Alternatives to Cozy for Rent Collection

50 Replies

I've been using Cozy for rental applications and rent collection for years. Now that Apartments.com own Cozy, I've already stopped using their application functionality and I'm worried about how rent collection will be impacted once my account is transferred to Apartments.com. So I've been researching rent collection alternatives. 

I'm looking for rent collection services that are reliable and free for both the landlord and the tenant. I don't need any other property management tools. So far, the possibilities that I have found are Zibo and Tellus. Thoughts?

@Carolyn Fuller I have used cozy for several years. I moved one of my units to apartments.com to test it out. I find it to be a little bit bulky to go into. I switched another one of my units to Turbotenant. So far I like everything about it. I think Turbotenant will be my new go to.

As an FYI, I migrated from Cozy to Apartments and have had no issues. Maybe migrate over and see if there is any issues before you find a new processor. 

@Andrew B. I don't plan on switching platforms until I have to switch but, given the issues I've heard others have had with apartments.com, I thought it prudent to start researching alternatives. Since I'm currently perfectly happy with Cozy, I'll stay with Cozy until my account is moved. Who knows, the conversion from Cozy to Apartments might not happen before all the user interface issues with Apartments have been ironed out.

@Carolyn Fuller they switched my account from Cozy a couple weeks ago to Apartments.com. They are working on switching everyone, so this will happen soon. I already used Apartments.com for advertising properties. One weird thing when they merged my account, I ended up with many duplicates. The payment portion seems fine, but April rent was collected in Cozy, so I have yet to see how payments transact. 

Zibo is a startup, so I would shy away from being an early customer. There is just too much risk with financial transactions. If they go out of business, you could be in big trouble. I don't know much about Tellus.

Zillow is worth considering. They have advertising, applications, credit screening, lease signing and rent payments. It is really comprehensive, but if you only need rent payments, it may not matter. 

I see Zillow and CoStar (Apartments.com) shaping up to be the two giants in the rental space. I think we are going to see more acquisitions as they both try to grow their footprint. There is some stability in publicly traded big companies, because they have more accountability than a private business. 

@Joe Splitrock What sort of duplicates? Duplicate properties? Duplicate tenants? Were you warned prior to the conversion? 

I have not heard anything from Apartments.com. I have a vague memory of getting something about the merger a long time ago but a search through my email turned up nothing about the merger or conversion. Most of the information I have received has been from postings in this forum. 

I'm hoping I get some sort of warning from Apartments.com so I can warn my tenants. Glitches in the payments would not be good. My tenants would especially not be happy if duplicate withdrawals were made!

@Jay Bell I don't think my account has been transferred. As of my April payments, I was still getting email from cozy.co informing me of when to expect the rent payments to hit my bank account. The email still has the footer indicating Cozy Services, Ltd.

@Joe Splitrock Thank you for the tip about Zibo being a startup. That is a good point.

Originally posted by @Carolyn Fuller :

@Joe Splitrock What sort of duplicates? Duplicate properties? Duplicate tenants? Were you warned prior to the conversion? 

I have not heard anything from Apartments.com. I have a vague memory of getting something about the merger a long time ago but a search through my email turned up nothing about the merger or conversion. Most of the information I have received has been from postings in this forum. 

I'm hoping I get some sort of warning from Apartments.com so I can warn my tenants. Glitches in the payments would not be good. My tenants would especially not be happy if duplicate withdrawals were made!

 I have duplicate properties. I think it happened because I had an account on Apartments.com with the same e-mail address as Cozy. I was using Apartments.com to advertise some properties. Since I knew the transition was coming, I actually tried to change my e-mail months ago to avoid this. I was hoping by having a different e-mail that they wouldn't merge it, because I work in IT and I know the issues that occur during account merges. I am afraid to delete a duplicate property because of the payments tied to them. 

I got a message from Cozy a few months back saying a transition was coming. Then March 31st, I got notice that the transition was happening April 7th. I got an e-mail every day saying it was happening April 7th, then on April 7th it just said that Cozy is only active for archival purposes and all future rent collection will happen through Apartments.com. 

Apartments.com does send the same message to your tenants. If I get a duplicate withdrawal in May, I will leave the platform immediately. I have no tolerance for financial mistakes. I will work through other bugs, but nothing payment related. I do have to give Apartments.com credit in their customer support. You can call and get someone on the phone. Cozy was pretty bad for support.

@Carolyn Fuller Innago is a good system to look into. Its is free (tenants get charged $2, or you can incur to make it free for them, it is more if rent is paid by credit card). It is focused and simple. I like it quite a bit. When I was looking into others, an aspect that did not appeal to me was how they would advertise new rentals to your tenants. Innago does not do that. They send an auto email on the due date and if again if its late to tenants.

Also, there was a thread about a year ago with a number of suggestions for online payments with a lot of providers, if you're interested in looking into a number of options to evaluate. 

