best property management software

If you’re a landlord or property manager like me, you probably have a lot on your plate. Keeping up with collecting rent, charging late fees, handling any maintenance request that comes in, and listing vacancies online are just a few of the tasks that are part of the job. I wanted to share with you the best property management software available to make you’re like so much easier!

I’ve tested the six best options on the market today and provide you with in-depth reviews of each software, including any pros or cons, along with the key features of each option. You’ll read about software that can collect rent for you, schedule maintenance requests, file and organize any documents or reports, and more! 

Don’t waste your time completing tasks that inexpensive software can do for you! All six of these options are easy to use, relatively inexpensive (one is even free!), and have amazing customer service. Without further ado, let’s talk about what property management software does and get into the reviews! 

[box]Another great free software option that we’ve reviewed separately is QuickLease Pro. If one on this list doesn’t tickle our fancy, check QLP out![/box]

A Table Of Contents For Best Property Management Software

Best Property Management Software

BuildiumBuildium appfolioAppfolio
cozy logoCozy rent directRentec Direct
avail Avail True rentTrueRent

Property Management Software Reviews

Property management software allows you to easily control things like rent, maintenance requests, accounting information, and even marketing. You can use this type of software if you just rent out one home or if you have thousands of units.

Property management software can be used on multiple different types of property, including residential, commercial, student housing, and more. Below are six of the best property management software options on the market right now! 

Feel free to use these reviews to give you an idea of which software would work best for you and your needs. I’ll start out with my favorite, Buildium! 

1. Buildium

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

It provides easy to use tools like tenant screenings and will even help you with your accounting! If you’re someone who needs information broken down to make it easier to learn, 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 how with the click of a button. 

Buildium, like most apartment management software, charges based on how many units you have. The lowest option they have available is under $50 a month and covers up to 20 units. You can click here to find out how much Buildium would cost for you. 

What does your money get you? Well, in addition to tenant screenings and accounting help, you’ll be able to collect rent online, send out work orders, easily keep track of reports, keep documents organized, and more! 

Buildium even has its own academy that has courses to teach you everything you need to know about the software and what’s required of a property manager. Their academy is well organized and provides you with course details and even quizzes along the way. 

The only downfall of Buildium has to be that it’s not incredibly mobile friendly. There is an easy to use app that can help you tackle things like filing payments or editing work orders, but the actual website isn’t the best on a mobile device. 

You’ll probably be able to use it without issues, but if you find yourself using your phone a lot for property management tasks, you may want to check out our review on AppFolio, below!

Pros

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Easy to learn how to use
  • Guided tours are always available
  • Buildium has great customer service to help you if you have any problems

Cons

  • Not the best mobile-friendly website

Buildium is one of the best property management software available. It’s not only easy to navigate for newcomers, it has its very own academy to teach you everything you need to know.

It won’t cost you too much and they have incredible customer service if you end up having any issues. This is a great option for any property owner that needs an extra hand! 

2. Appolio

appfolioComing in second is a software for property management called Appfolio. Unlike Buildium, this property management software has incredible mobile functionality. It has its own app, like most other software options but rarely do they run as smooth as Appfolio.

This software has unique features like the ability to upload photos from your mobile device and even take notes via voice. This can come in handy during inspections before or after a tenant moves in. You’ll have all the information you need about that unit, right at your fingertips.

If you have any trouble with the software, Appfolio has an incredible customer service. They know how to handle any issues you may be having and you won’t have to waste any time sitting on hold. Any questions or issues you have with the software will be quickly resolved with the help of the customer service provided. 

There are plenty of great features that Appfolio has to offer. It will help you with payments, as you’ll be able to pay your vendors online and tenants will easily be able to pay their rent. They can also make any maintenance requests online and you’ll be able to track everything that needs to get done. 

In addition to all of those features, Appfolio is well known for how it keeps reports and documents organized and are easily made using templates provided. You’ll be able to easily advertise vacant units and properties on all of the popular sites, and the software will be able to manage any potential clients! 

