Baselane vs. Stessa: A Comparison of Landlord Software Solutions

baselane-vs-stessa

Key Takeaways

    • Baselane offers a wide range of features for free, including rent collection, landlord banking, and financial reports.
    • Baselane is ideal for landlords and property managers seeking an all-in-one platform for managing rental property finances.
    • Stessa has a free version, but advanced features are only available on the paid Pro Plan.
    • Stessa is best suited for managing properties and rental applications with a mobile app.

    Looking for the right rental property management software can be overwhelming, especially when you’re a new landlord trying to understand all the available options. Let’s compare Baselane vs. Stessa and see which one comes out on top.

    In this article, we’ll compare what each software offers for subscription plans and features for property investors, landlords, and property managers.

Baselane Overview

Baselane is an all-in-one property management software for landlords, real estate investors, rental property owners, and smaller property management companies.

Signing up for Baselane only takes a few minutes, and it’s completely free. You can use premium features to track rental income and expenses, create and e-sign lease agreements, collect online rent payments, and generate financial reports for multiple residential and commercial properties without spending a dime.

Baselane also offers access to features for custom rental agreements, rental property loans, screening potential tenants, and landlord insurance.

Key Features

Rental property finances

  • Tailor-made business checking accounts for real estate investors with no account fees or minimum balance requirements.
  • Earn up to 4.19% APY interest on regular Baselane banking and accounts for security deposits and up to 5% cash back on debit card purchases. 
  • Unlimited virtual accounts 
  • Unlimited virtual cards with auto-tagging schedule E categories
  • Cash deposits are available at over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs ($2,000 per day and a minimum of $1,000 per transaction).

Property Management

  • Free online rent collection for landlords via ACH bank transfer, debit cards, and credit cards.
  • Automatic rent reminders and late fee notifications
  • Landlord and Tenant Portal
  • Automatically charge late fees and send automated reminders to tenants
  • Lease templates for 50 states and e-sign

Bookkeeping, Analytics, and reporting

  • Master Transaction Ledger for internal and external accounts (e.g., connect external credit cards)
  • Upload Receipts
  • 1-click smart categorization feature for financial transactions by property and Schedule E category.
  • Automated income and expense tracking
  • Cash flow analytics by property or portfolio
  • Income statement by property or portfolio
  • Tax package

When to Use

Automatic Rent Collection

Sarah is a first-time rental property owner with tenants who always pay rent late. She switched to Baselane’s automatic rent collection so tenants can easily pay rent online, and she no longer has to chase down late payments manually, saving her hours each month.

Rental Property Accounting Processes

Mike, an owner of several apartment buildings, saves 20+ hours per month using Baselane bookkeeping and accounting features to categorize transactions by property and Schedule E category.

Real Estate Business Tax Preparation

Tom owns multiple rentals and uses Baselane to breeze through tax season. With just a click of a button, Tom can auto-generate Schedule E and tax reports for each property or his entire rental portfolio. He then sends these reports to his CPA for tax preparation and filing, saving hundreds of dollars that the accountant would otherwise charge to prepare financial statements.

Tracking Expenses and Rental Income

Lisa, a veteran landlord, was spending hours reconciling accounts every month. She set up Baselane virtual accounts for each property to automatically track operating expenses and income. Now Lisa saves 3-4 hours per month and actually enjoys bookkeeping.

Real Estate Investing Loans

Emily is looking for real estate investment financing. She contacted Baselane to find the top lenders offering the best rental loans and lowest rates on the market. Baselane’s team connected her to one of their lending partners, and she was able to get preapproved for a 2 unit in Georgia. This gave her the confidence to make offers to acquire her next deal aggressively.

