4 Best Property Management Software Tools of 2020

Whether you’re running a community association or multiple apartments, property management software could be ideal for you. This is a powerful tool that can help you streamline maintenance operations and focus on your business growth. You don’t need to worry about when your next inspection is or when you need to collect rent from your tenants; filling vacancies with this software is a breeze.

These are just some benefits that you get with the best property management software. Read our reviews to find out what else you can do with these tools.

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Top 4 Property Management Software Options for 2020

1. Buildium

Buildium is a property management software that helps managers create and track work orders, screen tenants, and advertise units on various real estate sites. The software comes with a powerful mobile app that simplifies communication with tenants, owners, and vendors. Thanks to its ability to work offline, you can complete your inspection in the field and the platform will update your changes as soon as you’re online again. If you want to store your valuable files and financial transactions on the cloud, this property management software is the perfect solution for you. Full Review

  • Scalable software portfolios of all sizes
  • Advanced accounting features
  • Mobile inspection app

Buildium is a property management software that helps managers create and track work orders, screen tenants, and advertise units on various real estate sites. The software comes with a powerful mobile app that simplifies communication with tenants, owners, and vendors. Thanks to its ability to work offline, you can complete your inspection in the field and the platform will update your changes as soon as you’re online again. If you want to store your valuable files and financial transactions on the cloud, this property management software is the perfect solution for you. Full Review

2. TenantCloud

Founded in 2014, TenantCloud is landlord property management software that provides services for property owners and managers, as well as tenants and contractors. Countless reviews praise this product for its easily navigable interface, tenant screening services, and wealth of features for creating customized listings. The software is rated with A+ on the BBB, which proves that this is a reliable cloud-based platform for landlord property management. This software comes with a free version for managing up to 75 units, but if you need more scalable solutions, take a look at its affordable pricing plans. Full Review

  • Detailed background checks
  • Integration with QuickBooks
  • Post listings on the most popular real estate sites

Founded in 2014, TenantCloud is landlord property management software that provides services for property owners and managers, as well as tenants and contractors. Countless reviews praise this product for its easily navigable interface, tenant screening services, and wealth of features for creating customized listings. The software is rated with A+ on the BBB, which proves that this is a reliable cloud-based platform for landlord property management. This software comes with a free version for managing up to 75 units, but if you need more scalable solutions, take a look at its affordable pricing plans. Full Review

3. AppFolio

AppFolio is robust property manager software designed for managing different types of portfolios. Whether you’re detailing residential or commercial facilities, AppFolio is an excellent solution for you. The software integrates with powerful AI tools that provide a smooth and fast leasing process. You can create customizable leasing agreements and send them to your tenants to sign them online. Besides maintenance and advertising tools and services, the software allows you to track your business metrics and helps increase your revenue. Full Review

  • Fast online application process
  • AppFolio Contact Center
  • Ability to track the performance of your business

AppFolio is robust property manager software designed for managing different types of portfolios. Whether you’re detailing residential or commercial facilities, AppFolio is an excellent solution for you. The software integrates with powerful AI tools that provide a smooth and fast leasing process. You can create customizable leasing agreements and send them to your tenants to sign them online. Besides maintenance and advertising tools and services, the software allows you to track your business metrics and helps increase your revenue. Full Review

4. SimplifyEm

Launched in 2006, SimplifyEm is real estate management software designed for property managers who want to streamline the entire payment process. The software helps you organize your finances and easily track incomes and expenses for each of the units you manage. You can collect rents from your residents and set reminders for the due date. The software also comes with standard features for advertising your units, but most of them aren’t free. Not only do you need to pay for using a website builder, but the company also charges for publishing your listing on real estate sites. Full Review

  • Manage and track payments from your tenants
  • Organize recurring tasks easily
  • Various lease agreements

Launched in 2006, SimplifyEm is real estate management software designed for property managers who want to streamline the entire payment process. The software helps you organize your finances and easily track incomes and expenses for each of the units you manage. You can collect rents from your residents and set reminders for the due date. The software also comes with standard features for advertising your units, but most of them aren’t free. Not only do you need to pay for using a website builder, but the company also charges for publishing your listing on real estate sites. Full Review

Best Property Management Software

We cannot imagine modern property management without property management software. Each of the solutions we’ve listed can help you complete your tasks quickly and efficiently, but they differ in some important ways. Here’s our short description of each of them.

