Property management software helps landlords and real estate professionals track leases, residents and maintenance tasks, as well as collect rent and manage finances to reduce costs and streamline operations.
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Buildium is a cloud-based property management software that enables managers of residential and association properties to take control of every aspect of their business, whether in the office or fully remote, including online rent...Read more
Yardi Breeze is property management software built exclusively for small to mid-size businesses. Yardi Breeze offers features such as autocomplete address lookups, data import utility, home screen dashboard, drill-down reporting a...Read more
SimplifyEm is a property management software designed to meet the requirements of small and mid-sized landlords and property managers. The web-based solution offers features like property accounting, tenant management, lease track...Read more
AppFolio provides property management software that allows property managers and owners to market, automate and manage tasks related to their apartments, residential properties, commercial property, student housing or other proper...Read more
Hemlane is a cloud-based property management solution that caters to small businesses. The key features of the solution include property marketing, applicant screening, lease tracking, rent collection and maintenance coordination....Read more
Pay HOA is a cloud-based homeowner association (HOA) solution which assists property managers with rent collection, invoicing and e-filing. Its key features include online payments, survey collection, tenant engagement tracking an...Read more
RealPage is a cloud-based property management solution suitable for businesses of any size. Key features include accounting, budgeting, facilities maintenance, purchasing, document management and reporting.
RealPage enables u...Read more
Rentec Direct serves as a web-based, full-featured management system for landlords and property managers that is designed to suit the needs of those managing properties between 25 and 5,000 units. Rentec has no startup fees, no te...Read more
Rent Manager is a software system for both residential and commercial real estate entities with portfolios of any size. The accounting component of Rent Manager has full integration and includes everything from standard to advance...Read more
Storage Commander is an on-premise and cloud-based solution that enables businesses to manage self-storage operations, online rentals, maintenance costs and more. It uses global data centers, Europay, MasterCard, Visa (EMV) chip t...Read more
Designed for small, medium and large property management companies, ApexLink is a comprehensive business management solution that covers all aspects of residential and commercial rental properties with integrated communication, ma...Read more
Re-Leased is a cloud-based commercial property management solution. Key features include accounting, portfolio management, tenant communication, inspections, document storage and compliance management. The solution integrates with...Read more
PropertyZar is a cloud-based property management solution for small to large landlords and property managers. It offers features such as tenant screening, online applications, e-payments, posting vacancies and work order managemen...Read more
SKYLINE from SS&C Technologies is a web-based property management and accounting solution suitable for small to midsize real-estate firms. Designed to handle an array or key operations, SKYLINE is capable of offering integrated to...Read more
ResMan is the industry-leading property management platform preferred by owners, operators and investors across the multifamily, affordable and commercial real estate marketplace. Our platform is built for the evolving needs of yo...Read more
ManageCasa is an intuitive, interactive, and automated Property Management platform specifically designed for Property Managers, Associations and Landlords seeking an all-encompassing web and mobile approach to increase efficiency...Read more
Propertyware is a cloud-based, end-to-end property management software that helps property managers and operators scale their businesses with several different property types, including mixed portfolios.
Propertyware’s platfo...Read more
Year after year, surveys indicate prompt maintenance and property upkeep is key to tenant retention.
Green Doors Property Maintenance Platform is designed from the ground-up to tackle these areas with a new wave of thinking. ...Read more
Total Management is a cloud-based property management solution suitable for midsize to large organizations that manage apartments, mixed portfolio, REITs and commercial or retail space.
Total Management helps users multitask ...Read more
Innago offers a cloud-based property management platform for landlords with small to midsize property portfolios. With Innago, users can collect rent, manage leases, collect signatures and manage tenants.
Landlords can collec...Read more
Property management software helps landlords and real estate professionals track leases, residents and maintenance tasks, as well as collect rent and manage finances to reduce costs and streamline operations.
Benefits of Property Management Software
Property management software applications can lead to several key benefits, including:
Tenant and lease tracking. Helps managers perform two important functions: keep track of tenant details, such as rent payments or contact information, and lease dates. Lease tracking can also automate the leasing process from prospect to move-out.
Maintenance management. It's critical that property managers keep buildings and utilities in operating condition so tenants find value and comfort in their homes. With this application, residents can submit work orders and managers can assign work and track schedules so that important maintenance tasks are completed in a timely fashion.
Accounting. Assists with tracking rent payments, includes a general ledger and can generate reports to visualize the financial health of your properties.
Tenant portal. An online portal allows your tenants to pay rent, make maintenance requests and communicate with landlords at any time. This portal can also send alerts and notifications about upcoming rent dates or important messages from managers to residents.
Competitive Advantages of Using Property Management Software
Whether you manage a single apartment complex or dozens of commercial facilities, property management software can provide the functionality needed to handle daily tasks, letting you focus on your business in other ways:
Grow your business. Automation gained from software allows property managers to spend more time marketing their properties and managing applicants to find the best residents or renters. Marketing tools give you the ability to quickly post vacancies to various sites, like Craigslist or Apartments.com, with just a few clicks.
