As we enter into 2021, property managers, landlords and other property investors are reviewing their property management software.
That’s for good reason too. Your software’s strengths and weaknesses will effect business outcomes. In this post, we want to avoid obsessing over details, and instead keep your eye on the big picture, about finding a solution that’s right for you to help you profit and grow.
Software, Apps and Platforms
The many property management solutions listed below offer an increasing number of benefits, which will make them more valuable to landlords and property managers in the years ahead. Financial management, transactions, work orders, communications and more are significantly improved.
Adopting better software could be the start of profitability for many struggling property management companies.
Most of the companies listed offer excellent value. Property management software is one of the best bargains going today, some you can trial or use for free. Perhaps the only question is how nice they are to use and what you accomplish.
Which ones to choose might be more apparent than we think. However, you’ll find many of these companies could present their value propositions too generally, when they might be focusing more on ROI.
Which Questions you should be answering:
⦁ will this software company be around in 5 years?
⦁ how will this solution help me grow revenues?
⦁ is this easy for me and my staff to learn and use?
⦁ is this solution more suited to the large multifamily space than a small landlord business?
⦁ should I just use a solution with the specific modules I need?
⦁ will the cost escalate as I scale up my business?
⦁ what is their service responsiveness like?
⦁ do they even care about small business landlords?
⦁ does it have the accounting functionality companies need today?
⦁ is the solution too do it yourself and lacking in assistance (should you pay for extra hands on help?)
What We’re All Looking For
Property managers have discovered that digital processes help them get more work done on time, manage staff and communicate better, and service more properties. The pandemic was a harsh way to improve business operations, but it’s happened and everyone is progressing.
What’s important in your scrutiny of these desktop or cloud based platforms is the ease, simplicity, and automation power of the solutions. Yes, automating and cutting workloads is key, however, in future, the software could be sought ore for its power to create new revenue opportunities. New additional revenue might be biggest benefit you’ll receive.
Research shows lower levels of satisfaction in current solutions. The changing needs for ease, efficiency, and upscaling is driving the desire to try another solution.
It may be that that the market is morphing with more unique and diverse properties in the portfolio, technology and regulation effects, along with property managers needing to find ways to grow ROI for their landlords. Certainly the best property management software is essential for staying competitive.
Reviews from Software Advice, Capterra, G2 and others
Most reviews from the review sites are limited to the top three providers by revenue and market visibility. Reviews from Software review websites such as Capterra, G2, Software Advice, Trustradius, Techradar, Podium, are helpful, however you’ll need to develop your own list of criteria based on your actual needs.
The real performance is different than that listed on charts.
For instance, one solution with all the bells and whistles might present more issues than you currently have now. And while the big review websites laud these firms, it’s kind of a skewing of which solutions are most appropriate for small business landlords, HOA managers, and property managers.
However, big software companies have often stagnated under the weight of proprietary programming and large employee bases. They’re often unable to adjust to new open source, web 2.0 opportunity, government regulations, and cloud-based interoperability. Inevitably, prices rise and customer service falls because bugs and issues mount.
Tenants may not see any difference between any rental management software solutions, but landlords and property managers can’t see their workload change, and revenues rising.
23 Top Software Solutions for Rental Property Professionals
Below are 23 of the leading property management software solutions for property managers for your review.
Each comes with strengths and weaknesses, however it might be wise to review property management trends and where your company will be 5 years from today. Learn more about rental property software and why cloud-based solutions are the right choice.
Of course, today, pricing has become an issue too. Yet a good number of the companies listed below are not transparent about pricing and extra fees. It makes it harder for rental property software buyers to confidently decide on the right solution for them. Some do provide free trials, free accounts or demos.
Of course, the cost is secondary to the results your chosen platform will deliver.
