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Stessa vs. Podio: A detailed comparison for landlords

Laptop and mobile screenshot of transactions page
by Jeff Rohde, posted in Investment Strategy

While Stessa is a platform that 200,000+ landlords use to help maximize their returns and minimize busywork, some real estate investors have also integrated Podio into their tech stack.

However, if you’re trying to choose between Stessa and Podio, your best choice largely depends on your specific requirements and how you manage your properties. After all, the right set of tools can help transform your landlord experience from a chore to a cinch.

In this guide, we delve into the offerings of these two platforms, arming you with the knowledge to decide on the best solution for your rental property portfolio.

Let’s start with a quick overview, which summarizes the key features and pros and cons of Stessa and Podio:



Key features
  • Track income and expenses
  • Generate performance metrics across owned properties
  • Publish vacancy listings, collect tenant applications, screen tenants, and eSign documents
  • Collect rent
  • Share account access with CPAs, partners, spouses, and others
  • Download and modify 60+ landlord legal forms
  • Open a landlord banking account*
  • Manage customer, tenant, team, and vendor relationships via a CRM platform 
  • Integrate with popular file-sharing services, customer support products, and marketing tools
  • Arrange showings and track leads while reducing manual work 
  • Handle maintenance requests and vendor communication
  • Incorporate Excel and FreshBooks for accounting
  • Essentials plan: Free
  • Manage plan: $12/month (billed annually) or $15/month (monthly payment)
  • Pro plan: $28/month (billed annually) or $35/month (monthly payment)
  • Free plan
  • Plus plan: $14/month per employee
  • Premium plan: $24/month per employee
  • Annual billing discounts available 
Unique advantages
  • Easy to use and integrate with some property managers
  • Comprehensive portfolio overview
  • Automated income and expense tracking
  • Free rent collection service
  • Extensive tax resources
  • Affordable
  • Customized workflows and communications on a single platform 
  • Dozens of Podio and third-party app integrations 
  • Tenant leads and maintenance requests management
Limitations Not a complete property management solution (no capability for handling maintenance requests or tenant communications)
  • Not specifically designed for rental property management  
  • May have a steep learning curve with more features than many landlords need
Final takeaway Greater focus on helping real estate investors track financial transactions and optimize property investments Serves as a centralized hub that consolidates content, conversations, and CRM


Stessa and Podio at a glance

Stessa is a comprehensive platform designed specifically for landlords and aims to help owners and investors streamline their rental property management. 

Stessa blends several vital features into one platform, such as tracking income and expenses, drafting leases, storing documents, vetting potential tenants, managing online rent collection, and landlord banking. This combination of tools helps make property management more efficient, smarter, and faster. It also empowers landlords to track, monitor, and improve their financial performance all in one place.

Unlike Stessa, Podio’s focus is not specifically on real estate. Instead, Podio’s generic workflow management features can help merge the many moving parts of daily landlord tasks into a centralized hub that covers everything from content and conversations to CRM and contact management. You can easily share files, manage leads and listings, track rental and maintenance progress, and maintain clear communication across your team.


Stessa overview

Stessa, a subsidiary of Roofstock, was developed by residential rental property owners to cater to the unique needs and requirements of like-minded investors. Its highlights include income and expense tracking, data visualization dashboards, and tax-preparation reports aligned with Schedule E, among many other key features designed to help make managing your rental investments more efficient.

Stessa integrates with your financial accounts and some property management reporting platforms, often eliminating the need for physical paperwork. It also provides mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, which offer smart receipt scanning and help ensure you can manage your portfolio from virtually anywhere.

Stessa’s automatic receipt scanning feature is especially useful during tax time, saving you from tiresome manual entry. Plus, over the past year and a half, Stessa broadened its scope and incorporated vacancy listings, tenant applications and screening, electronic signing, rent collection, high-interest landlord banking services, and document storage.

These added features make Stessa a complete property management solution that addresses the distinct needs of residential rental property owners.

Pricing structure

Stessa’s tiered pricing structure suits a variety of requirements and budgets:

