Tag Archives: rental property software

Is Free Tech Support a Thing of the Past?

Tenant File Tech SupportWe hear from our customers how they have been disappointed in many of the web-based products and the lack of support they provide. Many of them migrate back to the Tenant File after trying something else. Call it old fashioned, but we still favor the safety and security of a desktop based program, and the convenience of good customer technical support.

At Tenant File, we hope that free tech support is not a thing of the past. We have been one of the few software companies that have managed to keep it free. Our industry leading web support has always been free for all customers, even if you did not purchase the previous update. We have a dedicated team of knowledgeable support technicians which monitor incoming ‘tickets’ (web requests) throughout each work day. Each technician has a massive computerized knowledge base to draw from, and each ticket is answered personally. We answer all tickets by the end of the day with few exceptions. (Sometimes we get calls that a ticket wasn’t responded to, and nearly always it can be found in the customer’s junk or spam box, so be sure to mark ‘support@tenantfile.com’ as a ‘safe sender’).

But the Tenant File support goes way beyond that … our first-time customers get a full two months of phone support, and even current customers enjoy a month of phone support in case they have any questions about the update. Phone support is limited to ½ a day (hours 10:00am to 2:00pm CST) and limited to 10 minutes per call, since we are supporting over 5,000 customers and sometimes it gets really busy. We don’t ‘sub’ out our support to foreign countries, so you’ll always get a knowledgeable Tenant File expert. And if the lines happen to be busy when you call during phone support hours, just leave a message and we will call you back as soon as a support person gets available.

Even after the free phone support period has expired, Tenant File still offers paid support in 15 or 30 minute segments. The pricing is very reasonable, and the 30 minute segment can include the ability for the Tenant File technician to connect remotely to the user’s computer to see or actually operate the program. This paid service can also be used if the customer wants us to install the program, move the Tenant File program to another computer, or even close out the year for them. This will save quite a bit over hiring an outside computer technician to come and do the work in person.

Tenant File Phone Support

In addition to the web and phone support, Tenant File includes a full User’s Guide in the ‘Help’ menu of each Tenant File installation, as well as a ‘Quick Start’ guide. The User’s Guide is comprehensive and searchable, so just about any question can be answered with a quick search (user Ctrl-F).  The guide includes screen shots, illustrations, samples, and step-by-step instructions on most tasks.

Also, at the Tenant File website, you can find helpful videos that take you through the entire program. We are busy adding new ones, and take recommendations from our customers. You can also find videos on YouTube if you search for ‘Tenant File’.

Our customers are very important to us, and we try very hard to impress with our service. Tenant File is one of the few property management software programs that charge a one-time fee for the software, eliminating the never-ending monthly payments that can hook the customer into an ever increasing financial nightmare. Then, when the Internet is down and you are left at a standstill, you have no recourse (other than moving to the Tenant File!).

To our current Tenant File customers, thank you and please know that we are always trying to help you become successful and run your business the most efficient way possible. We really appreciate your business!

The Tenant File Support Staff

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Common Sense Property Management Software

Property Manager WorkingCommon Sense Property Management Software

I hear all the time the comment, “I thought my previous software was going to make my life easier, but it just gave me more frustration”. Property management is hard enough by itself without having to struggle with slow software, missing data, constant questions, and a difficult learning curve. We hear from rental property owners every day that are still using spreadsheets to manage their property, or they have purchased a program that is way more than they actually need.

Make sure it works the same way you do

First, if you can’t try out the software before you buy it, run the other way! That is the only way you can be sure it is right for you. When you do try the software, start with one task, such as “I want to charge rent to my tenants”. Then, see how long that task takes. If it is more than 10 seconds, it is too long, even if you have hundreds of rentals. Better yet, look for an option to charge rent automatically without user intervention.

How about this? “I want to update the tenant’s rent amount, and then correct an amount that I accidentally posted to the tenant’s accounting”. Many programs make you navigate to multiple menus to do seemingly easy common sense tasks, so make sure it is easy to correct mistakes.

Other things you might want to look for would be the ability to automatically increase rents on a specific date in the future, the ability to either print checks or transfer via ACH, receive rent online, a way to make automatic payments, and a vendor file that keeps important information on all of the vendors that you work with.