In your software review process, you’ll want to ensure some specific and common features that drive property management success today including:
⦁ online rent payment automation
⦁ dedicated accounting for rental properties
⦁ manage and edit leases
⦁ easy to learn and use
⦁ helps you list and market your vacancies
⦁ manage maintenance requests easily
⦁ aids in tenant communications
The Newest Objective: Creating New Revenue Opportunities
Operating margins and profit margins could get squeezed in 2021 and over the next 5 years. Property portfolios and renter demographic changes are making it apparent that landlords need software to help them achieve a new level of cost cutting and revenue generating performance.
And the best property management software products not only streamline services, they put you in a position to grow profits. That’s why you’re in business. To find the best, it’s wise to slow down, don’t believe all the advertising, and find a product that will suit your unique circumstances. Following the herd can make you a follower for the long road ahead.
Review 23 modern property management software providers below.
Landlords and investors want to reduce property management workload (admin, accounting, maintenance, tenant management) and then possibly scale up to manage more properties. More properties equals more work, so in 2021, the word automation is being spoken more.
And this year, landlords and managers will likely be adding commercial, storage, Homeowner’s Association (HOA), student housing and other assets. There’s a lot of money to be made in 2021.
The benefits of the best software for property management however are relative to the landlord or property manager. The biggest challenge in their quest for finding the ideal solution, is that there a lot of solutions available. Which software solution to choose?
In this post, we’d like to do a roll call of available software apps and platforms.
While the differences between the platforms and apps might not be apparent, in practice there are differences. Products vary in key features, added value for users, compatibility with your business, scaling, and ease of use and learning. Some do not have the key features you need. The best way to discover which software is ideal for you given your future direction is to review them and then try a demo. Given the business payoff, a demo is wise investment of time.
The Best 23 Software Solutions for Property Managers in 2021
Here are the property management solutions to review. Please note this review is for information purposes to help you in your software quest, and we do not make recommendations other than to try out some of the best products listed below.
You’ll find products are not always as advertised and some products may actually be better than they’re able to express. It’s important to note that when software companies add features, complexity and cost will rise for the end user.
1. ManageCasa Property Management Software
ManageCasa is the rising star in cloud-based property management solutions. It’s forte is simplified management of apartments, single family house rentals, multifamily and Home owners associations.
Property management is very much about accounting and financial management and this is ManageCasa’s forte.
The developers designed the software to focus on the key challenges of landlords and property managers, namely — ease of learning and use, dedicated double entry accounting, financial reporting, online rent payment and owner disbursements, maintenance service automation, lease and document management, along with excellent tenant communications.
While many providers hide their pricing, ManageCasa is well priced at $50 per month for up to 50 rental units. It’s FREE for up to 3 properties. You can view their full pricing & features for yourself. https://managecasa.com/pricing-features/
- For 50 units: $50 per month
- For 200 unts: $200 per month
- For 1999 units: $1999 per month
ManageCasa is wonderfully scalable and easy to learn and use. Given how stressed property professionals are now and will be as the economy recovers and workloads grow, ManageCasa is a solution worth investigating. Big or small, its processes deliver the same key benefits scaling up. If enjoying your property management work is important and you want to make it easy for tenants, your staff, and contractors, ManageCasa is designed to help everyone stay on the same page — for a great rental management experience.
Best features of ManageCasa:
⦁ dedicated and powerful property management accounting lets you keep your clients and properties separate
⦁ online rent payment using industry leading Stripe (residential and commercial capability) solution
⦁ built in property management marketing website
⦁ automated bookkeeping with integrated leases
⦁ online leasing and onboarding suits modern tenants preferences
Buildium is touted by many bloggers and review sites as the largest and most well known solution. But size creates its own problems. The company based in Boston, Massachusetts has been in business for about 15 years and has built up a very large customer base and huge array of proprietary tools.
Yet huge visibility and advertising campaigns can make solutions seem better than they actually are. And solutions can become intimidating and cumbersome (like driving a bulldozer to maintain your lawn).
To aid in the big learning curve, Buildium does offer the Buildium academy, a self-service learning module to help customers help themselves. Given the large number of tasks and time pressures landlords face today, it’s perhaps more important to pay more for a property management solution that offers fast access to an expert customer service rep.
