tenants account according.

One negative thing I have to say about the software is the “vpo” option. Which is an option that allows you to mail letters to selected tenants right through the software. The option sounds nice and easy, but I have run into some bugs a few times, that almost make me want to give up on this option. Sometimes it feels like it would be easier to just print off letters and mail them myself. I would like to see Rent Manager spend some time making this feature easier and smoother in function.

I am about to purchase my 5th park, and will require all the new tenants to pay via paylease. I expect it to take several days worth of work training them, and inputting the tenants into rent manager, but I now know it is worth it.

All in all I would give Rent Manager a B+ or A- . I am very glad I made the transition. Honestly, it has given me the time to find and hopefully close on my 5th park. Between Rent Manager and paylease fees, it cost me about $300/mo and saves me about 20 hours of work each month. Well worth it to me. In addition, the software will make growing the business easier. I really do wish they would revamp the vpo.


Software for mobile home park management
#2

Could you be specific which version of RentManager you use? We use “Rent Manager Xi” which is a Windows Remote Desktop to log into a Windows 2008 Server “instance” running what appears to be an Oracle back-end.

I believe there is a new (relative to us) web interface. Is it version 12 now?

Also, I want to say that giving back with this kind of personalized detail is really, really wonderful and what makes this Forum so valuable.


#3

Have to echo Brandon’s words on commentary and forum. I use RM XII (12) which is also Remote Desktop but actually has a pretty solid web interface you can access remotely. The app, however, is not great and needs a lot of work.

I personally didn’t pay for the training and found everything pretty intuitive. Just closed 3rd park and have about 300 lots on one license (only one person can login at any given time per license). Also pay for the web portal (another $75/math) which allows tenants to create accounts, see their history and pay online.


#4

We use Rent Manager Xi and depend on it daily. It appears that their new version 12 offers some additional features we would enjoy having and may also be a little more user friendly but haven’t made the switch yet, partly out of principle. They charge a $500 migration fee (all other fees roughly the same I think) to more or less “flip a switch” to port our data to the new version. As someone who was once in the online software industry, I have an opposition to migration fees that don’t make sense. (Why they want to support two versions of the software instead of making it free for everyone to switch I have no idea.) I expect that we will eventually switch to 12 though, but the fee plus having to relearn how to navigate in 12 vs. Xi slow me down.

A few months ago we started using Paylease as mobilehomepark described above and love it. It was a constant struggle to keep my Park Reps from accepting cash when they knew they were not supposed to (always a sob story why getting a money order wasn’t possible that day), but now we enforce the “no cash” rule rigidly since all our tenants frequent Walmart and can make cash payments there anytime if they prefer to deal with cash. I’m not sure about requiring everyone to use the service as mobilehomepark mentioned, but it’s a tempting idea because it definitely cuts down on the time required to make deposits, and eliminates the possibility of misplaced funds. It’s also safer than letting park reps hold on to money orders, because even money orders can be stolen and illegally cashed by a determined criminal.


#5

I use Rent Manager 12. I do not know anything about other versions.


#6

My parks are nicer then most, therefore my tenants tend to have a checking or savings account. The tenants that do not have bank accounts frequent Walmart. I could see this being a harder thing to enforce on a low end park.
I did allow a few elderly tenants to continue to send checks, however when I take my next park over, I intend to be pretty strict on using Paylease only.


#7

Is anyone using the online cloud version ? I know when i priced it out, it seemed like each module was an add on for extra cost and the amounts built up quick. Im not sure if that was pre pay lease or not. Im thinking about making the switch but reluctant as i didn’t like the demo of the RDP product but maybe the web based would be more to my liking. Is each feature or module still an ad on?


#8

Does anyone use Rentmanager with a check scanner on the manager’s desk? This would be how we would go (rather than Paylease) I think…Right now we have manager go to the bank with the checks & money orders (no cash accepted) daily and fax a receipt with a recap form to HQ, where the daily deposit is entered into RMO.

FYI we have 3 licenses for about 600 lots which allows each regional manager to have a license (to look up client accounts when they complain, etc) and a person who enters the daily deposits. And I share with the regional manager, we have about 5 people using the 3 licenses.


#9

I use scanners at all my parks. FYI the scanners also use Paylease for payment processing. I pay 40 cents per check.


#10

When using Rent Manager, instead of using the Paylease for rent collection, can I use a different rent collection website/app?


#11

Of course you can use any website or app for rent collection that you want, but I believe only Paylease is integrated with Rent Manager. We used to use Square for cc payments and manually enter the payments in RM but it was an arduous task. Paylease is automatic as long as you get the tenant to pay through their online account, and the fee is paid by the tenant.

