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Sage Software, Inc. — Timberline Office for Property Management

From the January 2006 Review of Property
Management Software

Sage Timberline Office for real estate is a high-end property management system,
supporting all types of residential and commercial properties, including single-
and multi-tenant dwellings, residential associations and more complex leasing
arrangements. The system includes full accounting capabilities, and service
management modules are available for a variety of specialties. The core suggested
package of the Property Management version of Sage Timberline Office starts
at about $3,500 (for Property Management, AP, Cash Mgmt., GL, Financial Statement
Designer, Address Book, and Sage Timberline Office Desktop) and can support
virtually any number of properties or property groups, and any combination of
property types.

Eire Kay Stewart is the Director of Finance for JP DiNapoli Companies Inc.
(, a family owned owner/developer
of commercial property based in San Jose, California. Stewart says the company
develops its own portfolio for long-term investment, although it has also purchased
a number of properties as part of 1031 exchanges. “We have over 3,000,000
square feet of commercial property, including retail and institutional, but
the core of the portfolio is R&D and manufacturing,” she says.

“We also operate a working cattle ranch, raising free-range all-natural
beef for the restaurant industry, and we grow 5,500 tons of corn annually on
1,200 acres in the San Joaquin Delta region of California.” The majority
of the company’s assets are in the San Francisco Bay area, but they also
have commercial real estate in North Carolina and Colorado. The office staff
numbers 10, and the agricultural staff is another 15.

Stewart says Sage Timberline Office is extremely flexible, and their decision
to go with the product was based on two factors: the report writer and financial
statement abilities and the fact that it offers both property management and
job costing in the same product.

“We currently have 97 different entities and trusts on Sage Timberline
Office in a single database, and we need to be able to do tax projections based
on an individual partner’s interests in an assortment of partnerships.
Sage Timberline Office allows us to do that. We use the same feature to compare
similar properties or properties with the same tenant under lease,” she
says. “We are able to use the Job Cost module to track development costs,
tenant improvement construction, vehicle maintenance and agriculture costs including
the number of acres planted, cost per acres to plant and yield per acre. We
also track lease-up costs including the cost to deliver Plug-n-Play fully furnished
spaces. We even track charitable grants for the family’s foundation in
Job Cost. I find that pretty amazing, considering how different each of these
tasks is.”

Stewart recommends that new or potential users get fully trained before installing.
“Sage Timberline Office has a lot of features, but understanding how those
features work and what you want/need to get from the system will determine how
you set up various functions.” She also noted that the Technical Support
Knowledgebase available online is a terrific resource and that they rarely need
to go beyond the help offered there.

The Sage Timberline Office Desktop acts as the personal home page for each user.
The customizable entry screen provides access to system functions via a Favorites
menu on the left, with the majority of the screen offering a central location
to view summary data and information vital to
a particular user. This screen can show occupancy/vacancy levels, receivables
and payables aging, vendor invoices, late accounts or other options, along with
graphical representations (charts and graphs) of the data. The Favorites toolbar
can be populated with shortcuts to the applications the user needs most frequently,
as well as to common reports and search parameters and outside applications
including Word and Excel documents and Web sites.

Property and tenant information screens are well designed traditional form
screens, with tabbed access to various information groups and utilizing pull-down
selection lists for many entry options. Images, documents and other files can
be attached to property or tenant files as needed.

Sage Timberline Office’s lease-based approach enables the tracking of
any type of property, and its functions can be expanded through various specialty
modules to accommodate virtually any property management situation. The system
includes a full accounting suite, with GL, AP, AR, Cash Management, Job Cost,
Payroll and a Financial Statement Designer, as well as reconciliation functions.
Invoices can be set to run automatically or manually, and users can opt to make
partial payments, create joint checks or manage retainage and lien waivers for
tenant improvements. Optional property management modules include Advanced Retail,
Residential Management and Expense Controller.

The Property Management module provides lease management and AR processing
functions, with the ability to support multiple leases per unit and multiple
tenants per lease, allowing unique lease clauses and calculations. It also helps
track pending move-ins and move-outs, can calculate interest on deposits and
issue 1099-INTs, and allows the creation of user-defined fields for tracking
additional client information.
Available service modules include the core service management system, with the
ability to track service histories and drill down to access additional information,
as well as the ability to attach technician, property or unit notes to work
orders. The system can automatically carry over unfinished work orders to the
next day, and can bill multiple work orders on a single invoice. Other service
modules include the @Road Integrator, Communications Center, Service Agreements/Preventive
Maintenance, Service Inventory, Service Messaging and Service Purchasing.

All of Sage Timberline Office’s modules offer total integration with the
core system. The product suite’s Residential Management module offers
an interface with CLASSIC Real Estate Systems for tracking tax credits for affordable
housing offerings. The interface minimizes redundant data entry, while enabling
the user to track and initiate annual recertifications for all tenants. Sage
Timberline Office also offers export capabilities with Word and Excel as well
as accounting integration with select Sage Software products.

Sage Timberline Office’s real-time reporting capabilities include more
than 500 standard reports that are customizable using the system’s report
designer or with Crystal Reports. The program also enables users to run reports
based on any query, showing specific data sets as desired by the user. Additional
reporting tools include the Information Assistant (which allows viewing of online
inquiries and reports without having to go through the accounting applications),
the ODBC-compliant corporate contact database and the Address Book. Sage Timberline
Office also offers forms, checks and other paper supplies through a third-party

SUPPORT – 4.5 Stars
Sage Timberline Office is generally sold through resellers who also act as a
consultant and help with the initial installation and setup of the system. Once
going, however, the program is user-friendly and offers considerable built-in
assistance features including right-click menus and content-specific Help. Online
support resources are also available, including a Technical Support Knowledgebase.
The company offers three subscription levels of support and a variety of training

Sage Timberline Office for real estate is a powerful application geared toward
larger property management groups with multiple types of real estate holdings.
The system is very flexible, supports any combination of properties, and provides
exceptional reporting and metrics tools.

2006 Overall Rating – 5 Stars