Common sense extras that you might look for would be a reminder system for Owners, Tenants, and Vendors, and a scheduler to help keep track of upcoming repairs, vacations, and notices. You might want to use the reminder to keep track of tenant birthdays so that you can maintain a good relationship with your tenants.

Keep your valuable data with someone you trust – you!

If you keep your own information, it will be safer. Find a program that allows you to make a local backup of your valuable data quickly and easily. It should be as simple as clicking a ‘backup’ button then pressing ‘go’. If not, maybe that software is not for you. Some users prefer web based software, so if that is you, be sure that you can download your important data, and that your valuable information is encrypted and stored on servers with redundant backups. Even then, you could be at risk of a hacker attack that could shut down the servers, so you might consider on-premise software if that is a concern.

Don’t get more or less than you actually need

Another common complaint I often hear is that the customer had previously paid ‘thousands of dollars’ for another complex software, yet they only manage a few rentals. Or, on the other side, they manage over 100 rentals and the software they have is just too limited. Ask the vendor their average number of rentals per user, and the market they strive for. Do they work with owners of rental property or mostly with property managers? You need powerful features in your software without paying too much. At the same time, avoid ending up with overly complicated requirements with features you don’t need.

Common sense assistance

With any new software you need a little help. Avoid companies that don’t provide a phone number or any free support – eventually you will need some assistance. The trend is to not provide phone support, which may mean that you will have to either search a knowledge base for an answer, or wait for a return response to your online support request. Make sure that you can get immediate help through paid phone support.

Follow these common sense guidelines, and your property management software investment will help your business run a lot more efficiently, smoothly, and stress free.

Work Orders: A Landlord’s Biggest Headache

One of the biggest challenges involved in being a landlord is keeping track of work orders. You have to connect tenants with contractors and ensure that the job gets done in time and the workers get paid. With so many tenants and so many contractors, there’s a lot of room for mistakes, and a lot of landlords make them. If you look at online reviews for apartment complexes and leasing offices, one of the most common complaints in negative reviews is a problem with work orders. They didn’t come in on time, or it took several calls before a response, or the order wasn’t satisfactorily completed. And organizational mistakes could also jeopardize your relationship with contractors. It’s essential for your business’s reputation to keep on top of your work orders.

Tenantfile makes that easy with our property management software. Our Work Order Program has everything you need to keep track of all your repairs and maintenances. It’s fully integrated with the other Tenantfile programs, so it can pull email addresses, phone numbers, and other information about each tenant. Each work order allows room for detailed information for your records, including supplies lists. Our program provides customizable listings of your work orders so you can keep track of each order’s status. We make it easy to print checks from the program to speed up delivery to the contractors. When the work order is completed, our landlord software generates automatic work order reports for the tenants, the contractors, and your own records.

With Tenantfile, you’ll never forget a work order again. We offer some of the best property management software out there, and this is just one of the many helpful tools available in our library. We also offer direct pay software, tenant screening programs, word processor software and much more. For more information, check out the Tenantfile website today.

How can you help with your rental property?

Not too long ago we discussed the subject of property managers, and whether or not hiring one was the right choice for you; given the work that is required to manage a property, it’s usually in your best interest.

So, once you’ve found your property manager, or property management company, what can you do to make sure that they have the right tools to succeed?

It’s a good idea to set up an office of some sort. If your property is a small community (apartment complex, gated community, etc.) you can set up an office in the center of the property so that all of your residents have easy access to it. If your properties are separate, you can set up an office in a central location that’s convenient for you, your tenants, and your property manager. Having an office set up is nice because it provides your tenants with a place to direct any problems or concerns they may have with the property. It also provides you with an address where all property related correspondence can be sent. Definitely provides a sense of organization for everyone!

As far as maintaining the rental, you should set your property manager up with some kind of software they can use to keep everything organized. Tenant File is an awesome option as far as rental property software. Tenant File offers all kinds of features that’ll help keep your rental property organized. Your property manager will be able to keep track of tenants and maintenance requests, post rent, and email you and your tenants (plus wayyyy more) with the help of a single software program! If you think this rental property software sounds too good to be true, download a sample and see for yourself!

