LandlordMax Newsletter – New Cloud Edition in the Works
Published: Thu, 11/17/16
Although email newsletter protocols dictate that you should never start an email newsletter by apologising for not having written in a long time, I nonetheless believe it’s important that I do as we haven’t sent out an email newsletter in about 2 years now. This is completely my fault as I personally write the email newsletters. I don’t have a good excuse. All I can say is that I’ve been incredibly busy and as a result I’ve had less time for the email newsletter. I tried to start up again last summer by first writing on my personal blog but it ended there as I quickly got too busy again. Since then many people have contacted us asking about the status of the email newsletter and when we could start it up again. The answer is now, and I will continue to consistently publish our email newsletter from this point on.
On a positive I was busy with good things. The first was the release of version 11.05 of LandlordMax. Version 11.05 was a massive release! Each of our releases (new major versions) is bigger than the previous one and version 11.05 was once again our biggest release so far. Since it was released I transitioned to the upcoming major new and exciting Edition called the LandlordMax Cloud Edition. Although it’s not yet available we’re now officially starting to talk about its release. Just to quickly re-iterate for those who are newer to the email newsletter, our policy is that we do not officially state release dates. We will talk about how we’re progressing in the email newsletter and give you updates and so on, but due to the nature of how software works we do not give out official release dates. One of my favorite articles on this topic asks you to estimate the time it would take to walk from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I have no doubt that the answer, and article, will very much surprise you. I have yet to meet someone who comes close to a correct estimate.
And without further ado let’s reboot the LandlordMax email newsletter.
LandlordMax Newsletter – New Cloud Edition in the Works
I’m proud to announce that we’re working on a brand new Edition of the software called the LandlordMax Cloud Edition. The Cloud Edition will be web based and will be available as a cloud service only. In other words you won’t have to install any software, worry about backing up your data, etc., everything will be managed for you and be accessible directly through the website from any computer on the internet.
We have been working on this Edition for some time now. And just like all our previous releases this is going to be our biggest release ever in terms of scale and effort! Not only will the Cloud Edition offer the same functionality as the current software but it will also enhance many of the existing features as well as add some new major features!
Now before I begin please note that all the following is being actively worked on and although we’re officially working on a Cloud Edition the features mentioned below are unofficial and therefore may be subject to change. We don’t expect any changes because most of what will be mentioned is either already either completed or well on its way to being completed, but we still nonetheless need to state it just in case something changes between now and the release date.
That being said one of the major new features of the Cloud Edition will be the ability to filter/search on a per column basis. In other words instead of the Data Filters that are currently available you will be able to manually type in the header column what you want that column to be filtered on. So for example if you only want to display the accounting entries for the tenant named John Smith you can type in his name John Smith in the name column header and only accounting entries for John Smith will appear. If you want to further restrict the accounting entries to just the tenant John Smith and say entries where the Description field includes the word "Utilities” then you can additionally enter in “Utilities” in the Description column header and now only entries for John Smith and “Utilities” will appear in the accounting table. In other words all columns are searchable/filterable. You can even select ranges of values where appropriate, etc.
Another major feature we’re working on is a brand new templating engine for almost everything that's printed. This includes everything from workorders, invoices, receipts, etc. to reports, and so on. We’re working on a built-in word processor which will allow you to edit the templates and generated documents directly within the system. You’ll be able to completely customize them as you wish directly in the software. If you want to include your mailing address in the invoice template then you can do so. If you want to include a specific notice on all your receipts, you can do so. You will have full control of the output printed out in a built-in word processor.
In addition to editing the template you’ll be able to select what data (within some constraints) will appear on the invoices, receipts, workorders, and reports. So for example if you want to include different values in a report than what is currently available you will be able to do so. You will be able to select which columns appear. I won’t get into the specifics now because we’re very much actively working on this and deciding the details, but let's just say you can decide what data you want presented where in the reports within reason. You won't yet be able to create a new custom report but you'll be able to select which data is outputted, how it's formatted, etc. For example maybe in the rent roll report you want the cell phone number and email, maybe you want the address, maybe the security deposit amount, etc. You can basically decide what data is presented for the available reports.