Regarding @Brandon question, we currently use Remote Deposit through our local bank, who provided the check scanner and service for free. But I think if we didn’t have that option, we would use the Paylease service for check scanning. I am under the impression (but could be wrong) that Paylease can be negotiable on their fees for larger customers.At some point we still may switch to Paylease even though our Remote Deposits are free, simply because with the Paylease scanner option it ties the check directly to the tenant, so it seems to me it makes data entry simpler and less error prone.


#12

Thank you everyone for your awesome feedback everyone! @mobilehomepark, thank you for taking the time out to write out such a detailed review. We would actually love any feedback or ideas you might have to improve our VPO system. We have recently added a feature request form on our website: https://www.rentmanager.com/customer-resources/customer-support/submit-a-feature-request/. Any feedback you have will go directly to our management team for review and possible implementation to our software.

@mhp - we would also love any feedback you have on our mobile apps. We have created a development team to strictly focus on and improve our mobile applications. They would also be extremely grateful for any feature requests you might have to improve this product.

@Suburban - The reason we charge an upgrade fee from RM Xi to RM 12 is because it’s much more than flipping a switch. We completely redid how the program runs and how data is saved/processed, which allowed us to add much more functionality than we could in RM Xi. Our RM 12 Conversion team will work with you one-on-one to make sure your data is converted to the new format correctly and help your team transition to the new platform. We continue to support all versions of Rent Manager, because we want to make sure our customers are always taken care of, regardless of what version is most current.

Again, thank you for all of your feedback!

Full disclosure: I am a Rent Manager employee


#13

@mobilehomepark are you using their check scanner as well ? Im really intrigued by your setup. It looks like you are working to eliminate mail in payments .

Are others who run pay lease offering it as an option or the only method of payment?

I can see some challenges but id imagine , upon implementation, this system could carry tremendous advantages…

I am small but had the same issue on Buildum where one month their mailing service never mailed out statements for tenants… It sounds great in theory until no one knows what their utilities are…

Im considering a switch to Rent Manger as we had a couple of owner financed notes on Buildum and its just not set up for . RM looks like it can support those substantially better. The cost jump for us would be a bit since RM also charges a tenant portal. Switching systems is a pain so i want to make sure we commit as i def don’t want to change again if we do…

Thanks for your input.

Just a theoretical, does anyone know of a law that might require you to accept checks or money orders as payment? Can you mandate the pay lease option? I just don’t think i have heard of this before and it really sounds appealing if you can get over the implantation hurdles.


#14

I do not use the check scanner. There is no reason for me too use it. If the tenant has a checking account, they can usually pay online, or via automatic withdraw. If those methods do not work, they can pay at Walmart with cash.

I have eliminated 95% of my mail from checks and money orders. I let a handful of existing tenants continue to mail checks for various reasons (like old people, or people who pay their rent annually with a check). I am very strict with new tenants on using Paylease.

I have about 150 units and am very glad I started using RM and Paylease.

I have heard of several landlords not taking paper checks, I have never heard of a law that requires doing so. My lawyer said I was fine requiring my new payment methods in Indiana.

The setup is the hard part. Also after you get it setup, you have to be very meticulous inputting new tenants and changes into the software. For example, if you get a new tenant and do not put their rental charges into the software, the software is not going to charge them! That sounds obvious, but its easy to forget something like that. I find myself going through each tenant every few months, to make sure they were inputted into the software correctly and that everything is working as it should. The software sure beats pen and paper tho! Getting past the first few months is the hard part.


#15

Good stuff. Thanks for sharing.


#16

Thank you all. This is great information. Funny thing, my park is relatively small so I have instructed my tenants to deposit the rent amount plus the lot number at my bank. If rent is $300 per month, Lot 1 would pay $300.01. Lot 2 would pay $300.02… I know its limited but it works for now. I would like to try the softwares one day.


#17

You might consider using versacheck (any office depot will sell the software and checks) and print the (those with checking accts) checks automatically and deposit. Costs nothing and the software is about $80 plus the check stock. I versa check or have ach’d about 400 tenants. Cost is input time.


#18

I just made the transition to Rent Manager Online version and it is FABULOUS! I did enroll in everything but the text option. I am still building the website but once it is done it will allow me to display the homes I am selling and lots available, have prospects complete an online application, allow me to read water meters and the few electric meters I still have into a cell phone and it posts charges automatically, email or write letters to tenants, and more. My tenants now pay either online or at a local CashPay location. Even though I have only been using it for a month or so… it has already shown me how much easier it is going to make my life.