Offer increased convenience. With an online tenant portal, residents can pay rent any time of day, which adds convenience for them and makes collecting rent easier for you. In addition, a portal opens a line of communication among tenants and office and maintenance staff, so everyone can be quickly notified about important announcements.
Gain financial oversight. Reporting and analytics tools help you gather your financial, tenant or marketing data to identify trends that could be harming your business or opportunities to make improvements.
Business Sizes Using Property Management Software
Property managers have different requirements based on their portfolio size and type. Modern software offers functionality to help any type:
Single and multi-family buyers. Perhaps the most common type of property management, these buyers enjoy a wide selection of systems that help manage apartments, condos or houses, including core functionality of accounting and tenant tracking along with portals and vacancy marketing.
Niche-segment buyers. While most property management systems feature the same core functions, many focus on certain property segments:
HOA management software offers additional features to track meeting minutes, bylaws and elections necessary to operate an association.
Affordable housing software includes functionality to manage funding programs, track compliance and generate audit reports.
Vacation rental property software focuses on online booking management and marketing features to give owners a wider reach for potential renters.
Enterprise level buyers. Those who manage several properties across a commercial enterprise can opt for a system that shows an overview of their entire portfolio.
Additional Software Property Managers May Need
Modern property management software helps handle virtually any day-to-day task, but depending on your specific needs, you may want to integrate with other systems:
Marketing automation: Some property managers with large portfolios may need some extra help advertising their rentals. Marketing software can help you manage email, social media or text campaigns to reach a wide swath of potential tenants.
Maintenance management software: Residents deserve functional, clean properties, and managers may need more robust work order systems to tackle the volume of daily maintenance requests.
Property management accounting software: Helps landlords track rent payments, maintenance and inventory costs and create forecasts and budgets to gain an overview of financial health and maximize profits.
Rental property management software: Helps owners automate recurring tasks, such as collecting rent and generating financial reports, and handle maintenance requests remotely to manage a portfolio of properties.
Apartment management software: Includes core accounting and tenant and lease tracking functionality with additional online listing management tools, and a tenant portal to streamline rent collection.
A List of Common Property Management Features
When comparing property management software, it's important to understand the functionality included in each. The most common functions of these systems are listed in the table below:
Manage the general ledger, accounts payable and rent payments. Most systems assist with bank reconciliation and generating financial reports.
Tenant & lease tracking
Assists with the entire leasing process, including tenant screening, move-in and move-out management and rent and utility payment collections.
Budgeting & forecasting
Develop accurate operating budgets and reports and forecast future costs and values, as well as account for consumer price index (CPI) changes, inflation and market rates.
Submit and track work orders, either from employees or renters, and assign tasks to maintenance workers.
Allows tenants to pay rent and fees, submit maintenance requests and opens a communication channel between residents and staff.
Feature Details and Examples
Accounting: Accounting features in property management systems work much like financial accounting in other systems: they help keep your numbers accurate and up-to-date, with a general ledger, forecasts and dashboards offering a holistic view of expenses and profits. Generated reports can be used to present to stakeholders and to identify trends or opportunities.
Tenant & lease tracking: This feature is the core of any property management system, as it helps organize and track all important information about your residents and their lease agreements. This may include: past due payments, crucial lease dates, contact information and more. Most systems also offer tenant screening tools as a part of tenant tracking.
Budgeting & forecasting: These features deliver value to property managers by centralizing all current financial information and historical lease details to produce accurate projections and forecast future costs. Reporting features can be used to generate customizable reports to easily share information with stakeholders.
Building maintenance: Maintenance management functionality allows both residents and staff to submit, track and assign work orders for any type of request, from structural issues to pest problems, through an online portal. Many systems can automatically assign tasks to maintenance workers to ensure a quick response.
Tenant portal: As mentioned above, an online portal offers residents various ways to communicate with landlords or office staff, accessible at any time of the day. Tenants can update contact information, pay rent and other fees, submit maintenance requests, view lease documents and communicate with office staff.
The Property Management Software Features You Really Need
Property management software is often flexible enough to match your specific needs and scale with your business growth. However, there are some crucial applications for certain types or stages of property management:
Small apartment complex or single-family homes
Tenant and lease tracking: For property managers with a smaller portfolio, keeping track of rent payments and lease documents can be centralized for quick retrieval of important information, such as which resident's rent is past due.
Multiple complexes, rentals or an HOA
Tenant portal: When you have several buildings or rentals to maintain, letting tenants contact you through an online portal helps you stay on top of emerging problems you may have missed otherwise.
Enterprise business buyer
Accounting and reporting: Corporate real estate professionals need more robust accounting and reporting tools to make strategic decisions to lower costs. Some may also consider facilities management software.
