Real estate agents partnering with investors would be wise to have a look at how Baselane can assist clients in understanding the monetary ins and outs of owning rental homes.
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Baselane is financial management and accounting software for single-family rental landlords.
Platforms: Browser-based; mobile responsive
Ideal for: Agents with investors; first-time landlords; property managers; vacation property owners
Top Selling Points:
- Lightweight, consumer-inspired UI
- Fully integrated, proprietary banking
- Designed for new, tech-savvy landlords
- Easily scaled to handle one or many rental homes
- Many modern options for rent collection
I’m only concerned with customer pressure pushing the company into adding features that could deter it from its core competency. Tenant background checks, maintenance project tracking, etc. could be worthwhile add-ons, but would push the app away from its central appeal. For now, it’s partnering with such services.
What You Should Know
Baselane is the first software product I’ve seen targeting landlords of single-family rentals. More specifically, the company is directing its marketing at younger, tech-savvy real estate investors — and it shows. This software reminds me of Freshbooks, the at-home entrepreneur’s bookkeeping platform. It covers cash flow, bookkeeping, banking (it is a bank), per-lease accounting and revenue projections, as well as a good deal more in a minimalist, tightly coded solution that would take even the most number-phobic only an hour or so to feel comfortable using.
Real estate agents partnering with such investors would be wise to have a look at how Baselane can assist clients in understanding the monetary ins and outs of owning rental homes and vacation properties. It can do the same for your own rental interests.
Baselane can help landlords dump the menagerie of products — even the banks — they use to run their units for a single suite that covers likely more than they may need. But even what they don’t need from Baselane won’t get in the way.
The software was designed to go top-down, providing users with a broad overlook of what’s happening across multiple properties (or one, to start) and then burrow into each home, lease, bank account and sub-account.
All of Baselane’s features can apply to individual LLCs, too, allowing users to work in the software as if “1515 Smith Street” is their only property. This kind of granularity is what expense-averse landlords love to control.
That kind of flexibility works the opposite way, too. Instead of digging into each property to assign expenses, users can plug in costs in the general ledger but tag them to a sub-account for easy reconciliation.
A significant component of Baselane’s value proposition is that it is also a bank. This can be a tremendous advantage to new landlords who want to centralize their operations.
The FDIC-insured Baselane account provides savings and business checking, debit cards per property, and is essentially what gives the software such property-by-property flexibility.
In essence, Baselane is a bank built for landlords delivering services in a mobile-first consumer experience, disguising itself as an accounting app. Think about the power of that the next time you want to manage a property in the user experience from one of the Wall Street bank brands. Yeah, nah.
The banking module itself lists all accounts, even third-party institutions, in a uniform interface, empowering users to connect and view multiple accounts from one screen and ensure they’re linked to the appropriate property.
Leases can be uploaded and linked according to tenant and house, ideal for those keeping order amongst groups of roommates. Baselane also ensures security deposits are easy to manage and return, a process many landlords will attest to not enjoying.
On the macro-level, Baselane offers quick-looks into performance, rent collection and lease status across an entire portfolio.
Lastly, Baselane knows it can’t exist unless there’s money to manage. Thus, in accordance with its mission to serve new and younger landlords, it provides Baselane tenants with multiple ways to pay their rent, and the least likely method is by paper check.
Tenants use their Baselane account to choose the easiest money transfer method upon lease activation, made even easier because, again, Baselane is a bank — landlords can eliminate that middle-step.
All parties can monitor payment and security deposit status, keep track of when payments post and set up auto-pay.
Between NestEgg, RentSpree, Nomad and few other rental market upstarts, this category is clearly ready to modernize. Finally.
Everything points to this being exceptional property accounting software, and its blending of fintech with rental property management smooths over multiple points of operational and financial friction for small landlords. It’s a super-smart application of technology delivered to the exact niche that needs it most.
Well done, Baselane.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe
Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.