Tag Archives: tenant file

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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Comparing 30-Year and 15-Year Mortgages

TenantFile.com House Image
You have found the perfect house and now it is time to obtain financing. There are many choices when it comes to financing so it is always wise to understand the pros and cons of a 30-year mortgage versus a 15-year mortgage.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of a 30-Year Mortgage

A 30-year mortgage allows the mortgagor to keep their payments low. A borrower’s financial situation can change at any time. Keeping payments low will make it easier for the borrower to afford their mortgage payment even if their financial situation changes.

Another advantage to a 30-year mortgage is the ability to save money. Because the payments are low, borrowers can pay off other debts, make home improvements and put money in savings for unexpected expenditures.

The main disadvantage of a 30-year loan is that the borrower will pay more interest over the lifetime of a loan. When the payment is calculated, it will include interest that is paid monthly. This monthly interest will add up over the lifetime of a loan, costing the borrower more money over the life of the loan.

Another disadvantage of to a 30-year loan is a higher interest rate. Generally, the longer the term of the mortgage, the higher the APR. This means that the borrower will end up paying more in interest each month.

Finally, 30-year loans may not be the optimum choice for those who have children who will be starting college over the life of the loan or for people who plan to retire before the loan will be paid off.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of a 15-Year Mortgage

The main advantage of a 15-year loan is the borrower can pay off the mortgage in half the time of a traditional 30-year mortgage. This is especially advantageous to borrowers who will be retiring soon or those with children who will be attending college soon.

The borrower will pay thousands of dollars less on a 15-year loan. In some instances, this can mean tens of thousands of dollars in savings over the lifetime of the loan when compared to a 30-year loan.

The interest rate is generally lower on a shorter term loan. For example, the current interest rate, as of 2016 (http://www.bankrate.com/finance/mortgages/current-interest-rates.aspx), on a 15-year fixed rate is 2.89 percent while the interest rate on a 30-year mortgage is 3.63 percent. That is almost three-quarters of a percent lower, which can save a lot of money over the lifetime of a loan.

One of the disadvantages of a 15-year mortgage is a higher monthly payment. This can be an issue if the mortgagor’s financial situation changes. If the mortgagor loses his/her job, it can be more difficult to pay the mortgage payments.

Finally, because the amount of the mortgage is calculated on the borrower’s debt to income ratio, the amount of the loan that he or she qualifies for may be reduced. This can affect the quality of a home that the person will qualify for.

There are many things to consider when choosing between a 15-year mortgage and a 30-year mortgage. Many people think that the amount of the payments on a 15-year loan will be twice the amount of a 30-year loan. This is not true. If a borrower took out a 30-year mortgage for $200,000 with an interest rate of 4 percent, the payment would be $954.83. The payment amount on a 15-year mortgage with the same interest rate would be $1,479.38.

When deciding which mortgage is best, borrowers should consider their current financial situation as well as their long-term financial goals. Borrowers who prefer to minimize their payment and maximize their loan amount should opt for a 30-year mortgage. Those who wish to pay their mortgage off quickly and save on interest should opt for a 15-year mortgage.

Jeremy Johnson is a real estate enthusiast and has written content for dozens of real estate and related sites around the world. RealEstateCompanies.info is a side project he maintains because of his interest in real estate.

Tenant File Welcomes New Marketing VP

PRESS RELEASE: Tenant File Property Management Software Welcomes New Marketing VP

W G Software, Inc. the creators of Tenant File Property Management Software, have just announced that student Matthew Zuniga will now be a part of the company, as a Marketing VP, effective immediately.

Matthew Zungia - Tenant File Marketing VPW G Software, Inc. provides an outstanding property management software for owners and managers of rental property, and has been doing so for over 15 years. The software allows users to easily keep track of all the different aspects involved with property management. Currently, the software has several thousands of landlords, property owners, and property management using the software every single day. Wayne Gathright, president, says “I am very excited to have Matthew on our team, and I look forward to seeing what he can bring to the company. I met with Matthew and I knew right away that he was the person that I wanted to work with.  I believe that he has the necessary skills and motivation to expand the reach of the Tenant File software for rental property.”

