Category Archives: New Feature Suggestions

Communicate Effectively

How should you be communicating with your tenant(s)?

Sometimes it may seem a bit difficult to manage tenants and properties in an effective way, and that’s why communication is so incredibly important.

First of all, make sure you have the right information! Be sure to have at least one phone number for each tenant, a number that you’ll always be able to reach them at. Having your tenants email addresses is also a good idea because it allows for communication on  a bigger scale. If you have a property-wide announcement to make, you can send an email out to all of your residents. Tenant File offers this feature, check it out here.

If you have multiple properties and tenants, a great way to ensure that they can all communicate any issues they have (effectively) is to set up an online portal where residents can input different requests they have pertaining to the property. Tenants can have an online login that is linked to their property so that there is never any confusion about where the work needs to be done. All these requests can be sent to management in an organized way and be handled quickly.

In addition to the online portal, you should also have a phone line, aside from the normal phone line, that tenants can use in the case of an emergency. For example, if the pipes burst and begin to flood the property, waiting for the online request to be received may not be the best option. communication

It’s All in the Family

Recently, we talked about the different benefits and costs that come with investing in single family homes vs. apartments (multi-family homes).  Like we talked about before, multi-family homes allow you to house several families, meaning toooons of tenants. Because of the cost and management, apartments aren’t typically everyone’s first choice as far as real estate investments.  Aside from apartments, what other kinds of multi-family homes can you look into?


A duplex is pretty much two separate homes, side by side, under the same roof. Each half of the duplex is equipped like it’s own mini-home, allowing for two separate families to live there. Duplexes are nice because you have two separate rental incomes coming in from one single property. If you have a big house that you might want to convert, a duplex is not difficult to achieve with the right permits.


Townhouses are multiple separate homes, side by side, usually within a communal style neighborhood. Townhouses definitely require more work than duplexes, because you’ll definitely have more than two families, but they can be less work than apartments. Like apartments, you’ll typically use a property manager to manage your property.


Two-flats are structurally similar to duplexes in that they are pretty much built in houses. In a two-flat, you have one apartment on the top floor, and another on the bottom floor. Both usually share a common basement, and front entrance, because they’re constructed in what looks to be a normal house.

multi-family home

We told you so! Your online data is NOT SAFE!

Angry Property ManagerThe ink was barely dry on our in depth article on the security of your data before another MAJOR breach happened. (Actually, we type on a screen but if we were using ink, it would still be wet!). The latest is Target, with TENS OF MILLIONS losing their valuable personal and financial information.

Just to name a few besides Target, this year thieves have stolen identities, personal records, passwords, financial information, credit card number, and more from the likes of Gmail, Twitter, Living Social, Barnes and Noble, TJ Max, Marshall’s, Adobe and many, many other companies. How safe do you really think your online data is?

What is your property management company responsible for?   Dos your software keep the  personal information of your owners including names, addresses, phone numbers, email, social security numbers, employers, and more? How about bank account numbers, routing numbers, and passwords? What do you think would happen if all of that private information was exposed to an identity theft ring? Would your cloud-based software company be held responsible, or would you?

And that is just the owners: what about your own company information and your tenant information? A security breach could literally put you out of business overnight. It could take months or even years for the mess to get resolved and there could be legal ramifications as well.

Additionally, if your ‘cloud-based’ software experienced a major data breach, it could easily shut down the whole process to stop the hemorrhaging.  Even if your own data wasn’t compromised, your entire business would be shut down without access to your records. What if they never recovered and went out of business – with your owner, your tenant, and your own data and financial records?

We are hearing daily from customers that are refusing to put their valuable data online, and we share their concerns. Please be aware of what if going on, and make sure ‘at least’ that you use passwords that are not easy to guess, although in our opinion that is a false security – everything can be stolen by savvy crooks. Well, here’s to the next major news story about another security breach. I hope it isn’t you, but at least if you use the Tenant File you have control of your own data!

New update for our RentalWIZ service

Our popular RentalWIZ service now has a new update. Anyone that currently uses the RentalWIZ program will be reminded of this update the next time you enter the program.


It just takes a minute to run the update installer.  The main new feature in this update is the ability to limit the number of features that display on the online vacancy listing page. This feature is found on the ‘Account Information’ screen under the ‘Preferences’ menu selection, and looks like this the image on the left.

This was a suggestion provided by some of our customers. Thank you! Those customers have some information in their Tenant File ‘features’ section that they did not want displayed to the public on the listing page. Others simply did not want all 15 subcategories showing because it took up too much room on the page. So we listened.

Now, you can choose the number of items that you want to display, or you can choose to not show any amenities (features subcategories) at all. For each of the four major categories, just enter a zero to not display anything, or enter the number of lines that want to show. Typically, the first 5 or 10 lines will provide the basic information about the property, such as bedrooms, bathrooms, and basic amenities. The user can control these categories within the Tenant File program.

We hope you like the addition. It is free to all RentalWIZ users. If you don’t have it already, consider getting the RentalWIZ service. The basic version is free (3 listings with one photo each) , and there are very reasonably priced levels to add more vacancies and more photos.

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 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!