Fees Structure

100% free with no hidden charges

Fees structure

Pros

  • Modern and easy-to-use interface
  • Easy bank account integrations
  • Up to $2.5 million of FDIC-insured checking account and savings provided by Blue Ridge Bank
  • Real-time cash flow visibility and financial reporting for unlimited properties
  • Purchase rental property insurance directly through the platform
  • Get residential and commercial property loan quotes in 60 seconds
  • Earn up to 5% cash back on Baselane debit card purchases

Cons

  • No mobile app (Coming soon)
  • No feature for maintenance requests or tenant communication (Coming soon in 2023)
  • No built-in tenant screening tools (coming soon)

Stessa Overview

Stessa is another rental property software solution focusing on expense tracking and rental applications. The platform allows for some bank and credit card integrations and offers basic accounting features like income and cash flow reports, with restricted access to advanced features.

It includes an option for online rent collection, but you have to open a cash management account and activate it with a lease and tenant’s email. Stessa does support online rental applications, but it lacks features for communication with tenants and other property management tasks.

Key Features

  • Cash management account to pay vendors, collect rent and earn cashback.
  • Tenant screening through RentPrep, including background checks and credit reports.
  • Lease document eSigning and templates (Pro Plan only).
  • Generate income statements and Schedule E tax reports (Pro Plan only).
  • Smart receipt scanning (Free Plan is limited to 5 per month).
  • Unlimited accounts per property or portfolio.

When to Use

Mobile Property Management

Emily is always on the move and prefers managing her properties through a mobile app. She opts for Stessa, which has an older UI/UX but has a mobile app on both Android and iOS platforms.

Free Tenant Screening

Steve uses Stessa’s built-in tenant screening tools and online applications to simplify the leasing process.

Fee Structure

  • Essentials Plan: Free
  • Pro Plan: $20/month
Stessa’s fee structure

Pros

  • Organize transactions and 15+ reports
  • Mobile app available
  • Real estate document and receipt storage
  • Earn 1.1% cash back on purchases
  • Tenant screening and rental applications

Cons

  • No free trial available for the premium plan
  • No online rent payment options for debit or credit cards
  • Does not support cash deposits
  • Advanced reporting only available on Pro Plan
  • No tenant communication or maintenance requests feature
  • User interface is dated and has a steep learning curve
  • Free plan limits the number of properties

Stessa vs. Baselane — Head-to-Head Comparison

Features/ParametersBaselaneAvail
PricingFreeFree version with limited features or $20/month for Pro Plan
Online Rent Collection
User InterfaceModern and user-friendlyDated, steep learning curve
Mobile App (Coming Soon)
Lease Creation
Financial ReportsComprehensive, freeBasic, Pro Plan for advanced reports
Tenant CommunicationNo (coming soon in 2024)
Property Maintenance FeaturesNo (coming soon in 2024)
Cash DepositsOver 55,000 Allpoint ATMsNot supported
Tenant ScreeningRequires third-party integrationIn-app
Additional Perks5% cash back on debit card purchases, no overdraft fees, real-time dataMobile app, integration with Plaid and Yodlee

Final Thoughts: Baselane vs. Stessa

While Stessa offers solid tax and financial reporting features for landlords, Baselane is a clear winner in terms of affordability, user-friendly navigation, financial services, and advanced features.

Stessa’s dedicated mobile app and in-app tenant screening could tip the scales for some landlords, but these features come at the cost of a steep learning curve and spending $20 per month for additional features.

Baselane stands out for its effective property management capabilities to collect rent online, manage cash flow, and even set up landlord banking accounts—all for free.

Make your life easy as a landlord. Try Baselane today!

In this article:
Baselane Banking is now offering 4.19% APY interest

Automated and free Rent Collection, without the stress

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Financial Technology, Real Estate Investing, and Property Management, Accounting and Tax, Finance
Saad started his career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) working for a top-tier accounting firm. He was responsible for helping audit alternative investment funds. He later worked at a hedge fund where he was responsible for preparing financial statements and implementing new technology. He also ran a successful private tax practice for five years.

After completing his MBA at Duke, Saad joined The Boston Consulting Group to do management consulting. At BCG his experience spanned several industries and growth projects across Pharma, Retail, and Technology companies. His passion for democratizing finances led him to Plaid, a fintech, where he worked with large Banks and Financial Institutions to make finances and money easier for all.
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Baselane vs. Stessa: A Comparison of Landlord Software Solutions