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Property Automation — Tenant Pro 7

From the January 2006 Review of Property
Management Software

Tenant Pro 7 is a property management suite that helps managers track information
on properties, property owners, tenants, resident organizations, units, vendors
and service histories. The system can support a variety of leasing arrangements
and property types, including single- and multi-family residential properties,
homeowners/condo owners associations, commercial holdings and self-storage facilities.
The program is available in four versions, which are differentiated by the number
of units they can support. At the low end, the Landlord version can support
up to 25 units, with a cost of $395. The Small Business model supports up to
100 units at a cost of $595 for up to 50 units and $895 for up to 100 units.
Support for up to 250 units is available through the Professional pack-age for
$1,295. The Corporate edition starts at $1,695 for up to 500 units; $2,195 for
unlimited. With the exception of unit capabilities, all of the versions have
the same features and available add-on modules.

Sun Country Realty and Rentals is a property management and realty company
that currently has a neighborhood of 36 single-family homes in a community called
May River Place, located in Bluffton, S.C., which is still in the development
phases. The company also has other single-family homes located throughout the
area. Dawn Moriarty-Odom is Sun Country’s Property Manager and Sales Agent,
and as the company began to grow, she found the need for a management program
and Tenant Pro 7 was her choice.

Moriarty-Odom notes that there is a specific order in which some information
needs to be entered into Tenant Pro: “It’s like counting or saying
the alphabet. Obviously one comes before two and A before B, so I would tell
anyone to follow the directions, and when/if they don’t understand just
call tech support because every time I’ve ever spoken to anyone at Tenant
Pro, they’ve always been great.”

Moriarty-Odom researched the program online and used the CD demo for Tenant
Pro 6 for a period of time. “However, I also discussed Tenant Pro with
other users in the business,” she said, “and everyone I spoke to
loved it.” She didn’t personally commit to the product until version
7, which she claims is much more user friendly and “modern.”

Tenant Pro’s interface is very well designed, with primary system functions
accessible via a customizable array of icons at the top of the screen. Master
lists of properties, units, tenants, work orders and vendors are available with
one click from the appropriate icon, opening into a spreadsheet list with a
variety of information. In addition to basic contact and tenant information,
the tenant list includes columns for current amount due, deposit amount and
total recurring charges, which can provide an excellent at-a-glance summary
of client data. Tenant information screens are a bit busy but provide a wealth
of detail, with tabbed sections for Lease Information, the Tenant Ledger, Tenant
Notes and the Communication Log.

The system enables the attachment of images, documents or other files to tenant,
property and vendor records, and even to maintenance work orders, allowing an
excellent method of retaining documented proof of damages or “before-and-after”
pictures. Many data-entry fields use pull-down selection lists. Setup of new
tenants, properties or other entities is fairly simple and is aided by the Fast
Start Guide. Templates can be created to speed the process. As well, four new
wizards are available, including a Move-In Wizard that guides the user through
the tenant setup process.

Tenant Pro includes a completely integrated accounting system with GL, AR and
AP, as well as bank and cash management and check writing features. The system
maintains complete rental histories of tenants, properties and units, including
all charges, payments, late fees, returned checks and comments. The work order
management component of the program tracks all maintenance activity, including
work performed by contractors, and helps manage WIP.

Property Automation offers several add-on modules to the program, including
e-Pay Plus, which allows tenants to pay by automatic withdrawal, credit card
or electronic check. Other modules include CAM and Utility Billing (for allocating
utility bills among multiple tenants), Crystal Reports and CheckMark Payroll
for Windows. The Applicant Screening option provides background checks for criminal
records, evictions and credit reports.

The system integrates well internally, and an optional integration module allows
automatic transfer of financial data to QuickBooks. The system does not include
a data import function for other programs; data may only be imported from past
versions of Tenant Pro or exported to QuickBooks for managing financial data.

REPORTING – 4.5 Stars
Since the program’s database tracks all details of tenant and unit leases,
as well as work orders and reminders, it provides good reporting functions,
with more than 120 pre-built financial and management reports in categories
for Financial, Maintenance, Management, Transactions and Vendors. The system
also has the ability to print lease agreements, late notices and other client
letters, checks and 1099s. The payroll function provides complete payroll reporting.
Tenant Pro can export reports to Excel, Word, *.PDF or HTML formats. Crystal
Reports is available as an add-on option.

SUPPORT – 4.5 Stars
Tenant Pro includes a tutorial, FAQs, a setup guide and a training CD, along
with a traditional Help utility. The company offers a free online knowledgebase
and user forum, as well as the optional Insights newsletter. Several support
levels are available, from a pay-as-you-go option to comprehensive unlimited
plans. One hour of free phone-based training is given to all customers as well
as an additional 30 minutes of telephone support. A more advanced training CD
series is also available for purchase.

Tenant Pro offers a scalable rental property management application with an
appropriate basic feature set and add-on options for electronic payment and
client screening. The system is likely best-suited to smaller management companies,
with holdings under 2,000 units.

2006 Overall Rating – 4.5 Stars