The Best Property Management Software for 2023
Property management is an essential aspect of owning rental property. To maintain proper records of their units, landlords or property managers must schedule routine maintenance, collect rent, and keep track of their tenants. There are many great software solutions designed for these exact purposes. This guide begins with an overview of property management and then dives into the technology property managers and landlords can use to save time and money. If you already know what you are looking for, and only want to review the top products, here is a list of our recommended property management software:
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Understanding Property Management
Property management is an essential aspect of owning renter-occupied buildings. Whether the owner plans on renting to companies for office space, local businesses for storefronts, or to households as living spaces, he or she will need to manage those properties. Properties can range from residential and commercial to mixed-use or industrial. When a property is correctly managed, the owner maintains the space’s value while also generating income through the renters or leasers.
What Is Property Management?
Property management is the process of renting out and maintaining units or spaces in one or more buildings. Aspects of property management might include screening potential tenants, evicting residents who have violated the terms of their agreement, landscaping around the building, or collecting rents.
When someone only has one or a few properties or tenants, it is easy to keep track of the leases, finances, and maintenance manually, but doing that at scale can be a real headache. That is why there are property management companies and software providers to streamline the process.
Property management companies are also beneficial if the owner plans to participate in affordable housing programs since the federal laws and regulations surrounding them may be complicated to navigate. Many property managers must have a real estate broker’s license, depending on the state, since some of their duties are considered ‘real estate activities.’ Additionally, property managers often join organizations like the National Association of Residential Property Managers or the National Property Management Association, which offer professional certifications and continuing education.
While some individual owners might choose to manage their properties with spreadsheets on their own to cut down on costs, most people turn to property management software or hiring a property management company to take care of matters. Property management companies are the widest users of property management software, but it is available to hands-on owners as well.
Understanding Property Management Software
To save time and money, building owners and property management companies can use software technology to manage their numerous properties. While many people may manage properties, property management software is targeted toward professionals that manage multiple properties or units, such as property management companies, larger landlords, and commercial developers. This portion of the guide will provide an overview of what these software solutions offer and how they can be used to oversee more extensive real estate portfolios effectively.
What Is Property Management Software?
Property management software is cloud or desktop technology designed to improve and streamline the property management process. It provides users with a wide range of features that span rental and leasing, building maintenance, communication, marketing, accounting, and reporting.
Property management software provides a convenient way for property managers or landlords to contact their tenants, collect rent, advertise units to prospective renters, and streamline their financial operations. It also makes things more convenient for tenants who can log in to their account to set up automatic payments or request maintenance.
Quickbooks vs. Property Management Software
Quickbooks is an industry-leading general accounting software that can be used to perform some of the operations that you would typically find in rental property management software, though not all of them. With Quickbooks, a property manager can easily track expenses and can create invoices for their renters’ payments. Quickbooks is a big step up from navigating through endlessly layered spreadsheets and works well for basic and advanced accounting needs, but it doesn’t have the majority of features specific to managing a portfolio of properties, like communicating with tenants and tracking maintenance requests, among others.
While some property management software solutions do integrate with Quickbooks, the best products will serve as a replacement of (and significant improvement over) Quickbooks. To summarize, Quickbooks only encompasses general accounting operations, whereas property management software offers a wide range of features spanning your entire workflow, from marketing and leasing to accounting and detailed reporting.
Facility Management vs. Property Management Software
While it is true that facility management and property management have a lot in common with regard to building maintenance, they are really two different fields. Unlike property management, which focuses on the leasing and general maintenance of spaces across one or more renter-occupied buildings, facility management focuses more narrowly on optimizing the physical environment of owner-occupied buildings and spaces for specific tenants. As such, the features offered by these two products differ substantially.
While property management software provides users with a broad range of features specifically related to marketing properties, filling vacant units, and collecting rent payments from tenants, facility management software primarily functions to maintain and optimize a physical space. Its core features address building maintenance, asset management, space management, scheduling, and energy efficiency, among other facility-related tasks.
