A Graphic of the Top-Performing Residential Property Management Products
FrontRunners quadrants highlight the top software products for North American small businesses. All products in the quadrant are top performers. Small businesses can use FrontRunners to make more informed decisions about what software is right for them.
To create this quadrant, we evaluated over 100 Residential Property Management products. Those with the top scores for their capability and value made the quadrant.
Scores are based largely on reviews from real software users, along with other product performance details (e.g., what features they offer, how many customers they have).
Nope, Products in Any Quadrant May Fit Your Needs
Every product in this quadrant offers a balance of capability (how much the products can do) and value (whether they’re worth their price/cost) that makes them stand out in the race for small business software success.
FrontRunners has four sub-quadrants:
Depending on the specific needs of a software buyer, a product in any of these sub-quadrants could be a good fit.
Why? To even be considered for this FrontRunners, a product had to meet a minimum user rating score of 2.2 for capability and 2.3 for value. This means that all products that qualify as FrontRunners are top-performing products in their market. They appear in the quadrant in relation to how their peers performed.
For some buyers, a specific FrontRunners sub-quadrant might be best. For example, products in the upper right will likely have a wide range of features useful for those with multiple or a variety of residential properties, while products in the lower left may have fewer, specialized features for specific types of properties, such as HOAs, mobile homes or student housing.
You can download the full FrontRunners for Residential Property Management report here. It contains individual scorecards for each product on the Frontrunners quadrant.
Products Are Scored Based on User Reviews and Other Data
You can find the full FrontRunners methodology here, but the gist is that products are scored in two areas, Capability and Value.
To be considered at all, products must have at least 10 reviews and meet minimum user rating scores. They also have to offer a core set of functionality—for example, they help track residential tenants, their leases and other associated documents.
From there, user reviews and other product performance details, such as the product's customer base and the features it offers, dictate the Capability and Value scores. Capability is plotted on the x-axis, and Value is plotted on the y-axis.
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Have questions about how to choose the right product for you? You’re in luck! Every day, our team of advisors provides (free) customized shortlists of products to hundreds of small businesses.
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FrontRunners constitute the subjective opinions of individual end-user reviews, ratings, and data applied against a documented methodology; they neither represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Software Advice or its affiliates.
Providers listed as Runners Up were considered for inclusion in the quadrant, but were ultimately not included for one or more reasons: they did not have enough reviews; they did not meet the reviews score minimum; they did not meet the ultimate Value and Capability minimum scores; or they did not meet our functionality requirements for the market.
Property management software helps property managers oversee every aspect of their daily operations, from tenant and lease tracking to accounting to building maintenance and more. These types of systems provide a centralized location where managers can view all of their properties to ensure everything is running smoothly while also making sure their properties are well maintainted and their tenants' needs are properly met. We wrote this guide to help you determine what kind of property management system will best suit your organization. Here’s what we’ll cover:
What Is Property Management Software?
Common Features of Property Management Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Property Management Software BuyerView | 2014
Key Features to Consider
Recent Events You Should Know About
Property managers have unique needs when it comes to technology, and there are hundreds of systems on the market to meet those needs. Some are designed for companies managing multiple types of properties, while others target a specific niche in the industry, including:
Buildium is an example of a vendor providing an electronic rent collection portal
Property management systems help landlords and managers increase efficiency, improve collections and enhance the quality of service provided to the tenant. Property management software streamlines the wide range of tasks that a manager performs on a regular basis. Common applications found in these systems include:
|Accounting||Assists managers with their general ledger, payables and rent rolls. Some systems provide reporting features that calculate total per-unit vacancy days and profit/loss at both unit and organization-wide levels. Examples of vendors offering accounting features include IBS 10.0i and SKYLINE Software.|
|Tenant & lease tracking||Enables landlords and rental owners to automate and track the leasing process from beginning to end. Functions include: tenant screening, move-in, rent/utility payments, maintenance, vacancy planning, move-out and make-ready. Example vendors: Buildium, Spectra and AssociationVoice Building Edition.|
|Budgeting & forecasting||Helps managers develop accurate operating budgets and calculate future values. Uses historical lease and financial information to make budget projections for revenue and expenses, accounting for CPI increases, inflation, market rates and tenant improvements. Includes tools for assessment and analysis, tax planning and scenario planning. Example vendors: Buildium and Propertyware.|
|Building maintenance||Tracks work orders, schedules preventative maintenance and coordinates communication with maintenance staff. Applications can automatically create schedules and alerts and generate work orders, and some systems let tenants make maintenance requests online, expediting service. Example vendors: HippoFM, Maintenance Connection and Bigfoot CMMS.|
|Tenant portal||Gives tenants the ability to log into a Web-based portal to easily view rent due and pay rent online, submit maintenance requests, check the status of maintenance requests, send messages and submit referrals. Example vendors: Buildium, AppFolio.|
Before evaluating solutions, you’ll want to know in what type of buyer category you belong:
We've spoken with thousands of property managers over the years about new software solutions. Based on our interactions with these buyers, our report looks to answer the following questions:
Online tenant services. Renters increasingly want to receive rent reminders via email. They also want access to Web-based property management software interfaces where they can pay rent, file maintenance requests, submit their notice to vacate or search their handbook. A system that supports renters’ needs is critical, especially if you own multiple units or properties.
Automatic vacancy postings. The Internet is the first place most people go when they’re looking for a place to live. Therefore, many systems allow you to post vacancies to sites like Craigslist, Rental.com and Apartments.com using the information already in your system. All you have to do is click a few buttons, and the listing is posted to half a dozen places, helping you fill vacancies faster with much less work.
This is an example of Point2 Property Manager's listing feature
Integrated Web and marketing tools. Many products include tools that help managers build websites that showcase and market their properties. More integrated systems may include search engine optimization (SEO) tools to help build traffic to your site—and your listings. These tools can include analytics features that allow you to identify traffic sources and dashboards that help measure the impact of your marketing efforts.
As homeownership rises, rental affordability improves in 2017. The 2016 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey shows that homeownership will reverse from it’s historic low in 2016 and begin trending upward, as millennials prepare to buy. An anticipated effect of this trend is a damper on the growth of renters and cheaper rental rates overall.
AssetEye assists multi-property professionals. RealPage acquired AssetEye Inc. in 2016 to offer their solution for data aggregation, reporting and collaboration, which extends the scope of RealPage’s software. This acquisition allows the company’s cloud-based solution to cover other property types, such as hospitality, commercial, multi and single-family, senior living and student housing.
Use trending colors to make rentals pop. Adding bursts of bold colors in apartments can impact the mood and behavior of renters. So whether you follow the suggestions of Pantone with its color of 2017, Greenery, or personalize the hue to your renter demographic, consider how colors can potentially turn prospects into renters.
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