Appfolio is similar to Buildium in the way it offers plans based on units, but Appfolio has more options for you. You can use it for commercial spaces or residential property. You can also use it if you own dorm rooms or any property that’s occupied by students. 

There are two downfalls when it comes to Appfolio: the price and the free trial period. Unlike other popular property management software options, Appfolio doesn’t offer a free trial. 

[box]No free trial? Well, with QuickLease Pro, another fantastic property management software option, you don’t need to worry about that, because it is free! If you’re interested, have a look at our review![/box]

Even though there isn’t a free trial, you’ll be able to easily get in touch with their customer service department and they’ll get back to you within 24 hours with a free demo of how the software works and what it can do. The free demo can take a total of two hours to learn how to use the software, so make sure you have plenty of time scheduled out for it if you’re interested. 

The other downside of Appfolio is the cost. Though it’s relatively inexpensive when you break it down to each unit, there is a hefty onboarding fee and at a minimum, this software will cost you over $200 per month. If you have a handful of units, Appfolio would be a waste of money for you, but if you have a lot of units, it could actually save you money! 

Pros

  • Great customer service
  • A ton of great features, like an app, storing and organizing of documents and reports, and more! 
  • Incredible mobile functionality
  • A lot of plan options

Cons

  • Large onboarding fee
  • No free trial period

If you’re using your phone a lot to complete and keep track of property management tasks, Appfolio is a solid option. It may be a bit more expensive than other options out there, but it comes with plenty of features and is a must if you have hundreds or thousands of units. If you have less than 10 units, you may want to try a cheaper option, like Cozy, which you’ll read about next!

There isn’t a free trial period, but by contacting their friendly customer service, you’ll be able to see a detailed demo of how the software works! 

3. Cozy

cozy logoThird on our list of the best property management software is Cozy. This is software that is meant for both property managers and tenants! It has a lot of great features that help make it wonderful to use.

Tenants will be able to apply for a vacant unit, see rent estimates, and pay their rent – all online. You’ll be able to screen potential tenants, collect rent online, and it won’t break the bank on your end. 

Cozy is completely free for landlords and property managers. The optional rent estimate feature will cost you a bit if you decide to implement it. It’s also free for renters to pay their rent online, but there is a fee if they’re using a credit or debit card. Basically, with Cozy, you and your tenants only pay for add-ons. 

You can sign up on their website to see a free demo of the software. People who already use Cozy like that it’s easy to use, it comes in handy, and they feel like they can rely on it. Landlords and tenants have said that it helps them stay organized when it comes to financial information and is efficient enough for just about anyone to use!

You’ll save money using Cozy since it’s relatively free, but you also won’t need to hire anyone to help manage the properties because Cozy helps you get the job done. If you have a lot of tenants to keep track of, this software can come in handy and makes it easy to communicate and exchange documents between landlords and renters. 

Another great feature that you won’t find on other property management software is the ability to buy renters insurance if you’re a tenant. This cuts out the need for tenants to set up a meeting with an insurance agent, saving them time and money. 

Cozy may not have a handful of features that you find on the other property management software on this list, but for free, it does a really good job. If this sounds like software you’re interested in, request a free demo using the link above. 

Pros

  • Rent estimates (comes at an additional price)
  • Renters insurance available for tenants
  • Easy to use
  • Relatively free
  • Screens potential tenants
  • Online rent payments and applications

Cons

  • Everything you add on comes at a price

If you’re a property owner on a tight budget (who isn’t?), you may want to start out using Cozy. Using free software is a great way to start, unless you need a lot of add-on features. It’s easy to use and comes with a bunch of features. 

You can easily see a demo of this software when you contact their customer service. This is also a great option if you’re not that tech efficient and need something with an easy-to-read dashboard. 

4. Rentec Direct

rent directAnother one of the best property management software options on the market is Rentec Direct. This software is designed for property managers and landlords that have between 25 and 5,000 units. People love Rentec Direct because there aren’t any hidden startup costs, you aren’t in any 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. There are portals available online that your tenants can use to pay rent or submit requests. You’ll be able to 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, along with their credit score and any past evictions they might have. 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 troubles or questions, you can reach out to their customer service. The customer service does run on United States time zones, so that’s something to keep in mind if you live elsewhere. 

