In today’s dynamic real estate landscape, gone are the days of juggling rental properties through Excel sheets and email contacts alone. The industry has evolved, demanding more efficiency and responsiveness from landlords. Whether you’re managing a handful of residential properties or a substantial portfolio of commercial units, embracing modern solutions is not just a choice; it’s a necessity.
Enter the era of sophisticated rent manager software. In this comprehensive guide, we review seven top-notch software packages tailored to meet the diverse needs of property owners. These tools empower you with paperless property management, simplifying the complexities of tenant acquisition, direct rental listings, and application management.
But it doesn’t stop there. Imagine overseeing your day-to-day tasks effortlessly – from online rent payments and overdue rent reminders to managing maintenance requests and inspections. The right rental management software can help transform your workflow, giving you more time to focus on what matters most: your business.
Dive into our detailed reviews of software platforms designed for property portfolios of all sizes. Whether you prefer free solutions or premium options, we’ll help guide you toward the right software match. Step into a future where managing rentals is more seamless, intuitive, and tailored to your unique business needs.
Table Of Contents For Rental Manager Software
Find the rent manager software packages reviewed in this article via the links below.
- Buildium – Best Overall Rental Management Software
- Stessa – Best Free Rental Management Software
- Rent Manager – Best Customizable Software
- AppFolio – Best For Real Estate Managers
- Rentec Direct – Best For Small Portfolios
- Avail – Best Non-Accounting Option
- Doorloop – Best For Remote Management
- Rent Manager Software FAQs
- Choose Your Ideal Rent Manager Software Solution
7 Best Rent Manager Software Solutions
Today, if you want rent manager software, you’ll be looking for a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution. This online software is constantly updated to meet changing regulatory requirements and integrate new developments. You can generally access these services securely from virtually anywhere—home or office—and they often have mobile apps for practical use on the go.
The system should be able to hold the essential legal details of your property and push vacant properties to listing websites. Many options will also create websites with your property details. They should handle the application process by collecting details and managing the screening of potential tenants using services like Rent Prep’s tenant screening. The system should then also manage electronic leases.
For tenants, the system should facilitate rent payments. It should also be able to manage communications such as rent reminders and maintenance requests.
The accounting side of the suite should manage income and expenses and make it easy to produce tax-ready accounts each year.
Sound like a lot? It is. Many specialty software suites have been developed to meet the specific needs of landlords. Below are our top seven recommendations. The best one for you depends on your property portfolio and how you prefer to run your business.
Buildium – Best Overall Rental Management Software
While Buildium is one of the more expensive rent management software options on this list, it’s a market leader for good reason. This system can manage everything from marketing your property to screening potential tenants, managing rent collection and maintenance requests, and producing annual accounts.
First, Buildium integrates with a wide range of external software solutions to streamline property advertising and will also build you an attractive front-end website for your portfolio. It has an integrated system for managing the application process, collecting application fees, and screening potential tenants.
Tenants can then interact directly with the system to pay their rent and submit maintenance requests, then sent to you and your team via a ticketing system.
Finally, it has an accounting system designed to deal with rent income and expenses, so you have tax-ready accounts at the end of the year.
Prices start at $52 per month for a basic plan and go up depending on how many properties you have and certain extra features you might want to add. There are also additional fees for specific services, such as onboarding support. However, you don’t get a dedicated customer relationship manager.
- Automated rent and other recurring payments
- Online ticket support
- Dedicated accounting tools
- Expensive, especially for small portfolios
- No dedicated customer relationship manager
While Buildium may be expensive, it’s worth paying for if you want a comprehensive system that does it all and saves you time.
Stessa – Best Free Rental Management Software
Stessa Essentials stands out as the best free rental management software that does almost as much as the paid-for systems. Some users have described this easy-to-use software as “Quickbooks lite”.
You can store the full details of your portfolio in Stessa and then use this program to market your property, find and screen tenants, and manage rent collection. Stessa lets you streamline as much as possible, either manually entering transactions or pulling them directly from bank and credit card statements.
Stessa Essentials comes with many ready-to-use reports, including income statements, cash flow, capital expenses, and tax reports, but is limited when creating customized reports. A paid Pro version starts at just $16 monthly if you want more features.
- Genuinely free
- Intuitive and easy to use
- Mobile apps that let you work remotely
- Fewer features than competitors, such as limited customizable reports
- Limited tenant communication options
For landlords with small portfolios who want to streamline and professionalize the management of their properties but don’t have the budget to pay for a premium system, Stessa Essentials is an excellent option.
Rent Manager – Best Customizable Software
If you really want to customize your rental management software to work for your specific portfolio, Rent Manager may be the right choice.
Rent Manager’s most robust features are automation and integration, designed to save you time and headaches. Market new properties as soon as they’re available with just a few clicks, manage applications and tenant screening, and then send tenants directly to the tenant portal for rent collection, service issues, communications, and inspections.
Rent Manager offers a range of reports and tax and budgeting tools to help optimize your business, and you can do it all remotely via their web portal or mobile apps.
Rent Manager seems affordable at first glance, as you can pay just $1 per unit for the basic plan, but there is also a Plus plan available from $1.50 per unit and Premium from $2.25 per unit. Where the program becomes expensive is the minimum subscription rate of $200 for a basic plan, so you’re paying much more than $1 per unit if you have fewer than 200.