Why would you want to switch away from Buildium? Review all the solutions below to gain a sense of where the property manager market is today, and why subscribing to the specific services you need is important.
Buildium Platform Pricing
For 50 units: $160 per month
For 200 unts: $250 per month
For 1999 units: $1138 per month
Customer reviews are sometimes not positive however, it’s good to review Buildium’s users complaints to get the complete picture.
There are two AppFolio solutions to review: for handling residential, commercial, student housing, and community associations.
As you can see, similar to Buildium, it’s pricing can be very expensive however they are targeting large scale customers. Appfolio can help multifamily managers to let go of third-party legacy add ins and run the entire business on their platform. You’ll need to be sure this total reliance on them will not cause conflicts and terminate important business relationships.
Like ManageCasa, you can securely pay your owners, vendors, and property management company online. A debt collection feature is a unique offering you might find handy. You’ll need to ensure it is legally usable in your country or state.
Appfolio has a minimum pricing of $250 per month on any account whether HOA or Commercial.
- For 50 units: $62.5 per month
- For 200 unts: $250 per month
- For 1999 units: $2498 per month
4. Rent Manager
Cincinnati-based Rent Manager offers an installable property management solution. If you’re uneasy about an installed product with its security issues, then you may want to pass on this entirely.
Rent Manager has been one of the top solutions for a while, but the market has moved onto the ease of cloud-based solutions because and better security, lower costs and due to the revenue opportunities on the Internet for landlords.
Rent Manager does offer a good variety of third party software integrations to help extend the company’s services. You can review all their tools for inspections, work orders, electronic payments and accounting. As nice as Rent Manager is, with respect to your rental portfolio management needs going forward, it might be wiser to check and review only cloud based solutions.
Rent doesn’t offer standardized prices per user and forces interested users to acquire a quote.
5. Yardi Systems
Yardi is a large scale property management software for use in HOA, and apartment sectors. Similar to ManageCasa, they offer a simplified property management solution.
With Yardi, you can manage properties from any device, streamline workflows, centralize communications, track property and corporate general ledgers, and showcase your rentals on popular rental listing sites. Collect rent via debit, credit card and ACH and manage your payables, receivables and general ledger functions.
Review of Yardi Pricing
Yardi’s Breeze minimum pricing is $100 per month residential rental property management accounts. And Yardi Breeze premier which might be more appropriate for you is $2 per unit per month and there is minimum spend of $400 per month.
- For 50 units: $50 per month on a yearly contract
- For 200 unts: $200 per month on a yearly contract
- For 1999 units: $1999 per month on a yearly contract
Resman is a multifamily rental software solutions. It helps you attract new residents with a user-friendly website where you can simplify applicant qualification, review and manage leasing, and allow payments through a digital-first process, and connect with residents with an online portal.
Resman offers a large number of app and third party add on integrations including Rentdynamics, Corelogic, bluemoon, amsbilling, anyone home, rent recovery, renters legal liability, Abodo, Happyco, Utility Smart, modern message, rentdebt automated collections, and NES. Resman offers an affordable housing compliance software to help minimize errors, streamline operations, and simplify compliance. Like ManageCasa, Buildium and Appfolio, ResMan is a cloud based property management solution.
Unfortunately, ResMan is one of the software providers which is not transparent about pricing. This makes it time consuming and difficult to compare available solutions. In your reviews of property manager software, keep transparency in mind.
LeaseHawk is a specialized software solution designed for the apartment industry to track prospects, optimize marketing activities, and close leases faster. It’s all about lease management for leasing pros. It’s two main products are the Virtual Leasing Assistant, and the LeaseHawk Performance Platform.
LeaseHawk’s Leasing assistant is an interesting solution which uses Artificial Intelligence enable human-like connections with your prospects by answering your property’s calls, texts, and chats, 24/7. LeaseHawk calls this software a lead generator which nurtures prospects, 24/7 by answering inquiries, text messages, and chats — continuously and consistently.
The question with that is whether AI chat bots might be a good solution during office hours and having a bot field inquiries you would be wiser to handle directly yourself. For understaffed property management companies with huge property portfolios however, this might be a key business generating tool.
LeaseHawk does not provide transparent pricing and you will need to get a quote directly from them.
8. Condo Control Central
Condo Control Central helps you streamline all aspects of Condo/HOA management, operations, and maintenance. Send users communication via email, text or voice (automated phone call). Spend less time printing, retrieving paper documents and files, create discussion topics for renters, and enable maintenance service request online in an instant.
Condo Control Central is yet another firm who does not publish transparent pricing for software subscriptions or extra services.
9. Property Vista
Property Vista is a cloud-based property management platform to help multifamily and student housing rental managers for an intuitive and frictionless rental experience. Property Vista’s solution helps you perform your accounting, online rent payments, leasing, communications, marketing tools, inspections and maintenance, portals, mobile, and to automate administration.
They provide a standard priced solution and a premium service starting at $1.25 per unit. They do charge a setup cost.
- For 50 units: $62.50 per month
- For 200 unts: $250 per month
- For 1999 units: $2494 per month
10. Tenant Cloud
TenantCloud helps small business landlords accomplish all tasks in one place, including Manage Accounting and Finances, posting available rental listings, automating invoices, Online maintenance requests, collecting rent online, and screening applicants.
Tenant Cloud Pricing
Tenant Cloud may be the low price leader.
- Free trial for up to 75 units: free
- Up to 150 units: $9 per month
- Up to 500 units: $35 per month
SimplifyEM focuses on making your accounting, reporting, and other time consuming tasks quick and easy so you can focus on growing your business. If the goal of your software review is finding simple solutions, SimplifyEM might be your best bet.
It includes all the useful features such as: tracking income and expenses, collecting online rental payments, screening applicants, collecting applications, capturing digital lease signatures, managing tenants and lease information, track maintenance requests, and generating financial and tax reports.
- 50 units: $50 per month
- 200 units: $150 per month
- 1999 units: $1410 per month
Propertyware is cloud-based property management software. This solution allows property managers and landlords to condust marketing activities from lead to leases. It can help screen rental applicants, allow online payments, carry out bookkeeping and cash and accrual accounting, and provide reports.
Propertyware offers 3 levels in its software service, Basic, Plus and Premium. They charge a set up fee. It’s one of more expensive property management solutions and pricing is a little convoluted.
- 50 units: $50 per month ((monthly minimum pend plus Implementation Fee of 2X the monthly subscription price)
- 200 units: $350 per month (monthly minimum pend plus Implementation Fee of 2X the monthly subscription price).
- 1999 units: $3000 per month + Implementation Fee of 2X the monthly subscription price
13. Tenant File
Tenantfile is a desktop type property management software which is installed on your web server. 2 versions of their solution is offered; Tenantfile 100 ($299.95) and Tenantfile Unlimited ($449.00).
Tenantfile offers easy rent posting, separate ledgers, automatic posting, point and click report generation, and an online users guide. Like many property management software vendors, they boast industry leading customer support.
14. Landlord Max
Landlord Max says it’s the easiest property management software available. The solution is online. Landlord Max lets you create reports, keep detailed transaction records, and which tenants are paying their rent late. Users can trial the solution for 30 days free.
Users can conduct billing and invoicing, financial management, vacancy tracking, manage their property portfolio, carry out maintenance tickets, and manage taxes.
- 50 units: $50 per month
- 200 units: $250 per month
- 1999 units: $1999 per month
15. MRI Real Estate Software
MRI is perhaps the oldest real estate management solution on the market still. MRI Software provides a comprehensive and connected suite of real estate property investment management solutions.
With MRI, you can screen occupiers, manage leads, accept rent payment, manage facilities, and can help you automate financial operations, budgeting, forecasting, facility management, accounting and reporting.
MRI does not release pricing.
Re-Leased is a solution focused on the commercial real estate market. Their service allows retail and office property managers to automate workflow. They offer a mobile app to users. The solution offers a calendar dashboard for tasks and events.
You can automate fees, do live reports, monitor property and staff performance, and allow tenants to log in to allow them to submit maintenance requests.
Released does not publish its pricing scheme.
Hemlane Property management and leasing solution is rated highly by Gartner Research. It offers easy-to-use software, localized support, and even maintenance coordinators to to help you manage your rental properties. The service includes advertising and listing support, tenant screening, track leases, communicate with tenants, store documents, collect rent online, and report on incomes and expenses.
Hemlane offers a 3-tier pricing packages, titled basic, essential and complete, each with its own collection of services. With an annual service contract on the basic service package, prices are:
- Up to 20 units: $68 per month
- Up to 150 units: $128 per month
- 1999 units: $4,016 per month
Entrata is a PaaS which means the company describes it service as a single comprehensive platform. It includes accounting, applications, and open API for 3rd party property management or landlord apps. You can conduct full acconting, view balance and income statements, set budgets, process invoices, automate leasing, attract landlord leads, manage vendors, manage facilities, store documents, and more.
The Entrata Leasing Suite can help you simplify lead management, applicant screening and capture online signatures.
Entrata Solution Pricing
Entrata does not publish pricing and you’re required to ask for a quote.
Innago is an online, cloud based property management software providing users the ability to store documents, accept online rent payments, conduct online lease signing, screen tenants, manage maintenance requests, manage tenants and offer support. You can also send mass emails, SMS and broadcast phone calls.
Innago dubs their services as free solution with no set up fee, no monthly fee and no contract. However, they do charge for rent payment transactions and background checks.
- Up to 20 units: FREE
- Up to 150 units: FREE
- 1999 units: FREE
20. Rentec Direct
Rentec Direct is a web-based, full-featured management system for landlords and property managers offering no startup fees, no term commitments, and they include unlimited US-based customer service and training.
The Key features of Rentec Direct are accounting and financial reporting, online portals for tenants and owners, marketing website, work order tracking, automated rent payment through ACH and credit card payment , syndication of vacancy listings, online rental applications and lease services such as electronic signatures.
Rentec offers two service tiers: Rentec Pro and Rentec PM. With Rentec Pro package the price is:
- 20 units: $45
- 200 units: $185
- 1999 units: $1799
You can learn more about Rentec pricing on their site: rentecdirect.com/pricing
21. Pay HOA
For Homeowners association managers, Pay HOA offers most of the great HOA management features you’ll need. You can collect monthly dues, manage documents, download reports, build a budget and forecast income and expenses, customize the chart of accounts, and copy data from one period to the next.
Pay HOA offers 3 pricing tiers ($40 /month for up to 50 units, $80 /month for up to 100 units, and $150 /month for up to $500 units. You can trial their software for 30 days for free.
Learn more on the Pay HOA website: payhoa.com/pricing/
Rentroom is an all in one platform dedicated to easing your administration burden. You will be able to perform accounting, collect rent and apply late fees, allow renters to pay online via the Plaid payment system, issue maintenance tickets, and communicate with tenants via the platform.
Rentroom does not publish pricing publicly.
Rentredi is an online landlord rental property management tool. it offers the ability to screen tenants, collect payments, maintenance requests, list your vacancies with a number of rental websites, view documents and sign leases online, access customer support, and more.
Rentredi offers their service in 3 tiers:
- monthly pay as you go for $19.95 /month
- annual for $9 /month
- month package at $15 per month
We hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction to the top property management solutions. As you can see, each are suitable for different unique users, and solutions are good value for the cost.
Please create a list of your own priorities as you test out each solution. It’s easy to be swayed by marketing and advertising.
Good luck in your research and ultimate selection of the right software for property managers, HOA managers and landlords. 2021 and 2022 will bring many challenges to your business, and these digital tools should help you meet them and excel further.
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