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 workarounds.
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? Learn all about it in this property accounting software review.
What Is Stessa?
Stessa is a financial tracking app designed for property management.
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 for property managers that need a simple financial tool for dealing with one or a few properties.
Stessa’s property management accounting software and financial tracking app come with a variety of features designed for property accounting, though being a mostly free option its feature set is pretty limited.
- Decent financial 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 rental 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’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 a property manager with larger portfolios, it offers a pricey $1,000 per month pricing tier with features such as:
- Rent analysis
- And market research
Stessa's 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's rental property accounting 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 any property manager has come to expect from a 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.
The best 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 $59 per month for up to 20 units and offers a complete set of property management tools including a full suite of property accounting features for your rental properties.
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 the most positive mentions being its affordability (no surprise there).
Some users, however, mention issues with a lack of features and the interface.
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.”
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.
Our very own DoorLoop is the true all-in-one property management platform 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.
- Automatic online rent collection
- 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 requests 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 many more marketing tools and lease management features
DoorLoop is just $59 per month and includes up to 20 units, with additional units being just $2 per unit per month.
Get all the great accounting features that Stessa offers while adding a suite of amazing property management tools all for one low price.
Schedule a free demo to give DoorLoop a try today.
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 residential or commercial property management software 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.
- Online rent payments
- Maintenance management
- Unique in-person features such as Agent Match
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
The third option on our list, Rent Manager is another well-rounded option that has many of the property management-specific features for residential and commercial properties 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.
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.