Still looking for Update Suggestions…

Tenant File LogoOur next major update is scheduled for a summer 2013 release. Programming is still accepting suggestions to improve our property management software. If you have a suggestion that you think will benefit everyone, please let us know!

We can’t release the specific details yet, but there are going to be many features suggested by our fantastic customers. We’ll have reports that will make your accounting and balancing easier, improvements to the check section, a new late fee feature, and new user interface and much more.

Our staff appreciates the excellent response that we had to our last call, and Programming still has time to get in a few more ideas. We’ll have to close the suggestion flow at the end of May to prepare for the final release. Keep ’em coming!

Vacation rentals with the Tenant File?

We sometimspecial rent postinges get questions as to whether the Tenant File can be used to track vacation rentals. The answer is a qualified yes! While the main thrust of the Tenant File Property Management Software is for long term rentals and commercial property, you can certainly use it for your vacation homes. We don’t recommend this if you are a large vacation rental company, but if you have a few vacations homes, the Tenant File will fit right in.

To accommodate weekly, bi-weekly, or even daily rentals, we created the ‘Special Rent Charges’ menu (Posting > Special Rent Charges). This allows for you to set up a rent charge to be posted every ‘x’ number of days automatically. The caveat is that if you are using the Special Rent Posting to post rents automatically, you’ll also need to post your other (monthly) rents automatically, too. That just makTenant File Scheduleres sense, and you won’t have to worry that something doesn’t get posted. The rent charge transactions will just show up in you ledgers automatically, based on the due date or the special rent date.

In addition to the ‘Special Rent Posting’, there is also a ‘Scheduler’ in the Tenant File program (Miscellaneous > Scheduler). This scheduler allows for you to ‘book’ dates, similar to a simple reservation system. You are able to block out a certain number of dates on a calendar. Each booking has an entry date, action date, starting date, ending date, detailed memo field, and 5 separate entry fields.

The 5 entry fields would typically be used for the guest name, phone numbers, email, and other similar items. The memo field would be used for any other notes you need to make. Whenever you choose a specific rental property, you’ll see the booked dates in bold on the calendar.

While the Scheduler can be used for booking as described above, you can use it for anything. For example, if you need to block out a range of dates when the property will be under repair, or a vacation for a tenant, you can do that as well. It is up to you. Since this is part of the built-in Reminder System of the Tenant File, you can use the ‘Action Date’ to be reminded of an upcoming event, or the date that a guest needs to be contacted concerning their reservation.

Some features like this are overlooked by users of the Tenant File, but if used properly they can save you time and effort by not having to maintain a schedule elsewhere. Just use your imagination to get the most possible out of it.



The RentalWIZ service is free for Tenant File users

Now, the Tenant File RentalWIZ service is free! For those of you new to the Tenant File, the RentalWIZ program will pull data from the Features area of the Tenant File (such as bedrooms, bathrooms, other amenities and photos) then upload them to the Internet. You will get a free web page on our sister site ( and free syndication throughout the Internet to sites such as Google Base, Zillow, Padlister, and much more!

RentalWIZ home listingThe RentalWIZ program also includes a Craigslist ad creation tool and more. Here are the different levels:

Level 1 free subscription: up to 3 listings at a time, one photo per listing, free syndication, free Craigslist tool

Level 2 $9.95 per month: up to 10 listings at a time, 3 images per listing, free syndication, free Craigslist tool, flyer creation tool

Level 2 $14.95 per month: unlimited listings at a time, 10 images per listing, free syndication, free Craigslist tool, flyer creation tool

Give us a call at 1-800-398-3904 to get started!

Great DOMAIN NAMES for your Property Management business!

As you know, a great domain name is critical for your business. Your domain name is your identity on the web, and should be something that is memorable for your customers.  A great domain name tells the Internet searcher that your business is real and established.

Secondly, a domain name is valuable as a tool to get your website found. If you domain name is ‘’ you can’t expect for anyone to type that into the browser bar, and it will be hard to get a good Google Placement. It is important to Google that you have some of the ‘keywords’ in your domain name that match what the end user will be typing. Those keywords might be ‘rentals’, ‘property management’, ‘tenants’, or similar names. Since all of the great names are taken and cost tens of thousands of dollars (or more), many companies are using an ‘i’ (for Internet) in front of the name, similar to the iPhone, iPad, iHome, and other products.

The Tenant File owns over 300 domain names relating to property management software for that very reason. However, we have collected some great domains that don’t relate to ‘software’ but are fantastic for property managers. Here are some:

Just give us a call at 1-800-398-3904 if you are interested in purchasing any of these domains. They won’t be very expensive except for, which is a very valuable domain name. Thanks!


One week special ONLY! Through August 31st

Every once and a while we have a crazy idea and here is my latest. And all you have to do is ‘like’ us on Facebook!

Until August 31, if you ‘like’ us on ‘Facebook’ (bottom of the Tenant File home page), we’ll give you a free setup and TWO free months of the RentalWIZ service.  With no obligation to continue after the free period.  The RentalWIZ service will consolidate your Tenant File information, such as bedrooms, bathrooms, etc and upload it to the Internet free of charge. Plus, we’ll create your very own web page for your vacancy listings for you to link to from your own website or emails.

Hurry, before I get in trouble with my bosses!