As any property manager knows, there are many responsibilities that come with the job. Whether it’s marketing vacant rental properties, managing the lease cycle, working within your budget, handling legal documents, collecting rent from tenants, or maintaining your office, there is always something being added to your to-do list.
While you might have expected this amount of work when you became a property manager, it can be overwhelming nonetheless once you really get started and work to expand your business.
Juggling these tasks can be difficult for even the most organized professionals to handle. After all, the list only gets longer the more your property management company grows. However, the right tools can help significantly with managing your responsibilities.
This is where property management software comes in! This software has the ability to help you automate a wide range of key processes involved with managing rental properties, in addition to streamlining your operations and making your job a whole lot easier in the long run.
What Is Property Management Software and How Can It Help Me?
In short, property management software is designed to help both property managers and rental property owners organize their rental homes, tenants, clients, finances, and accounts.
It has the ability to automate aspects of property management that you may see as tedious, such as collecting rent or maintaining contact with multiple tenants at a time. Other tasks that this software can help you streamline include financial reporting and signing leases.
More features to note include thorough screening for prospective tenants, marketing vacant rental properties, and offering online rent payments to your tenants. Further, many property management software companies offer these features through a mobile app to add to your convenience.
Rental Property Management Software: Useful Features
Depending on the software you choose, you will be able to make use of a wide range of features that ultimately are designed to make our job easier. These features usually fall under three main categories: accounting, operations, and management/leasing.
Managing your property management company’s finances can be a headache when the process isn’t adequately streamlined. Luckily, many property management software options will be able to provide you with help on the accounting side of operating your business. These features can include:
- Electronic transferring of funds
- Filing your taxes
- Bank reconciliation
- Tracking your company’s expenses and income
As a property manager, having your day-to-day operations organized is an important part of your business’ success and growth. However, these tasks can often feel like you’re juggling too many things at once.
That’s why many property management software offer features that allow you to maintain all of your business operations smoothly. This usually includes:
- A professional property management website that is able to promote any vacant rental units that you are looking to fill, in addition to advertising your property management company online.
- A portal that your clients can access which allows them to see valuable information and data regarding their rental properties and how well they are performing under your care.
- A file library that can allow users to share and store important documents with owners and tenants as needed.
- The ability to keep up with any ongoing property repairs or maintenance projects with the assistance of the order management system.
Management and Leasing Features
Another thing that makes property management software helpful to any property manager looking to streamline their business operations is access to features that help with general management and leasing processes. This can include:
- Creating and distributing rental applications for prospective tenants.
- Marketing vacant rental properties.
- Collecting electronic signatures for lease agreements.
- Storing important documents.
How to Choose the Best Property Management Software for Your Company
Now that you know how property management software can benefit you and your company, you may be wondering: which one do I choose?
Well, before you make such an important investment for your property management company, you need to ensure that you know which features you would get the most use out of and which ones you can do without.
This is because all of your different software options will have their own set of features and benefits to offer their users, and you want to make sure you are choosing one that can offer you the services you need.
Maybe your property management company only needs a few services to help automate your day-to-day operations or keep track of tenants. Or, maybe you are in need of a one-size-fits-all solution. Maybe you would benefit most from cloud-based software.
In any case, it is important to analyze the needs of your business operations before you begin to shop around to ensure that you choose a property management software that best suits those needs. Here are some aspects to consider when trying to choose a property management software for your company.
Ability to Work Well with the Systems You Already Have in Place
Before you choose a new software to implement into your day-to-day operations, it’s important to make sure that the vendor can offer data migration services.
This is even more important if you are using an onsite application. Additionally, you must make sure that the software you choose can seamlessly integrate with any technology that you are already using.
When you begin to compare the different prices between your property management software options, make sure that you always account for the various pricing plans that one vendor may offer. Many vendors will offer tiered pricing options depending on how many features are included in the software bundle.
When you’re shopping around, find out whether support and training services on how to use the software are included in the price or not. Make sure to take note that onsite software can often be more costly than cloud-based software.
If your company is planning on having your tenants and clients access the software you choose, or you are planning on expanding your business in the future, it is important to choose a property management software that can easily adjust to the changes in your business as time goes on.
After all, you don’t want to be stuck paying for a service that limits your growth by being unable to accommodate the number of users that can access it.
Input from Users
When considering property management software, it is important to talk to past and current users of the platform in order to learn more about its pros and cons. This way, your ultimate decision can be more informed and you can more easily determine whether or not a software will suit your needs.
