It’s already been more than 3 years since the LandlordMax Cloud Edition has been released! We have been getting excellent feedback from both our new and existing customers. In fact, the majority of the previous desktop customers have already converted their database and are enjoying the benefits and new features of the Cloud Edition.
At this time, we are announcing a final deadline to convert your existing database to the Cloud Edition. The original deadline of Dec 31, 2020 was extended by four months which will be the end of this month. In other words the deadline to convert your database from the previous Desktop Edition to Cloud Edition ends at the end of this month on April 30, 2021. As you know, the Desktop Edition (as well as the Soho and Pro Editions) of LandlordMax have been discontinued for 3 years, meaning there are no further updates, including security updates, of the installed Editions such as the Desktop Edition. Therefore it is important to upgrade before April 30, 2021 to avoid any Windows or Apple incompatibility issues which could render the software inoperable. For example Apple’s latest update of their Mac OS X called Big Sur has rendered a number of software applications incompatible including the Desktop Edition. If this happens after April 30, 2021 then there will no longer be any options to upgrade to the Cloud Edition.
There are many benefits to upgrading to the cloud edition, such as:
Access to your data 24/7, from anywhere in the world that has internet computer without having to download or install any software.
No need to worry about computer failures, just go to the website and login even if your computer has to be completely replaced.
Can be used on any number of computers, it is no longer bound and/or limited to specific computers.
No need to worry about data backups, it’s automatically done for you.
Ability to customize your reports as well as create custom reports.
Safe and secure storage of your data.
In addition to these many benefits again please be aware that as Windows and Apple computers are constantly being upgraded that by running the Desktop Edition you are taking the chance that the software will no longer work when there is eventually an incompatibility upgrade by Microsoft or Apple.
For instance, the Desktop Edition will NOT work on the latest Mac computers due to incompatibility issues with the Big Sur release by Apple. Meaning if you buy a new Mac or update your Mac OS X to Apple’s latest Big Sur version the Desktop Edition will no longer work due to changes in Mac OS X that render the software incompatible. Big Sur has caused a number of software applications to become incompatible, with one of them including the Desktop Edition (as well as Soho and Pro Editions). It still appears to function on the latest versions of Windows but please keep in mind that should Microsoft introduce a software incompatibility change *(similar to what Apple did with their Big Sur update) after April 30, 2021 and you haven’t upgraded to the Cloud Edition then the installed version will NO longer work and there will no longer be an option to upgrade your data to the Cloud Edition. Therefore it is highly recommended to upgrade as soon as possible.
Please be aware that the final deadline to upgrade to the cloud edition is April 30, 2021. After this date, you will no longer be able to convert your existing database from the installed Editions (Desktop, Soho, and Pro Editions) to the LandlordMax Cloud Edition.
As of today you can now automatically create a Late Fee for your Tenants by clicking on the Late Fee menu option in the main Accounting Entries table. Previously you had to open up the entry and then click on the Late Fee menu option there but as of this week you can now also create the Late Fee from the Accounting Entries table directly.
The Late Fee amount is generated based on the Tenant’s Lease information, specifically it looks for the Lease that matches the Date Due and will then apply the Lease’s Late Fee amount.
Please note that the Late Fee Accounting Entry will have both the Date Paid and Amount Paid empty so that it is an outstanding amount as in most cases you are applying a Late Fee because the rent has not yet been paid.
At the moment Late Fees are applied one Accounting Entry at a time but we are expecting to add the ability to apply Late Fees for multiple Accounting Entries all at once in a single step. That is the ability to select all the late rents you want and then click just once on the Late Fee menu. This effort has already started and we anticipate it will be released very soon.
We just added a new Partial Payment menu in Suggested Accounting Entries section of the software, in both the table and individual views. That is to say in the Suggested Accounting Entries table and when you view an individual Suggested Accounting Entry. The screenshot above shows the new Partial Payment menu item from the Suggested Accounting Entries table.
The Partial Payment menu option, much like the Partial Payment option in the main Accounting section, splits up the Suggested Accounting Entry. It creates a new Accounting Entry for the amount that was partially paid and then adjusts the existing Suggested Accounting Entry to show the new outstanding balance still owing.
And for those who prefer a video the new Partial Payment menu option for Suggested Accounting Entries starts around 2:10 into the video. The first portion of the video explains how Partial Payments work in the main Accounting section of the software and the last third is then about how it works for the Suggested Accounting Entries section of the software.
