NATALI MORRIS

Natali Morris Blog

February 24, 2016

How To Track And Manage Your Rental Properties

If you’re been thinking about investing in rental real estate, do it! And if you have done it, good for you! Now how do you manage that new rental property?

Spreadsheet time!

I don’t use automated software to manage my rental properties because I have not found one that meets all of my needs. I created a simple spreadsheet to do that and I will share it with you right here:

When I say “manage your rental properties,” I do not mean that I am actually fixing things around the property. God help any renter who asks me to fix plumbing! We hire property managers to physically care for the properties and to my mind, this is an indispensable expense.

What I mean by “manage” is that I pay and manage all bills that are not paid by the property management such as taxes and insurance. I also track how much we make each month/year against how much we spend with this spreadsheet. This is for tax purposes so that our small business does not pay taxes on the whole of what we have earned but rather is able to deduct all expenses before taxation.

Most good property managers will send you a monthly statement with each rent check. This is not enough to track your expenses however because it does not account for taxes, insurance, and any fees, fines, or tax assessments you get from the city.

I also use this spreadsheet to track logistical information about the property such as purchase and closing information, insurance contacts and policy numbers, and city treasurer logins if the municipality allows me to pay annual taxes online.

Having JUST visited my accountant yesterday, I am reminded how valuable this spreadsheet is. He asked if I could summarize what each property made/spent and I said, “See attached spreadsheet for each property!” Gosh that felt good! I do *not* want to pay my accountant’s hourly rate so that he can tabulate this information himself. Hell-to-the-no. Not when I can do it myself so easily.

One quick note about saving this document: I use Dropbox to save and sync these live documents to the cloud as well as share them with my husband. Of course Excel Online works well for this and Google Sheets would also suffice. Depends on your cloud preferences. I stick to Dropbox because I can put the worksheet in a file named after the property street address, along with PDF copies of the current insurance policy, tax bills, and monthly statements from the property manager.

This worksheet should be pretty self explanatory. Notice that each year has its own tab along the bottom to track separately. If you have any questions, please let me know! Good luck and happy wealth building!

Manage Rental Property

20 responses to “How To Track And Manage Your Rental Properties”

  1. Bruno says:

    Natali,
    Have you tried using Podio? It is very flexible and the integration it has with other cloud based services is fantastic. I have started building my Real Estate Investment business with Podio.

    Have a great day!

    Bruno

  2. K David Meit says:

    Natali,

    Thank you for this great blog post. As a professional property manager for over 25 years, I suggest you drop Excel and seriously consider a number of easy-to-use and cost effective software platforms to ensure you are properly tracking your investment performance. One of the best on the market for small investors such as yourself is AppFolio (www.appfolio.com). It’s affordable, web-based (no need for Dropbox) and has all the bells and whistles you need to manage your real estate professionally, no matter the size of your portfolio. And your accountant will love you for it.

    I still miss you on C|Net and wish you the best of luck as a budding landlord!

    K. David Meit

    • nmorris says:

      But, but, but…I Love Excel!!

      I will look into this AppFolio. I resist because I love my systems but I should know better than to resist. 🙂

      When my parents bought an apartment building 20 years ago, I remember going to visit the old landlord. His wife kept all of their books on a small notebook with those squares drawn on them. She imputed the expenses along with her ruler and kept it all tabulated with a calculator. How far we have come!!

  3. Tonie Silva says:

    Hello Natali, I just listened to you on BP pod cast #165. You did a great job by the way, I love to read books and am very faithful with our monthly budget. Questions for you, you mentioned two books in the BP podcast, “Profit First” or “Tax Free Wealth”. What book would you recommend me to read first?

    I don’t know if it would help, however here’s a little background on me and my husband. We have been landlords for the past eleven years. Just recently back in September 2015 with my husband making enough money I was able to quit corporate America and go full time with Real Estate Investing. We fix and flip, wholesale, and hold.

    Again I loved the podcast, looking forward to reading into your blogs.

