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Housters 6.4 Mobile & 6.5 Website Releases

The 6.4 release of Housters has been published to the Android Google Play Store and iOS App Store. This release focused on offering different ways to save on your Housters subscription. At certain times of the year, we will be offering discount promotions for new users signing up for Housters. For existing users, a new billing discounts screen was added where users can perform certain actions, e.g. rate Housters on a certain platform, in exchange for a one-time discount.

Release notes below…

  • We’re now giving away 10% of profits to charity!
  • We will be running promos multiples times per year offering discounts on Housters subscriptions
  • A new billing discounts screen has been added offering credits on Housters billing (Web & Android only)
  • Public screens redesigned to make it easier to see what Housters supports for each of the four roles: Landlord, Property Manager, Tenant, and Contractor
  • Signup user flow improvements while adding Landlords, Properties, and Tenants
  • The Property List, Tenant List, Transaction List, To-Do List, and Vendor List screens now have quick actions available from the vertical ellipsis in the top right of each screen
  • Add Landlord form now shows a payment schedule preview (Property Managers only)
  • Add Landlord form now asks if you want to add old payment transactions (Property Managers only)
  • New Landlord alerts added: Landlord Active Contract, Landlord Contract Ending, Landlord Late on Payment, Landlord Subuser Invites (Property Managers only)
  • Alerts are now cleared from app badge counts immediately after viewing alerts, you don’t have to dismiss the alerts manually
  • Various bug fixes

Not to be outdone, Housters 6.5 has been released on http://www.housters.com. This released focused on improving the Task Management section by more tightly integrating Vendors, To-Do’s, and Transactions. One improvement is that now when adding a Transaction, you can select which To-Do it was for (e.g. I paid my handyman Contractor $1,000 for replacing the water heater.) This then allows Housters to track how much money was actually spent on each To-Do and compare it to the Estimated Cost inputted. Another major improvement is that now there is a new dashboard screen for each Vendor, which shows vendor details, payment statuses and invoices, online payments, notes, and more.

Release notes below…

  • Vendors now have their own Dashboard, linked to from the Vendors List. The Vendor Dashboard shows details about the Vendor, money owed to and from the Vendor, Online Payments, Notes, and more…
  • Under each Vendor you can now view Transactions, To-Do’s, and Invoices associated to that Vendor.
  • Add/Edit Vendor Form > Improved the intuitiveness of the form.
  • Add/Edit Transaction Form > Allowed associating an expense Transaction line to a To-Do.
  • Add/Edit To-Do Form > Removed Paid Vendor, Actual Cost, and Save Transaction fields.
  • To-Do List and Add/Edit To-Do form > Now shows To-Do’s actual cost as the sum of expense Transaction lines associated to that To-Do.
  • To-Do List Report > Updated to show actual costs from Transactions.
  • Vendor Report > Added brand new report for viewing payments (expense Transactions) by Vendor, with To-Do information. This could be used for a 1099.
  • On Vendor subuser’s dashboard, we now show a summary of payment Transactions by client (for this year, last year, etc…) (Contractors only)
  • Various bug fixes.
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Housters 6.3 Release

The Housters 6.3 release is now live on http://www.housters.com. This release is PACKED with improvements that we hope you’ll love. The one that we’re most excited about is that going forward in 2020, Housters is going give 10% of its profits to charity. This year we have chosen the Hands & Feet Project as our donation recipient, which cares for orphans in Haiti. We really feel good about this, and we hope you feel that your money is going to a great cause.

Housters is giving away 10% of its profits to the Hands & Feet Project.

We have also added a new Billing Discounts screen that allows users to perform certain actions (e.g. rating Housters in the app store) in order to get one-time discounts on their billing. Who doesn’t love saving money?? Speaking of money, we also now display the Housters pricing based on the user’s locale and current exchange rates, so our international users will no longer have to see US Dollars everywhere.

Housters offers one-time billing discounts.

For Property Managers, we have simplified the Landlord rent collector setting and do a better job of explaining the flow of payments and invoices, and which Transaction Types should be used when adding Landlord payments.

We have also vastly improved the intuitive of Transaction Types overall, explaining what exactly each one does and giving examples of real world Transactions that would use each Type. When you add a Transaction and don’t set something correctly, e.g. using the Rent Payment Type but not specifying a Tenant, we’ll show a warning so you know that something is wrong.

