What Is Rental Property Management Software?
Rental property software supports rental property owners and managers by simplifying many of the tasks they do every day to run their business. The business operations for a rental property can be daunting, from accounting to managing tenants and scores of other essential tasks. The best property management software enables property managers and owners to tackle all of these tasks efficiently and with the least effort possible.
Real estate investors at all levels can benefit from rental property management software. From apartment building investing to single-family home rentals, management software works for properties and businesses in all shapes and sizes.This can create considerable cost savings as well. Rental property ROI is how real estate investors measure the success of their investments. Anytime they can reduce costs, their ROI improves. Rental property management software can reduce the amount of tasks owners need to pay other people to do. Sometimes, a good property management software solution can eliminate the need to hire a property manager altogether.
What Features Does Rental Property Management Software Offer?
You’ll be surprised at all the features rental property management software has for real estate investors. Before we review specific software solutions, let’s look at some of the key features many of them include.
Rental payments from tenants are the lifeblood of your rental property. Without them, cash flow dwindles, and ROI plummets. Rental property management software can assist with features such as online rent collection, verifying rent payments, and sending reminders to tenants when rent is due. Other features include automatic rent collection (when tenants sign up to have online rent payments deducted from their bank each month) as well as automatic late fee billing
When tenants leave a rental property, it hurts the owner’s bottom line. A unit sitting vacant means it’s not producing income each month. In addition, there are marketing and operational costs associated with finding a new tenant.
Rental property management software can help fill a vacant property with features such as vacancy tracking, possible renter lead tracking, tenant screening, and online rental applications. These automated features can eliminate many hours of work for a rental property owner or property manager.
Maintenance And Repairs
Tenants' maintenance requests take up more of a property manager’s time than anything else. Tenant management is also one of the most daunting things rental property investors fear when considering purchasing rental properties.
Rental property management software helps with maintenance management with features that allow tenants to submit maintenance requests online. The software can then track maintenance requests and notify tenants when they will be completed.
Ensuring a profitable rental property business entails extensive financial accounting for all the money going in and out each month. Intelligent money management means automating what you can and keeping track of everything in a single place. Rental property management software solutions can help with this.
Revenue management, tenant payment history, lease management, and document storage are just a few of the many features cloud-based property management solutions can provide. Without management software, these are tasks that would result in expensive accountant fees.
10 Software Solutions To Consider In 2022
Now that you understand the various business tasks that rental property management software can help you with, let’s review some of the different solutions available. Each one has unique benefits and costs (there is even free property management software) so pay attention to the details to make the best decision.
1. Yardi Breeze
Known for an array of advanced features compared to other property management software, Yardi Breeze is considered one of the better solutions available. In addition to unique features, this product offers free training, free customer support, and no minimum or maximum when it comes to the number of rental units.
However, Yardi Breeze has some drawbacks as well. They don't offer a mobile app, are only a good fit for small and medium-sized rental businesses, and have a history of customer service complaints.
Yardi Breeze does not charge set up fees and every rental unit you add to their property management software costs $1. They also offer a basic package that requires you to spend at least $100 a month for residential properties and $200 a month for commercial. In addition, clients can opt for the Breeze Premier package, which costs $2 per unit per month and requires a minimum $400 monthly investment.
Yardi Breeze features include outsourcing payments, workflow sheets, tenant communication solutions, renters insurance, an activity calendar, automated marketing, maintenance request management, rent collection, and online rental applications.
SimplyfyEM was designed by real estate professionals and serves as a good property management software for cost-conscious consumers with just a few properties to manage. The number of rental units it can support is between one and 2,000.
This software was specifically designed to help experienced real estate professionals, and it has some advanced features not found in other rental property management software solutions.
Drawbacks include high fees if you want to collect rent online and the limitation on the number of rental units. This allows for inexpensive options if you don't have many units. For ten or fewer properties, SimplifyEM will only cost you $20 per month.
Pricing for SimplifyEM starts at $25 a month (10 rental units). It increases by $10 for every ten units added after that. There are some savings when it comes to having more units included, as follows:
They also offer a 15-day trial at no cost.
The basic package offers email support, phone support, renters insurance, online payments, and tenant and lease tracking. SimplifyEM integrates with other real estate and finance platforms such as TransUnion, Fidelity, Trulia, and Zillow.
3. MRI Software
MRI Software is a solution best suited for commercial property management. This is because it offers features like strategic planning and space management that most other cloud-based property management products don't.
In addition to these advanced features, MRI Software is a reliable system that is easy to use. Drawbacks include slow customer support, a lack of transparent pricing, and limited functionality for residential rental properties.
Depending on the package you sign up for, MRI Software features include investment management, online rent collection, tenant management, tenant screening, credit risk management, and vacant property tracking.
MRI Software does not offer a free trial, and you need to call them to get a quote. This can be helpful, as they will interview you about your rental property business and find the best solution to meet your needs. However, it doesn't provide the transparent, online pricing that many other rental property management software companies offer
Propertyware is ideal for single-family home property management. Users can manage more than 250 properties using this rental property management software, and it also has a mobile app. Propertyware features multiple pricing levels depending on your specific needs. It is simple to use, as it doesn't have some of the complicated features associated with property management software used for large, complex, commercial businesses.
Propertware is geared toward single-family home investment property owners with an extensive portfolio of properties. There have been some customer complaints about Propertyware, so be wary of that. In addition, it’s not a great fit for just a few properties.