  • Buildium: An intuitive and easily navigable software solution that works well with portfolios of any size.
  • TenantCloud: Provides one centralized platform for landlords, tenants, and contractors. Regardless of the type of units you manage, you can easily organize inspections, collect rent, and advertise the facilities.
  • AppFolio: A scalable software solution for managing both residential and commercial facilities. The software integrates with various apps that will help you complete time-consuming tasks faster and focus on your business’s growth.
  • SimplifyEm: Software that offers excellent tools for tracking the finances of each unit you manage.

Detailed Reviews

Buildium
Buildium

BEST FOR

large portfolios

Visit Website
  • Free trial: Yes
  • Number of units: Up to 5,000
  • Tenant portal: Yes
  • Tenant screening services: Starts at $15
  • eLease: $5 per eLease with the Essential plan
  • Website builder: Free

Launched in 2004, Buildium is robust commercial property management software that helps property managers streamline maintenance processes, communicate with tenants, and advertise units. Buildium is extremely scalable. Regardless of the type of property portfolio you’re working with, you can manage up to 5,000 units effortlessly.

Property maintenance

With Buildium, property management maintenance has never been easier. The software comes with the Happy Inspector mobile app that you can install on your mobile phone or tablet. It makes the entire maintenance management process much faster. Through this app, you can create and customize work orders. For regular tasks, like pool cleaning or lawn mowing, you can create a recurring schedule so you’ll never forget when your next inspection is.

This is one of the best property management applications that enables you to complete your inspection even if you don’t have cellular or Wi-Fi access. As soon as you connect again, the app will synchronize and update your changes.

Tenant screening and eLeasing services

Finding a good resident is definitely the most important part of the leasing process. If you rent a unit to the wrong person, it could cause you lots of trouble. Buildium’s tenant screening service is powered by TransUnion, one of the largest consumer reporting agencies in the US, meaning that you’ll get the most accurate background information on your prospects. With this online property management software, you can choose between two background checking options.

Should you choose basic tenant screening, you’ll need to wait for your tenant’s approval to complete the background check. The price for this service is $15. However, if you pay $18, you can perform the background check on your own. Once you choose the perfect tenant, you can complete the leasing process really quickly. There’s also the option of using eSignatures, which will save you a lot of time.

Marketing services

Much like other products on our list, Buildium property management software allows you to advertise your units on the most popular sites, including Zillow Rental Network, Apartments.com, Apartment List, PadMapper, and Craigslist. Moreover, you can advertise your units on Facebook Marketplace.

This great rental property management software also allows you to use a website creator and build your own website. You can upload photos and videos of your units, make appointments, and communicate with prospective tenants.

Accounting app and payments

Countless Buildium reviews show that, with Buildium, the accounting process is easy and well-organized. Buildum’s easily navigable interface enables property managers to automate payments and transactions. For renters, you can set the payment date and track who pays on time and who is late. For vendors, there is the option of automatically paying for a work order. You can also set up regular payments for recurring tasks.

This software for property management is also equipped with features that will make your tax calculation less stressful. You can file 1099 tax forms and the software will automatically save and archive them.

Pricing

Buildium pricing plans can support all portfolio sizes. The Essential plan includes basic accounting, maintenance, and communication features. It is suitable for managing 150 units or fewer. The price for this plan starts at $50 per month, but it doesn’t include fees for the mobile inspection app. If you want to use the app, you’ll need to pay an additional $40 per month. Moreover, the setup fee for this app costs $99.

If you want more scalable rental management software, there are two more pricing plans. The Growth Plan starts at $160 per month and comes with a free mobile inspection app. With this plan, you can manage up to 5,000 units. The most expensive option is the Premium plan, which comes with the same number of units as well as additional business analytics features. The annual subscription for this plan starts at $4,968.

Pros Cons
1099 tax form compliance You need to pay additional fees for many features
Free website builder Email feature doesn’t work properly
Tenant portal eLeases cost $5 with the Essential plan
TenantCloud
TenantCloud

BEST FOR

small to mid-size portfolios

Visit Website
  • Free trial: Yes
  • Number of units: up to 500
  • Tenant portal: Yes
  • Tenant screening services: $35
  • eLease: Yes
  • Website builder: Yes

TenantCloud is landlord management software that was launched in 2014. It is primarily designed for landlords to help them streamline maintenance management tasks and reduce the time and resources they spend on advertising units. Moreover, this platform is equally beneficial for tenants who can easily pay their rent or send requests through the tenant portal. The latest addition to the platform is the Service Pro module, which is designed for contractors and helps them organize their job and expand their business network.