Full release notes below:

  • Start giving 10% of profits to charity!
  • Added a new Billing Discounts screen that provides various opportunities to earn discounts on your Housters billing, e.g. by rating us in the App Store or requesting your first background check.
  • For users outside of the USA… We now detect your country, look up current exchange rates, and show the pricing for Housters translated into your currency and at an equivalent rate. When you sign up for Housters, we lock in the exchange rate at that time and bill you at that rate going forward (so that your monthly amount stays the same.)
  • For users outside of the USA… Because we now detect your country, we also can detect your date and currency formats automatically when you sign up.
  • For Property Managers… When adding a Landlord, it now asks who collects rent from Tenants, the Property Manager or the Landlord. It then explains the impact of that setting, of which direction payments flow (who owes who) and what Transaction Type (Property Management Fees Received or Payment to Landlord) should be leveraged to update the amounts paid on Landlord Invoices.
  • For Property Managers… They can now create custom Transaction Types that update the amounts paid on Property Management Payments to and from Landlords, rather than being forced to use the Property Management Fees Received and Payment to Landlord Transaction Types.
  • For Property Managers… The Landlord who receives deposits from Tenants setting has been removed, as we weren’t doing anything with it.
  • The Add/Edit Transaction form is now more intuitive in explaining what the set Transaction Type does. It gives an example of a transaction scenario that would use the specified Type. Also, if something isn’t set right then it will show a warning, e.g. when setting the Type to Rent Payment but not specifying a Tenant.
  • Transaction Types are now more intuitive in explaining what exactly they do, e.g. how the Rent Payment type updates the amounts paid on rent invoices.
  • The Is Excluded from Operating Costs setting on Expense Transaction Types has been inverted to an Is Operating Cost setting.
  • The Show Balance on Dashboard Transaction Type setting now applies to not just Types in the Assets category but also Types in the Liabilities category. This means that credit card account balances can now be displayed on the Dashboard.
  • Various Trips improvements… The USA deduction rates have been updated for 2020. Also, if outside of the USA it will no longer pre-populate the USA deduction rates so you can input your country’s rate. Lastly, adding a new trip will display it at the top of the list (before it was incorrectly showing at the bottom of the list.)
  • You can now add notes to the main Dashboard. Previously, you could only add them to a Property, Tenant, or Landlord dashboard.
  • Notification preferences have been improved to be more descriptive.
  • The Unsubscribe link in emails now goes to the Notifications screen so that users can turn off alerts and get off the mailing list all at once.
  • Emails now display images, before some email clients were blocking them.
  • Transaction List > Select all checkbox changed to a button and fixed to be able to delete multiple transactions at once.
  • Mint Import > Various fixes and improvements.
  • Various bug fixes.
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How Technology is Revolutionizing Property Management

When it comes to technological advancements and the adoption of newer technologies, the real estate industry is not usually the first. However, slowly, the situation is changing and firms are increasingly adopting more modern technologies. Property management firms are using tools to automate their processes and improve the experience of their clients. 

There are many property management software which can simplify the process of managing buildings and tenants. Property management firms are also using other solutions to provide amenities and data to landlords and tenants. Such as identifying the optimal use of a client’s office space.

Use of property management software is growing

There is a large market for property management solutions geared towards DIY landlords. In the chart above by Curbed, half of all single-family landlords, or 6,987,605 to be exact, own only one property. These types of landlords, in particular, are using spreadsheets and Craigslist, which are not very efficient solutions for property management.

According to the same article, Ryan Coon, the cofounder of Avail property management software, estimates there are around 8 million DIY landlords who could use tools to compliment their services.

It’s easy to see why. In a report by Chuck Hattemer called Software is Eating the Real Estate Services World Next, the real estate industry is entering a significant revolution that is called the “full-stack real estate services revolution.” For businesses to stay competitive, here are the 5 things to do:

  1. Utilize the right real estate tools and technologies,
  2. Centralize operations, 
  3. Integrate full-stack services,
  4. Embrace automation, and
  5. Built a right team of experts.

Let us understand how increasing use of newer technologies is revolutionizing property management.

1. Easier availability of more data

In the last decade, businesses and companies had to do detailed market research when they needed a new office. Thanks to online property management software and real estate CRM, all the required information can be easily accessed. 

Some of the best rental management software provides free access to hundreds of listings and necessary information. When you have subscriptions or connections with multiple tenant representation brokers, you can gather a significant amount of information about properties easily and quickly. You can also easily find and view information on your dashboards

2. 360-degree experience of property 

Thanks to Google Maps, Google Earth, and Google Street View, interested tenants can take a virtual tour of hundreds of places without leaving your office. Some of the techno-savvy property firms have started to utilize 360-degree cameras and drones to capture every detail of the property in 360-degree. With the help of Street View, they can easily have a virtual tour of the neighborhood to see nearby buildings.


