best property management software

Updated March 2024

Streamlining rental property management can be a tedious task, diverting valuable time that could be better spent on more rewarding or productive activities. The solution? Leveraging the capabilities of the right property management software to minimize the time invested in these administrative responsibilities.

For landlords like you, effective property management software consolidates all essential tasks into a single platform. From advertising properties, processing applications, screening tenants, and executing contracts to rent collection, maintenance request management, and year-end accounting – it can be an all-in-one solution.

This type of software not only identifies potential issues but also automates routine tasks, allowing you to reclaim your time for more crucial matters.

A plethora of software options exist, ranging from free to paid premium plans. Some are tailored more for landlords with a single property or small portfolios, while others are suited for those overseeing hundreds of units. The question is, which platform suits your needs?

To help answer that question, we’ve reviewed the top six property management software solutions. Our guide aims to help you make an informed decision based on your specific requirements.

Table Of Contents: Best Property Management Software

Find the best property management software solutions for landlords and property managers reviewed below.

6 Best Property Management Software Solutions Reviewed

1. Stessa – Best Overall For Small Landlords And Free

6 Best Property Management Software Solutions ReviewedFor landlords with a relatively small portfolio looking to professionalize their activities, Stessa Essentials is my top pick. In addition to being a free solution, it’s an intuitive system, too, which does the essentials without burdening the program with bells and whistles most landlords don’t need. This means it won’t eat up your financial or mental resources when learning how to use it.

Stessa offers robust features comparable to those found in some premium software programs. For example, with just a few clicks, you can create a master property advertisement and send it to various rental property marketing sites. The system collects applications and screens prospective tenants to find a suitable fit for your property. Once the tenant has moved in, you can use the system to manage rent collection, deal with maintenance and other requests, and send out reminders as necessary.

When it comes to end-of-year finances, Stessa has several useful ready-to-use reports, including income statements, cash flow, capital expenses, and tax reports, but you won’t be able to create the same customized reports that you can with premium software solutions.

If you start out with Stessa and decide you need more sophisticated tech as your business grows, you can upgrade to Stessa Pro starting from just $16 per month. Along with reports, you get budget planning tools, e-signature applications for leases, various legal forms and templates, and auto-creation of Schedule E tax forms. You can also use Stessa Pro as a project management tool and track your earnings from the property against your initial and ongoing investment.


  • Free version is genuinely free (no hidden fees)
  • Low learning curve to get started as it is highly intuitive
  • Mobile apps available to work on the go


  • You need to upgrade to Pro for the best reporting features

Stessa is ideal if you’re looking for something free to use and simple to integrate into your existing workflows. This system can grow with you and your business. Stessa consistently gets good user reviews, with an average of 4.7 stars on both GetApp and Capterra.

2. Buildium – Best For Software Learners

If you’re looking for software that is easy to use and learn how to navigate, Buildium is a great option. The dashboard is incredibly user-friendly, even if you struggle with technology. Once you have the software installed, Buildium provides a guided tour to help you learn everything it can do and where to find specific features.

The platform provides accessible tools like tenant screenings and will even help you with your accounting. If you’re someone who wants information broken down into digestible, manageable pieces, Buildium does just that. The guided tour is available at any time, so if you need to find out how to do something, you’ll be shown with the click of a button.

Buildium, like most apartment management software platforms, charges based on how many rental units you have. The least expensive option is under $50 a month and covers up to 20 units.

What does your money get you? Advertise your properties online with a few clicks, collect applications, screen tenants, and even sign e-leases to move forward as quickly as possible. Manage all tenant payments from end to end and produce required reports automatically at end-of-lease of end-of-year. Buildium also provides lots of customizable reports and analytics tools, along with powerful AI features to support integrations with other systems you may be using.

If some of that sounds a bit complicated, don’t worry: Buildium even has its own academy that offers courses to teach you everything you need to know about the software and what a property manager is required to do. Their academy is well organized and provides course details and quizzes along the way. However, you do need to use the courses to learn the system, as it can be hard to get customer service on the phone directly.


  • Relatively inexpensive for premium software
  • Easy to use and lots of support as you’re learning or want to upgrade
  • Manage all tenant interactions through the system
  • Integrate with other systems you’re using


  • In-person customer service team has a slow response time

Buildium is one of the best property management software options available and does everything at a very affordable price. If you’re up for teaching yourself and solving problems on the go, the supporting academy material is excellent, in-depth, and always available.

3. AppFolio – Best For Real Estate Managers

We think AppFolio is one of the best solutions for managing an extensive portfolio of properties because it’s adaptable to different property types, affordable for larger portfolios, and makes it easy to manage a lot of data coherently.

Another great feature about AppFolio is that it’s designed for use on the go. For example, when inspecting properties, upload photos immediately and ensure they are associated with the right property. You can also take voice notes and convert them into text. Plus, you can access all the information about a property while you’re right there on your mobile device.