- Highly customizable software
- Great automation and integrations
- Manages everything remotely
- Costly for small portfolios
- Extensive features can be overwhelming
If you have an extensive property portfolio and want to automate your systems as much as possible and integrate with other key systems, Rent Manager may be the tool you are looking for.
AppFolio – Best For Real Estate Managers
AppFolio is another market-leading solution designed to work for all types of property portfolios, whether you have a few residential units, big commercial properties, or even vacation homes.
AppFolio works to allow you to streamline your business by bringing everything together in one system and then easily exporting data and information as required. This starts with marketing units to your AppFolio-created website and third-party websites. The system also manages communications, applications, and tenant screening and then moves tenants to a portal for rent payment and maintenance requests.
The tenant portal is a great way for tenants to manage their leases. Or, if you’re managing properties on others’ behalf, the owner management portal is another excellent feature that allows owners to track what’s happening with their property.
AppFolio has transparent fees at $1.40 per month per unit for their Core plan and $3 per month per unit for their Plus plan. However, bear in mind there is a minimum monthly fee of $280, so you need a reasonably extensive portfolio to justify the expense.
- Includes every aspect of the management process
- Lets tenants and owners self-manage
- Expensive for smaller portfolios
- Integrates with a limited range of other software applications
For rental management teams handling large portfolios belonging to multiple owners, AppFolio offers the most intuitive, easy-to-use system.
Rentec Direct – Best For Small Portfolios
The big problem with many premium rent management software options is that you need an enormous portfolio to justify the price. Rentec Direct is a premium option that makes sense for smaller portfolios. It starts from just $45 per month for up to 10 properties and $55 for up to 25 properties.
Rentec Direct offers almost the same suite of tools as more expensive systems. This means streamlined accounts that are designed to simplify tax preparation, and you can look at accounts on a universal or unit level.
Most functions are automated, including online rent collection, applications and tenant screening, and communication tools for tracking things like maintenance requests. It’s worth noting that tenant screening comes with an additional one-off charge per application. But this helps Rentec Direct keep costs low; the application fee should cover this.
- Ideal for managing a modest portfolio
- Simple to use and feature-rich
- Unit-level management tools
- More expensive per unit for larger portfolios
- Additional fees for tenant screening
If you have a limited portfolio but want to professionalize your business, Rentdec Direct is a great option, and it can grow with you as you expand your business.
Avail – Best Non-Accounting Option
Avail is another affordable option for landlords with smaller portfolios. It has a free version and a Plus version that is $5 per unit per month. Both offer online rental payments, but with Plus, you get next-day rent payments, and ACH fees are waived.
Whether you go for free or Plus, Avail does everything you would expect, from managing rental listings and applications to tenant screenings and digital leases, online rent collection, and maintenance tracking.
Avail is lite is on accounting, and you will need to use something else for your end-of-year tax accounts. But if rental properties are only part of your investment portfolio, then you are probably doing your accounts elsewhere, so this limitation won’t matter much.
- Free or affordable
- Easy to use for managers and tenants
- A comprehensive suite of features
- Limited accounting features
- May not grow with you
Avail is best for landlords with a diverse investment portfolio of which rental properties form only a part.
Doorloop – Best For Remote Management
If you want rent management software that lets you do most things remotely, then Doorloop is an excellent choice. Log on from virtually anywhere, use any device, and do everything online, from electronic leases and rent applications to rent payments and maintenance requests. Doorloop has everything you need to go paperless.
One of the other great things about Doorloop is that it has prioritized integrations so it can connect with whatever you work with. It is designed to make your life easier and not force you to redesign your workflow.
Doorloop has a three-tier pricing plan starting from $49 per month for the Starter plan and $149 per month for the Premium plan. This is regardless of the number of properties, so it can be a bargain depending on your portfolio size. But even if you only have one or a few properties, you may want Premium for the features.
- Remote and paperless application
- Simple and affordable pricing plans
- Lots of software integrations
- Push to pay for the more expensive Premium version
- Some features are still in development
If you want a piece of rent management software that integrates seamlessly with many other systems, Doorloop is a leader.
Find answers to some of the most frequently asked landlord questions about rent manager software below.
Rent manager software is a digital tool designed to assist landlords and property managers with various aspects of their rental properties, including tenant information, rent collection, maintenance requests, and financial reporting.
Rent manager software streamlines operations, reduces manual paperwork, ensures timely rent collection, provides accurate financial reports, and can improve communication between landlords and tenants.
Many rent manager software options cater to both residential and commercial properties. Some are specialized based on property types, so choosing software that fits your portfolio is essential.
Most modern rent manager software solutions offer mobile apps or mobile-friendly web interfaces, allowing landlords to manage their properties on the go.
Reputable rent manager software providers prioritize data security and often use encryption, secure servers, and regular backups to protect user data. Always check a provider’s security protocols before signing up.
While there is no doubt that landlords should be working with rent manager software, the best software solution for you depends on the nature and size of your portfolio and how you like to run your business. Are you a one-person show? Do you have a dedicated team, or do you prefer to outsource? And is rental income just a small portion of a more extensive investment portfolio?
Technological solutions should always work to make your life easier and integrate seamlessly into your existing workflow or change how you do things for the better. Always choose software with what you need in mind. Use your wishlist to shop around for the right solution for you.
What to read next: How to start a property management company in 8 steps.