Vacation Rental vs. Property Management Software
The main difference between vacation rental software and property management software is that vacation rental software is for short-term rentals, helping holiday rental companies with client services, booking operations, and repair management. Most vacation rental software products feature a calendar to better manage the vacation property and know when it will be occupied. Administrators and supervisors can use the software to track day-to-day operations such as receiving payments and deposits, scheduling housekeeping and repairs, and interfacing with websites like Airbnb.
Some rental property management software offers additional features that can be useful for landlords managing vacation rental properties. These features include online booking, scheduling routine maintenance and cleaning, and a wider breadth of marketing features to attract short-term visitors.
Features & Functionality
Many of the more robust property management software options offer a wide range of features, some of which might not be necessary for every property manager. Customers should have a firm grasp of which features are necessities before investing in property management software to help save money. This segment discusses the most vital features that property managers should evaluate when deciding between software products.
Several of these features are offered via an online dashboard to either the property manager or renter. These dashboards are available on any mobile device or computer with an internet connection. Dashboards, or portals allow for communication, scheduling work orders, tracking renters, and generating financial reports.
Accounting & Reporting Features
One of the most essential property management software elements is managing the rent payments, the general ledger, and the accounts payable/receivable. With multiple units or properties to account for, having software that creates financial reports and helps with bank reconciliation is necessary to save time and money.
- Online Payments – Almost all property management software gives property managers the ability to track and receive online payments. Most property management software verifies the payment and withdraws the money from the payer’s account within one business day. These transactions are completely secure, and they reduce the risk of fraudulent payments.
- Occupancy Statistics – A primary function of property management solutions is to record occupancy rates of the units under management. The ability to track the available and occupied units gives landlords information about their portfolio’s performance, which units should be put on the market, and how long those units have been unoccupied.
- General Ledger – Property management software almost always comes with a feature to track inventory and maintenance costs in a general ledger to forecast an accurate budget. The general ledger can also help with profit projections since it shows everything from the monthly income of tenant payments to scheduled maintenance invoices and other costs.
- Building-level Financial Reporting – This feature comes standard in almost all property management software, and it creates regular financial reports to understand better how various properties and their units are faring. This allows a landlord the ability to compare properties and either reduce the price to entice new tenants or make modifications to their buildings or rates.
- Portfolio-level Financial Reporting – This capability allows landlords to view the financial performance of all—or a subset of all—properties together. This feature is often standard with software packages designed for managing industrial or commercial units, but it is not as common with standard property management software for residential spaces.
Rental & Leasing Features
The leasing process can be lengthy and complicated for renters and their landlords. Rental and leasing features speed up the process of screening residents, keeping track of their information, and allowing for moving in and moving out to be as quick and efficient as possible.
- Tenant Screening – Most often, this feature is an additional service offered by the software company (or a third-party partner of the company) that comes at an extra cost—usually per screening or a flat fee paid monthly for a limited number of screenings. It allows property managers to check applicants’ credit history, employment history, criminal convictions, and eviction history, as well as verify income and bank account information to ensure tenants are a good fit. This feature can save property managers and owners a significant amount of time and money because it can be incredibly expensive, or even litigious, to evict tenants once they have moved in.
- Rental Application Automation – Most rental property management software allows potential tenants to fill out the rental application, pay the application fee, and submit their information from any mobile device. Property managers will have access to a dashboard where they can quickly browse the information submitted and decide whether to move the applicant on to the next step.
- Lease Automation – This feature ensures that leases are generated, sent out, and signed by all potential residents. Many property management tools include the ability to save lease templates and automate the signing process.
- Payment Tracking & Reminders – Keeping track of utility and rent payments is one of the essential functions of property management software. Property management software generally allows a user to see which tenants have already paid and which are overdue. This feature allows an administrator to keep track of payment due dates so that tenants can be alerted of upcoming or missed payments. Some software automatically calculates the interest owed on late payments for convenience when billing residents.
