Note: This is part two of our series on technology innovations that help property owners and managers get the most from their investments.
In part one of our ongoing series, we explored the benefits of Azibo’s online management system and Livable’s platform to recover master-billed utilities. In this edition, we’re going to explore two more amazing online management platforms: Renter Insight and Innago. Renter Insight is perfect for the Housing Provider who wants enterprise-level tools at an IRO-friendly price point, while Innago has a specialized feature that uniquely serves student housing providers. Read on to explore the unique features of these applications and how each can help grow your business.
Renter Insight Enables Enterprise-Level Service for Smaller Property Owners
With more than 20 years of experience in the rental industry, Renter Insight President and CEO Tom Schickel knows what it takes to holistically grow a rental business. Schickel is dedicated to creating a property management platform that serves smaller investors at the same level that programs like Buildium offer to corporate rental companies.
“Our sweet spot is people who own 5 to 50 units,” he explains. “We have designed and built out a much more comprehensive solution than our competitors at a very reasonable price. We know there are several companies offering free management platforms, but they are not as comprehensive. They may do screening or payments, but don’t provide a single source of truth with every piece of data you need to manage your properties.”
Understanding that many owners in that target market will hire a professional property manager to help them out, Renter Insight provides levels of access to both managers and owners. “Property managers can grant owners access to information through an Owner Portal, but the PM would still have access to all her owner information even if she is employed by 10 or 15 owners,” Schickel explains. “Everyone gets access to all the information they need to be successful.”
Renter Insight also offers a unique communication platform for Housing Providers to communicate with their Residents. “It’s easy to communicate with your tenants if you have a couple of units,” Schickel says. “But once you have more than 5, it takes more time. Our Communication Center makes it faster and easier, saving landlords and property managers time - and time means money.”
With the Renter Insight Communication Center, landlords can easily access their most used communication channels in one location. They can communicate with Residents using text, chat and email from a single place, eliminating the need for multiple apps, never losing track of the conversation history again. From community events to emergency notifications, having a single place to reach everyone is a huge benefit to any property owner.
Renter Insight also offers a comprehensive dashboard that lets owners know whose lease is coming up for renewal, who’s late on a payment and who has unfulfilled maintenance requests in one snapshot. The platform also offers a robust custom accounting system with expense and billing management in one place. Property owners and managers can determine exactly what costs they want to pass on to tenants as well. “We have, for example, landlords who are fine to absorb the cost of tenants paying rent through ACH transfer but want to pass the costs of credit card processing to their tenants,” Schickel says. “Our system allows that level of customization to meet each owner’s needs.”
Housing Providers can get all the features of Renter Insight for only $99 a year ($8.25 a month) or $14.95 a month with no commitment.
Innago Offers Free Management Tools, Specializes in Student Housing
Founded in 2017, Innago is a completely free, cloud-based platform for property owners and managers. Innago has no hidden fees and is absolutely free to Housing Providers, according to CEO and Co-founder Dave Spooner. “We do sell products like tenant screening, online payments and renter’s insurance and we make money from those, but they are paid by the potential tenant or tenant, never the landlord,” Spooner explains. “If we’re going to introduce a charge, there has to be a clear value to the person being charged.”
Innago helps Housing Providers market their listings, publishing them to more than 15 sites including Zillow and Realtor.com. The majority of their current 10,000 landlords and 100,000 tenants are distributed in the largest housing markets in the United States: California, Texas and New York.
Unlike most property management platforms focused on rentals, Innago has functionality that accommodates the specialized needs of student housing. “When you’re renting to students, there’s almost always a parent guarantor involved and some properties, especially around schools in expensive, high-demand areas, may offer individual bedroom leases too. We are set up to meet the unique needs of both the tenants and landlords in these student housing scenarios,” Spooner says.
Livable's utility recovery platform is also ideal for Housing Providers who offer student housing. "We understand that multi-resident setups can be complicated," says Daniel Sharabi, CEO of Livable. "We can bill each resident of a property for their fair share of utilities, no matter how many people live there, making the property a better investment for the owner and encouraging conservation at the same time."
Spooner says the company is dedicated to being green - with online signing and storage, there’s no need for landlords or tenants to print any of their documentation, including leases and maintenance requests. They also provide a resource center with educational information for landlords on evictions, collections and more.
“We really focus on the tenant-landlord relationship and keeping that as simple and efficient as possible,” Spooner says. “We always make sure that any new features help keep that relationship simple.”
Check out Part 1 of this series on innovations in property management technology and stay tuned for part 3, coming soon!
To learn more about how Ratio Utility billing saves you money on master-billed utilities while promoting conservation, book a discovery call with one of our experts.