REVIEW: The Best Australian Real Estate CRM, Property Tree by Rockend
Summary: Property Tree by Rockend is a leading real estate software in Australia. It is cloud based software and has extremely useful features such as the Tribunal Report function. The User Interface is simple and intuitive. Video material included. We highly recommend this software for Australian real estate agents.
Who is Rockend? What is Property Tree?
Rockend is a leading property software developer in Australia, and today we are going to review one of their products, Property Tree. Property Tree is a property management and property sales platform for real estate and property management agencies.
Since this blog post was made in September 2015, massive changes have been made to Property Tree. This review will be updated regularly as it grows.
Property Tree Overview
This Property Tree Review is based on a demonstration with Rockend Staff. The following video is unedited.
All in One Software
Rockend has four core products, REST Professional, fileSMART, STRATA Master and Real Benchmark. As the trend is that users are moving towards cloud based software, Property Tree combines the functionality of REST and fileSMART. It is not strictly a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, but has elements of a CRM. Rockend describes it as a property management and trust accounting solution.
The bigger your real estate agency gets, the more likely you will be using multiple systems. Property Tree is built because there is no other single system integrating all your data in one place. It has open integration, allowing you to integrate inspections, maintenance and much more as time passes.
The Login Screen
The Login screen is rather straightforward, but notice there is an Owner/Tenant Login. Rockend is serious about making a unified, comprehensive management system, and we are seeing this right from the start.
The Dashboard is the first page you will see when you enter. It is meant to give you a high level overview in a glance. On the left hand side, you can see monthly progress, gained and lost managements, etc.
Property Tree separates profiles by "portfolio". When you enter a portfolio, you will see all your data, and you can view your colleagues' portfolios and take care of them if your colleagues are unavailable. See below for an example of property management data in a single user's portfolio. We are in the "Kapilan Rasiah" profile:
As you can see, you can switch between profiles easily:
There are constant software updates on a regular basis. This User Interface has changed markedly from the 2015 version, and Rockend is forever working on new features and better functionality. At the time of this Property Tree Review, in the near future, you can customise your dashboard once Rockend makes the update.
Hard Copies Available
Most reports in Property Tree are downloadable as PDF or .CSV files. This is very helpful.
Rockend cares about fine details, we thought you should realise that in this Property Tree Review. A rental calculator is included in the Dashboard and is very good for quick answers.
Notes & Alerts
Property Tree has a built in reminder system, which you can also export to .PDF or .CSV if you so wish. See the right panel below:
There is a messaging inbox linked to the Owner/Tenant Portal. This portal enables you to share access to Owners/Tenants, sharing information with them. You can message back and forth between Property Tree and the Portal. If everything has been done through Property Tree, a Tribunal Report can be generated, giving a full black and white, complete transcript. It will make legal affairs much easier.
This is how the Owner Portal Dashboard looks like. Again, it is a very good overview for your owner clients. This Owner Portal enables you to give them transparency and constant updates. In order to make this blog post concise, we will not go through the various components of the Agent Portal in too much detail. The Owner Portal gives access to Tenancy Ledgers, Receipts & Invoices, Maintenance Requests and so on. The Portal gives users a clearer picture and facilitates the process of communication between Owner/Tenant and the Property Manager. Property Tree helps reduce administrative work.
You may handle your maintenance requests via the Property Tree system:
Invoice Genius is a very important feature of Property Tree. Basically, it automatically scans invoices through QR Code or Barcode and prefills the data for you. It is very efficient, processing a hundred invoices in twenty minutes. For tradesman invoices, there is usually are no QR Code or Barcode. For those, all you have to do is select from the menu, which owner or tenant, which amount and click "OK".
Whenever you drag and drop an invoice to the system, it will automatically attach to the ownership statement. Owners want to track their expenditures. This process saves time from sending invoices to the owners manually.
Multiple Trust Accounts
Property Tree is the only trust accounting system in Australia allowing for more than one trust account.
Automatic bank reconciliations are possible, with manual bank reconciliation options available. This software also has Xero accounting software integration. However, auto reconciliation is not done through Xero, though there is integration for Xero.
On the top right hand corner of the image below, under "Common Tasks", there are functions for Property Sales. These are:
- Find Sales Profile
- Add Vendor
- Create Buyer Receipt
- Pay Agency
Property Tree is not only for Property Management, but Property Sales.
Below are sales statistics in the Dashboard:
There is a Smart Search function where you are able to find documents and contacts using their phone numbers, email address, property address, etc. It is on the top of the Dashboard.
This is how the Property Management Dashboard looks like:
Adding the Owner, Property & Tenant is a very quick process, only taking 3-6 minutes. The software also lets you decide when you pay your creditors.
Ledgers and Reports
The below are the Ledgers and Reports available to Property Managers:
Property Tree App Release
The Smartphone Apps are expected to be released around June 2018.
The Property Sales Dashboard looks like this:
There is no additional charge for Property Sales. You only pay for Property Management.
You are able to do your trust accounting via the system. Automatic emails to also parties are also made. Auditors can access your data if you permit them and this can be done in a Read Only mode. Rockend is very reputable in trust accounting and has high regard from auditors.
Property Tree uses Microsoft Azure. This is the most secure cloud server in the world. Rockend is very serious about your security. Most government and authorities use Microsoft Azure. In the eight years of Property Tree, there has been no data breach. Within the system there is internal security. An Information Audit allows you to make sure there have been no compromises in your security by logging all activity and finding fraudulent activity or mistakes. There are different security levels that control what financial data they see. You do not have to worry about your receptionist seeing you finances!
Automatic emails and letters are available to property managers. You can send automatic communications by email, letter or SMS. Rockend is currently negotiating for a flat monthly fee for SMS (currently $2.95AUD per month for line rental and $0.16AUD per SMS).
In the previous version of this review, we highlighted an important feature called "Tribunal Report". The Tribunal Report can be accessed like this: Tenancy > Actions > Print Tribunal Report.
If you use Property Tree properly (communicate via the portals, use the notes section, etc), then all your data will be within Property Tree. If this is the case, then when you need to go to tribunal, all you have to do is pull the Tribunal Report – nothing else, which makes preparing so much more simple. If you are not using it for everything then you will still need to take other documents – for example if you communicate with tenants via email rather than via the portal then you will need to retrieve those emails. The Tribunal Report works best when you work in Property Tree itself. The report greatly simplifies the inconvenience of collating documents to go to court.
In sum, my review is as follows:
- Property Tree is cloud based
- All in one solution
- Comprehensive property management and real estate sales systems
- Has integration with useful third party software like Xero and Mailchimp
- The Tribunal Report is very useful and indispensable in a residential tenancy dispute
- You can build in automated processes like email templates for late payment, etc really saving time and energy and bringing real estate practice to 21st Century standards
- Very extensive self help documentation
- Monthly or nearly monthly updates that improve the software and iron out bugs
- Extremely secure. Uses Microsoft Azure and internal security processes
- None. This is likely the best system in the market
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