@Joe Splitrock Yikes! Thank you for the warning! 

I just discovered that I set up an apartments.com account 3 years ago using the same email address that I use on Cozy. I was going to try out listing one of my properties on it but ultimately decided against it and deactivated it. 

Any recommendations? Should I delete the property in apartments.com? 

I am retired from IT so I also know how badly these conversions can go. 

So far, I have heard nothing from apartments.com so I might have time to head off the problem if I can figure out the best course of action.

We started with Cozy, and then switched or were switched  to Apartments.com.

No issues so far,If tenants use debit card, or ACH, they pay a fee 2 1/2% I think. If they do a direct payment from my checking account no fee and no problems. Hope this is Helpful

@Carolyn Fuller

I use apartments.com and it works well for me. It does take about 10 days for the money to clear but not bad for free! I like the setup and encourage my tenants to set it up on autopay. I’ve used QuickBooks as well but it cost about $10 a month for an ACH transfer but is much quicker.

@Carolyn Fuller I have been using Innago for several years now to manage my rentals. The system is very easy to setup with and is very intuitive. The software is free for me to use and my tenants pay a $2 ACH fee whenever they make a rent payment to me online. I would recommend looking into it!

I am still quite small so I use Venmo for now for tenants wishing to pay electronically. The totally free service takes 2-3 days to get to my account, and the expediated one costs $10 for a 1 day transaction. Some like electronic payments to get cash rebates, or miles or other perks, and others prefer to send certified bank checks each month which is fine too. As I'm adding more properties right now I may look to some of these recommended platforms soon. Thanks for the information everyone!

Originally posted by @Carolyn Fuller :

@Joe Splitrock Yikes! Thank you for the warning! 

I just discovered that I set up an apartments.com account 3 years ago using the same email address that I use on Cozy. I was going to try out listing one of my properties on it but ultimately decided against it and deactivated it. 

Any recommendations? Should I delete the property in apartments.com? 

I am retired from IT so I also know how badly these conversions can go. 

So far, I have heard nothing from apartments.com so I might have time to head off the problem if I can figure out the best course of action.

 Yes, delete all your properties on Apartment.com. It is pretty easy to do and that solves the issue. I will update my experience after May rent. Right now, it appears everything is fine. All the leases and tenants were moved over and they show paid from April with May rent due in the future. I am an optimist, so we will assume it works out. 

Originally posted by @Alecia Loveless :

I am still quite small so I use Venmo for now for tenants wishing to pay electronically. The totally free service takes 2-3 days to get to my account, and the expediated one costs $10 for a 1 day transaction. Some like electronic payments to get cash rebates, or miles or other perks, and others prefer to send certified bank checks each month which is fine too. As I'm adding more properties right now I may look to some of these recommended platforms soon. Thanks for the information everyone!

 When you use Venmo for rent collection, do you do it with the business account or normal account? And do you need to send a receipt to your tenants to confirm you've received the rent? Right now we do cash, and we write them a physical receipt.

@Carolyn Fuller . I use RentRedi the BP sponsor. I used their spring code and I paid $59 dollars for the years. It’s pretty affordable

And super complete. I really like it. It might be worth investing in management software that doesn’t break the bank. I’ve heard good things about Buildium, but it’s just too expensive for a few rentals. Best of luck.

@Carolyn Fuller I use Tenant Cloud, but recently discovered Turbo Tenant, which I used for marketing. I got over 225 leads for the two units use will be available in Jun and Jul. Rented one out just recently- lease signed, security deposit and first month’s rent paid. I think I will be switching over the other units to TurboTenant. I get a response to questions quickly, unlike Tenant Cloud where it would take a day for a response.

@Carolyn Fuller for what it’s worth, I’ve been a Cozy user for 5 years and was just transitioned this week to apartments.com.

So far, I’m impressed. Good communication, easy transition, everything is there. Will of course see what happens come May 1st, but so far I’m happy enough to keep things status quo.

@Carolyn Fuller , Innago is awesome! It’s free and they are now integrated with apartments.com and are working on Realtor.com. They also have an app for tenants on their phones as well as quickbooks integration, though I haven’t used that feature yet. You can do applications/background checks too. I think it has everything you can find in another service, but completely free and planing to be that way.

This has been a helpful discussion as I'm thinking of moving to one of these services.  I don't currently use any...my tenants currently Venmo to pay rent and one still likes to drop an old-fashioned check in the mail.

Question: do any of these services (Cozy, apartments.com, Turbo Tenant, etc) allow me to track my expenses in the software in addition to their primary functions of rent collection, marketing, etc?  i.e. mileage, maintenance, and any other expenses I may have, so that I can easily summarize for my Schedule E at tax time?  Or are they purely focused on the landlord-tenant interaction?  Thanks!