Keep in mind that in addition to selecting the data you can also select the formatting, which means that if you want the text to wrap you can set it up so that the text wraps rather than being truncated as it is now (with the three periods at the end). You will also be able to select the font type, font size, etc. amongst other goodies.
Now because you can create and edit your own reports, templates, etc., the software will also have the ability to manage these templates. As a result you will be able to save your report templates and select the ones you want to use when it comes time to print the report, which means you can have multiple report templates for a single report. You will also be able to select from the list of invoice templates you’ve customized, and so on. You could have 10 different invoice templates which you select based on the specific tenant. We're trying to make it as flexible as possible.
We’re even taking it a step further where you will be able to generate documents such as lease agreements based on your templates. In the example of the lease agreement the software will automatically generate and populate it based on your tenant’s information in one step. You will then be able to both store and print the generated lease agreement all directly within the software. The same is true for notices, and so on.
Now what happens if you need to make an edit to the lease agreement after it’s generated? Well you’ll be happy to hear that we’re also working on post-generation editing. In other words you will be able to edit the generated lease agreement after it’s been generated from the template in case you need to make some specific changes to just that single lease.
These are just a few of the things we’ve been working on in addition to creating the Cloud Edition. There is quite a lot coming and this effort has been massive, and hence why it’s taking longer than expected. It’s also why I’ve been so busy and haven't had the time to focus on the email newsletter, for which I apologize. From now on I will be updating you with more details as we progress through the development of the new Cloud Edition. I also plan on releasing some preview videos in the near future. I would’ve included a video or two now but we’re still working on the exact look and feel and I don’t want to distract you from the power of the software because we haven’t applied the finishing touches on some screens.
There is a lot coming down the pipeline!!
Although we’ve said this before I believe it’s worth stating again because of the number of support tickets we see on a regular basis. The current version of the software is an installed software application on your computer which means all your data (the database) resides only on your computer. It’s therefore very important that you make backups of your data at regular intervals. It’s also just as important that you keep these backups on another device or medium because if you keep the backups on your computer and the hard drive fails, it gets stolen, etc., then the backup files are also lost at the same time.
You can find more details and instructions on how to backup your database in Section 9.1 of the user manual.
Property Management Tip:
It's important to keep ALL your software, and not just LandlordMax, up to date. Remember that you’re dealing with other people’s sensitive and personal financial information and data therefore there is a legal expectation that you will keep your computer systems safe and up to date. The same as you would expect your mortgage broker, insurance broker, real estate agent, etc. to keep their systems safe and updated, there are similar expectations by your tenants, etc. that you keep your systems safe and updated. These are not just personal expectations but there are legal expectations. Therefore if you haven’t done it in a long time then take the time to do a quick audit of your computers, at least those you use to manage/store sensitive information in regards to your rentals, and make sure that not only is the operating system updated but that the software you use on those computers is updated.
Industry News, Information, and Recommendations:
- Vancouver slaps a $10,000 a year tax on empty homes. Lie about it and it’s $10,000 a day
- CEO of Zillow sells his house for 40% below Zillow’s estimated value
- Tenants from hell stories
- Condo developer forgets to put 120 bathrooms in brand new building
- These neighbors got together to buy vacant buildings. Now they’re renting to bakers and brewers
- Chineese billionaire says Chineese real estate is biggest bubble in history
"Thank you very much, and I would like to say I love the program you have created. When I came in and took over for my father’s property manager, everything was disorganized and the office was a mess. This program has increased the efficiency of my office considerably."
"My wife and I started our Real Estate business years ago and went through several iterations of capturing data. We navigated through several painful experiences with other applications (including two internal developments) that were a waste of time and resources. Finally we discovered LandlordMax which is perfect for our needs. The software allows us to customize accounts in a manner that coincides with our annual Tax software. Using the reports, End of Year tax preparation is now a breeze, and most importantly, flawlessly accurate. I strongly recommend LandlordMax for anyone serious about managing their Real Estate Investments by making more time available for productive activities that really bring value to your business."
"To whom it may concern. I've use LandlordMax for a little over 4 years. I have nothing but good to say about it. From the very beginning, I found it to be incredibly intuitive and have yet to refer to any type of tutorial or reference material for help. Whenever I had the need to utilize additional functionality, it was simple. I run a small business of less than 50 units which I manage and maintain myself."