As a former Condo owner (and a very brief stint as a landlord), I was thrilled to use the likes of Cozy Co ー dedicated software to manage the relationship with tenants and automatically receive rent payments (after some setup).
While I personally enjoyed the software and had positive reviews generally, when my father-in-law prompted me about ways to automate and keep track of rent payments for the properties he managed, I knew that a packaged software solution like Cozy Co wasn’t going to fly. He still wanted to collect checks in real life (it’s an unobtrusive reason to touch base with his tenants!), and he had no need or interest in the bevy of other features like managing the application process or doing background checks. Besides, for the past 20 years a spreadsheet worked just fine... outside of the manual work and the occasional goofed bookkeeping.
That’s where Coda shines — as both an improvement to the spreadsheet he was using and a low-overhead alternative to Cozy Co. Coda is as approachable and simple as a doc or spreadsheet, but can also be as powerful as an app to automate some of those reminders.
The Pain Point
: Keeping track of and sending reminders for rent payments
The core problem we needed to solve was multi-pronged: tracking and sending reminders for when rent payments were due and for which tenants.
Ideally, notifications would be a simple email reminder sent a few days ahead of the due date. After that, we’d just need a way to easily keep track of when we received and cashed their check.
: Four tables, two views, a Pack, and an automation
Constructing an alternative to Cozy Co to keep track of rent payments was easy. We started by making four tables that represent all the key parts of this process:
→ The individual units to rent out.
→ The people staying in a unit or signing a lease.
→ The Unit <> Tenant agreement for a specified time period.
→ A list of each individual payment due as part of a lease.
From these four tables, we connected the
, wired up
, and created two views to manage the process going forward:
→ An overview of cash flows from payments and the current status of every unit.
→ A view to see what reminders are going out and when.
And here’s a quick video walking through how this whole doc came together: