If you’re an independent landlord, it probably doesn’t make sense to hire bookkeepers and pay for dozens of software subscriptions. You may manage your real estate financials in Google Spreadsheets or use other free tools. However, using spreadsheets is very much a manual process, which means it can be time consuming and a hassle. Perhaps you’ve reached the point of wanting a more automated process for managing your real estate so you can free up that time to vet new tenants or look for new properties. This is where Baselane may help.
Baselane is a financial system that includes half a dozen tools to manage and grow your investment portfolios. If you’re thinking about investing in real estate, or struggling to manage your rental portfolio, Baselane may be a good fit for you.
- Free checking and bookkeeping designed for independent landlords
- Free online rent collection and bookkeeping platform
- Offers loans and insurance products tailored to landlords
What Is Baselane?
Baselane is a fully integrated financial solution designed specifically for landlords. Founded in 2020, it offers free products including:
- Bookkeeping apps
- Rental collection options
- Free checking
It also provides paid products including loans for landlords and landlord insurance.
The company currently serves more than 11 million landlords worldwide. Baselane’s partnership with Blue Ridge Bank, N.A. allows the company to offer a full range of financial products.
What Does It Offer?
As a digital company, Baselane addresses the banking and financial needs of independent landlords. Its various features are useful when used individually, but are designed to work together as an integrated financial solution.
Free Checking for Landlords
Baselane’s business checking account is a free checking account designed for landlords. The account has “virtual accounts” that allow you to subdivide income and expenses by property, track security deposits, and tailor the way you manage your money. Landlords can make payments via ACH, deposit cash via an ATM, or deposit checks using the Baselane Mobile app. The account also has a debit card with 1% cash back.
We’ve always recommended that side hustlers should keep personal checking and business checking separate. If you’re a real estate investor, consider doing the same. Baselane’s free checking account makes it easy.
See how it compares to other business banking accounts.
Online Rent Collection
As a landlord myself, I’ve dealt with having to collect rent. Over the years, I’ve knocked on doors and collected cash, deposited cashier’s checks, and received rent online.
Baselane is one of the few companies that make online rent collection easy and secure. Baselane’s Rent collection is free, and landlords can have the rent deposited to any account (including an account held outside of Baselane).
This functionality mirrors a functionality offered by Apartments.com for landlords who use that platform.
Free bookkeeping app for landlords
If you’re not eager to switch bank accounts but want to try Baselane, consider starting with their bookkeeping app—which is a game changer. Plus, it’s free. The app allows you to track and categorize expenses and generate a free Schedule E at tax time.
The only downside to this app is that it doesn’t auto-import a full account history for certain account types. It may be ideal to start relying on this in December or January, so you can track a full year.
Loans designed for landlords
Baselane’s primary paid product is a real estate investment loan offered to landlords. This loan can be useful to buy, refinance, or rehab an investment property. The company issues loans based on your real estate portfolio rather than your W-2 income.
Dashboards showing rental performance
Stock and crypto investors can choose from half a dozen or more investment apps that track their portfolio’s performance daily. If you’re a rental property investor, your investment tracking options aren’t as robust.
Baselane offers detailed insights into cash flow and property valuations. The company also plans to add metrics including cash on cash return and other landlord-specific metrics.
Are There Any Fees?
Baselane’s checking, rent collection, and analytics features are free.
However, for any loans you take out, you’ll pay interest and fees. The terms and conditions are laid out in the loan documents, but you may want to shop around before committing to any loan.
Likewise, you have to pay premiums for insurance products purchased through Baselane.
How Do I Contact Baselane?
Baselane has a chat feature on its website, but prospective customers can also email [email protected] to reach customer service. The customer service number is 888-586-1618.
The company is headquartered at 280 Park Ave., New York City, New York 10017.
How Does Baselane Compare?
Baselane is in a class by itself when it comes to integrated financial solutions for independent landlords. It offers free bookkeeping software tailored to landlords. You could use alternatives like QuickBooks, but Baselane’s software makes more sense for landlords.
It offers rent collection and analytics like Apartments.com. But Baselane’s reports and insights feel more user-friendly and are easier to understand.
Finally, Baselane offers free business checking, similar to Nearside. But Baseland is more robust, due to functionalities like mobile deposit and integrated bookkeeping.
The Baselane platform is intuitive and inexpensive that any real estate investor can benefit from using it. Even established real estate investors may want to consider slowly switching over to the Baselane ecosystem.
How Do I Open An Account?
Baselane offers multiple service tiers for users. If you’re interested in the free bookkeeping app, you can sign up with an email address, a phone number, and a password. Once you’re registered, you can connect your bank accounts (through a service called Plaid) to start using the bookkeeping software.
To start receiving rent through Baselane, you need to provide your tenant contact information as well as account details for where Baselane will deposit rental income.
Opening a checking account or taking out a loan also requires providing personal information. Loans may require documents and verifications such as proof of ownership, property valuations, or income statements.
Is It Safe And Secure?
Baselane uses multiple layers of security to keep your money, identity, and personal information safe. The company uses end-to-end encryption, and it tokenizes (or encrypts) personal data to keep users safe. The bookkeeping app relies on read-only account information, so hackers can’t steal your money via the Baselane app.
Baselane’s checking account is issued through an FDIC-insured bank, and the loans are issued through a legitimate financial institution. Given the above-average security on the Baselane website, anyone who uses an online bank should feel comfortable banking through Baselane.
However, Baselane’s website collects a lot of personal information about users, and like anything online, this information could fall into the wrong hands (despite the encryption and tokenization). If you’re nervous about cloud-based accounting services, Baselane may not be the right product for you.
Is It Worth It?
Overall, Baselane has succeeded in creating an integrated financial solution for landlords. It’s clear that the company understands and addresses ongoing pain points for independent landlords.
If you’re about to start investing in real estate, you should consider Baselane’s full suite of solutions. This may include researching insurance and loans as well as shopping for mortgages.
Baselane may also make sense for established landlords who want better solutions for managing their finances. At a minimum, Baselane’s free bookkeeping option is a must if you want to make tax time easier. The checking and rent collection options are also great to integrate as you get new renters into your properties.
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35274 (through Blue Ridge Bank, N.A.)