The latest update of LandlordMax from this past weekend included 3 new reports in the software which provide you with the list of tenant vehicles:
Vehicles for a building
Vehicles grouped by building
Vehicles grouped by building for a landlord
These 3 new reports list all the Vehicles listed under the Vehicle SubPanels of your Current Tenants ONLY. In other words it will retrieve all the Vehicles you have stored under your current Tenants and list them for a Building or grouped by Building. The reports include the Tenant’s name, their Unit number, and the Vehicle information such as make model, color, and license plate.
In addition to these new reports we’ve also added a new Tenant Status report option for the Tenant reports. All Tenant reports can include the ability to filter Tenant’s by their Status, specifically if it’s equal to or not equal to a Status such as Current. As of this past weekend you can now also include a filter which will ONLY give you Current Tenant’s. That is to say you no longer have to add the Status and then select Current in the report, you can now force it to only include Current Tenant’s which removes the need to select the Status. The Status field is removed from the Report screen as it’s not needed since you’ve already pre-selected to only include Current Tenants in the report.
That being said we very strongly advice you NOT add this Tenant Status option to the Rent Roll reports as it will lead to unexpected consequences. For example if you run the Rent Roll report for the next upcoming month’s rents and you only include Current Tenant’s then any Tenant that has not yet moved in (started their lease) will NOT appear in the Rent Roll report. In other words all Tenant’s that are moving in next month will NOT appear in the next month’s Rent Roll report as they are NOT Current Tenant’s yet. They will be Current Tenant’s next month but at the time of running the Rent Roll report they are NOT yet be Current Tenants. This can lead to missing rents so it’s important that if you decide to customize your Rent Roll reports to add this that you be exceptional careful and understand the implications before doing so otherwise it can lead to rents that you may otherwise expect to appear not appearing (as correctly reported by the report). So please use the new Tenant Status report element with care.
Some features are more visible and easy to notice while others are more subtle and less visible but yet at the same they can be just as important. In this weekend’s updated we added two new features (along with other new features) that have been highly requested and are very beneficial but are not nearly as noticeable as some of the other features so we’re taking a moment to showcase them here and in our next email newsletter.
Why are they less noticeable and visible? Because by default the system will operate the same, you have to actively seek them out. For the first you need to make it visible, and for the second you need to turn it off in the Settings. If you do nothing then the software will continue to operate as it has always done with no visible change to you.
Category Type Column
We just added a new column in all the Accounting Entries tables called “Category Type”. This column will display whether an Accounting Entry is a Revenue or an Expense. By default this column is hidden so you need to right click anywhere on the table and select it from the popup context menu to make the column visible as shown above.
The main goal of this column is to allow you to filter the Accounting Entries to only show either Revenues or Expenses. The classic example is if you’re trying to find a discrepency in your expenses and need to look through your data. If you know the Category then it’s very easy to filter by Category but if you only know it’s an expense then in the past you would’ve needed to run one of the Expense reports to only see the Expense entries. Now with this new column you can filter the accounting data directly in the accounting table to just show expenses which makes it easier to scan for data entry errors.
Again if you do nothing then the software will continue to behave as if nothing has changed but we’ve now also added the ability to turn off a specific set of validation checks if you don’t want or need them. Specifically the validations to confirm that the Tenant and Building and/or Unit match up.
In other words if you select the Tenant (say for an Accounting entry) then the software checks that the Building and/or Unit selected matches up correctly and if it doesn’t it presents you with a confirmation popup to make sure this is what you want to do (as shown above). So for example let’s say you have a Tenant called John Smith that is setup to be living at 555 Main Street. If you create an Accounting Entry and you’ve selected the Tenant John Smith but you’ve selected a Building other than 555 Main Street (say 111 Brown Street) then the software will present you with the above popup notification asking you to confirm that you indeed want to keep the Tenant and Building/Unit (John Smith at 111 Brown Street) even if they don’t match up. There are scenarios where they will often not match up, and for these people turning off that check can be very beneficial.
The software does additional validation checks when you select just a Tenant and Building and/or Unit and these are all grouped under the same one setting. For example the software will automatically select the associated Building for you when you select the Tenant, and vice versa if you select the Building/Unit first (it will then select the Tenant for you). However if you select a Building and no Tenant when there is a Tenant assigned to that Building then the software will by default present you with a popup confirming that you want to proceed. This setting allows you to turn off that popup confirmation.
The popup confirmation is all to avoid and prevent data entry errors. It’s very easy if you’re going very fast to make accidental errors and the software has had these checks in place for over a decade now to prevent data entry errors. And even though it tries to assist you by autofilling the other (Building/Unit when you select a Tenant and vice versa) sometimes people do still override the software or edit previous entries, in which case these validation checks can save you from data entry error headaches. In the majority of cases you want this kind of validation check and confirmation. That being said in those scenarios where you don’t want it, generally where you select one and not the other (for example a Building and not the Tenant) then it can be fairly beneficial to be able to turn off these validation checks. It’s one of those features where almost everyone wants it on but for the small minority that want it off the benefit and value are very high.