6 Property Management Softwares to Consider
AppFolio is a property management software that offers cloud-based features to help professional property managers operate and market their companies. With a primary focus on management and leasing services, AppFolio offers users a wide range of valuable and helpful features.
This software is excellent for residential and commercial rental property owners or managers, in addition to accounting, marketing and maintenance teams.
- AppFolio can make it easier for your tenants to pay their rent online! When tenants have a convenient way to pay their rent, they will be more likely to make their payments on time every month. AppFolio supports payments from tenants via e-check, credit card, and electronic cash payments.
- AppFolio offers customizable portals for rental property owners. Owners can access all of their financial reports, work orders, invoices, and other important information related to their property’s financial performance.
- Allows users to create a website for their property management company that is mobile phone friendly, including an option to include a blog section in their website (for an extra cost).
- Allows property managers to thoroughly advertise their vacant properties across a wide variety of websites including Craigslist, Trulia, Zillow, Apartments.com, Rentals.com, and Oodle.
- AppFolio is optimized for work-order tracking.
- Unlike many other property management software options, student housing management tools are included. This sets AppFolio apart, as managing a student housing property often has its own set of challenges that may be difficult for other software solutions to adapt to.
- AppFolio has an excellent and user-friendly online portal for both rental property owners and tenants to receive statements and access important information related to the property.
- The pricing that AppFolio offers is standard, regardless of the number of rental properties that are being covered. This could potentially work against you if you have a small number of rental properties under your care.
Whether you are managing a residential home or a commercial rental property, AppFolio has a lot of features to offer users who are looking for their day-to-day operations to have a more streamlined approach.
Through this software, you can also access accounting services, marketing assistance, and maintenance organization. Appfolio caters to all sizes of companies.
As an all-in-one property management software, Buildium has over 13,000 users to date. Buildium is known for helping customers streamline their maintenance process, in addition to helping property managers to fill their vacancies quicker and automate their day-to-day rent cycle tasks.
This software is cloud-based and works best for small to medium-sized property management companies. Their roster of customers includes Discovery Bay Holdings, Cosine Real Estate, Annapolis Property Services, Vantage Heights HOA, and BBA Management.
Further, Buildium has a variety of features that are helpful for homeowners’ associations. This includes tracking violation histories, keeping track of maintenance requests, and collecting rent payments from tenants online.
- Buildium allows users to offer their tenants online rent payments, allowing for a more convenient rent collection system.
- Customers using Buildium have the ability to manage their accounting and finances easily and more conveniently.
- When using Buildium, you can easily manage and store your leases and other important documents related to your business.
- Ever have trouble keeping track of your conversations with various owners and tenants that you work with? By using Buildium, you will be able to streamline your conversations allowing for a higher quality level of communication.
- Buildium offers property managers the ability to thoroughly screen tenants prior to signing a lease agreement, ensuring that you’ll be able to choose the best tenant possible.
- Tenants will be able to access an online tenant portal through their mobile phones, allowing for easier communication and rent payments.
- Buildium has a dedicated tenant portal, which makes it convenient for tenants to pay rent and view their leases. This can increase your tenant retention.
- Mobile applications and portals are easily accessible through both tenants’ and owners’ mobile phones.
- Buildium can provide users with an end-to-end leasing process.
- While Buildium does offer accounting services to its customers, these features are not always the most user-friendly and may be confusing to navigate.
- Buildium is more suited to residential rental homes, rather than commercial properties.
3. Rentec Direct
Rentec Direct is a full-featured property management software that is web-based and designed to help property managers and landlords make their jobs easier. Using Rentec Direct, property managers can take care of any number of units from 25 to 5,000.
With its user-friendly design, Rentec Direct is available for small, medium, and large companies. Their customers include companies such as Mase Realty, Steffy Properties, Sunsurf Properties, KTG Leasing, Bourke Properties, and Eady Property Management.
- Rentec Direct is able to send automatic reminders, so you’ll be reminded of tasks that are time-sensitive.
- With an online storage system, you’ll be able to keep your essential files and documents on hand whenever you need them.
- This software offers users the ability to track income and expenses, making sure you are always up to date on the state of your finances.
- When using Rentec Direct, you’ll be able to offer your tenants an online portal to make maintenance requests and make their rent payments easily.
- With this software, you’ll be able to email or text tenants easily.