- Renter’s Insurance – Software with this capability gives renters the ability to apply for and purchase renters insurance for the property they are renting through an online dashboard. These insurance policies are usually offered through an affiliated third-party insurance company with the vendor.
Communication & Community Management Features
Whether a property manager works remotely or in the building they are managing, it is crucial to have open communication between tenants and the property manager to ensure that everyone has what they need. These features come standard with most property management software.
- Resident Portal/App – Most property management software allows residents to get in touch with their landlord or property manager if they have any questions or concerns via an online resident portal or dedicated mobile app. This feature gives residents the ability to submit work orders and inquiries directly to their property manager or landlord.
- Email & Text Communication – Whether you are trying to connect with a tenant, property owner, or board member of an HOA, many of the best software solutions allow you to do so by your preferred method of communication. This is useful for payment reminders, upcoming maintenance, and other frequent communication needs.
- Document Sharing – This is an especially important feature for property managers working with community and/or homeowner associations. Document sharing allows the property manager to quickly and securely share community directories, meeting minutes, and CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions) with residents so they can easily access them.
- Violation Tracking – Another useful feature for community association managers is the ability to log new violations (with attached photos), send out alerts to homeowners in violation of association rules, and track the status of existing violations.
Building Maintenance Features
All buildings need maintenance regularly. A property manager is responsible for scheduling things like landscaping around the building, maintenance of the lobby or common areas, repair of burst water pipes, replacement of locks on doors, and much more. Using property management software with a full suite of building maintenance features can help property managers ensure that repairs and maintenance are performed efficiently and on schedule.
- Online Maintenance Requests – Almost every property management tool offers residents the ability to submit work orders through their renter dashboard and alert the landlord if a repair person is needed. Most software also allows residents to monitor maintenance request statuses so they can adjust their schedule to allow for the repairs. Some tools also allow residents to set priority levels.
- Maintenance Management – This feature allows property managers to quickly respond to and track a given maintenance request (across one or multiple work orders and vendors). Most software allows for you to set different priority levels so contractors can tackle the most important jobs first. For more extensive projects and renovations, we recommend using dedicated construction management software.
- Vendor Tracking & Accounting – Most property management software keeps a record of each vendor’s work to track their efficiency. Some property management software, like AppFolio, automatically generates bills based on the number of hours vendors spend fixing the problem. Administrators can often pay contractors through the software as well, which integrates with the accounting functionality of the software.
- Property Inspections – Most property management software products offer this feature at their higher tiers. It allows facility managers or other administrators to survey the property using an automated inspection template and then record their findings in the online database right from their mobile phone or tablet. Property managers automatically receive an alert after a property inspection is completed and can compare the findings against previous inspections.
- Maintenance Call Center – This is a premium feature offered by AppFolio that provides a 24/7 maintenance request call center. Trained agents will answer maintenance calls at any time of day and dispatch contractors for pre-approved repairs.
*It’s important to note that many of the maintenance features listed above do overlap with those offered by various field service management (FSM) software solutions. However, FSM software does not offer many other critical property management features, such as those spanning renting and leasing, community management, and financial reporting.
For property management companies and landlords who want to advertise their rental spaces, marketing features can prove invaluable.
- Website Builder – The majority of property management software vendors offer the ability to create a professional-looking, SEO-optimized website to advertise your company to prospective property owners or show off units to potential tenants. Most vendors supply pre-built website templates to use for those that lack web development experience. Some software allows for you to create multiple websites for each building you manage.
- Vacant Listing Syndication – This time-saving feature allows you to automatically (or very easily) post vacant units to various third-party websites like Apartments.com, Rentals.com, Zillow, and Craigslist.
- Real-time Rent Comparison – Some property management software will include a feature to compare current rental rates with similar properties in the same area to give a better idea of how fairly the available units are priced. This can help the property manager automatically or manually adjust their rental rates to be more competitive in the current market.
