Based in Tempe, Arizona, Steven Toth first got into real estate the way many investors do — through house hacking. He bought a house and moved in, but brought in roommates to cover the mortgage and his utility costs. “I was living for free,” Steven recalls. “And I thought, if I move out, I can do this again with a second house.”
Today, Steven owns three properties, all within a few miles of each other. He leases two of the properties out as room rentals with 4-5 units each, and is planning to lease the third property as a full house rental.
As Steven’s portfolio scaled, it became more difficult to manage — especially with room rentals, which are often short-term or mid-term leases. Wanting to offer flexibility to tenants, he was accepting rent via cash, checks, and Venmo, all on different days of the month. But with so many tenants, payments, and due dates to track, Steven was spending too much time managing his properties — on top of working a full-time job and starting another side hustle as a real estate agent. “It got to the point of becoming an administrative nightmare,” he says.
In order to sustainably scale his real estate business, Steven realized he needed a technology platform to streamline rent collection and property management.
After researching and trying out a few different rent collection and property management tools, Steven landed on Azibo. Today, he uses Azibo’s full suite of solutions, including rent collection, accounting, banking, and more.
With Azibo, Steven is able to give tenants the flexibility to pay with their preferred method (e.g., ACH bank transfer, debit card, or credit card) without having to track multiple channels.
Managing different rent deadlines, with some tenants paying on the 1st, others on the 10th, and others on the 15th, became much easier since he gets a dashboard view of everyone’s real-time rent payment status. “I like that I'm able to provide that flexibility to tenants and still have it automatically tracked through Azibo,” he notes.
To stay organized and tax-compliant, Steven opened separate Azibo bank accounts for each of his properties, plus another account just for security deposits. “Having bank accounts for each property is great,” explains Steven. “When a house needs something, I just use the debit card for that property’s bank account, which helps keep all of the expenses for the house within the right account.”
This has also simplified tax prep, as all of his rental income and expenses are tagged by property and Schedule E category. “The bookkeeping solution definitely helped with end-of-year taxes, being able to categorize each transaction and where it came from,” Steven says. “That was the biggest time-saver.”
"The bookkeeping solution definitely helped with end-of-year taxes... That was the biggest time-saver.”
For more rental property accounting tips, read our blog post 5 Bookkeeping Tips from Real Estate CPA Brandon Hall.
He’s also able to get a better understanding of his investment’s financial health, since he can use Azibo to monitor month-over-month or overall performance and generate cash flow statements, rent rolls, and other financial reports for his portfolio.
Steven — and all real estate investors — are able to access all of these tools at no cost, since Azibo’s offerings are free. That means rental property owners don’t have to sacrifice their profit margins to use Azibo’s property management platform.
Since signing up for Azibo, Steven has been able to spend less time managing his properties and focus more on growing his portfolio and optimizing his business. He says Azibo has saved him between 5-9 hours every month. “I just log into Azibo a few times per month, take a quick look, make sure my transactions are all set correctly, then I’m done,” he says. “It really saves me a lot of time.”
Azibo also helps Steven avoid losing income that would have fallen through the cracks when he was manually coordinating his tenants and payments. He explains, “Without Azibo, I would have lost a lot of money due to the challenges of keeping track of cash, partial payments, and Venmo payments, and also not being able to offer credit card payments.”
“Without Azibo, I would have lost a lot of money due to the challenges of keeping track of cash, partial payments, and Venmo payments, and also not being able to offer credit card payments.”
Additionally, Azibo helps encourage on-time payments with automatic late fees and customizable grace periods. This is something Steven had a hard time enforcing before Azibo. “With late charges, I tend to be very nice — sometimes too much to my own detriment,” he admits. “Having late charges automated helps me feel less like a bad guy, because it’s a lot easier for me to say to tenants, ‘Hey, if you don’t pay on this date, you have three days, then Azibo will automatically charge you.’”
Being able to offer flexible payment methods and rent due dates makes his units more attractive to prospective tenants. “I love the flexibility it provides tenants,” says Steven. “The very first thing I talk to my new tenants about is that I get paid on Azibo.”
Steven was so pleased with his Azibo experience that he recommended it to his friend who also manages room rentals. “My friend told me, ‘This is the best thing ever, I don’t know why I didn't do this years ago!’” laughs Steven.