- As an optional feature, you can use Rentec Direct to screen tenants.
- Rentec Direct offers mobile support for both tenants and property owners
- This software offers a variety of scalable plans, so you can choose the right bundle based on the features you need and your budget.
- Rentec Direct has a strong security system to keep you and your valuable information safe.
- You can access unlimited free US-based support should you need it.
- Unfortunately, Rentec Direct does not have a dedicated mobile app like some other software options will.
- This platform is more suited for residential properties, so if you are in need of a software to help with your commercial properties, this one may not be right for you.
Axxerion is a service that aims to work for every company. By using Axxerion, property managers are able to access cloud-based solutions for a variety of aspects of their business.
This software is designed for medium to large property management companies, and it features customizable workflows, in addition to offering the ability to add fields and screens. Their clients include DHL, Alten Construction, Rue Education, NPS Pharmaceuticals, Meridian Bioscience, and Facilicom.
- Various accounting functions including keeping track of our income and your expenses.
- Using Axxerion, you will be able to keep track of the capital improvement projects for each property that you have under your care.
- Users can use Axxerion to keep track of the leasing process, in addition to any contracts and permits they have on the go.
- Through this platform, you can file a wide range of information regarding your rental properties including relevant contacts, assets, ownership, and location.
- Further, you can use Axxerion to store documents that are in Excel, Word, PDF, and photo formats.
- Axxerion integrates seamlessly with other software solutions offered by the vendor.
- The platform features a Google-like search engine and mapping interface, making it extremely user-friendly
- Unfortunately, unlike other property management software systems, Axxerion does not offer an owner or tenant portal, and there is no onsite option.
5. MRI Residential Management
If you manage multi-family rental properties, MRI Residential Management may be just the software solution for you. This platform can help you boost your occupancy rates while minimizing the expenses it may take to get there. The software can also help those who manage commercial and corporate rental properties.
MRI Residential Management works best for large property management companies, including The Lightstone Group, BlackStone, Avalon Bay, Village Green Management, and Cedar Regency.
- MRI Residential Management is able to handle your accounting, billing, leasing, financial reporting, and project operation tasks. Other main features included with the software include access to configurable reports and dashboards, automated invoicing, and keeping track of expenses that come from maintenance projects.
- When you use MRI Residential Management, you’ll be able to access its various financial management features such as forecasting and budgeting. This allows you to accurately maintain your data and balance your accounts accordingly.
- The Resident and Tenant Connect features allow property managers to collect their rental payments from tenants through the software seamlessly. Using these features and their preventative maintenance management system and visitor management, you will be able to automate your day-to-day operations effectively.
- MRI Residential Management features a number of built-in customizable features including branding, page formats, and user-friendly navigation menus.
- This software can be used to efficiently keep track of rental properties all over the world, as it features international and multi-currency support systems.
- Users have reported accounting issues in the past regarding the SaaS-hosted version of this software.
ResMan can offer its users help when it comes to managing a wide range of rental properties that you may come across, such as senior living, affordable housing, military housing, student housing, commercial rental properties, single-family homes, and multifamily rental properties.
This platform’s key features include lead management, budgeting assistance, managing the leasing process, and general rental property management. The ResMan property management software is able to cater mainly to medium and large-sized companies.
Its client base includes Mesner Development Company, Community Builders, A&M FrontRange Rentals, and Hettig Management Corp.
- ResMan can help users coordinate with residents, managers, and staff.
- Property managers using ResMan can easily keep track of resident accounts and their leases, in addition to getting consistent updates regarding community events, packages, work orders, and other routine operations.
- This software solution allows property managers to offer their residents important news and updates on a consistent basis. Tenants will also be able to make maintenance requests and online rent payments through their system, in addition to being able to access the management directory.
- ResMan offers users a powerful set of accounting features, allowing property managers to maintain their bookkeeping and keep track of their expenses and income.
- This software can seamlessly fit into your daily operations, as there is a wide range of third-party systems that it is able to integrate with.
- Unlike other software solutions, ResMan does not automate the listings of any vacant properties that you may have on your hands. This could make it harder to keep track of and market your vacant rental properties.
Property Management Software: Bottom Line
With so many property management software options on the market, it can be difficult to know exactly which one is right for your business.
Luckily, by identifying your property management company’s needs, you’ll be able to narrow down the options and find a software that can integrate into your business seamlessly, fit within your budget, and make your day-to-day life easier.