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The best in rental property software!


Get Your Property Summer Ready

Whether you are new to the property management game or have been managing properties for years, a little help is always welcomed. The Tenant File property management software is an innovative program that helps to simplify your property management system. Although our rental property management software is very user friendly, we know that any new software can be daunting at first, so we provide industry leading support to help new users get started and comfortable with the program. Our property management expertise goes beyond just software know-how and we love to offer up advice whenever we can. So let’s talk seasonal maintenance…

It’s already June which means summer is upon us. If you haven’t already started summer maintenance tasks on your rental property, you should probably think about doing so. Completing these seasonal tasks as early as possible will ensure that summer is enjoyable for both you and your tenants. Here are some key tasks you want to be sure to check off the list this summer:

You may want to start inside the units and work your way out to the exterior. Make sure your tenants keep cool all summer long by scheduling cleaning and maintenance services for the air conditioning systems. It’s probably a good idea to leave behind some interior filters for the AC systems so your tenants can change those on a regular basis. For units with ceiling fans, tighten loose screws and adjust the direction of the fan blades to achieve optimal cooling. Finally, checking the windows and doors for air leaks, and sealing leaks if necessary, will ensure maximum energy efficiency.

When it comes to the exterior of your property there are plenty of preventative maintenance tasks that you can do every summer to keep your property in optimum physical condition, but we will just cover a few here. First, you’ll want to take a look around the outdoor walkways and paths. Fixing any damage or fractures will not only make the property more aesthetically appealing, it will also help to prevent possible injuries to tenants and guests. Next, you’ll want to inspect all the wood, wash the windows and clean the siding. Finally, cleaning and repairing the gutters is an important maintenance task that must be tackled regularly. Taking preventative measures like these to ensure that the outer surfaces and areas of your property are in the best condition possible could save you a lot of money in potential future repairs.

Here’s wishing you a relaxing, fun and sunny summer, from all of us here at Tenant File.

Tragic Times Lately

Seems like by the time we get over one disaster, there is another. The Boston Marathon bombing was still fresh in our minds, then the explosion in West, Texas happened. While one was deliberate and one probably wasn’t, the outcome is still the same. Families have lost love ones, children were robbed of a long life and many will endure pain and suffering for the rest of their lives.

Being from Texas, some of us drove through West and saw the outpouring of assistance and love that neighbors, friends, families, and civil workers showed to help those affected. I guess that is the bright point in an otherwise devastating event.

Now, the entire country is shocked by the massive tornadoes that tore through Oklahoma, Kansas, and other nearby states. More destruction, more death, and more pain. I brings home the point that none of us have a guarantee to live a long life. We have to live our lives today in a way that we would be proud of if we were gone tomorrow. At the Tenant File and with our friends in Texas we are praying for all of the victims and their families. We hope that the volunteers can bring them comfort and that time will heal the painful memories.

Infographics Help Customers Understand Your Business

TFInfographic-Thumb25You have probably seen them before, but may not know the term – infographics. These are graphic representations of an idea, a concept, an organization, or a help topic. If fact, similar graphics have been in widespread use forever, but today’s infographic follows a loose format that includes colors, cartoon characters, symbols, charts, and other design tools to make a concept more understandable.

The Tenant File has an infographic at http://www.tenantfile.com/TF_Infographic.htm. This infographic is designed to help the viewer to understand the broad picture of what the Tenant File provides. A picture is truly worth a thousands words. At one glance, you can see how the various modules interact with the main program. Plus, there is other information in the form of a bar graph that provides interesting information about the Tenant File rental management software as well.

You can take advantage of this to promote your business. Your customers are more likely to click on an email link or website link if they can see a colorful graphic. The infographic in this blog was created by a free infographic designer called Piktochart. The free version will display their logo and link at the bottom of the infographic.

Some suggestions for use would be a display of your company employees, your mission statement, or the areas that you serve. Don’t be too serious with the text or the symbols.  It is meant to be a fun way to learn and to provide valuable information to your clients. If you also create a link to your website it can additionally help with the SEO of your site. Or, you can send it out with your emails.

Have fun and provide a service to your customers at the same time!