Picking the right property management service is essential for maximizing investment and reducing stress. We recently looked closely at Ziprent and Belong Home to see how they stack up in pricing, what they offer, financial commitments, and overall bang for your buck. This deep dive gave us some valuable pointers, especially if you're starting out or considering switching up your property management game.
Here are some critical lessons learned from this comparison:
1. Fundamental Offering Differences: Belong Home doesn't have an introductory offer that maps directly to the standard Ziprent offering for hands-off property management. In other words, it doesn't compete with our most popular offer.
2. Perfect for New Landlords: For those new to property management services, Ziprent's standard plan is recommended. It is significantly more affordable—up to 50% cheaper than Belong Home's Pro service. This cost-effectiveness, combined with a comprehensive range of services, makes it an attractive choice for beginners.
3. Tech-Efficiency in Ziprent: Ziprent's model is built on tech-enabled efficiency, offering landlords a streamlined and potentially more straightforward experience.
4. Premium Offerings Comparison: When comparing the premium offerings, Ziprent's ZipGuarantee stands as a strong competitor to Belong Pro. The ZipGuarantee plan offers a range of benefits at a cost comparable to the standard version of Belong Pro, making it an exciting option for those looking for premium features.
5. Financial Tools and Coverage: One notable aspect of Belong Pro is that it stresses a focus on financial tools, which could benefit some landlords. However, it's important to note that Belong Home needs to be more explicit about specific key elements, as it’s unclear what financial tools they offer that Ziprent doesn’t also offer. Their site is also unclear of the coverage for evictions, damages, and other liabilities within their plan.
Ziprent and Belong Home are two prominent players in the full property management service landscape, each offering unique features and services designed to cater to the diverse needs of rental property owners. Ziprent is known for its transparent, flat-fee pricing and comprehensive coverage while utilizing technology to reduce vacancy times, while Belong Home emphasizes a holistic approach to property management, focusing on wealth enhancement and attempting to minimize vacancies.
Belong Homes offers a service they call Belong X. This is provided for self-managers, meaning landlords who want to manage their property independently. They provide a suite of tools for rent collection, credit reporting, and insurance. Belong X is not a full-service property management offering, so we won’t use it for this comparison.
Now let's look at a clear comparison between the two premium services, helping landlords understand the key differences and similarities in their offerings, ZipGuarantee and Belong Pro.*
*Caveat: Belong Pro prices their services by location. Your service might differ from what's below, but we've found that Belong Pro's monthly price is between 6-10% or a minimum of ~$250. We checked different locations, from California to North Carolina, and confirmed this.
When comparing Ziprent's ZipGuarantee and Belong Home's Belong PRO for a property with a monthly rent of $3,000, several key differences and similarities emerge in their services and pricing structures.
Regarding monthly price, ZipGuarantee maintains a fixed rate of $250 per property, offering a predictable cost regardless of the rental income. On the other hand, Belong PRO charges around 6.95% of the rent as a management fee, which, in this case, would amount to $208.50. However, due to Belong PRO's minimum monthly fee requirement, the actual charge would be $249. This slight difference in the monthly fee makes Belong PRO a dollar less expensive than ZipGuarantee in this specific rent scenario.
The tenant placement fee presents a more significant cost difference between the two services. ZipGuarantee charges a higher fee of $2,500 for tenant placement, whereas Belong PRO's fee is $1,850. This lower fee from Belong could be particularly advantageous for landlords who might experience frequent tenant turnovers. However, while Belong only offers its highest premium plan alongside its self-manager plan, Ziprent’s standard plan provides full-service property management at a significantly lower cost. With tenant placement at $1,250 and a monthly charge of $125/month, the standard plan offers a balance of features and services much more affordable than Belong PRO.
As for the service offerings, both ZipGuarantee and Belong PRO provide comprehensive property management services. ZipGuarantee's offerings include professional photography, tenant screenings, automated lease generation, online rent collection and automated rent payout, market analysis, expense and invoice tracking, and 24/7 customer support.
Regarding additional protections, ZipGuarantee stands out with its explicit coverage, offering $15,000 for rent, eviction, and damages. This feature gives landlords a significant safety net. While calling out free eviction fees, advertising fees, and the like, Belong PRO does not explicitly offer similar financial protections.
The difference in upfront commitment between Ziprent and Belong Pro is pretty straightforward. Ziprent lets you pay month by month, so you're not locked into a long-term deal. The month-to-month commitment is handy if you like the flexibility to change or cancel whenever you want. Ziprent is confident in its services and doesn’t rely on long-term contracts to keep customers around. Belong Pro, however, requires you to commit for an entire year.
Considering the depth of services and pricing is always important. However, you should always view reviews from real customers as part of your decision-making process. Ziprent uses Trustpilot Reviews to collect and publish customer reviews. You can also find Ziprent reviews on our Google profiles, Yelp locations, BBB, Zillow and more.
Ziprent has an impressive 4.9 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot with 318 total reviews. This suggests an overwhelmingly positive experience from both landlords and tenants.
"Everyone can have a voice on Trustpilot. Anyone with a genuine experience is welcome to write a review, good or bad. All reviews are treated equally—and we don’t allow companies to remove a review just because they don’t like it."
- Jeffrey Paradise | Senior Commercial Support Manager
You can read all the customer reviews of Ziprent here.
In contrast to the other three companies we’ve covered in our comparisons, Belong does not host reviews anywhere online. The lack of reviews is uncommon, as hosting customer reviews has become essential to help prospective customers get an idea of the level of satisfaction others have had with their services.
The only reviews we found include a Trustpilot review page for Belong Home, which is currently rated 2.9 out of 5 with only two reviews. Belong Homes website states that over 2,000 homeowners have used their platform, making the likelihood of only having two reviews seem slim. We will update this in the future should we find more information regarding customer reviews of Belong Home.
The value for money between ZipGuarantee and Belong PRO can vary based on individual landlord needs. ZipGuarantee offers a secure, predictable pricing model with substantial financial protections, making it an attractive option for landlords seeking stability and comprehensive coverage. While Belong Pro offers a slightly more affordable option in some scenarios, the long-term contracts and lack of customer reviews call into question their ability to deliver on their offerings. Belong Pro does not spell out what financial protections it offers, while ZipGuarantee is clear and concise in offering $15,000 for rent, eviction, and damages coverage. An astute landlord should consider the risk involved in committing to a long-term contract, while not being able to verify the satisfaction of prior customers with public reviews.
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