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Spreadsheets are great for property accounting, but they’re pretty dated and can only do so much.

QuickBooks? Big upgrade, but it’s not made for property management and requires multiple inconvenient work-arounds.

Enter property accounting software.

Designed for property accounting (as the name implies), it is purpose-built with things like the ability to separate property and tenant accounts and track security deposits. 

One of those options is Stessa, a property accounting tool with a mostly free version that’s a good starter plan. 

But is it the right property accounting tool for you? What features does it offer, and what are you missing out on by not going with a full property management software. 

What is Stessa?

Stessa is a financial tracking app designed for property management.

Stessa

While not a full property management app, it does offer useful features for managing your property accounting.

It’s also a decent place to start if you need a simple financial tool for managing one or a few properties. 

Stessa features

Stessa’s financial tracking app comes with a variety of features designed for property accounting, though being a mostly free option its feature set is pretty limited.

Stessa features

Features include:

  • Decent reporting features for things like cash flow, income statements, and expense tracking
  • Rent tracking 
  • Owner portal
  • Document management
  • Some basic leasing features
  • Tax management
  • Mobile app

Not to be confused as property management software, though, Stessa is missing many of the features you’d expect from a full property management solution.

For example, it doesn’t offer:

  • Maintenance management
  • Tenant portal
  • Tenant communications tools
  • Automatic listings
  • Full eLeasing features
  • Tenant screening 
  • And others

It’s important to consider what you want and need out of a property management tool and what your software stack already looks like.

If you’re invested in QuickBooks, a property management software is still incredibly useful for everything it allows you to do regarding property management while Stessa won’t offer you much that is unique besides convenience. 

Stessa pricing

Stessa’s basic plan including all of its listed features is free, which is its biggest selling point.

While it is extremely limited in its feature set, it does make a decent option for those getting started with property investing or management.

For larger portfolios, it offers a pricey $1,000 per month pricing tier with features such as:

  • Rent analysis
  • And market research 

Stessa pros and cons

Now that we’ve covered Stessa’s features and pricing, let’s take a look at some overarching pros and cons:

Pro: Free plan

The main reason to choose Stessa (as you’re giving up a lot in exchange for it) is its free plan. 

Stessa gates some mostly research-related features behind a massive paywall that some tools offer with its basic and much less expensive premium plans. 

However, its basic plan, while highly limited in its feature set, is free. 

Pro: Easy to use 

Users report that Stessa is relatively easy to use. Some navigation items and parts of the interface can be a bit confusing, but in general users report that ease-of-use is one of Stessa’s strong suits. 

Con: Not a full property management software

Being a specifically property finance-related tool, Stessa is missing many of the most powerful and significant time-saving features that people have come to expect from property management software.

Features such as maintenance management, communications tools, eLeasing, and tenant communications all help streamline your property management and save you both time and money, and they’re all features Stessa is lacking. 

Con: Lacks many basic features you can get from other tools at low-cost

Free isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. 

Many property management tools, whether property finance-specific or a fully-fledged property management tool, are incredibly affordable (in the range of $50-100 per month, typically).

So, while you may think you’re giving up features in exchange for the free plan, what you’re actually giving up is a lot and what you’re getting in return (the money saved) isn’t much. 

DoorLoop’s basic plan, for example, comes in at just $49 per month for up to 20 units and offers a complete set of property management tools including a full suite of property accounting features. 

Stessa reviews 

Let’s look at some Stessa reviews next to get a truly complete view of the software.

Stessa’s reviews are balanced in favor of ease of use with most positive mentions being its affordability (no surprise there). 

Some users, however, mention issues with a lack of features and the interface.

Note: These are real customer reviews straight from major review sites such as Capterra and GetApp

Stessa user Bradley says, “the ease of income and expense tracking allows you to take control of your business.” 

And Daniel says Stessa “helps me as a newer investor to categorize my transactions which I suspect will be very helpful when it comes to tax season.”

On the flip side of that, some users, such as Umesh, mention: 

“It does not allow [you] to filter rent if you have connected personal accounts for personal properties. Also, it lacks seamless integration with the bank on a daily basis.”

And Stessa user John says, “the user interface is not super appealing and the receipt scanner had some issues.”

Stessa alternatives 

Now that we’ve dived deep into Stessa and seen what it can– and can’t– do, let’s look at a few alternatives.

Earlier, we made a note that Stessa isn’t a full property management tool. For our alternatives, we’ve collected a few property management tools that do offer a more complete set of features, some at a super affordable price. 

They are: 

1. DoorLoop

DoorLoop Stessa reviews

Our very own DoorLoop is the true all-in-one property management tool designed for property managers, by property managers. 

It offers a full suite of property accounting features including powerful features such as a QuickBooks Online integration.

However, it also offers countless other features that Stessa doesn’t, leaving you wanting for nothing if your goal is to simplify and streamline your entire property management.

DoorLoop features:

  • Automatic rent payments
  • Everything you need to manage your property accounting, from a full chart of accounts, bank reconciliations, robust reporting, and a convenient QuickBooks Online integration that takes minutes to set up
  • Complete maintenance management system 
  • Streamline your entire leasing process with eLeasing forms and digital signatures, tenant screening, automatic listings, and more
  • Centralize all tenant communications into one place 
  • And so much more

DoorLoop Pricing

DoorLoop is just $49 per month and includes up to 20 units, with additional units being just $2 per unit per month. 

Did we mention you can get started with a 30-day money back guarantee? So, you truly have nothing to lose.

Get all the great accounting features that Stessa offers while adding a suite of amazing property management tools all for one low price– and try it risk-free.

Schedule a free demo to give DoorLoop a try today. 

2. Hemlane

Hemlane

Another great option if you’re looking for a more well-rounded feature set is Hemlane.

Hemlane doesn’t have all the features of a full property management tool, but it does have many of the property management features that Stessa is missing while also offering some unique features that help you get connected with agents on-location. 

Hemlane features:

  • Online rent payments
  • Maintenance management
  • Unique in-person features such as Agent Match

Hemlane Pricing

Hemlane starts off at an affordable $30 per month. However, that only covers your first unit. At $2 per unit per month, for the same 20 units as you get for DoorLoop’s starter plan you’d pay $68 with Hemlane.

3. Rent Manager

Rent Manager

The third option on our list, Rent Manager is another well-rounded option that has many of the property management-specific features that Stessa doesn't have along with decent accounting features.

The trade-off is that the UI is dated and users report the software can be a bit hard to navigate. 

In addition, its lack of transparent pricing can be a turn-off for some (and often means higher prices). 

Rent Manager features:

  • Decent accounting features
  • QuickBooks Online integration
  • Owner portal 

Rent Manager Pricing

Rent Manager doesn’t have its pricing listed publicly, which means you’ll have to contact their sales department directly to get more information.

Which is right for you?

Deciding which tool is the best fit for you and your portfolio can be tough.

Fortunately, there are some truths that help make this easier:

  • More (features) is better, and
  • Saving time is saving money

With an all-in-one property management tool like DoorLoop, you get all the great accounting features of Stessa along with a whole host of property management tools that save you both time and money. 

Plus, you can try it risk-free with a 30-day money back guarantee. So, there’s nothing stopping you from seeing why DoorLoop is the #1 Stessa alternative.

Schedule a free demo of DoorLoop and give it a try today.

David Bitton

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!