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Change isn’t always good. In fact, sometimes it can be relentlessly frustrating. As Cozy transitions into Apartments.com, an air of uncertainty has risen about the future of their current users – so we’ve put together a list of your top questions to help you decide if Apartment.com is the solution you need, or if now is the right time to start looking at alternatives on the market that might be more suitable.

Cozy will no longer be available after the 28th of July 2021. Your account will need to be migrated to Apartments.com. However, not all accounts are eligible – for example, if you have a commercial property in your portfolio you will not be able to migrate that data across and continue using Apartment.com to manage this rental.

1. Why Did Cozy move to Apartments.com?

Cozy was bought by Apartments.com in 2018. Apartments.com saw value in the acquisition of a large database of landlords who they will encourage to use their primary revenue stream – their listings platform.

Over the last two years, they have been working to develop similar functionality that Cozy had in the Apartments.com rental manager tool. However, not all the functionality will remain and the interface has changed in order to promote various additional services.

2. What Does The Future of Cozy Customers Look Like Now?

Cozy has said that nothing will change. However, already many people are noticing the changes, yourself included which is no doubt why you’re here.

A few of the changes include:

  • Poorer user experience on app and desktop
  • Reduced details for listings and less detail on tenant applicants (unless you upgrade)
  • No maintenance requests
  • No commercial properties

The new limitations on the software are paired with a change in motivation by the owners. It is in Apartment.com’s interest to push their services that make money, as well as utilize the data of the landlords they have purchased to generate additional cash flow for their business.

3. What if you’re not eligible for Apartments.com?

A number of people have taken to forums to ask why they can’t migrate their account. The answer to this question is that they are not eligible for one of the following reasons:

  • You have properties or dwelling types which the Apartments.com platform doesn’t support (commercial, room rentals, non-residential properties).
  • You have no current or active rent collections.
  • You haven’t used Cozy applications or screening services in a while.

With this necessary change being enforced in how the affected landlords manage and collect rent for their properties now is a good time to explore alternative property management software options.

4. Can I move commercial properties to Apartments.com?

The short answer is no, you cannot use Apartments.com to collect rent for or manage your commercial properties. In order to migrate your data, you will need to erase your commercial properties and the associated historical data from your account and find another solution to manage payments and income and expense tracking for these properties.

5. Can my tenant still send me payments on Cozy?

The last day for your tenant can send a payment through Cozy will be July 27th, 2021. After this date, you will need to get them to change their process for making payments.

As usual, payments that are made using Cozy up to this date will take 3-5 business days.

6. What will happen to your data on Cozy after the 28th of July?

Much but not all of your data, according to Cozy, will be migrated onto the system owned by Apartments.com. There is a chance some data won’t migrate properly, and of course, if your account is not eligible your data won’t migrate at all.

Some data will not be migrated as the functionality around this data will have changed or been removed and the data won’t be compatible. Renter applications, screening reports, maintenance issues, shared documents, and property listing information will no longer be available after July 27th.

They have recommended that you download and backup all your data and look at alternative solutions for data storage to ensure nothing gets lost in the transfer.

7. What do your tenants need to know?

They will no longer be able to send payments through Cozy – nor will they be able to access their rental payment history or anything else that would be in the Cozy tenant portal such as screening reports.

Alternatives to Cozy Now it’s Apartments.com for Managing Your Rentals

This change has frustrated a lot of users and understandably you might want to explore your alternatives rather than blindly accepting Apartments.com – a software you never chose.