The tenant portal is also a strong feature. It collects payments and allows tenants to manage most aspects of their lease, including maintenance requests, extensions, and so on. If you’re managing properties on behalf of a landlord, there is also a landlord portal where they can log in and monitor their properties.

AppFolio has a simple pricing system with $1.40 per month per unit on the Core plan and $3 per unit on their Premium plan, but there is a minimum expenditure of $280 per month, so it is geared toward larger property holders. There is no free trial period to try before you buy.


  • Highly sophisticated features
  • Excellent mobile functionality
  • Self-service portals for tenants and landlords


  • Pricing structure only appropriate for larger property portfolios

If you’re a property manager working with many units and providing services for both tenants and landlords, then AppFolio is ideal for getting it all done in one place. It’s affordable if you have a large portfolio and has features that make keeping track of individual properties simple.

4. Rentec Direct – Best For Medium Property Portfolios

Another of the best property management software options on the market is Rentec Direct. This software is designed for property managers and landlords with between 10 and 5,000 units.

People love Rentec Direct because there aren’t any hidden startup costs, you aren’t locked intoany sort of commitment, and you get unlimited training and help from their customer service.

Rentec Direct can do a lot for you, including handling your ledgers and financial reports. Online portals allow tenants to pay their rent or submit requests. You can easily track work orders, process credit card payments, list vacant units online, and even file your 1099 taxes.

This software will screen potential clients and check their criminal records, credit scores, and past evictions. You won’t have to worry about security since Rentec Direct uses bank-grade standards to protect your and your tenants’ data. You’ll be able to easily use this software on any Mac or Windows computer, as well as Android and Apple mobile devices.

Rentec Direct is really easy to use, and if you find yourself having any trouble or questions, you can reach out to their customer service.

Prices start from $45 per month for up to 10 units and $55 for up to 25 properties. For the price you pay, you get many incredible features, unlimited customer service, and software compatible with mobile devices. You can easily edit your website and list available vacant units with a click of a button.


  • Affordable even if you have a smaller property portfolio
  • Feature-rich and does everything from advertising to taxes
  • Excellent mobile support for managing properties on the go


  • Customer service runs on US time zones only

If you’re a small to medium-sized landlord looking for all the features of a premium property management system but without a high minimum monthly payment, then Rentec Direct is designed for you.

5. Avail – Best Option Without Accounting Features

Avail is a scalable property management software that can work for you regardless of the size of your portfolio. You can start with just one property or manage as many as 10,000 units. Pricing is designed to reflect what you need.

For the least expensive plan, you’ll be able to host one unit with basic customizations, and it will cost you nothing. The next level is the Landlord Plan. This comes with a free trial, complete control over customizations, and faster payment processing.

Next, you’ll find the Landlord Plus tier. It has all of the great features that come with the Landlord Plan but also includes unlimited photos and messaging, priority support, and a marketing website. Lastly, there is the Professional tier. This is the most expensive plan, and you’ll get everything in the Landlord Plus plan, plus the option to create multiple deposits at once.

Avail also offers handy lawyer-reviewed lease templates and protective clauses that cover issues like paint and mold. Leases can be filled out online and easily filed away in an organized fashion. With Avail, you’ll get notifications if a tenant is late on rent, and fees can be automatically added to their account.

Like other software options, Avail also allows tenants to pay rent online and fill out maintenance tickets, with the ability to add photos if needed. This software will complete detailed background and credit checks on potential tenants.

Tenants can apply and provide any verifying documents in less than five minutes using Avail. Another great thing about this software is how easy it is to list vacancies on sites like Zillow, Trulia, and When someone inquires about your property on one of these websites, Avail will send their information straight to the email address you provided.

Although Avail offers plenty of great features and excellent prices, if you want software with many accounting tools, it may not be the right choice for you. Avail has accounting tools, but they perform basic functions and don’t do things like file tax returns as other property management software can. However, if you’re already working with an accountant to manage your taxes, these probably aren’t priority features.


  • A range of pricing plans for different types of property portfolios
  • Ability to send vacancy ads directly to the major listing sites
  • Lawyer-reviewed lease templates available


  • Limited accounting tools

Avail is an excellent property management solution regardless of how many units you have, and its pricing model means you only pay for what you need. It isn’t burdened with a lot of accounting features, which you don’t necessarily need if you’re working with an accountant.

6. Rent Manager – Best Customizable Software

If you have your own way of working and you want rent management software you can customize to do precisely what you need, then Rent Manager is an excellent choice. Rent Manager stands out for its automation and integration features, allowing you to save time on routine tasks and work seamlessly with any other systems you’re already using.

Rent Manager is an end-to-end service, so you can use it to do everything in the rental management pipeline. Market new properties as soon as they’re available with just a few clicks, manage applications and tenant screenings, and then send tenants directly to the portal for rent collection, service issues, communications, and inspections.