As a result we added a new Setting under “Your Settings” which can be found under your name on the top right corner under your name as shown above.
In the “Your Settings” options you will find a new section called Validation Settings with a single setting that allows you to enable or disable this validation confirmation check. In the above screenshot it’s show in Edit Mode (to get to the Edit mode click on the Edit button where the Save and Cancel would otherwise be located). If you turn off this setting then the software will no longer make validation checks between the Tenant and Building/Unit nor present you with any popup confirmations. It’s then up to you to make sure you selected the correct Tenant and Building/Unit combinations. Again the software automatically selects the Building/Unit when you select the Tenant, and vice versa, but if you make any manual edits afterwards, etc. just be aware that the software will no longer check and validate that the Tenant and Building/Unit match. Of course you can turn it all back on by enabling the setting.
LandlordMax has recently been showcased by Vaadin as an example of how to develop software using their programming framework. In the software world Vaadin is a major software company whose framework is used by companies such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Freddie Mac, and Volkswagen just to name a few. Vaadin is one of the top 5 frameworks from one of the top 3 programming languages used in the world! It’s an honor to be included as a showcase of the power of their framework with other such large financial companies, especially considering how successful the Vaadin framework is. To give you a real estate based analogy it’s almost equivalent to being showcased on a real estate website such as BiggerPockets, Inman, or the New York Times real estate section about the success of your real estate portfolio. Except in this case it’s the programming community letting us know how well the system was programmed and implemented the software for the LandlordMax Cloud Edition.
We chose Vaadin as the core of the software framework for LandlordMax and as expected it has turned out to be a very good decision. It has allowed us to develop the software quickly, keep it affordably priced, and to be extremely stable and performant. We’re very proud of our success with the Cloud Edition of LandlordMax and it’s very nice to be validated on the quality of our software by having LandlordMax showcased on one of the biggest programming frameworks in the world!
We’re very pleased to announced that we’ve moved our systems and infrastructure to a new datacenter that will be better able to handle our growing needs. This effort took about 2 months to complete from start to finish. But more importantly it was seamless to you our users. You didn’t have to do anything on your side and were able to continue using the LandlordMax Cloud Edition as you had been doing before the move.
You’re probably first asking why did we decide to move? Without getting too technical the main reason is that the previous datacenter that housed our servers was very recently acquired and as a result their quality of service was no longer up to our standards. For example in September some users experienced some performance issues that were due directly to this. As a result of all this we felt we needed to move our systems and infrastructure to another datacenter, one that would be better suited to meet our needs and expectations.
The next question is how did we chose the the new datacenter? We made a list of our most important criterias for a datacenter and then started our research. Our key criterias in order of importance were security, quality of service, performance, stability, redundancy, and so on. The key criteria being security by far.
The datacenter we selected to host LandlordMax’s servers and infrastructure is well known for it’s security. It hosts some very high profile clients with very high security requirements, including some very important law enforcement entities. As a result the datacenter is SSAE-16 SOC 1 Type 2 certified, SSAE-16 SOC 2 Type 2 certified, ISAE 3402 certified, HIPAA compliant, and PCI Compliant. This is on top of all the additional measures they take to keep very high security standards within their datacenter. Our previous datacenter was no slouch when it came to security but but we took the opportunity to increase it that much more. I cannot stress how important security is for the datacenter where our server’s are housed.
In addition to being very secure they also have very high marks on all the other key criterias we require. They have been great in working with us to transition our systems. Their systems have been extremely stable. They have incredible redundancies in place, from power generators to redundant internet backbone connections. Over the last 5 year they’ve been able to achieve 100% network uptime which is amazing.
Of course we continue to have our own automated backups and redundancies. For example we have real time backups of the database systems in addition to the daily backups and so on.
How does this affect you? Your day to day experience will remain the same. In fact you should not even have noticed we moved datacenters, it should’ve be completely invisible to you. Everything should be completely the same for you.
From our side of course it’s very different. The move took 2 months of efforts, including preparation work, practice runs, etc. It was only on the final step of the move where we had to temporarily disabled access to the system (with a notification page) so that we could transfer all the data in the database systems in a single step and keep everything consistent. We of course did this during off-hours to minimize the number of people affected, and the transition overall went very well. We have been live in the new datacenter now for over a month.