Sample of a Google Street View

Online property listing platforms are now offering virtual reality tours of properties so that interested tenants can see the property just like they were inside it. This saves a lot of time of tenants and makes the property selection process much more comfortable and efficient.

3. Streamlined property management

According to these real estate management software statistics, 2.4% housing units in the US are for rent. Thanks to the use of custom-built online property management software, more substantial corporations that hold huge portfolios of commercial leases can efficiently manage their properties and simplify their processes. Through cloud-based online platforms, information, analytics, and insights are readily available to manage and optimize property portfolio and lease unused space.

4. Connected offices and better decision-making

With cloud-based technology, real estate professionals can benefit from mobility. Regardless of their location, communication and collaboration are streamlined. This promotes better connectivity between your staff.

Commercial real estate executives can make more informed decisions and optimize efficiency and profitability of their assets. That’s a boon for large property managers who manage hundreds of buildings and offices.

5. Scalability and automated processes

Property managers need to track rental listings, tenant applications, requests for maintenance regularly. They can also streamline tenant screening. Software tools and online platform can provide the ability to manage these operations at large scale thanks to organized processes and automated operations. A rental property management tool that supports online payment to offer a convenient way for your tenants to pay and expedite your payment collection. 

6. Decentralized operations and reduced costs

Nowadays, many medium-sized companies are downsizing their offices and offering work-from-home or remote working opportunities. For essential in-house operations and senior management, companies find and offer shared work areas. 

With the help of proper coordination and efficient project management strategy, companies can continue their operations without any hit in productivity. This saves them huge sums of money. This approach has significantly increased the demand for coworking and shared office space and property management firms are adopting special tools to address the increasing needs.

7. Meaningful and actionable insights

Digital records of property management stores various types of data, such as property details, customer preferences, and demographics. Analysis of this enormous amount of data can produce meaningful and actionable insights through a simple landlord software. This can help property management firms identify changing customer needs or better understand customer decision-making patterns based on accessibility of a property. This will result in an increased profit of the firms in the long-term.

A better experience for property owners and tenants

There are more than 100 million tenants in the United States. As the number keeps increasing, property owners need to find more intelligent and efficient ways of discerning right and reliable tenants, getting rent on time, and maintaining their properties more effectively. Property management software for landlords such as Leaseze is automating these processes to streamline property management for landlords.

We hope that this article helped you to understand how technology is revolutionizing property management by assisting the firms to improve the experience of property owners and tenants. If you liked this article about property management, share it with people who will benefit from these insights.

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Housters 6.2 Release

I’m excited to announce the release of Housters 6.2, both on the website (http://www.housters.com) as well as the App and Google Play Stores.

On the website, this release focused on upgrading our underlying web technology stack. You’ll notice that we gave the website a much needed face lift, both in terms of the overall design as well as smaller things like button styles, icons, and form validation. We also added the ability to run promotions that would provide Housters billing discounts for new signups during certain times of the year. In fact, we’re running a new promo right now that offers 20% off for new signups if they enter the code “TAX2020”.

Screenshot of the new homepage, running a tax time promo for new signups.

For our existing users, don’t worry, we’ll be offering discounts to you as well in the next release!

In the mobile apps, this release was all about fixing bugs reported by end users.

As always, let us know what you think!

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Happy Holidays from Housters!

Happy Holidays from Housters! We hope you take some time to enjoy family, food, and the over the top Housters holiday theme…

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Housters 6.1 Release

Housters 6.1 is LIVE on http://www.housters.com! This is a major release where we redesigned the main dashboard, property dashboards, and tenant dashboards. The new dashboards will make it super simple to see what matters most: who you owe money to, who owes you money, how much money you’ve made, and how much you’ve spent. We’ve also added sections like “Quick Links” and “Jump Back In…” to make it easier to navigate around the website.

We’re excited about this release, and hope you like it as much as we do. As always, let us know what you think!

Full release notes:
– Main dashboard redesign
– Property dashboard redesign
– Tenant dashboard redesign
– Mint Import is now working
– Push notification alerts are now working
– We will no longer send alerts out to disabled subusers
– Taxable Income Report > When filtering by property it shouldn’t show trips
– Various bug fixes

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Online payment support has finally made it to Housters!

Online payment support has finally made it to Housters!!! The 6.0 release is live on http://www.housters.com, which adds support for sending bank (ACH) payments for various payment flows via our new payment processor, Rotessa.

