Occasionally readers will write me about a product or service that I might not have found otherwise. I review all of these products and try to figure out if and how they fit into the Lazy Man and Money theme. A large percentage of the ones that don't seem to fit very well are pre-alpha sites looking to get some traffic. Last week, an unprecedented treat arrived in my mailbox - an invitation to from the CEO (of a company I have actually heard of) wanting to introduce me to their product. I jumped at the opportunity to speak with Allison Atsiknoudas, CEO of iiProperty, perhaps best known for their Rentometer product.
The Rentometer tool gives both landlords and renters a view into the marketplace. I used Rentometer to price my investment property in Massachusetts. It's extremely simple to use which is a joy after using sites where one can get lost in feature after feature. Really, the only thing I'd add is a graph of rental prices over time. It's great to know that I'm priced near the area's median, but I'd like to know how that median is changing.
I was a little surprised to learn that Rentometer wasn't iiProperty's core product. That core product may best be described as a Quicken for landlords. For landlords with a couple of properties, iiProperty's biggest value is the ability to quickly advertise the properties (and track the results of the advertising). It can push one ad to multiple venues, two notable ones being Craigslist and GoogleBase. Lastly, you can create a WebFlyer, which is a simple description (with picture) of your property at its own URL. I imagine this makes it handy for e-mail - just send someone a like to the WebFlyer.
As one might imagine, owning multiple properties adds more complexity. It's not that unusual for some real estate inventors to own more than 25 properties. It's in this scenario that I think iiProperty really shines. It has a variety of tools to track rents and keep you on schedule. It will not only alert you to when something is due, it can alert the tenant directly through e-mail and/or the old US postal service mail. It gives great overview reports such as your portfolio value and the loan to market (LTV) value. There are other tools such as tracking income and expense, monthly cashflow, and tax report, etc. These are all tools that I didn't explore in full detail.
For beginning landlords, those with just a few properties, iiProperty has a free option. That won't get you ever feature, but it's looking over the list, it's really all me and my wife would use. If want to start to manage multiple properties, there is a fee (I imagine that the employees at iiProperty like to earn a living to pay for their own rent). The fee looks to be reasonable, or maybe even on the small side - you can manage 11-25 properties for $40/month.
This product can grow in many ways. I had hoped it would allow me to find reputable and reasonable repairmen. I don't know if that particular offering is in the pipelines, but Ms. Atsiknoudas said that they were rolling out new tools in the upcoming weeks.
I invite readers to leave comments and/or suggestions for iiProperty and/or their Rentometer product. It's rare you get give feedback directly to the CEO, but is one such case. If you have questions leave them for me and I'll see if I can get them answered.
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