Propertyware features include online rent payments, marketing, tenant screening, vacant property tracking, a tenant portal, and the ability to manage maintenance requests.
They offer three pricing tiers:
Marketing and lead generation are done within the Propertyware platform, but they use external vendors for other functionality. For example, Propertware is integrated with DocuSign and Mail Merge.
AppFolio is geared toward property managers and owners with sizable rental property portfolios. They also cater to clients who want to manage their properties remotely, as they have a mobile app. With Appfolio, you pay setup fees and then only pay for the services you want, as the platform supports every type of real estate property.
Some of the properties they support are homeowners associations, commercial buildings, residential properties, and student housing. The services are tailored to each property type and include marketing solutions, maintenance requests, online rent payments, utility billing, and accounting software.
App folio does not have tiered packages like most property management software solutions. They have a $400 onboarding fee and a minimum monthly fee of $280.
Here’s an Appfolio monthly pricing breakdown:
Once you crunch the numbers, it becomes clear that property managers and owners will pay a higher cost per unit amount if they have fewer than 200 residential units or fewer than 166 commercial units.
A property management software designed and built by property managers, Buildium offers a comprehensive suite of services. They provide a robust portfolio of training materials and industry-leading rent collection and tenant request ticket tracking in their online tenant portal. Other property management features include expense tracking, tenant screening, marketing, and responsive customer service.
Buildium is expensive compared to other property management software and has a history of some customer complaints. It’s also not a good fit for people who own or manage only a single property, and they do not offer a free property management software version.
Buildium does offer a 15-day trial of their product. After that, pricing starts at $50 per month for up to 150 units. The cost per unit decreases as you add more, with a cap of 5,000 units. If you sign up for annual billing, they reduce the price by 10 percent.
Buildium offers extensive integrations with other software compared to most property management solutions. It integrates with Zillow, Zumper, Trulia, PayNearMe, Apartment List, Forte, Apartments.com, HotPads, HappyCo, TransUnion, Lovely, RevSpring, Nelco, MSI, Happy Inspector, and Tenant Turner.
If you want free property management software, TurboTenant is the solution for you. Well, it’s not exactly free because your tenants have to pay for it. Tenants need to pay $45 for the rental application and screening process. They can also add on credit card rent payment for 3.49 percent of their monthly rent and renters insurance for as low as $8.
Owners and property managers can pick additional services off an a-la-carte menu, but the basic services are always 100 percent free to them. This is true no matter how many units you own or manage.
In addition to being free, TurboTenant offers several other key benefits, including 24/7 customer support online or over the phone. This is especially nice for owners managing their properties without a property management company. It’s also an excellent benefit for novice rental property investors.
Turbo tenant offers services including:
They do this by integrating with Rent.com, Apartments.com, Realtor.com, Craigslist, TransUnion, and Meta.
Speaking of app integrations, DoorLoop has an open application programming interface (API), which means you can connect with thousands of apps around the world. They also offer a 30-day risk-free trial and unlimited free training and support.
Features of DoorLoop’s rental management software include online rent collection, lease agreements, tracking maintenance requests, the ability to screen tenants, accounting support, and a variety of other tools to help manage rental property.
After the initial 30-day free trial, DoorLoop’s starting price is $49 a month. This is for the starter package, including all of the software’s core functions. Their premium plan ($109 a month) also has all core functions and adds on Gmail integration, Outlook integration, access to their API, and VIP customer support. DoorLoop also offers a pro plan, which has all the features of the starter plan and adds on user access roles and bank account reconciliation services.
RentRedi offers a comprehensive platform that includes all of the features found in most other property management software solutions. Their mobile app and user-friendly design make property management as easy as possible.
Features offered with RentRedi include online rent payments, tenant screening, expense tracking, maintenance management (with video requests from tenants), marketing, vacancy tracking, and more.
Pricing for RentRedi is simple and is not dependent on the number of units you manage. They offer discounts if you pay for more extended periods as well. The pricing is as follows.
Unfortunately, RentRedi does not offer a free trial period. Users of RentRedi often point to the ease of use and competitive pricing when asked why they chose this property management software solution over others.
ApexLink is designed for all sizes of property management companies and offers an extensive range of services. This property management software solution is designed to work for both residential and commercial properties. The features they offer include online payments, tenant screening, maintenance management, marketing, vacancy tracking, and much more.
ApexLink offers a free 14-day trial, and their pricing plan is a bit complicated. In a nutshell, the more units you have, the greater discounts you receive. You can learn more about this on their pricing page.
The marketing capabilities are what set this property management software solution apart. They allow you to implement marketing strategies and track your tenant vacancy data across all units. They also integrate online applications and tenant screenings. A user dashboard will enable you to check in on every phase of the process in real-time.
ApexLink also offers a tenant portal, where renters can pay rent and other fees, look at their payment history, and review paperwork such as their lease terms.
How To Choose The Right Rental Property Management Software
Choosing the right property management services is critical for a successful rental business. Choosing the right property management software is just as crucial. Consider the size of your business, the amount you can afford to pay each month, and the features you will need to run your business.
A robust software solution with all the “bells and whistles” might be your best option if you have hundreds of rental properties to manage. If you only manage a few properties, you might consider using free property management software. Each of the options I have presented here are great solutions depending on your specific wants and needs.
Property management takes a lot of time and effort. Rental property management software can ease the burden by helping you work more efficiently. There are plenty of options to choose from, and pros and cons come with each of them. Assess your needs, do some research, and pick the solution that’s right for you. Then you can use some of that free time to search for your next real estate investment!