Property maintenance

If you’re looking for a simple property management software option, TenantCloud is the right option for you. The software is praised for its appealing, intuitive user interface that comes with lots of features for managing work orders and effectively performing property inspections.

Much like other similar products, the software enables you to receive work orders from your tenants. In order to explain the problem precisely, a tenant can send you photos or videos. You can also organize separate issues into categories (for example cleaning, plumbing, gardening, etc.) so that you can find the appropriate contractor faster. TenantCloud reviews your requests and finds the contact within a minute. Moreover, the software allows you to set work orders according to priority.

Tenant screening and eLeasing services

TenantCloud is landlord software that helps landlords find and check potential tenants. Like Buildium, the software generates background checking reports that are approved by the TransUnion agency. However, this service with TenantCloud will cost you $35 per inquiry. You can perform a hard credit pull and search your prospective tenant’s criminal records.

Besides tenant screening, there are also other features that can speed up the leasing process. If you have a vacancy, you can send the application form to potential tenants via email or social media channels.

Marketing services

TenantCloud property management software enables you to set up your website even if you don’t have coding skills. Like the other best rental property software products, TenantCloud allows you to create your own website from scratch. You can customize your listings as you wish with different colors and fonts by adding photos and text descriptions. You can also post questionnaire forms on your site so your tenants can ask questions about your properties.

Accounting app and payments

Although TenantCloud’s accounting and payment tools aren’t as powerful as Buildium’s, they can still help you automate your payments. This is one piece of software that you can truly set and forget. As soon as you create leases, the software will send automated invoices or late fees to your tenants.

Pricing

TenantCloud is a rare rental property manager software solution that you can use for free as long as you have up to 75 units to manage. If your portfolio is larger, there are two subscription models that you can choose from. The Standard package is designed for managing up to 150 units and starts at $9 per month. The $35/month Advanced plan is the most comprehensive one – it includes management of up to 500 units, 10 admin accounts, and lots of free features.

Pros Cons
User-friendly interface Customer support is available only by phone
Lots of options for creating customizable leases Not ideal for large portfolios
Free website builder Limited accounting features
AppFolio
AppFolio

BEST FOR

services overall

Visit Website
  • Free trial: No
  • Number of units: Unlimited
  • Tenant portal: Yes
  • Tenant screening services: The price is not provided on the website
  • eLease: Additional fees
  • Website builder: Monthly fee

AppFolio is a powerful property management system that helps property managers who have an array of different properties to manage. This scalable and customizable system enables you to manage residential properties, HOAs, student housing, and business buildings. The system is available for mobile devices, too. You can install the app on your iPhone or Android device and communicate with homeowners and tenants easily.

Property maintenance

AppFolio property manager has a modern interface that enables smooth maintenance management. Besides regular features, like creating work orders and scheduling regular inspections, AppFolio provides plenty of other useful tools. For instance, it integrates with maps, so you can find any of your units quickly.

Like other property management software programs, AppFolio allows fast communication with your residents through the tenant portal. If you have lots of units, you can expect dozens of calls during the day and night. To help you organize your tenants’ requests, AppFolio’s Contact Center service allows experienced agents to receive calls and requests from your tenants.

Tenant screening and eLeasing services

With AppFolio, leasing management has never been easier. The software enables you to receive online applications from the prospective residents, collect their information, and create online agreements. You can choose from various leasing templates and customize them as you wish. This home management software increases the speed of the leasing process by automatically inserting the applicant’s information into the contract. Moreover, AppFolio is powered by an AI leasing assistant called Lisa, who responds to prospects’ inquiries all the time.

Marketing services

Like other similar products, AppFolio enables you to advertise your properties on many popular sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Apartment.com. There’s also a free website builder that comes with basic SEO tools and the option to add 3D tours. Moreover, this rental manager software allows you to track your leads and collect their information in one place. Your prospective residents can apply to see the unit via guest cards. You can put the guest card form on your website or any other platform where you advertise your unit.