A couple of alternatives that you might choose to explore include:

  • Buildium – Designed for property managers this enterprise solution really does it all and is perfect for landlords or property managers handling 100+ units. However, with prices starting from $50 p/m + fees, this is unsuitable for landlords managing fewer units.
  • Stessa – Stessa is a solution designed with income and expense tracking at the forefront of what they do. They have key accounting features such as bank feed integration. However, they don’t have online rent collection, rental listings, or any tenant screening tools meaning if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution you’ll have to explore alternative options.
  • Landlord Studio – Designed to improve your rental property accounting Landlord Studio offers key features such as the ability to digitize receipts on the app, to connect your bank accounts to reconcile transactions, accountant-approved reporting, online rent collection, and even tenant screening and lease tracking. Plus, designed for landlords with smaller portfolios the pricing starts at only $5.99 p/m.
  • Zillow Rental Manager – This property management tool is designed to compliment Zillow’s listing functionality allow you to push your listing to their site and their partner sites, as well as manage tenant applicants, run tenant screenings, and more. This software is focused very much on the finding tenant part of property management rather than the accounting and day-to-day admin tasks that some of the others in this list help with.

Find out more about Landlord Studio in our live webinar →

Key Features To Looks For In An Alternative To Cozy

Managing Rental Listings

It used to be possible to manage your rental listings through Cozy allowing you to syndicate across multiple quality platforms. With the change to Apartments.com, you can still manage your rental listings, however, you have to use Apartments.com and they have reduced the functionality of the free version pushing users to a premium upgrade.

Thankfully there are plenty of alternatives for managing your rental listings including posting your listing on Zillow, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Doorsteps, or any of the many others.

Running Tenant Screenings

Running tenant screening reports is vital if you want to mitigate the risks of renting to bad tenants. There are a few tenant screening solutions available, but ideally, you won’t have to employ a completely separate system to run your tenant screening. Most property management software has an inbuilt tenant screening tool which means you can manage and track your tenants and leases and store all of your documentation in one place as opposed to having numerous different platforms and tools in use.

Find out more about tenant screening with Landlord Studio →

Collecting Rent

The primary use for Cozy was their rent collection feature. However, since their launch more and more solutions have come onto the market meaning Cozy is not the only solution, landlords have options, and now is a good time to begin exploring them.

Find out more about rent collection with Landlord Studio →

Tracking Income and Expenses

Cozy was never designed with income and expense tracking in mind over the years they developed some expense tracking functionality.

With the move to Apartments.com, the focus has been shifted to managing rental listings and tenants. As such there is less development happening on the expense tracking side, and if this is the main pain point trialing a few alternative solutions could save you a lot of headaches.

Find out more about income and expense tracking with Landlord Studio →

Managing Commercial Properties

One of the key complaints that are being brought up with this transition by Cozy to become Apartments.com is the fact that users who have one or more commercial properties in their portfolio can no longer manage those in the software.

With Landlord Studio you can collect rent, manage screening reports, and keep detailed records of your income and expenses for long and short-term residential property and commercial properties.

Mobile Apps

In today’s world, there is no reason to be stuck to a desktop computer. all of the best software available for property managers have a native app.

This allows you to digitize receipts and track expenses at the point of sale in real-time. the main advantage of this is so that you never forget to record an expense you never lose receipts and you aren’t left with the mammoth administrative tasks of going through a year’s worth of bank statements and reconciling transactions for tax time.

Additionally, it means you can get detailed and granular insight into your portfolio at any time, you can run reports and share them with your partner’s or accountants wherever you are. all alter it allows you your saving you time and potentially thousands of dollars in the long run.

Final Words

This move by Cozy to become a part of Apartments.com won’t affect everyone. However, if you’re reading this then it probably has affected you and whether it’s concern over how Apartments.com is going to use your data, or how they’re going to monetize you as a user, this transition offers an opportunity to explore the alternatives on the market and see if there are better tools available for your specific needs.

One such alternative is Landlord Studio. However, we do understand the everybody has different requirements and needs which is why we offer a full 14-day free trial so that users can test out the platform and see if it suits their investment style and needs and will be able to help them save money and time when managing their rental properties.

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Ben Luxon

Ben is the editor and lead writer for Landlord Studio. He has worked with real estate professionals all over the world and written educational articles on tech, real estate, and financial growth for sites such as Forbes, TechBullion, and Business Magazine.

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