($12/mo when paid annually)
($28/mo when paid annually)
Track propertiesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
DashboardsKey metrics onlyKey metrics onlyFull chart history
Property manager connectionsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Document & receipt storageUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Organize & manage portfolios11Unlimited
Shared account accessYesYesAdvanced ownership metrics
Advanced transaction trackingNoNoYes
Smart receipt scanning5/month5/monthUnlimited
Manual expense trackingYesYesYes
Automated bank feedsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Budgeting & pro-forma analysisNoNoYes
Project expense trackingNo No
Reporting levelBasicBasic
Full data exportYesYesYes
Accountant tax packageBasicPlus Schedule EPlus CapEx
High yield Cash Management3.12% APY*3.12% APY*5.09% APY*
FDIC insured up to $2.5M/entityYesYesYes
No minimum balanceYesYesYes
1.1% cash back on purchasesYesYesYes
Accelerated rent paymentsNoComing SoonYes
Automated reminders and late feesYesYesYes
Tenant autopayYesYesYes
Tenant ledger and rent rollYesYesYes
Tenant ACH fee waivedNoNoYes
Vacancy advertisingYesYesYes
Syndication to ZillowYesYesYes
Tenant applications & screeningYesYesYes
Lease templateNoYesYes
eSign leases, contracts, etc.No1/month7/month
60+ Forms and templatesNoYesYes
Basic supportYesYesYes
Priority chat supportNoYesYes
Live phone supportNoNoYes
Get StartedGet StartedGet Started

Features summary

  • Automated income and expense tracking: Automatically sort and classify transactions from linked bank, lender, credit card, and property management accounts, all without any additional fees or required add-ons.
  • Financial reporting: Generate income statements, net cash flow summaries, and balance sheets (available with the paid Pro plan), among other reports.
  • Landlord banking: Open an FDIC-insured high-yield bank account* for each property and seamlessly integrate them into Stessa’s financial tracking features.
  • Rental applications and tenant screening: Use Stessa’s tenant screening services and free rental applications to find and select qualified tenants.
  • eSigning (partnered with DocuSign): Upload your document, tag it for digital signatures, and send it to tenants, vendors, partners, and others. 
  • Free rent collection: Collect rent through ACH payments, a free service for property owners and tenants.
  • Vacancy marketing: Publish a vacancy for rent and syndicate it out across a variety of websites for maximum exposure to high quality tenants.
  • Real-time performance metrics: Get round-the-clock insights into the performance of your property portfolio.
  • Property management integration: Link your property management portal to import transactions and get a detailed portfolio overview.
  • Unlimited properties: Add unlimited properties to your Stessa account.
  • Collaborative access: Invite other investors, CPAs, spouses, and others to share your Stessa account. Manage their access levels to view and/or edit the account.
  • Data security: Stessa employs industry-standard encryption and multi-factor authentication to help keep your data safe and secure.
  • Tax resources: Access a suite of tax resources and educational materials created in partnership with The Real Estate CPA.


Stessa offers a robust and effective solution for residential real estate investors, giving you an in-depth, organized view of your total portfolio holdings. That’s a key feature many competitors find challenging to match. 

Its real-time performance metrics and automated income and expense tracking reduce busywork while providing critical insights into your portfolio, aiding decision-making and strategic investment planning.

The platform’s seamless integration with your property management portal and financial accounts eliminates the need for time-consuming data entry. The unlimited properties feature is particularly beneficial if you manage multiple properties or rental houses in different states. 

Stessa’s free rent collection service streamlines payments and deposits for both tenants and property owners with no external third-party tools needed. The built-in rental application, tenant screening, and eSigning features make the leasing process hassle-free.

Stessa also provides tax resources and landlord insurance quotes, simplifying tax prep and ensuring you have adequate protection against potential risks with the proper insurance.

Finally, Stessa fosters a vibrant community forum, serving as a bustling hub where real estate investors exchange tips and queries about Stessa and share their expertise and enthusiasm for investing.


While Stessa is a powerful tool for landlords, it lacks some of Podio’s functions. 

For instance, Podio excels in task management, allowing landlords to handle tenant maintenance requests more efficiently. It also offers automated workflows, which you can customize according to your specific steps and preferences, something that Stessa currently does not provide. 

However, Stessa customers can consider also utilizing Podio to fill in the gaps in managing tasks, automating workflows, and integrating chat features. That way, you can enjoy all the benefits of Stessa’s platform while handling tenant maintenance requests efficiently and facilitating seamless communication among tenants, vendors, and stakeholders.


Podio overview

Podio is a substantial tool that has appeal well beyond real estate investors. That said, landlords and real estate professionals have found some success utilizing Podio to simplify their operations. Features include automated workflows, task management, and an integrated chat service, which facilitates communication and collaboration in order to reduce reliance on lengthy email threads. 

The platform also has personalized dashboards, unlimited storage, and extensive CRM tools, making it easier to manage property listings, keep track of appointments, and generate leads.

Pricing structure

Podio offers a pricing structure that suits different business needs, with plans billed monthly or annually and custom pricing options available for larger teams.

The Free plan is available for up to five employees at no cost. For businesses seeking more advanced features, the Plus plan, priced at $14 per employee per month (or $11.20 with annual billing), includes automated workflows to streamline your processes.

