Journey to the Center of the Owner Portal

By Oretta Croushore, Property Manager for Home Rental Services
Photos by Caitlin Meehan, Director of Client Care for Home Rental Services

Portal (n.)
por-tal

1 : door, entrance, especially a grand or imposing one
2: a website serving as a guide or point of entry to the World Wide Web
3: the magical land your property manager told you about

My name is Oretta and I will be your guide into the magical land that is the Owner Portal. Please, climb aboard your favorite mythical creature and follow me. My unicorn, Gradella, and I can’t wait to show you around. Please buckle your seat belt and keep your arms and legs inside the creature at all times. 

Getting to the Owner Portal

First, how do we get there? The fastest way is a direct flight from here. You can also take the scenic root by heading to www.Home4Rent.com, click on Owner, then Owner Portal Login. Once you get there, don’t forget to bookmark the page. Your username is your email address. In the unfortunate incident that you have forgotten that very clever password you created, fret not. Help is just a click away at the forgot password button. There is no shame in resetting your password. It happens to the best of us. Remember, PassWord is not a good password. You are better than that.

2-Factor Authentication

Appfolio, the software which powers the portal, encourages the use of a two factor authentication. If you are not familiar with 2FA, this is where you have the option to get a text or phone call after entering your password. It can be annoying at times, but it does offer a second layer of protection for your information. If your phone number changes or you have issues with the 2FA, we can reset it for you. Just give us a call or send us an email. 

There are three main areas of the owner portal. We will  be visiting each of these ports of call on our journey. On a desktop, the tabs are located on the left side of the screen. 

Statements

This is the tab you probably visit the most. Your monthly owner statement is published here. You can access your current statements or go back and look at ones from past years. You should receive an email to let you know the statement has been published. We typically publish them the day before owner disbursements show in your bank account. I am often surprised by the number of owners who tell me they never look at their statements. This is where you will find a detailed explanation of the income and expenses for your rental property for a given month. 

At the beginning of the year, there is a special statement everyone needs for taxes. It’s the cash flow statement. It likes to disguise itself as just another monthly statement. “Nothing special about me”, it says. Look for the descriptor includes cash flow – 12 month.

Transactions

Next stop, Transactions. 

At the top of the screen, you see two boxes. One shows the last disbursement and the other shows the last contribution. You will also see one of my favorite places of interest in this land. The Make a Contribution button. 

When you need to add money to your account, either to pay an outstanding balance on your statement or to fund a project, this is the best and easiest way to do that. Click that button and the system will walk you through it. If you make a payment with an echeck, where you enter your account and routing number, there is no charge. Debit and credit card transactions are charged a fee by the company processing those payments.

Once you make a contribution, the property manager gets an email notification. We encourage all owner contributions to be made through the portal. Between postal service delays, processing of the mail, and depositing, an old school mailed check can take 2-3 weeks before the funds are available. It’s very much the same reason we strongly encourage all rent payments to be made through the renter portal. It’s available 24/7/365 and there’s no delay. 

The transaction tab also shows a table of all disbursements and contributions in and out of your account. It gives you some at a glance information to help keep you from opening every statement to find what you’re looking for. 

Documents

Our final stop is the southernmost tip of the owner portal menu, Documents. Here you will find all shared documents.

The 2022 1099s were recently published and can be found here.  All owner 1099s are shared through the portal. They are in PDF format and can be easily downloaded to either print or email to your tax preparation professional. Paper copies of the 1099 are also mailed to those who have not opted to receive electronic files only. If you are still getting a paper 1099, please choose to switch to electronic only. We would love to reduce the amount of unnecessary paper going out into the world and also lessen the resources required to mail them. 

The other notable items you will find in the documents tab are leases and lease extensions. You never need the lease until you need the lease. It’s usually when you are trying to take care of business like refinancing. It can be daunting to try to gather all the documents you need for something like that. These are also available for download as a PDF. 

As we head back to the home page, please note in the upper right corner you will see your email address and a little drop down arrow. Click on that arrow and you can access the settings menu. Here you can change your password, change your 1099 settings to opt out of paper delivery, and see your bank account information. In the near future, we hope you will have the option to update your bank account information here as well. Currently, if you need to change your bank account or mailing address, please contact us at propertymanagers@home4rent.com

That brings us back to the home page, where we started. I hope you have enjoyed this journey. We hope you will come back soon and take advantage of all the owner portal has to offer you!

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