- Email & Social Media Campaigns – This feature allows property managers to run email or social media campaigns to spread the word about vacant units. Some software options have example templates available for property managers who want to save time and effort.
Two additional things to consider are software integrations and insurance. As a business owner, you might already use a variety of software solutions, like facility management software or customer relationship management (CRM) software. Some property management software can be integrated with other types of software, even if those products were purchased from separate vendors.
Another essential feature to consider is insurance. Some form of commercial property insurance is necessary for all landlords, so it is great when you can easily sign up for applicable policies through your property management software. AppFolio and TenantCloud both offer commercial landlord insurance through affiliated third-party companies that covers damages caused by tenants from events like fire and flooding. Both of these vendors also offer tenants the ability to enroll in a renters insurance policy, whether or not it’s required in the lease agreement.
Special Considerations for Different Property Types
Most property management software solutions will function well for managers of single- or multi-family rentals. But for property managers that oversee a variety of property types or for those that manage a unique type of property, it’s important to find a software solution that caters to your specific needs. Below, you’ll find some important things to consider when evaluating software, depending on what type of property is in your portfolio.
Commercial Property Management Software
The majority of property management solutions on the market are geared towards single- and multi-family units since they are far more common. However, a commercial property manager should look for features like the ability to increase rent, more sophisticated integration with facility management software, and the ability to see an overview of the entire portfolio to track the properties’ financial trends.
Some property management software allows a manager to separate the leases so that students can rent by the bed instead of by the unit. The other features to look for include the ability to quickly post vacancies on websites for students to browse, keep leases, rental applications, security deposits, and payments online for everyone’s convenience, and track student contact information so that an administrator can directly text with students about their accommodations and answer their questions.
HOA & Community Associations
Some property management software can record elections, bylaws, and record the minutes of homeowners association meetings. Depending on the company, the software may also keep track of tenant violations to HOA rules and pending requests that require approval from the committee or board.
As noted briefly in a previous section, there are numerous complicated federal regulations that a landlord must comply with to receive the benefits of participating in affordable housing programs. Property management software made to accommodate these landlords includes features that help the landlord file the correct paperwork and reapply every year for the credits. Renters and buildings must be carefully vetted to ensure compliance with federal guidelines regarding a renters’ annual income, public transportation access, and construction sustainability.
Online or Desktop Property Management Software?
Property management software applications can either be installed in a desktop format or online. The main difference here is that desktop software is downloaded directly onto computers or serves that the property manager owns. Every device that uses the software will need to have an instance downloaded or be connected to the business servers that administer the application. These locally installed desktop systems are often referred to as on-premise or on-site solutions.
Online software, on the other hand, which is also known as web-based or cloud-based software, can be accessed through any device (Mac or Windows) with an internet connection as long as the user has the correct credentials. Most businesses prefer online property management software because it is more convenient for the vendor and user. Some online software options also offer locally installed apps so that a user can access certain data even when they aren’t connected to the internet. The software automatically includes any updates or changes made while offline into the database once it connects to the internet. We usually recommend cloud-based software because it is flexible and easily allows for remote working.
Online software is also faster and easier to update. Once the vendor makes a change and issues the update, the customer immediately receives it and updates are always included in the monthly or yearly fee for the software. With an on-site product, a vendor agent might have to come out to your office to install the update or direct you through a manual update process. Depending on the provider, you might be charged an additional fee for regular updates to the software.
Historically, on-premise solutions provided an added layer of security, which may still appeal to some customers with a secure on-site network of computers and servers. That said, as cloud computing has become increasingly popular, the security features offered by web-based solutions might actually be superior to those your company could provide for its own computers and servers.
Property Management Software Costs
Property management software’s price depends on various factors. Every software company has slightly different offerings and may structure their software packages differently to appeal to different markets, so it is best to do in-depth research about the company and their proposed pricing contract before agreeing to anything.
How Much Does Property Management Software Cost?