For the price you pay, you get a ton of incredible features, unlimited customer service, and software that’s compatible with mobile devices. You can easily edit your website and list available vacant units with just the click of a button.

Pros

  • Fast customer service
  • Available for all devices
  • Tons of amazing features
  • Cheaper than competitor software

Cons

  • You must have between 25 and 5,000 units to use Rentec Direct
  • Customer service runs on US time zones only

Rentec Direct is a great option if you’re looking for software to keep track of records and documents. Not only does it work on all devices, but if you have any questions, their customer service will quickly respond back with answers.

You do need to fall within the range of units required in order to use this software, but if you do, it’s an awesome choice when it comes to property management software. 

5. Avail

availThe penultimate property management software you’ll be reading about is Avail. Avail is one of the best on the market and there are a ton of reasons why it made this list! It used to go by the name Rentalutions before it was changed.

One of the best things about this software is that it can be used if you have one unit or 10,000 units. This is great for people that are renting out houses or entire apartment buildings. Avail is great because it has entry-level pricing and provides plenty of features for the price you pay. 

If you’re unsure if you’ll like this software, it comes with a free month-long trial. If you decided that you like it, there are four plans to choose from. The more expensive the plan, the more features you’ll have.

For the cheapest plan, you’ll be able to host one unit with basic customizations and it will cost you nothing. Yes, you read that right, it’s free. The next plan is the Landlord Plan. This comes with the free trial mentioned earlier, 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 it also includes unlimited photos and messaging, priority support, and a marketing website. Lastly, there is the Professional tier. This is the most expensive tier and you’ll get everything in the Landlord Plus plan, plus the option to create multiple deposits at once. 

There are handy lawyer-reviewed lease templates, along with protective clauses that cover things like paint and mold issues. Leases can be filled out online and are 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 onto their account. 

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

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

Although Avail offers plenty of great features and amazing prices, if you’re wanting a software that has a lot of accounting tools, it may not be for you. Avail has accounting tools, but they perform basic functions and don’t do things like filing tax returns like other property management software can do. 

Pros

  • Four tiers of pricing plans to choose from
  • 30-day free trial option
  • Plenty of amazing features
  • Lease templates available

Cons

  • Accounting services are basic

Avail is the perfect property management software if you have just one unit! You won’t have to pay too much to get a ton of help. It does lack a bit when it comes to the accounting features, but it does the basics. 

Whether you need a lease agreement, an eviction notice, or need to inform your tenants about a lead paint issue, there are a number of pre-designed templates that you’ll be able to use. Whether you have one unit or 10,000, you’ll be happy using Avail! 

6. TrueRent

True rentLast but not least, one of the best property management software options available is TrueRent! Unlike many others, TrueRent is a cloud-based software. Many people can use it, including owners, tenants, applicants, and landlords. 

It has a number of features and makes managing your accounts and tenants incredibly easy. You’ll be able to keep track of all of your accounts along with tracking and analyzing the financial status of each property you have. 

A few other great features that TrueRent has is the ability to easily screen potential tenants that apply for a vacant unit you have available. You can set up alerts and notifications for reminders and this software is great for keeping track of all types of reports.

You’ll be able to see investment analytics if you have multiple properties and there are two portals available, one for tenants and one for landlords. TrueRent has a dashboard that will show you reports in real time. This will provide up-to-date information on things like rent, cash flow, and any expenses you may have as an owner. 

Tenants will be able to get automatic notifications when their rent is due, if there are any changes to the lease, and when their lease is about to expire and needs to be renewed. Thanks to the features that TrueRent has, you’ll be able to stay in the know about all of your finances when it comes to your properties. 

You can easily track the net income you make from all of your units, any incoming payments you’ll be receiving, and more! The customer support provided by this software is incredible and makes it really easy for those who are unfamiliar with TrueRent. 