Supported payment flows:
– Tenants to landlords/property managers
– Property managers to landlord clients
– Landlord clients to property managers
– Landlords/property managers to vendors

To get started with receiving online payments through Housters, go to the Online Payment Settings page (https://www.housters.com/Payments/Settings) and follow the instructions to set up an account with Rotessa. Their monthly fees for processing payments can be found on https://rotessa.com/pricing/. Note that by signing up for Rotessa through Housters, you will get a 30% discount on their fees. For example, if you have 5 tenants paying you rent monthly through Rotessa, the fee will be $6.30 per month ($1.26 per rent payment.)

Once your Housters account is set up for receiving online payments, you can invite your subusers (e.g. tenants) to log in to Housters so they can set up their account for sending payments to you. Both one-time payments and recurring payments are supported. For tenant rent payments, once they settle Housters will automatically generate a rent payment transaction and update the tenant’s rent status in your Housters account. Sending online payments is free for the sender.

Please note that online payments are ONLY supported in the USA and Canada. If Rotessa adds support for more countries in the future then we will obviously open this up in Housters as well.

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Housters 5.9 Release

Housters 5.9 is LIVE, both on http://housters.com as well as the App Store and Google Play Store!!! This was a major release that primarily focused on enhancing the invoicing feature. Previously, a landlord or property manager could invoice a tenant subuser, and a property manager could invoice a landlord subuser. Now a tenant subuser can invoice their landlord or property manager, a landlord subuser can invoice their property manager, a landlord or property manager can invoice their vendor subuser, and a vendor subuser can invoice their landlords and property managers.

Full Release Notes:
– New invoicing feature between vendors and landlords / property managers.
– Enhance existing invoicing between landlords / property managers and tenants to allow tenants to send invoices too.
– Enhance existing invoicing between property managers and landlords to allow landlords to send invoices too.
– Improve design of invoice PDFs.
– Allow branding the invoice PDFs.
– Allow auto-sending invoices not just before but also after a payment is due.
– Allow adding adjustments to closed invoices.
– Add more options to the Add button dropdowns at the top of the list screens.
– Make applicants section more accessible in navigation.
– Make tenant / applicant background checks more visible.
– Update getting started widgets to include all of the latest and greatest features.
– Improve UX when deactivating properties.
– Various bug fixes.

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Housters 5.8 Release

Exciting news!! Housters 5.8, which is a website only release, is now LIVE on http://www.housters.com. This release includes a major redesign of the list screens as well as much more extensive displaying of icons and thumbnails for things like properties, tenants, and transactions. Also included are many features that you all requested, such as daily auto-generation of late fees, customizable vendor types, and being able to associate documents to applicants. Enjoy!

Release notes:
– Redesigned all list screens to better organize the data.
– Display thumbnails next to all properties, tenants, etc…
– Renamed the Collect Rent screen to “Send Invoice”, to better represent what it does.
– Created a new Send Invoice screen for property managers to invoice their landlord clients.
– On the invoice screen, show whether each invoice has been emailed to the tenant or landlord client or not. Clicking on it links to the Send Invoice screen with the appropriate invoice auto-selected.
– Show alert on top of dashboard about using the Taxable Income Report to help with filing taxes.
– Configure auto-generating late fee invoice adjustments each day after rent is due.
– Vendor subusers can now be alerted as to-do list tasks are approaching their due dates.
– The vendor types are no longer hard-coded, you can customize the types.
– Allow associating applicants to documents, e.g. for application documents.
– Add new report option for whether or not to include images.
– Various bug fixes.

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Housters 5.7 Release

Woohoo, another release! Housters 5.7 is now LIVE on http://www.housters.com as well as the Google Play and Apple app stores. The big shiny new feature is push notifications… From the Housters mobile app, head over to the Settings > Notifications screen and choose which Housters alerts you would like to receive as push notifications. Enjoy!!

Full release notes below…

– Android and iOS push notifications for Housters alerts!
– Categorize your to-do tasks into separate custom to-do lists.
– Created a new Branding screen under the Accounts section, where you can customize the branding logo / text at the top of your dashboard, reports, and emails.
– New option on Add Tenant form for logging old security deposit payments.
– When logging a transaction and assigning it to a tenant or landlord, it will prompt asking if they want to add an invoice to bill them.
– The tenant dashboard now shows how many days over or under paid they are.
– For property managers, the landlord dashboard now shows how many days over or under paid they are.
– Improved performance on the Mint import.
– When exporting a report to PDF, it will ask if you want to share the PDF with a certain email address.
– The Occupancy Report now shows a calendar view of when each unit in the property was occupied or vacant.
– Don’t show the user’s billing status on the dashboard if they have an iOS subscription.
– Various bug fixes.