Generally, property management software is billed monthly on a per-unit basis. However, many companies have a minimum fee that must be paid, even if the number of units for that fee is not met. In addition to the per-unit price, there is also the price of implementation, support fees, and any applicable hardware expenses such as a new processor, additional disk space, and other types of hardware needed to run a locally-installed program. Cloud-based software usually costs less upfront since it doesn’t require a custom installation.
For property management software concentrated on single-family units in apartment buildings, the average starting cost per month runs between $100–250. For property management software encompassing commercial or industrial venues, that cost increases to a minimum of $150 per month. The average monthly price per unit is approximately $1.30, although this does not include the additional installation costs, support costs, and other premium features.
Factors That Affect The Price of Property Management Software
For property managers who are looking to purchase software, cost is an important part of the decision. For the average customer, property management software is not very expensive, considering that it provides so many essential features that save users time and effort. For enterprise-level customers, the costs can certainly be more significant. Monthly fees differ depending on the vendor, but often the overall cost depends on three significant factors:
Number of Rental Units
The main driver of cost for property management software is the number of units managed in a portfolio. Most companies charge per unit per month, although they frequently have a minimum payment requirement. However, many companies also offer their services in various tiers based on the number of units. Tenantcloud, for example, is free software for up to 75 units. For property managers with more than 75 units, they will need to pay for the next tier, similar to other companies.
In general, residential property management software will be the cheapest; whereas, those products targeting commercial, industrial, or mixed-use applications tend to be more expensive. Non-residential customers often require more advanced features, functionality, and support, which raises the price of the products. For example, AppFolio, one of our recommended software vendors, starts at $1.25 per unit per month for buildings in the residential sector and $1.50 per unit per unit per month for commercial properties.
Landlords and companies with an extensive portfolio will likely need more automation for routine processes to ensure that their employees do not become bogged down with too many manual tasks. One of the most popular tasks to automate is rent collection. By setting up renters’ bank accounts and connecting them to yours, you can automatically deduct rent each month on a set date without needing to do anything manually.
Enterprise-level property managers should look for advanced software that automates daily documentation tasks (such as sending out and tracking leases), as well as financial and performance reporting, which will provide detailed insights into the performance of the portfolio without having to generate reports manually. In the same vein, mobile property inspections can be automated as well so that landlords can see all of the current information about a specific property through a web portal or database in the property management software. Though there are numerous more basic software products on the market, many of their features must be manually programmed or run each day, becoming tedious for large-scale operations.
Finding Cheap Property Management Software
There are a few aspects to consider when it comes to identifying the least expensive software solutions. One of the most common complaints across software customers is the presence of hidden costs and fees. Although many property management software companies are transparent with their pricing, unforseen costs can always arise. When evaluating vendors, it is essential to understand which features come standard with the software and which are premium additions. Finally, most businesses find that cloud-based software is more cost-effective than on-premise installations.
Look For Hidden Costs
As with all software products, a buyer should be aware of potential hidden costs. The ideal property management software vendors are transparent with their pricing. Still, many will need to generate an individualized price quote based on a company’s specific needs. Types of hidden costs might include:
- Additional features that don’t come standard with the version of the software
- Additional users and/or administrators
- The cost of implementation and associated service fees
- Fees for installing new updates
- In-person training and product onboarding
- Customizations specific to your business
- Different types and frequency of customer support (i.e. online requests, emails, phone support)
Stick With Cloud-Based Software
Certain on-site installations require a large upfront cost since you then own that product for life. For property management software, that price can easily be thousands of dollars at the start, followed by additional monthly fees for periodically installing updates. Additionally, companies that choose on-site installations will need to purchase, manage, and update the computers and servers running the software, which will require additional ongoing costs. Web-based tools, on the other hand, typically cost just a few hundred dollars per month and don’t require owning and maintaining computer hardware.
Finding the Best Property Management Software
When it comes to finding the best property management software, you will want to examine the software package carefully, but there are considerations beyond just the software itself. The following section will discuss the various aspects to think about when looking for the right product to fit your needs.