Another great feature is RentMatch. This is a powerful tool that helps you track and analyze the prices of units similar to yours in the same area. In this way, you can create the best proposals and potentially increase your revenue.

Accounting app and payments

With AppFolio property management, you can streamline your transactions, schedule payments to vendors and owners, and collect debts from your tenants. Besides this, AppFolio is real estate property management software that incorporates lots of tools for tracking your business’s performance.

Pricing

AppFolio pricing varies according to the types of units you’re dealing with, as well as the services you want to use. If you’re working with HOAs, the price you must pay each month is $0.80 per unit. The price for residential and student housing is $1.25 per unit per month. For managing commercial units, you’ll need to pay $1.50 per unit per month. However, given that the minimum monthly fee is $250, you’ll need to manage a lot of properties to make this worth your while.

The entry-level package includes basic features such as tools for communication with owners and tenants, maintenance tools, and online payment systems. If you choose the Plus version of this professional property management software, the price for managing HOAs is $0.85 per unit per month, while other types of units cost $3.00 per unit per month. You’ll need to manage at least 500 units to make this package worth your while, as the minimum monthly fee is $1,500.

Pros  Cons
AI leasing assistant Expensive monthly fee
Business analytic tools Website builder isn’t free
Scalable pricing options Customer support can be hard to reach
SimplifyEm
SimplifyEm

BEST FOR

managing incomes and expenses from different properties

Visit Website
  • Free trial: 15 days
  • Number of units: Unlimited with the Premium version
  • Tenant portal: Yes
  • Tenant screening services: $24.95
  • eLease: $10 per form
  • Website builder: $99

SimplifyEm is a California-based company that offers property management accounting software for property managers and landlords dealing with small or mid-size portfolios. The software uses the latest technology to help professionals easily collect rent from tenants, create lease agreements, and advertise properties on different sites.

Property maintenance

SimplifyEm is designed to help professionals manage properties with minimal effort. However, our experience with the software shows us that it’s not so easy to work with. The setup process can take a while, and we also didn’t like the software’s interface. Besides this, it comes with limited functionalities for property maintenance.

The software is primarily designed for managing incomes and expenses. But like the other best rental property management software options, SimplifyEm allows you to schedule recurring tasks and create work orders. For each unit, you can manually add recurring tasks and include expenses for each of them. You can select the items from the list of services – including garbage collection, gas and electricity, and internet – or you can create your own items, like pool cleaning or solar panel servicing. Tenants can use the tenant portal to send you requests.

Tenant screening and eLeasing services

As for tenant screening tools, we were really satisfied with how SimplifyEm works. The process is really easy and quick. You need to send an invite to your prospect before you can perform a background check. As soon as your prospect approves the invitation, this residential property management software starts with background checking. You’ll get a well-organized report where you can find details about your prospect’s history. The information is guaranteed to be accurate because the company collaborates with TransUnion. The background check report includes insights into your prospect’s credit score and criminal and arrest records. The price for this service is $25.

Marketing services

With SimplifyEm, you can create your listings easily and post them on multiple websites, including Trulia, Zillow, realtor.com, Craigslist, and HotPads. If you subscribe to some of the low-tier pricing plans, you’ll need to pay $3 for each listing you want to advertise.

If you have your own website, you can post listings on it. However, if you want to create a website with this apartment property management software, you’ll need to pay an additional fee. The price for using the website builder is $99, but if you use the special code CCG9Q49JLF, the price is $90.

Accounting app and payments

SimplifyEm allows you to collect rent from your tenants and pay homeowners online. The software comes with tools that can help you schedule monthly payments and add reminders and notifications so you’ll always know when the money is in your account.

Pricing

SimplifyEm offers multiple pricing plans that differ based on the number of units you want to manage. The starting plan, P10, costs $20 per month and includes basic features for managing up to 10 units. However, most of the property management tools and features are not included in the low-tier pricing plans (P10-P30). This means you’ll need to pay extra fees for advertising your listings, creating online applications, and using leasing forms.

Pros Cons
Various pricing plans Clunky interface
Good for managing small portfolios Poor maintenance management features
Generates tax forms and reports Lots of extra costs

Why Do You Need Top Property Management Software?