Matthew is a currently senior at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, and is majoring in Computer Science with a Minor in Mathematics. When he is not working or focusing on his studies, Matthew enjoys listening to music, playing video games, exercising, reading, and posting on social media. When asked about the position, Matthew says “I have a love of social media, and I am very interested in Internet Marketing as well. I feel like when you mix those two aspects with my strong computer background, I believe that I can make a positive impact on the Tenant File organization. I look forward to working with Wayne and the rest of the company and learning as much as I possibly can about Internet Marketing in the process.”

Tenant File is the industry leader of on-premise desktop property management software for small to medium size businesses. Additionally, the Tenant File has produced integrated add-on products for 1099 MISC Tax software, Work Orders, RentalWIZ for posting vacancies to the Internet and other applications. For more information about Tenant File, visit http://www.TenantFile.com, or follow @TenantFile on Twitter.

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Does Your Lease Cover Enough? Check out these ideas!

What Extra Clauses should you add to Your Lease Agreement?

mediatorMany times a basic lease agreement is not enough. There are many other important clauses that many landlords tend to neglect, yet in a dispute they may become very important. Below are some examples of clauses that can be added to your lease agreement.

  • Parking restrictions – how many vehicles (cars, boats, motorcycles, etc) can be parked at the residence?
  • Business use – can the tenants run a business? What kind? Is signage allowed?
  • Garage sales or auctions? Are you going to permit these? How often?
  • Change in status (any changes in the lease application, such as employment)
  • Subletting – is it allowed? How many residents? What notification?
  • Co-signer or guarantor – should you add another responsible party as a guarantor?
  • Partial payment – how is it handled and does it stop any legal proceedings?
  • Returned check fees – how are you going to handle returned checks? What fees?
  • Bankruptcy – what are you legal rights if your tenant files for bankruptcy?
  • Lease violations – what are your rights? What are the tenant’s rights? What jurisdiction?
  • Absence of tenant – what is the tenant disappears? Can you get into the rental?
  • Furniture lien – can the tenant possessions be taken? After what time period?
  • Increase late fees – can you charge additional late fees if the tenant is often late?
  • Judgment collection – who is responsible for the court costs and legal fees?
  • Utility bills – which one of you pays the deposit? What if the tenant defaults?
  • Emergency repair – what if you have to cut off the water for repairs?
  • Problem neighbors – how do you handle complaints?
  • Disasters – what if you can’t fulfill your landlord obligations because of a disaster?
  • Illegal activity – make sure you can take action against drug use, explosives, firearms, etc.
  • Quiet enjoyment – insure that the tenant music or noises do not intrude on other people’s rights
  • Smoking – make sure your rules are clear. Specify restrictions on illegal drugs.
  • Pets – how many pets? What additional deposit? What about additional cleaning costs?
  • Yard upkeep – Make sure your property looks neat and is safe. Protect any large trees.
  • Health and safety codes – Be sure your tenant doesn’t not violate these, and what your recourse may be.

There are other clauses that you may need to add. Just reflect upon any possibly situations that might arise with your particular rental property. With the right additions to your lease, it will help protect your legal rights and avoid future legal complications.

Article author:

Paul Toller works for W G Software, Inc. developers of the Tenant File Property Management Software. He has over 20 years experience in consulting and software development for real estate.

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.

Website Wonders

As a property manager, your website is important for all kinds of things. Not only can it showcase what your property has to offer for those looking for a new place, but it can also be a resource for your tenants to take care of their property needs.

Depending on how you set up your website, your tenants will probably be some of the main users. A lot of property managers use their websites as portals for residents to pay rent, check any balances they may have, and put in maintenance requests. Using your website for this purpose is great because it’s quick and easy for both you and your residents.

Your website is a great way to showcase what your property has to offer to those who are looking for a new rental. On your website, you can post pictures of what the property looks like, with floor plans and more pictures of how different units look. The internet is the first place people turn to when they’re looking for anything, so you want to make sure that your website makes a good first impression. Put as much information on your website as you can people can know about the property and not have to be reaching out to you over and over again with the same questions.