Comparing Property Management Software Vendors
Property management software and companies differentiate themselves in several ways. This section explores the main factors to consider when evaluating different products.
Company Reputation & Customer Service
Good customer service is essential for software with a variety of complex features. Even the best software on the market will present issues at some point in the future, and it is more than likely that you will need to speak with customer service agents on multiple occasions. Most software vendors provide training sessions, as well as general customer service for troubleshooting issues. Buyers should select a vendor with an impeccable reputation so they can feel confident about resolving problems that may arise in the future.
Accessibility / Deployment
The sections above discussed the pros, cons, and costs associated with choosing web-based vs. on-premise software deployments. For most customers, web/cloud-based solutions are going to be the better option since they are easily accessible from any device (Mac or Windows) with an internet connection. This is why all of our top-rated products listed below are cloud-based options.
Product Design / User Experience
Most property managers will use their specialty software on a daily basis, so it is important that the user interface is intuitive and not a burden to operate. Tenants will also be using the software to do things like pay rent, submit maintenance requests, and communicate with the property manager. As such, it’s important to evaluate these software solutions from both the property managers’ and tenants’ perspectives. You don’t want renters missing payments or failing to alert you of time sensitive repairs because they couldn’t figure out how to navigate the software. Many vendors offer free trials or demos so new customers can ensure that the software is designed well and fits their needs.
Though many standard features will be similar across vendors, there will likely be a few important features for your company that do differ. Additionally, you don’t want software that contains more features than you need—something that will likely cost more money and can make the product more cumbersome to use. Before you go through with a purchase, make a list of the features your company requires and double-check with the vendor that their software will accomplish what you need (and not too much else).
Pricing is always a significant factor in the search process. The idea behind this software is to save your company time and money by improving efficiency. Over time, even with the price of the software, you should see a reduction in costs. Fortunately, most product management software is priced on a per unit basis, which allows for companies with smaller real estate portfolios to pay less. Additionally, most software vendors are set up to scale with you as your business grows, so adding additional features, functionality, users, and units later is usually not an issue. When evaluating software products, look for solutions that fit both your needs and budget. All of our top-rated products might not be the cheapest options on the market, but we believe they deliver the best value and can be tailored to fit a variety of business types and budgets.
Best Property Management Software For Small Landlords
When landlords want to manage their properties and have a small portfolio, it isn’t necessary to pay every month for software features that won’t be used. Tracking rent payments, scheduling building maintenance, and filing lease documents are essential aspects of property management software, but many additional features are unnecessary with a small portfolio.
One of the premier property management software companies for small landlords is TenantCloud, which offers a free plan for small landlords with up to 75 units. Another great option for smaller landlords is Rentec Direct. For landlords with fewer than 10 properties, the minimum monthly fee is only $35 per month. Despite the low cost, Rentec Direct still offers vital features like tenant screening, general ledger accounting, record keeping, automated and online payments, and a few advertising options, including a free website.
Property Management Software for Mac Users
The best property management vendors offer cloud-based products that will work on any type of device. Additionally, these companies will offer one or multiple native apps that work on iOS devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Macs. The following software is available online and has Mac-compatible native applications:
- AppFolio (cloud-based)
- Buildium (cloud-based)
- Yardi Voyager (cloud-based)
- TenantCloud (cloud-based)
The Best Property Management Software
When it comes to features, pricing, product design, and customer service, the following property management software solutions are best-in-class.
