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Rentwise - DIY Property Management tool

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Old 24-04-10
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Default Rentwise - DIY Property Management tool

Hi Guys,

Rentwise was released about a week ago and I was hoping to get some feedback about it.

1. What needs reviewing?
The website, and if you feel like the actual management tool itself (simply register, you can always cancel before the free period ends).

2. What does your business do?
Rentwise is a do-it-yourself property management tool that enables you to easily keep track of bills, mortgages and rent, so you know exactly how much your investment property is costing you.

3. Who is your target market?
Landlords.

4. What specific concerns do you have?
Not sure if the website is clear enough, service too expensive?

Thanks guys.

Tom

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Old 25-04-10
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Default Re: Rentwise - DIY Property Management tool

Tom,

Interesting service, not sure I understand all of the functionality.

To give you some context for my comments below, last week I set up a client to manage his properties on Xero, the big attraction for him of Xero was the automated bank feeds - so every morning he logs in, all of his receipts and payments are available in Xero, all he has to do is "Ok" them, no other data entry. He can report by property, his accountant can access all of his data on-line, etc. All at a monthly fee less than Rentwise, and he is now in the position that the record keeping for his property management take him less than a half an hour per month.

Ok, now the other side of the coin: I can see a number of features that you offer that Xero or other solutions don't, such as the ability to record specific information about the property, about the tenant, about the lease and so on (although I am pretty sure most of this could be done in other apps using tracking codes, reminders, notes, etc). The sum of these could be very attractive as a solution in this one specific niche, except . . .

The really big "missing" bit in Rentwise relates to the day to day transaction data - as far as I can see this is all updated manually, and there is no bank reconciliation facility. There is a "paid" tick box, but nowhere to check that I have entered everything (did my tenant really pay the rent on time yesterday - don't know, I have to log into my bank account to find out, then if he did flick back to Rentwise to manually update that receipt).

To make this product really attractive (in my opinion) you need to have automated bank feeds in place, so that the rental income, payments of interest and bank feeds, payments to other suppliers is automated, and then have a bank rec at the back of this. Without that the first question your tax accountant will ask when you give them the other reports is "have you prepared a bank rec?"

Please do correct me if I have misunderstood any aspect of Rentwise, hope these comments help,

Cheers, Rhys

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Old 25-04-10
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Default Re: Rentwise - DIY Property Management tool

Hi Rhys,

Thank you very much for taking the time to have a closer look at Rentwise, I appreciate your constructive feedback.

Rentwise was released only last week, I'm already working on phase two and trying to get an aggregated merchant ID from the bank which will allow me to do something very similar to Xero with scheduled payments and Tenants rental payments which hopefully will give Rentwise a bit more value.

I thought that the payments in general will be an issue for people but chose to delay it to phase two mainly because Rentwise allows you to keep track of everything you need which makes it a lot easier during tax time and reporting.

Cheers.

Tom

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Old 25-04-10
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Default Re: Rentwise - DIY Property Management tool

Tom

Looking forward to seeing phase 2, see what sort of functionality you will be able to offer. I know MYOB have decided to partner with Banklink to get their direct bank feeds for the upcoming LiveAccounts product, so will be interested to see how you go getting this aspect implemented.

I'll keep an eye on your site and on FS to see how this progresses. And in the menatime can you delete my account on RentWise please, had to sign up to take a look at the product but don't actually have a property to manage!!

Good luck, cheers, Rhys

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Old 25-04-10
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Default Re: Rentwise - DIY Property Management tool

Hi Tom,

I own a real estate agency here in Canberra - currently managing 500+ residential properties. Fairly progressive and innovative strategies in regards to the management of the properties - including technology for accountability / banking etc.

I'm going to log onto your site and have a look through, then I'll post some feedback - I'll register as Erik Tyler, but obviously won't be "real" client.

I'll post soon.

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Old 25-04-10
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Default Re: Rentwise - DIY Property Management tool

Hey Tom

I've signed up and had a look through the site - looks very slick, and does what it should do.

Some small points;

1. Maintenance - I'd suggest having a feature allowing you to book maintenance. You can add tradies, but maybe have a button on the property section allowing the landlord to book maintenance - with drop downs for the type of maintenance, and then the program generates a maintenance request form that can be directly emailed / faxed to the tradie.

2. Most private landlords do so because they want to save cost, and they also think PM's are rubbish at daily management. I'd suggest having a login portal for tenants, so they can monitor their rent / statements etc. Console has something like this, called Online Agent - we use this, and its AWESOME. Saves alot of pointless calls from tenants.

I think it's a solid idea, but selling this to private landlords will be tough (in my honest opinion) - mainly because as it stands, the services the website provides can be covered by MYOB and an out of the box management package.

The other posted made comment on the banklink / payments function, which I think will add value to the product.

As with everything, time will tell! Make sure you hit the marketing hard!

Erik

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Old 25-04-10
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Default Re: Rentwise - DIY Property Management tool

Hi Erik,

Thank you for the honest feedback. Rentwise is not exactly going hand in hand with commercial property managers as you can tell, and I never really had a vision that it will replace them, rather that it is a service for the portion of landlords who would like to save the $800-1000ish per year because they want to give it a go themselves but lack the tools and confidence to make it happen.

I built Rentwise myself - my day job is being a software engineer with a mixture of passion for property and accounting, so I can see Rentwise having many revisions in the future. I like to treat it as a learning product to suit mum and dad investors' needs.

The other programs are great, MYOB is actually my client and I'm using it as well, Xero is awesome (a whole team of people built that) but I always felt that these products are overkill for self-managers and not the easiest to digest for most people.

Rentwise is probably not there yet either but by putting it out there, I hope that with helpful feedback such as yours, people will use it and love it.

Cheers.

Tom

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Old 27-04-10
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Default Re: Rentwise - DIY Property Management tool

Hi,

Looks quite good at first glance. But the tour section is a little confusing, I would try and structure it in a way that enables the user to find what they need faster.

Over all though, from a design point of view, it looks quite good.

Cheers,

Matt

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Old 01-05-10
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Default Re: Rentwise - DIY Property Management tool

Thank you Matt,

I'm working on some short movies at the moment, I hope this area will become allot clearer after that.

Cheers.

Tom

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