All that to say we’ve very proud to announce the move to the new datacenter which better suits or needs and requirements and will allow us to continue growing with you.
Automations are a feature that have been in LandlordMax for some time however with the Cloud Edition we’ve really expanded what you can do with them. You can now automate the running of any report for a tenant or for landlord in a single step. That is to say for example you can run the Tenant Statement for all your tenants in one step. If you’re a property management company instead of an individual investor you can also run the same reports for all your clients (the landlords in your database) in one step by running for example the P&L reports for all landlords. And of course this also includes any custom reports you create for your tenants and landlords.
Please note that all the steps below are shown in the above video. They are provided below for people who prefer reading rather than watching videos.
The first step is to go to the Automations section of the software by clicking the Automations button in the main menu as shown above. Once there you will need to select which type of Automation you want to run, whether it’s to run the same reports for every tenant or the same reports for every landlord.
In the above screenshot we’ve gone to the Automations for the tenant reports and have selected to run Tenant Statement for every tenant.
Once you’ve selected a report to run you will then be presented with the report details. For the Tenant Statement this means the Start Date and End Date of the Tenant Statement report. Each report will be different and include whatever the report requires, including your custom reports.
You will then have to select the “For Each Option” for the report, that is which tenants (or landlords) you want to run the report for. For tenants you currently have three options: All tenants with data only, Current tenants, and Current tenants with data only. We generally recommend using the All tenants with data only option as this will run the reports for all tenants that have data (exactly as it states). We generally recommend against using the current tenants option other than in certain exceptional cases because for example if you run a rent roll report for next month and you have a new tenant moving in next month then that is not yet a current tenant and will not appear in the rent roll report where you probably expect them to appear. Therefore generally we recommend using the All tenants (or landlords) with data only option other than the few exceptions where the other options are necessary.
Once you’ve setup everything you can just click on the Run button to run the report for every tenants or landlord as defined by your settings. The system will then present you with a PDF to print, where each report will be separated in the final printouts. It’s as simple as that! In our example we’ve basically just run the Tenant Statement for all our tenants in a few seconds but we could’ve done this for any report for tenants or landlords.
We’re very pleased to announce a new features in LandlordMax called the Accounting Color Codes. LandlordMax now provides you with 7 different color codes
to help you with your Accounting Entries. The Color Codes help you determine whether an entry is upcoming and due in the future, if it’s due today, if it’s late, and by how late it is, and so on.
The colors can all be adjusted and set according to your preferences but by default they are green, blue, yellow, orange, red, white, and gray. Green means an Accounting Entry hasn’t yet been paid but is also not yet due. In other words it’s an upcoming transaction that you should be aware of. Blue means that it’s due today. Yellow, orange, and red all mean that the Accounting Entry is late but they signify the lateness of the entry. That is to say yellow means it’s a bit late but still within reasons. Orange means it’s getting late and if it’s a rent payment then you’ve probably already given your tenant a warning. Red means it’s clearly overdue and most likely additional actions need to be taken. By default yellow means up to 3 days late, orange up to 7 days late, and red is more than 7 days late. You can change these settings as shown below to be as many days as you prefer.
In addition to lateness there are two additional color codes which by default are white and grey. White means that an Accounting Entry has been paid (that is it has both a Date Due and Date Paid value entered) and therefore the transaction is completed. Gray on the other hand means the transaction was NSF, such as when a check bounces, and as such the entry is also closed but the funds haven’t been paid nor will they ever be paid for that Accounting Entry.
Again all the colors can be adjusted to your liking by going to the System Settings section of the software and editing the values for the colors, in addition to editing the number of days for the lateness levels.
The video tutorial above shows how these are displayed in the software as well as how to get to the System Settings and adjust them to your personal preference. Basically everything covered here but in video format.
To help you get the most power and value from LandlordMax the above video tutorial shows you many of the capabilities of the tables within the software.
For example did you know that you can select which columns are displayed in the tables? Did you know you can change the column order as well as the sorting order of each column? Did you know you can change the widths of each column? Did you know that you can search for any value in any column in the tables?
Did you also you also know that your table settings are saved so that the next time you come back to the software the tables you customized are shown exactly the way you left them?
The video tutorial goes into this and more details about how to use tables and we’re sure you’re going to learn something new about the software. You can do quite a lot with the tables in LandlordMax, quite a lot more than most people realize, hence why we created this video tutorial.
As a final note did you also know that you can edit entries directly in the tables by doubleclicking on the row you want to edit. You don’t have to go into the entry to edit it, you can now just edit the entry directly in the table.
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