Appfolio Property Manager (Best Overall)
Founded in 2006, AppFolio offers an industry-leading property management software solution that is perfect for both residential and commercial property managers. Plans start at $250 a month, but they also offer a free trial, allowing prospective buyers to see if the software fits their needs. AppFolio is reasonably priced considering the comprehensive suite of features included in the software like:
- Native Android and iOS apps
- Phone and online support for issues and general customer service
- Two service tiers:
- Property Manager (minimum $250 per month)
- Plus (minimum $1,500 per month)
- An extensive list of listing partners, including Zillow, Apartments.com, Realtor.com, and more, to promote vacant units
- AI-powered leasing assistant that responds to leasing inquiries 24/7
- In-depth product training, including in-person, live online, pre-recorded webinar, and detailed written documentation
AppFolio offers essential property management services like managing documentation, tracking residential leases and contact information, billing, invoicing, generating retail, commercial, and residential lease templates, and lease origination. Many existing customers found that the initial software implementation was straightforward since AppFolio’s team works with new customers step-by-step throughout the entire setup process. In addition, customers generally find the user-friendly interface to be intuitive and easy to navigate.
Because AppFolio scores so highly on every metric we reviewed, we rate them as the Best Overall Property Management Software. We highly recommend them for landlords and property management companies alike.
The Better Business Bureau ranked Buildium with an A+, and it has been an accredited business since 2015. Since people with extensive property management experience created Buildium, they have ensured that their customer service is filled with knowledgeable people who know which features are crucial for automating day-to-day tasks. Many customers have praised their tenant portal that allows for automatic payments and keeping records of those payments.
The pricing at Buildium is competitive, and tends to be a bit cheaper than AppFolio depending on the number of units. For up to 150 units, the minimum price per month is $50, although by signing up for annual payment plans, a customer can save 10% on their monthly fees. Buildium offers features like:
- Native Android and iOS apps
- Three tiers of service:
- Essential (Minimum of $50 per month)
- Growth (Minimum of $160 per month)
- Premium (Minimum of $460 per month)
- Live phone support and onboarding training for upper pricing tiers
- Integrations with numerous other software like Trulia, Zillow, and TransUnion to run background checks, expedite payments, and advertise vacant units to potential tenants
Buildium offers an extensive library of videos highlighting its range of features. These videos are worth browsing through to get a better sense of the user experience and product design. Overall, the user interface (shown below) is intuitive, easy to navigate, and does an outstanding job surfacing all of the most important information with just a few clicks.
Like AppFolio, Buildium provides all of the essential functionality for property managers and landlords. However, Buildium does offer slightly fewer premium features—like a 24/7 maintenance call center and an AI-powered leasing assistant. Because Buildium rates well on every metric we reviewed, second only to AppFolio, we rate them as the Best Runner-Up Property Management Software. We highly recommend them for landlords and property management companies alike.
Yardi Voyager (Best for Enterprise & Commercial Properties)
Although not a Better Business Bureau accredited business, Yardi Systems does receive an A, demonstrating their strong commitment to customer service. They have been operating since 1982 from Goleta, California, providing their clients with real estate software. Yardi does not offer concrete pricing information on its website. Instead, it prefers to customize its software for a specific business’s needs and provide custom quotes.
Some of this has to do with the diverse set of customers that Yardi focuses on. Yardi Voyager offers features specific to all types of residential and commercial properties, including:
- Affordable housing
- Senior housing
- Military housing
- Social housing
- Student housing
- Office and retail
- Parks and recreation
- Government agencies
- Storage facilities
Depending on the type of properties you manage, Yardi can bundle together the correct suite of products to handle everything from marketing and leasing to accounting and reporting. For example, the Yardi Resident App (shown below) allows property managers to connect with their residents through a branded mobile app.
It’s because of Yardi’s diverse set of features geared towards nearly every possible type of property that we rate Yardi Voyager as the Best Enterprise and Commercial Property Management Software. We highly recommend them for larger property management companies.
TenantCloud (Best Free Option; Best for Small Landlords)
Started in 2017, TenantCloud is a free option for property management software that has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. TenantCloud offers many of the same services that a property manager can expect from a paid application, like the capability to receive online payments, screen potential tenants, calculate late fees for tenants, advertise available units on a professional-grade website, and submit maintenance requests through a renter portal. All of these features can be accessed for free for property managers with 75 or fewer units.
