In REI Hub, the Portfolio is the top level of the reporting structure. Properties live underneath the Portfolio, and Units live underneath Properties (if applicable). Some reports, like the Balance Sheet, are only available at the Portfolio level. Most reports, including the Net Income (or Profit and Loss) is available at a Property by Property, and Unit, level.
Generally speaking, a Portfolio will correspond to a legal entity. Most separate businesses (separate legal entities), need fully separate books, and thus their own Portfolio. This is especially the case when multiple beneficial partners/ owners are involved and a Balance Sheet is required to file a tax return.
The main exception is if all your properties are either in your name, or held in single-member LLCs for asset protection. In this case, there are no other beneficial owners or legal entities with individual filing requirements, so everything is a pass-through that flows through to your personal tax return (on the IRS 1040 Schedule E). So with only one tax return involved, you’re generally in the clear to keep all your properties in just one Portfolio.
Your Portfolio is also relevant for your day to day bookkeeping. Overhead, or any transaction for your rentals that is not directly attributable to an individual Property can instead be booked to the Portfolio level of your account. View these transactions on the Net Income by Property report, in the ‘None Assigned’ column.
Each Portfolio carries its own subscription (and 30 day free trial!). You can add and manage multiple Portfolios from one set of REI Hub log-in information. Access for additional users is also segmented at the Portfolio level.