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Multiple portals: one for landlords and one for tenants
  • Notifications for rent
  • Screens potential candidates for you

Cons

  • There’s no app available at this time

You can’t go wrong with a software based in the Cloud! It’s incredibly simple to use and TrueRent provides easy to access portals for you, your employees, and your tenants. One of the best features are the rent notifications that will automatically be sent out, even when rent is late.

This may not be the best choice if you rely on your phone a lot since there isn’t an app for TrueRent at the time of writing, but you could always use the web browser on your device to easily access their website. 

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

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

Looking for new property management software can be a pretty intimidating task. What makes one better than another? Are there certain tasks you need the software to do? 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 a property management software. Use this guide to help you find which software is best for you and your properties.

Handling Maintenance 

When looking at features property management software may have, you might want to consider if you need help handling maintenance. Just about any software will let you manually assess work orders but why not get software that does it for you?

A number of the software listed above allows your tenants to put in any maintenance request online, including the dates and times they’re available. These same software also allows you as a property manager to assign tasks to specific maintenance employees.

One of the best features property management software can have when it comes to handling maintenance is allowing everyone to follow the requests progress online. This includes anyone involved such as the tenants or maintenance employee to see live progress on the request, right from their phone, laptop, or tablet! 

Last but not least, when it comes to maintenance, a handful of the software I listed above allow you to easily pay your employees online and will automatically keep records of any payments. This keeps your employees happy and the books up-to-date. 

Accounting Features

Speaking of paying your employees, who doesn’t want help with accounting? With the different software options I reviewed above, you won’t have to worry about spending money on additional accounting software like QuickBooks.

Just like maintenance requests, you can always use property management software to manually enter in any accounting information, but these software you’ve read about let you do much more than just that.

You’ll be able to pay your employees, handle your taxes, and even take care any bank reconciliations that are needed. Another thing you’ll be able to do is easily accept rent money, which we’ll talk more about later. When looking for property management software, find one that does all of these automatically to help lighten your workload and save you money. 

Number Of Units

Many property management software options will charge you based on how many units you’re managing. This is something you may want to know before choosing which software would work best for you. If you don’t know how many units you have, you could pick a software that costs you far too much money.

Another thing to consider when you’re thinking about the number of units you have is to think about if you plan to acquire any more units in the near future. If you do plan to expand, shop for software that can work with how many units you have, in additional to the number you’re thinking of purchasing. This gives you room for growth and will save you hassle down the road. 

Helping With Vacancies

If you’re a landlord or a property manager, chances are you come in contact with tenants often. To make the most money, you’ll want all of your properties and units occupied by wonderful tenants. If you have vacancies, you’re losing out on a lot of money. 

You could always take a few hours out of your day and publish numerous ads online for these vacancies, but who has the time? You’re busy with a myriad of other tasks and property management software can definitely help when it comes to vacant units or properties. 

The software can easily create a listing online and publish to multiple sites, including the most popular ones such as Zillow and Realtor, at the push of a button. On top of that, the software can screen potential tenants and shuffle through which ones would be best to fill the vacancy.

Type Of Property

Do you own a residential or commercial property? The type of property you manage just might play a role in which software would provide you with the most benefits. There are software out there that offer plans specifically for commercial properties, while others are only for residential property. 

While most software works with any type of property you have, you may want to consider looking at one that provide extra features for things like student housing or commercial property if that’s what you manage. 

Making Customer Service Easy

It will make your life as a landlord or property manager much easier if you’re good with people. Having customer service skills are important and necessary for the role, but can the software tackle any of the customer service duties? 

It totally can! The software that is reviewed above not only helps you provide great customer service, but if you have any trouble with the software itself, they have incredible customer service for you! 

The people you can reach out to for help with the software are not only nice, but they will give you answers quickly to help resolve any issues that you’re having. They’ll help with just about any issues you may face when you’re trying to learn the software you choose. 