Community Amenities

So, a few days ago we talked about different amenities that you should be sure to have on your property for your tenants. Community wide amenities are always good to have because they give your residents a reason to come together while adding a whole other level of appeal to your property. What kind of community amenities should you consider adding to your property?

A community pool is a great idea and definitely a big selling point for people. Maintenance on the swimming isn’t going to be too costly, and your residents will want to stay at your property longer. This is also very appealing for people with children looking for  a new place to lease because kids looooove pools. A pool area is also the perfect place to have an outdoor bar or kitchen! This will totally fly in summer time, and gives you the opportunity to hold community barbecues for your residents.

playgroundIf your property is one where a lot of tenants have children, a playground is definitely something you should consider adding if you don’t already have one. This a community amenity that you won’t cost you a lot to put in place but will make your residents very happy because they’ll feel that your property is a place for the entire family.

If you want to add some recreational space for your adult residents, think about a basketball or tennis court, or even both. This is also a great fitness outlet if you can’t have an on-site gym. You can even hold games and tournaments to bring your residents together!


What kind of amenities should you offer?

From furniture to incentives, we’ve covered all kinds of things that can set your property apart from the rest. Aside from these, there are certain things that people tend to really look for in a property. Don’t fret, we’ve put together a list of the top 3 amenities that you should always try to incorporate into your property.

  1. Having a washer and dryer inside the unit is a huge deal breaker for most people. No one likes having to pack up all their dirty laundry and soap to have to go somewhere else to wash and dry it. If it’s not possible to have a washer and dryer in each individual unit, make it a point to at least have a few laundry machines somewhere on the property for tenants to use.
  2. For properties in warmer places, central air conditioning is a must. Though this may be costly, it will surely make your property stand out among the rest. Tenants aren’t going to want to install their own A/C or have fans all around, so they’ll be very happy to see that your property is well equipped.
  3. Parking spaces near the unit are also a really big deal breaker for people. You should try to provide each tenant with at least two spaces near their own unit, and provide adequate visitor parking around the property. No one wants to walk five minutes to get from their home to their car, so try to avoid offering resident parking far from each unit.

Incentives Matter!

As a property manager, there may be times when you encounter difficulties in finding tenants for your property. In a case like this, where there are lots of properties similar to yours available, what can you do to stand out? Give people an incentive!

One of the basic economic principles is that incentives matter, and it really is so true. If you provide people with an incentive, they’ll be more inclined to choose your property over others. Incentives are great because you can target them to your specific property or target market. For example, if your property is located on a golf course near a country club, you can team up with the club and offer those who rent with you a lower membership rate. This same kind of thing can also work with properties in college towns, too. Team up with the local cable and internet provider and offer a ‘student special’ with lower rates to those students who decide to rent with you.

Aside from market specific incentives, you can also offer general incentives too. You can offer a reduced application fee (or get rid of the fee all together) to those who sign before a certain date. You could even offer cash incentives, or gifts for tenants, too. The purpose of having an incentive is to make your property stand out when the competition is very similar, so it’s important to also factor your competitor’s incentives as well.

Tenant to Tenant Issues

When you have a lot of different people all living together in the same place, it’s hard to expect everyone to get along perfectly fine.

For the most part, all of your tenants have different lifestyles and routines, which could may end up causing between them. Consider two separate sets of tenants in different units; you may have a family with a newborn baby living next to someone who’s in a rock band and practices constantly. It’s easy to see how a problem may arise from a situation like this, and why your tenants may end up having some issues with each other. What can you do to fix problems between tenants?

If your tenants come to you with any complaints about other tenants, your first piece of advice to them should be to  talk to whoever they are having the issue with. If your tenants don’t tell one another that when they have a problem with something, there’s no way of knowing the problem even exists. If your tenants have already discussed the issue and it has continued, you may want to suggest that they try working with a mediator. The mediator can step in and help them resolve the problem in an organized and fair manner, and can help you avoid getting caught up in all of it. mediator