    Thank you!

    • nmorris says:

      Hi Tonie,

      Thanks for kind comment! If I were to assign you a book first, it would probably be Tax Free Wealth. I think you can implement profit first pretty well from my blog post but there is SO much to learn about taxes. Do that and report back! 🙂

      Natali

  4. Dee says:

    I hate it when marketers say they will give things away for free (like the spreadsheet above) – then I have to enter my email to get said “value” – then in the confirmation email, it just tells me that I’ve subscribed to an email list I’ve been forced to sign up for with no mention of the spreadsheet you said you’d give me in exchange for the email. MOST ANNOYING TACTIC TO BUILD A LIST EVER.

  5. Jason says:

    Natali,

    Thanks for what you are doing and all the great information you provided on the BiggerPockets podcast.

    I submitted my email address in order to receive the free spreadsheet you offered but unfortunately, I have yet to receive it.

    Thanks in advance for sending the spreadsheet my way.

    Kind regards,

    Jason

  6. Brad says:

    Natali –

    Love your site and your podcast appearances.

    Would you be able to send me the spreadsheet mentioned in this post? I signed up, received a confirmation, but never received the sheet.

    Thank you very much.

    Brad

  7. Trent Vogelgesang says:

    Dear Natali,

    Very interesting podcast on BP which was particularly helpful as a new investor. I came to your site after mention of the spreadsheet for the “Profit First” methodology, which I found to be very useful especially for the percentages needed to generate cash vehicles, categorize earnings and manage a small buisness. What I was hoping you could elaborate on is the techniques/spreadsheets of how to get to this step. What I mean by that is I am really struggling to estimate pre-sale costs (going market rate, closing costs, rehab fees, financing, etc…) in order to analyze a deal and offer a competitive price on a property. Any advice you could offer to point me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

    Sincerely,
    Trent

  8. Clarke says:

    Hi, Natali,
    Thanks for the post. I am somewhat new at owning rental property and appreciate the value of this post and the attached spreadsheet (which did arrive just fine). I do currently include taxes and insurance in my mortgage payment. When you are tracking your expenses, would you break those out each month to show what goes into escrow and then also track when the payments for taxes and insurance are made or just enter the expense attached to the payment as PITI?

    I just had my mortgage company fail to make an insurance payment on time and am trying to deal with them absorbing the late fee and as well as the responsibility for leaving the property without insurance for about three weeks! I am seriously considering taking the insurance out of the monthly payment and putting it on automatic payment myself. I am not so sure about the taxes since there is not an easy way to get those paid in the county where they are due and interest rates are so low.

    Congrats on your new daughter! Prayers for her continued improvement!

    All the best,
    Clarke

    • Oh I’ve never heard of that! The mortgage company should pay that late fee, shouldn’t they? That’s not your fault!

      To answer your question, no I don’t break up the tax and insurance as a monthly expense. You could do that though. Probably the best way so you’re not suprised and unprepared for the bill. I just sort of save for it in my 40%. Now that I think of it your way is better. Thanks for the note Clarke!

  9. Frank McConnell says:

    I highly recommend Swift REI for real estate flippers and wholesalers. It’s an amazing tool that helps you stay more organized and be more productive.

    Check out the website here: https://swiftrei.com/

  10. Harrison Delfino says:

    MarketXLS worked great for me. It really helps me.

  11. Magdalena says:

    Natali,
    I love your guys’ podcast, especially the episodes when you go behind the scenes and talk about how you set up your family business. We are just starting out as wholesalers, so I have 2 questions:
    – what software do you use for bookkeeping such as Quiclbooks etc.?
    – how do you find your properties now?

    • Thanks Magdalena! My accountant uses Quickbooks but I don’t. I keep track of my properties one at a time on a spreadsheet. As for finding our properties, we have a team who helps us find discount properties in Indiana, Michigan, Florida, and Ohio. If you’re interested, book a call at http://www.morrisinvest.com.

      Thanks for your nice note!

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