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Aug, 2014

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  1. #1

    Default Letting agent software

    Hi
    Just wondering if anyone has used RentPro the web based letting agent software, is it any good? Or perhaps someone could recommend something similar that they have used? Many thanks...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    6,054

    Default

    There are just too many on the market to say which are good or bad. Get a demo of any that you are considering as they will all tell you their system is the best, which you should always take with a pinch of salt. If your portfolio is under 50 properties then and Excel spreadsheet is usually adequate.

    Watch out for escallating monthly fees and tied-in contracts which you should avoid at all costs.
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Yorkshire
    Posts
    24,592

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    Also consider a paper-and-pencil-based system.

    It's cheap, easy to use, very portable and works even in a power cut, or when your computer crashes
    How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive? Homer Simpson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    277

    Default

    Have a look at Gnomen too, we've just started using their software. Takes a while to get used to it all, compared against Excel etc, but the website integration - for tenants and landlords to log in and report issues/check accounts etc - was one of the selling points that got me.
    <a href="http://www.manchesterpropertygroup.co.uk/" target="_blank">Manchester letting agents</a>

  5. #5

    Default

    make sure its web/cloud based. download type softwares' are dying out rapidly but there are still a few around. you dont want to get stuck with something that's not updated regularly or maintained

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    744

    Default

    Make sure it's NOT web/cloud based. Download type software is still the best as you remain in full control. You don't want to get stuck with something that's not updated regularly or maintained, or suddenly goes bust and you find the web access suddenly disappears!
    On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    5,257

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    For updates and maintenance web based should be superior since tool can be continuously updated. On the other hand having the software installed on your computer should mean that you'll be able to continue using it long after vendor disappeared.
    ⊂ Unsuitable for nut allergy sufferers ⊃

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    8,566

    Default

    3 rules in computing... (re. data & systems in all case...)

    a) Take a copy...
    ii) Take another copy & make sure you can recover your systems from it...
    3) Take another copy & put it somewhere (geographically..) else..

    Having started in the IT industry almost 40 years ago (arrrrggghhhhhh....) when almost everything was central-computer based and seen things change this way & that I would merely comment that each new fad is later found to have various problems and the issue with ALL IT solutions, web-based, downloaded-on-your-computer, woteava... is, it WILL fail - some time...
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Buckinghamshire
    Posts
    882

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    I've used 3 or 4 different commercial systems and various home made or excel type spreadsheets.

    If below 25 then use pen and paper or excel; less than that isn't enough to warrant the expenditure. If more than 50 then I would go for CFP Winman as being the best of a mediocre bunch; it includes a good double entry bookkeeping system and will track all the relevant dates that you need as well as providing marketing lists etc. Its not cheap but has (paid) ongoing support. Go for the sql version not the adb as thats being phased out.

    As the artfullodger points out, a backup process for your data is VITAL as software WILL go wrong at some point. I'd avoid the idea of web or cloud based systems unless you have a guaranteed, never-going-to-drop-out connection to the interweb because it will fail just as you are about to pay landlords before going off on a 4 week holiday (yeah, like you'll ever get a chance to do that running an agency!!)
    My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    277

    Default

    CFP not cheap? They quoted approx £2.5k for the software plus monthly 'support' costs. Couldn't believe what I was hearing when they said that at the end of their presentation.
    <a href="http://www.manchesterpropertygroup.co.uk/" target="_blank">Manchester letting agents</a>

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