Sync Your AppFolio Property / Unit List Daily & Automatically
Carefully follow these instructions to sync your AppFolio properties to zInspector every day, automatically.
AppFolio sync is available only to Business (and equivalent or higher tier) account holders.
AppFolio sync setup is quick and easy:
- Generate a Custom Unit Directory Report in AppFolio.
- Manually Import the Custom Unit Directory Report into zInspector.
- Create a Scheduled Report in AppFolio to Sync this Custom Report with zInspector Daily.
- Enable the Sync in zInspector.
The video below provides step-by-step instructions for setting up your AppFolio Property Sync.
A detailed written walkthrough follows the video.
Note: Admin permissions in zInspector and Property Management (or better) permissions in AppFolio are required to perform the sync process.
Before you begin:
1) Review your default areas in zInspector for single-family and multi-unit properties.
- Go to Settings > Area Details.
- Toggle to enable/disable default areas (rooms, etc) for both Single Family (left column) and Multi-Unit (right column) properties. Think of these as your “lowest common denominator” areas for newly created zInspector properties. Defining these prior to adding many properties via sync will save you time editing the areas on a property by property basis later.
2) Review your AppFolio records and ensure that all property rows include an entry in the Property Name field. Any records lacking this field cannot sync over to zInspector!
You can now proceed with the AppFolio sync.
STEP 1: Generate the Report in AppFolio
1. In AppFolio, go to Reporting, then Reports, and open the Unit Directory.
2. Customize the report with the following selections:
- In the Filters tab, select Show Active Units.
- In the Columns tab, check only the following boxes (12 total):
- In the Grouping tab, select Group rows by Category: and select Property.
3. Click Update to generate the report.
4. Select Actions, Save Layout, then Make a copy of this report called, enter a name (e.g., “zInSync”), and click Save.
5. Select Actions, then Export as CSV.
Note: Do not open the downloaded CSV file—you could change its internal formatting. If it opens automatically upon download, disable this default in your browser or spreadsheet program (e.g., Excel) and re-export the CSV file.
STEP 2: Import the Report into zInspector
1. On the zInspector website, go to Settings > Accounting Integration.
2. Select AF (AppFolio) from the drop-down.
3. Click Import / Sync ID.
4. Select Click to Perform Manual Import.
5. Drag and drop the previously exported/downloaded CSV file into the upload dropzone or click within the dropzone to select the file by its location on your computer .
- The file will be named “unit_directory…” rather than “zInSync” (or whatever you named it in AppFolio). Have you synced before? If so, you may see multiple “unit_directory…” files in your Downloads (default destination) folder, so just choose the most recent one.
6. Use the toggles to fine-tune default areas for SF (single-family) and MU (multi-unit) areas (if not done previously).
7. Leave the box for Archive if not in the File unchecked (optional).
- When the box is checked, any units removed from your AppFolio report to be automatically archived in zInspector during the next sync. Because it can cause units to disappear from your property list, we recommend not enabling this feature. We much prefer to archive properties manually in zInspector as needed—but it’s up to you.
8. Select your preferred Naming Options for Single Family and Multi-Unit properties.
- For Single Family, we use Property Name.
- For Multi-Unit, we use Property Name ‘Unit’ Unit Name so that “Cherry Hill 6” in AppFolio becomes “Cherry Hill Unit 6” in zInspector.
- If your Multi-Unit property names in AppFolio already contain the word “unit,” select Property Name Unit Name instead so that “Cherry Hill Unit 6” doesn’t import as “Cherry Hill Unit Unit 6.”
- Additional Naming Options are available—choose what suits your needs.
9. Click Preview, and review your Sync Preview; make sure it looks good (explained below).
10. Finally, click Import.
How should my Sync Preview look? It depends. If this is your first—or first major—AppFolio sync, an accurate preview may show many Properties/units to be added and no Properties/units in sync. On the other hand, if you or a group member has previously synced many units from AppFolio, the opposite could be true—few properties to be added and many already in sync. Not seeing as many synced properties as you’d expect? You likely chose a poor Naming Option. Simply go back, select a different one, and preview the report again. Remember that any sync conflicts remaining after the initial import can be easily merged using zInspector’s Merge Tool.
STEP 3: Create a Scheduled Report to Finalize the Sync
1. On the zInspector website, return to Settings > Accounting Integration.
2. Click Import / Sync ID.
3. Copy the Scheduled Report Email Address: sync+afunit_[customID]@zinspector.com (see screenshot below).
4. In AppFolio, go to Reporting, then Scheduled Reports, and select New Scheduled Report.
5. In the Schedule Name field, enter the saved report name (e.g., “zInSync”).
6. Select the saved report from the Saved Reports drop-down.
7. Select the CSV Format.
8. Paste the copied email address into the Recipients field.
9. Enter text in the Message field as needed.
10. Set the Frequency to Daily.
11. Click Save.
STEP 4: Enable the Sync in zInspector
1. On the website, return to Settings –> Admin Settings –> Accounting Software Integration.
2. Click Enable near the bottom of the screen. (If you previously synced to AppFolio, you may not have to do this again).
3. Notice that Status has changed from Disabled to Enabled—and it’s confirmed: you’re in sync!
**Not seeing your Last Sync/Change status update? Your Last Sync/Change status may not update until the next morning’s scheduled sync (screenshot below). If your Last Sync/Change status shows as Never in one of these circumstances, or if you wish to force sync your AppFolio Units at any time once you have performed the above steps, see this article.
**Notice some properties missing from the sync? One of the Columns you selected earlier in Step 1, Property Name is an essential AppFolio field required for syncing your AppFolio unit data correctly: any row in the unit report containing a blank Property Name field will not be imported.
To easily determine if any of your properties have not synced for this reason, go to the Accounting Integration page and hover your cursor over the Last Sync/Change field:
- If nothing happens—congratulations, you have no blank Property Name fields interfering with your sync.
- If a message “There are properties with blank names in the report that will not be imported” appears, we advise you to add any missing property names in AppFolio.
- If the message “Tenant with blank email cannot be imported” appears instead, a similar situation is occurring with your Tenant / Lease Sync, and you should refer to the corresponding article for more information.
A screenshot illustrating this situation is provided here:
Related Content: View our support article and video to set up your AppFolio Tenant / Lease Sync.
Already syncing? Need to quick-sync recent AppFolio changes into zInspector? See this article.
Having trouble with a sync? zInspector can help. Please email us at email@example.com.