For those requiring a full suite of advanced features, Podio’s Premium plan is $24/month per employee (or $19.20/month with annual billing). 

The paid plans offer unlimited client users, light user roles, automated workflows, read-only access, visual reports, interactive sales dashboards, a cloud phone system and power dialer, and advanced workflow automation. You can add ShareFile + e-signatures to your plan for an additional cost. Subscribers to the Premium annual plan also get advanced integrations and sales dashboards from partners.

Features summary

  • Podio tasks: This feature simplifies your workload by breaking down complex responsibilities into manageable to-dos, prioritizing your tasks effectively.
  • Customizable Podio apps: Every app in Podio uses a straightforward drag-and-drop interface with customizable fields like text, category, date, relationship, contact, number, link, image, money, progress, calculation, map, and duration.
  • Integration with major file sharing services: Podio’s compatibility with Google Drive, Dropbox, ShareFile, Box, Hightail, and OneDrive ensures you can store, share, and access vital documents effortlessly.
  • Email forwarding: This feature allows you to forward emails into Podio to become task items or a new entry in your CRM, organizing your communication and ensuring all relevant information gets stored in one place.
  • Google Apps integration: Teams using Google Apps can install the Podio Task Gadget to turn emails into Podio tasks directly from their email inbox, enhancing productivity.
  • Data import and export: Users can import data from Excel spreadsheets into any Podio app and export data from apps back to Excel, which is great for creating financial reports.
  • Integration with other platforms: Podio integrates with platforms like Zendesk, Campaign Monitor, Evernote, Zillow, and FreshBooks, providing additional third-party tools so you can manage your properties more efficiently.

Podio also allows collaboration with external users like clients, partners, and freelancers. Beyond the built-in features, Podio offers partner-built extensions and an open API for additional functionality. Partners are available for custom integrations, implementation, and training, enhancing the platform’s adaptability.


Podio’s customizable apps provide impressive flexibility, so you can tailor the platform to suit your specific needs and workflow. You can create unique apps to categorize properties, track rent payments, and schedule maintenance tasks.

Access to well-organized task management is another advantage. Whether assigning tasks to team members, setting up recurring tasks for regular property upkeep, or creating personal to-do lists, Podio can help you stay organized and on schedule. 

Its seamless integrations with popular tools like Dropbox, Google Drive, Mailchimp, and Zapier streamline various aspects of your work, from file sharing and document management to marketing automation. You can manage many aspects of your business right from Podio’s platform.


While customization can be a boon, it may also require a learning curve. New users may need to invest time in understanding how to set up and use the platform effectively. The complexity could potentially slow the initial adoption phase, especially if you or your team aren’t tech-savvy.

While Podio includes basic reporting capabilities, the platform and its integrations may be lacking if you need advanced analytics. You may also want additional tools to gain more in-depth insights into your business performance. That could mean juggling multiple platforms, which can be less than ideal for efficiency.

Finally, cost is a factor to consider. Podio does offer a free plan, but access to certain advanced features and integrations requires a paid subscription. Depending on the scale of your operations and the features you require, you’ll need to evaluate whether the benefits outweigh the cost.


Stessa vs. Podio: Which is your ideal match?

Podio’s robust CRM tools offer realtors, brokers, and agents a reliable property management solution. It shines brightest in its collaboration abilities, allowing users to arrange viewings, stay organized with reminders, and manage relationships with buyers, sellers, vendors, and tenants. 

However, Stessa might be the better choice for small and medium-sized landlords. Despite lacking some of the features found in Podio, Stessa is designed with landlords’ needs in mind. The platform automates repetitive tasks, such as tracking income and expenses, drafting leases, tenant screening, and online rent collection – and it does all of this right out of the box with only minimal set up required.

Stessa’s easy-to-use interface and comprehensive suite of tools make it an attractive option for those who want to streamline their property management processes. Its real-time dashboard, performance monitoring reports, and automated accounting eliminate the need for spreadsheets and manual data entry. 

Though both platforms offer valuable features, the deciding factor is your specific needs. If you’re a small to medium-sized landlord looking for a streamlined, user-friendly solution, Stessa could be your ideal match. On the other hand, if you’re a real estate company or investor with a larger property portfolio, Podio’s advanced functionalities might be worth exploring as a complement to a Stessa Pro subscription.

To learn more about Stessa, visit the website.


*Stessa is not a bank. Stessa is a financial technology company. Terms and conditions, features, and pricing are subject to change. This article, and the Stessa Blog in general, is intended for informational and educational purposes only, and is not investment, tax, financial planning, financial, legal, or real estate advice. 


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