TenantCloud is only available as a cloud-based service and is not available for desktop installation. However, TenantCloud also offers additional, paid tiers for property managers who like their software but have more properties. Their Standard level, for $9 per month, is for property managers with a portfolio of up to 150 units, and it offers additional services like syncing with a Google calendar, E-signatures, and enabling autopay. Finally, the third tier, Advanced, for $35 per month, expands the portfolio to up to 500 units and offers premium services like syncing with Quickbooks and priority for customer service questions.
TenantCloud stands out with its availability of online training, support, and product demos. They offer webinars and in-person training for their customers, as well as terrific online customer support. Below is an extended product demo worth watching for anyone interested in the product.
While TenantCloud doesn’t provide phone support, customers have found that they respond quickly to emails and resolve software issues. TenantCloud also has a much faster learning curve than many other property management software since it focuses on the basics and doesn’t overwhelm its customers with extra features. Because TenantCloud rates well on every metric we reviewed and has a free tier of service, we rate them as the Best Free Option for Property Management Software. We highly recommend them for landlords and property management companies with smaller portfolios.
TurboTenant (Runner-Up Best Free Property Management Software)
Founded in 2015, TurboTenant is a property management software product serving all 50 states, over 445,000 landlords, and millions of renters.
- Offers marketing features like automatic Craigslist ads and online listings with links provided
- Provides over 30 prebuilt rental forms that can be customized to your business and properties
- Offers regular tenant check-ins, giving tenants the opportunity to submit maintenance requests and other inquiries every time rent is paid
- Phone support only available for paid tiers
- Rent payouts may take longer to transfer into your account than expected
TurboTenant’s property management software platform offers a comprehensive suite of tools catered to the administrative needs of landlords and property owners. These features span everything from marketing and tenant screening to rent payments and tenant communications—nearly all of which are available with TurboTenant’s free subscription tier.
TurboTenant’s affordable paid option, which is just $100 per year, adds in a few additional features and benefits. The first is faster response times on chat support, as well as the availability of phone support as an option. Another benefit included with the paid plan is expedited rent payments that can be sent to an unlimited number of connected bank accounts. Lastly, the paid plan includes a number of forms, lease addendums, and state-specific lease agreements free of charge, while these items must be purchased à la carte for users on the free version of the software.
One area where TurboTenant stands out is in its marketing features, which are designed to make property listings easy to find for prospective tenants. Along with providing pre-written Сraigslist ads, for example, the company offers landlords personal listing pages, accessible to anyone with the link. These listing pages can include images, a written summary of the property, and an amenity list. TurboTenant can also post listings across multiple rental sites at once, broadening a listing’s reach in a matter of seconds. According to TurboTenant’s estimates, its customers receive an average of 28 tenant leads per listed property.
Another feature that sets TurboTenant apart from its competitors is the software’s communication features, such as regular check-ins. Meant to allow tenants a structured opportunity to make requests, ask questions, and bring up maintenance issues, the monthly check-in is offered in the form of a questionnaire sent out to tenants every time they pay their rent. Having this automatic check-in process on-hand means that landlords can stay on top of tenant needs without having to take the initiative each month.
While TurboTenant offers competitive, unique property management services, some may find the company’s customer service availability limiting, as there is no way to contact a company representative by phone if you are not a paid subscriber. However, assistance is available seven days a week via chat and email.
While over 450,00 landlords trust TurboTenant for their property management needs, the company has been the subject of some customer complaints, as seen on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. Most complaints against the business refer to the application process and the presence of fraudulent rental listings. In some instances, customers had submitted an application for a property, only to find out the listing had been flagged or taken down after they paid the fee. TurboTenant has, however, addressed these complaints by improving the company’s security features and fraud prevention methods. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that as a software company meant to help landlords manage their properties, TurboTenant has received few negative reviews.
Overall, TurboTenant’s impressive set of features makes the company a worthwhile option to consider. And because most of these features are available to users on the free version, we recommend TurboTenant as one of the best free property management software options on the market.
- Yardi Voyager
- Property Management Association
- National Association of Property Managers
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