Stessa or something else?

22 Replies

Hi Everyone,

I'm curious to know if anyone is using Stessa for STR? I just created an account but wanted to know what everyone else is using for software to track income, expenses, receipts, performance, etc.

-Chris

@Chris Mury

My stack looks like this at the moment

YourPorter (which my book keeper has access too through QBO integration

AirBnB

Pricelabs

Vrbo

In that order. I changed occasionally.

To answer your actual question.... I have a full time book keeper and we use QBO. The numbers aren’t my job. It’s my Jon to make a property thrive in 30 days and move on to the next one.

If someone finds value in Stessa I’d love to hear about it!

I upgraded from an abacus to a regular spreadsheet.  People said I was old fashioned with the abacus.  Now they say I'm out of date because I'm using Windows 95.

We use Stessa for all our properties, LTR and STR (8). It's similar to Personal Capital or Mint but for real estate. Very easy to edit which property an expense is for and can be very specific as to what kind of expense category a charge is for: maintenance, supplies, cleaning, etc. Easy to track and hand to your accountant. Using a Virtual Assistant is not uncommon but we are a step above Paul's abacus and spreadsheet with Stessa and not quite up to Luke's VA. And they both have a helluva lot more props then we do. I haven't had a compelling reason to leave it for QBO.

We use iGMS for messaging and give it an A+. Can write many templates for all our properties and get specific with days, times to have sent out.

The only area I waver on, currently, is pricing. Used wheelhouse once before and didn't like its sourcing (pricing was off). Might give it a try again or give pricelabs a shot. Honestly though, I think today's STR rates are not predictable since Covid, when pricing went rocket high for the summer, and the fall/winter, we'll, time will tell.


Originally posted by @Brian Gerlach :

@Nancy Bachety how long have you used Stessa? Anything you dislike about it related to accounting for your STRs?

I have not used it for STR but as far as using it for my long term stuff it is fantastic once you get it set up and the data input correctly. The only difference I would see is that you will have a lot more transactions for the STR than you would the LTR. More line items for income and expenses on top of your P&I, insurance, taxes, etc...

I use Quickbooks online at my w-2 job and it is also fantastic and they really are making it app-based and not the old crappy windows 95 setup. Or abacus or a spreadsheet.....Hahaa!

 

@Nancy Bachety

Thanks Nancy!

I’m curious to know how you’re categorizing a few specific things in Stessa.

Supplies: Which category/sub-category are you using?

Same question for furniture/linens/decorations etc.

@Chris Mury I have used it for a few years. I have 10 LTRs and Stessa is fantastic. To answer your question about how to categorize supplies, I would go under “Repairs and Maintenance”. The last sub-category is Linens, Soaps, and Consumables.

For furniture, I would list them under category of “Capital Expenses” and sub-category of “New Furniture and Equipment”.

I have been very happy with Stessa.

@Brian Gerlach Good question re depreciating furniture, carpets, appliances, etc. Here's an answer for you: https://www.biggerpockets.com/...

We're not tax advisors but we generally recommend categorizing furniture for an STR as CapEx (with a 5 or 7-year useful life) and then working directly with your CPA to figure out what can be 1) accelerated, or 2) fully expensed in the year incurred under any available safe harbors.

@Chris Mury . We do like @Jay Ingersoll does. We might also select R and M supplies for some items that aren’t consumables, like a ladder or screw driver. And labor for Cleaner’s payments under R and M.  And for new furniture, cap ex is the category we select. I like that it lines up well with expense line items at tax time. 

Originally posted by @Luke Carl :

@Chris Mury

My stack looks like this at the moment

YourPorter (which my book keeper has access too through QBO integration

AirBnB

Pricelabs

Vrbo

In that order. I changed occasionally.

To answer your actual question.... I have a full time book keeper and we use QBO. The numbers aren’t my job. It’s my Jon to make a property thrive in 30 days and move on to the next one.

If someone finds value in Stessa I’d love to hear about it!

 Luke, I had to come back and thank you for the Your Porter recommendation. It’s amazing! I can already see how it’s going to make hosting much easier.

Originally posted by @Yitzchok Carmen :

Check out Rentalhero.io. I use it for my STRs and enjoy it very much! I tried QB and hurdlr and Stessa and I think that Rentalhero is the best. Low 10$/mo fee

If you think Renthero is better than Stessa, you have to tell us in what way.  So far Stessa is my pick and I've been trying a lot of them.

Thank you.

Gary

 

One thing I will mention is that if you are considering Stessa just be aware of their customer service concerns and their lack of urgency in fixing issues. I've had a problem downloading transactions for nearly THREE MONTHS. THREE MONTHS! and its still not fixed. Apparently they are still working on it with their subcontractor, Yodlee, but THREE MONTHS, seriously? They clearly don't put a large emphasis on that aspect, perhaps because it's currently free, but be sure to consider that aspect before you move everything over there and/or consider the long term idea of scaling up. Three months to fix an issue shows that they are not serious about being a major player in the management/accounting software area. They just announced today that they were bought out by Roofstock so hopefully that changes it for the better and doesn't make it worse, though I can't imagine taking longer than THREE MONTHS to fix a downloading issue which is the very crux of what your company is based upon. Again, I would consider that fact before moving over to it as we would like to begin to scale up but are concerned that Stessa may not be the product we had hoped in making that possible in the management/accounting software arena.

@Chris Mury Stessa - Porter - BeyondPricing - AirBnB/VRBO/Booking.com.

Mildly pleased with Stessa. Started using it as replacement for a highly customized Mint.com setup I had used for personal finance long before getting into real estate.

I think Stessa's far more useful for LTR than STR. While it can create nice reports and visuals, it's very focused on pro forma visualization. That's not always a grata match with seasonal STRs. I've emailed the teams with bugs and they're reasonable hold on response, but they have also now been acquired by RoofStock so I'm not expecting their free product to remain so for very much longer:

https://www.stessa.com/blog/stessa-joining-forces-with-roofstock

Although you didn’t ask, like others, I’ve been super pleased with Porter and impressed with the team’s ability to respond to enhancement requests. I’m emailing them almost weekly with product ideas because I love that it lets me run my business on the go.

@Ian M. I’ve experienced similar delayed response on support as well Ian. As they say, when you’re not paying for support that’s exactly what kind of support you get!

Curious: was the download issue you saw the inability to exports reports on their mobile app? I worked with them for a few weeks troubleshooting that one and the fix did make it into a newer release a couple weeks later.

I have been using Stessa since last year for my 4 investment properties and its really easy to manage because they also have an app which helps me to upload any receipts for expenses. Also, its really easy to make a tax package at the end of the year so definitely recommend it. Now that Roofstock took over, there might be some more benefits we will be able to see.