Knowing the software well and getting help when you need it will make you an even better property manager than you already are. Tenants love a landlord that can answer any questions they have, and they also love features like paying rent online and being able to easily submit maintenance requests. 

Cost

As a property owner or landlord, you know that everything costs money. Though there are options like Cozy that essentially provide free services, the price of property management software plays a part of which one you’ll choose. 

[box]Yes, Cozy is free, but another great option is QuickLease Pro, which is free as well. If you are looking for a free option (and why not, really?) and Cozy doesn’t sound right for you, click this link to see our review of QuickLease Pro![/box]

Many of these software options base prices on how many units you have and several software options will charge extra for things like collecting rent online and conducting background or credit checks. 

There is usually an extra fee if the software has to involve a third-party company to perform a task, like credit checks through Transunion or Experian. The cost of the overall software matters as well.

Some charge a monthly fee to use, while others just cost a price to download. Look closely at the pricing before you choose with property management software will work best for you! 

Testing The Software

Testing The Software

While not all of the software gives you the option of having a free trial, many of them do. You’ll be able to use the software for 30 days for free to see if you like it. For property management software that doesn’t offer a free trial, you’ll likely find a free demo available. 

You can get a free demo of the software by contacting their customer service. It usually will take an hour or two to see everything the software has to offer, so it’s important to make sure you have that time available. 

Before you do this, it’s a good idea to make a list of key features you want the software to have. You can take notes from the reviews above or use this buyer’s guide to give you an idea of what’s the most important. Have this list ready when you’re going through the demo to see if the software has the necessary features you require. 

Organizing Documents

Another thing software can do (and should do) to save you time is organize important documents. Property management software can make, file, and search documents with just the push of a button. This will help you keep track of important files and have everything in its place so it’s easy to find when you need it. 

Whether you’re trying to find someone’s lease, print an eviction notice or you need to edit your list of employees, the best property management software will help you do it! Complete with easy to fill out templates and search tools, this will easily become one of your favorite features of whichever software you choose! 

Mobile Functions

It may be important to you for the property management software you choose to work well on mobile. If you’re using your phone when conducting an inspection or collecting rent from multiple units, it’s important that the software works as smoothly on your phone as it does on your computer.

Not all software provides this; in fact, some lack a lot in this area. It’s hard to keep up with mobile functions for a product that provides so many features on a computer. This is mostly due to a lack of upgrades and money on the software company’s behalf. 

Some have amazing apps and run great on mobile devices, while others barely function on a cell phone. This can be something important to keep in mind if you use your phone a lot for property management tasks. 

Collecting Rent

Many properties have a rent collection box near their mail area or in an office. While this practice has been around for years, it’s not exactly the safest. With software, you’ll be able to allow tenants to pay rent online. Your tenants will love this feature, since it saves them a trip to the bank and possible ATM fees. 

But how does this help you? Well, you won’t have to manually enter in every rent payment anymore. That saves you a ton of time. The software can keep track of rent payments, record a history of who has paid and when, keep records for you, and more. 

This is a feature both you and your tenants will get a lot out of. You won’t have to manually keep track of who has paid, who you need to charge a late fee for, or any other stressful rent issue that comes up. 

Gathering All Types Of Reports

When it comes to time consuming tasks for landlords and property managers, filling out and handling reports is at the top. Whichever software you decide on, make sure it can help you with all of your reporting.

This includes things like your budget, occupancy information, any work orders you may have, or anything else you usually report on. Software will help you not only keep it organized but answer questions that you, a tenant, or one of your employees may have about a specific unit or property. 

Conclusion

If you use any one of the six best property management software options reviewed above, your life will become so much easier. You won’t have to worry about listing vacancies on multiple sites, reminding tenants about late rent fees, or even organizing your own reports. 

All of the software options I covered will make your job a breeze. There are options that both property management and tenants can use. Whether they need to pay rent, submit an application, see estimated rent prices, or enter a maintenance request, your tenants will be happy that they have a portal to access. 

If you’re sick and tired of having too much on your plate, consider using one of the software options listed above to take away stress and help you enjoy your job again!