Rent Manager offers a range of reports and tax and budgeting tools to help you optimize your business. You can access these remotely via their web portal or mobile apps.

There is a price to pay for so many features and customization options. While Rent Manager seems affordable at first glance, as you can pay just $1 per unit for the basic plan, you will almost certainly need to upgrade. The Plus plan is available from $1.50 per unit and Premium from $2.25 per unit. But 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, so it can do exactly what you need
  • Great automation and integrations to fit in your existing setup
  • Complete end-to-end management option available


  • Costly for small portfolios

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.

Buyer’s Guide – What To Look For In Property Management Software

Buyer’s Guide – What To Look For In Property Management SoftwareLooking for new property management software can be intimidating. What makes one better than another? Are there certain tasks you need the software to perform? These are common questions that landlords and property owners ask themselves when it comes to property management software.

To help clear up any confusion you may have, this buyer’s guide will help break down what to look for when shopping for property management software. Use this guide to help you find which is best for you and your properties.

Number Of Units And Cost Per Unit

Some rental management software is designed for small landlords managing up to a dozen or so properties, while others are designed for big businesses managing thousands of properties. You need to choose software designed to work with your portfolio. You neither want to max out your system availability or pay for large programs you don’t need.

This is linked to pricing models, as solutions for larger portfolios rarely have solutions that make sense for small portfolios. While they charge only $1 per unit per month, there can be minimum monthly fees. So, if you only have a few units, you can be paying a lot per unit.

If you’re growing your business, look for scalable solutions that offer basic plans for smaller portfolios but let you upgrade if you want to expand significantly.


One of the main reasons to invest in a lease management software system is to automate repetitive and routine tasks such as onboarding tenants and sending rent reminders to free up your time to do more important things.

Any software you choose should allow you to automate the most routine tasks. The most sophisticated options might use smart AI tools to manage even more complex tasks, such as contacting relevant contractors in response to maintenance requests.


While some people are looking for property management software that does it all, others will be working with systems that they like and want a solution that fills the gaps.

The best real estate software will have APIs that allow them to work seamlessly with a variety of other software solutions, including your website CMS, email provider, Office 365, and so on, plus potentially your accounting software and systems you may already use to collect rent or screen tenants.

Mobile Access

Ideally, you’ll want to be able to access your property management software while out and about at your properties. This may just be to look up and confirm information, or it could be to upload inspection photos. Your software should work well on mobile devices for you and for tenants if you have a tenant portal, as many will want to log on quickly from their phones to pay rent and make requests.


Not only will you want to keep your personal data safe, but you also must protect tenants’ personal and financial information. Look for solutions that use two-step password authentication and encrypt all data as it’s transferred.

Accounting Features

If you don’t already work with an accountant, this gap should be filled by your rental management software, often producing tax-ready accounts you can submit directly. The level of accounting features you need depends on the size of your business and how you manage accounts,  but make sure the software you choose can produce the reports you need.

Property Management Software FAQs

Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about property management software solutions.

How can property management software streamline my business operations?

Property management software is designed to streamline business solutions by integrating all key property management tasks into a single pipeline. When tasks depend on one another, they can be timed to follow one another, and vital information collected in one step can be fed into the next.

For example, your software can collect applications, automatically request tenant screenings, and then sort those that meet the threshold and those that don’t for you to review. When you’re ready to contact the tenant, all their details are there. If you decide to move forward, a standard lease agreement template can be sent, and the system can manage the next steps, such as the security deposit and the first month’s rent, often with just your approval.

Is it worth investing in property management software for small portfolios?

While it might not feel challenging to manage just a few properties manually, property management includes many repetitive tasks that need to be done regularly. It’s easy to forget things or get to them late, especially when life is busy. That’s why it’s worth investing in property management software even if you only have a small portfolio, as it ensures things get done on time through automation or reminders. There are free or very cost-effective solutions available for small portfolios.

How does property management software assist with tenant screening?

Property management software can automate the tenant screening process. The system can automatically collect tenant applications and application fees and send tenant information for screening, as most systems integrate with a reputable screening service. The system can then bring potential tenants to the top of the pile and even send template communications to potential tenants whose applications you will not be taking forward.

Choose Software That Meets Your Needs

We have shared with you a list of excellent property management software solutions that should work for most landlords and a list of things to consider when choosing a solution, but every landlord will be looking for something different.

Perhaps you’re looking for an end-to-end solution that does every step in the process, from advertising vacancies to end-of-year accounting, perhaps even project management to monitor the return on your investment.

Maybe you already have good solutions in place for many tasks, but you want a tenant portal to automate the majority of tenant interactions in a way that integrates with the other systems you use. The best solutions for these varying circumstances will be different.

Before you start shopping around for the best property management software for you, make a list of your needs and nice-to-haves that are not necessarily worth paying a premium for. Every software solution should be evaluated against this list, but we’re sure one of our recommended solutions will fit the bill.

RentPrep does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, or accounting advisors.