Regardless of how big or small your portfolio is, there are lots of reasons you should use property management software. The main purpose of using these effective online tools is to streamline maintenance management and collect rent payments from residents effortlessly. But using property management software is also beneficial for so many other reasons that you’d probably never imagine.

Advertising

For homeowners and property managers, the most important thing is to fill empty units quickly. Filling vacancies goes really quickly when you can advertise your listing on various real estate sites, but it goes even faster when you have your own website for advertising facilities.

With the best rental management software, you can create an appealing website and use SEO tools to rank better on search engines. You can upload photos, videos, or even 3D tours to promote your units. The best part is that you don’t need to have unnecessary face-to-face meetings; potential renters can ask you questions online by filling the forms on your website or sending you direct emails.

Workflow automation

Another obvious advantage of property management software is that it allows you to automate most of your work. Not only does the software allow you to schedule recurring tasks, but it also enables automatic payments. You can set due dates and collect rent from your tenants’ bank accounts.

Furthermore, you don’t need to think about your payments to homeowners. The best property management programs make financial transactions much faster and easier.

Business growth

One of the things you can do with property management software is get insights into your business’s performance. You can also use the software to compare the price of units in the area that are similar to yours.

Once you have this information, you can set the best price for your units and attract more potential residents.

Our Methodology
for Evaluating the Best Property Management Software of 2020

With so many excellent products for managing real estate out there, it’s really hard to choose only those that are truly the best. To do so, we tested each product and evaluated the following functionalities: property maintenance tools, tenant screening and eLeasing services, marketing tools, and accounting and payment features.

User-friendliness and pricing were also important criteria during our research.

Property maintenance

Property maintenance management is the main function of these products, so it’s logical that this is the first criterion on our list. Practically, it includes various tools and features for organizing and scheduling work orders, receiving tasks from tenants, and performing regular inspections.

Each of the property management solutions we tested is easily navigable and compatible with mobile devices to help you streamline your work wherever you are.

Tenant screening and leasing services

Finding a good resident is probably the most important part of the entire leasing process. Experienced property managers and landlords know how important tenant screening services are. They help you check the background history of your applicants before you make a final decision.

Online leasing services are helpful because they reduce the time you spend with paperwork. Property management software allows you to use lease forms and templates, and also allows you to customize them as you like.

Marketing tools

Property management software companies create software solutions that help property managers advertise their facilities on the internet. We looked at the marketing options each product provides. In most cases, you can create listings and syndicate them to the most popular real estate sites.

There are also software solutions that allow you to use website builders, so you can create your own website and advertise your properties on it.

Accounting and payment features

Finding software with good accounting features can be really difficult. Some of the providers on our list come with built-in accounting apps, while others allow you to integrate with QuickBooks or other accounting software solutions.

Pricing

The best property management software should be able to manage all portfolio sizes, but it should also be affordable. The price for these products is calculated based on the number or type of units you want to manage. Some companies charge setup fees, too.

Bear in mind that for lots of services, you’ll need to pay extra fees. For example, tenant screening always costs extra.

FAQ

What does property management software do?

Property management software helps you oversee and manage residential or commercial properties. The software also enables fast and easy communication with landlords, renters, and contractors. Good commercial real estate management software is optimized for mobile devices, meaning you can perform all relevant tasks from your mobile phone or tablet.

How much is AppFolio monthly?

AppFolio’s cost depends on the type of units you’re dealing with as well as the services you want to use. AppFolio’s management of HOAs, for example, costs $0.80 per unit per month, but only with the basic management tools. Unfortunately you’ll need to pay a minimum monthly fee of $250, which means you need a sizable portfolio to make this plan worth your while. For a more comprehensive plan, the minimum monthly fee is $1,500. The price for HOAs is $0.85 per unit per month, while all other types of property cost $3 per unit per month.

How do I choose property management software?

You should choose property management software online based on your business’s needs. If you’re working with large portfolios that include diverse residential and commercial units, we suggest you try Buildium. This software enables you to manage up to 5,000 units, including business facilities, apartments, shops, student housing, and many other facilities. However, this might not be a robust software solution for a landlord or property manager with a small number of units. For those we recommend TenantCloud or SimplifyEm.

What is the best property management software?

There are lots of excellent companies that provide software solutions for residential property management. There are also companies that focus on providing products that will help you with enterprise property management. In our property management software reviews, we’ve covered different types of software solutions so you can pick the one that fits you best.