How Property Management Software Is Priced and Hosted
Typically, property management software pricing is based on a few key factors:
How many units do you manage?
How many applications do you need?
How do you want the system deployed?
Vendors most often charge per unit, per month—but be aware that many have minimum monthly costs no matter how large your portfolio. Other costs may include implementation, support fees or hardware expenses.
In addition, costs may differ for on-premise or cloud-based deployments; cloud-based software is generally a smaller investment up-front.
What Businesses Typically Budget for Property Management Software
When we look at how much companies are prepared to spend on property management software per month, the numbers vary. We see a couple concentrations of buyers:
A combined 48 percent expect to pay between $10 and $75 per month—the vast majority of these buyers manage apartments or single-family properties.
A combined 30 percent expect to pay at least $151 per month—these buyers are generally commercial, retail, self-storage and other mixed-portfolio managers.
(Note that these prices do not include any potential up-front fees, such as installation and training.)
Hidden Costs of Property Management Software
Property management software has a relatively simple pricing structure, but some solutions include costs that you may not have anticipated. In addition to the monthly fee per unit, consider these other common costs:
Add-on modules that may not be automatically included in the plan you chose
Implementation services or fees for the vendor to help set up the software for success
Training options to help your team use the system effectively
Access to an API to further customize the software to meet your needs
What Are the Key Functions of Property Management Software?
As mentioned above, property management software offers several benefits:
Tenant and lease tracking. Manage tenant contact information, lease details and important notifications to avoid late payments or move-out dates.
Maintenance management. Submit, assign and track work requests from staff or residents, and close out work orders to ensure important tasks are completed in a timely manner.
Accounting. Track all your financial records, from rent payments to expenses, and generate reports to get an overview of operations.
Tenant portal. Open a communication channel among landlords, staff and residents online, where users can make work requests, pay rent or post to a message board.
What Questions Should I Ask Vendors When Evaluating Property Management Products?
When seeking information about property management software, you should ask a few questions to make sure it's the right fit for your needs. These include:
What parts of the software do users most frequently report problems with?
While you should pay attention to what vendors are excited to share about their system, be sure to ask about common pain points for customers and which features typically take the most time to master.
What are the additional required costs for the software?
Aside from monthly subscription costs, you should get an idea about additional costs for other services or hardware—training and implementation are common up-front costs to consider.
Can you customize the system to meet my specific needs?
Most vendors are flexible enough to customize their software by adding new fields for tenant information or combining a specific set of features for you.
How Can Property Management Software Help Me With Marketing?
Marketing your vacancies and conveying quality in the photos and text you post can be a time-consuming challenge for property managers. Modern property management systems offer functionality to help with website and vacancy management, with features for branding, search engine optimization help, social media integration and full marketing campaign management.
Can Property Management Software Help Me Find High-Quality Tenants?
A major feature of most modern property management solutions is tenant screening tools, which allow you to screen for credit, eviction and criminal records much more quickly than manual methods. Screen with accuracy to avoid bad tenants so you can spend more time showing off your amenities.
What Are Some Drawbacks I Should Watch Out For?
Property management software won't immediately solve your operational challenges, but it can significantly streamline your more tedious daily tasks.
As with any software investment, it's important to have a clear goal in mind for the system—maybe you need to automate rent collections or make it simpler for residents to make maintenance requests. A clear objective will help your company determine the exact functionality needed to reach it.
Tips & Tools
Build a Business Case for Property Management Software
Sometimes it's difficult to get your management to sign off on a new investment like software. But there are a few key property management software benefits that could help you get buy-in from your team:
Faster lease signing. Automated vacancy postings and screening tools streamline the application process so that you find the best tenants and can have them sign leases quickly.
Automation facilitates communication. Software provides a tenant portal that connects residents and landlords to conveniently email each other about important information so that managers can focus on improving the business.
Financial tools handle tedious tasks. Property management software has industry-specific tools to calculate common area maintenance (CAM) reconciliation or automate late fees.
Here are some articles about property management software you should check out:
Here are some important recent events concerning the property management industry:
As homeownership costs increase, rental affordability improves in 2019. The 2019 ATTOM Data Solutions Rental Affordability Report shows renting is more affordable than buying a median-priced home in a 59 percent of counties in the United States. With an increase in rental affordability, expect to see fewer people buying property and more renting.
More millennials than ever are renting, and they expect more technology. With the increase in millennial tenants, offering comfortable work-from-home features like more functional workspaces with high-speed internet, meeting spaces and printing capabilities should become a priority.
Improve tenant satisfaction by providing a more streamlined package management system. With Amazon continuing to dominate the retail market, you're likely dealing with more packages than you know what to do with. In 2019, expect to see an increase in technology aimed to assist property managers with their parcel management. Smart lockers that alert your tenants when a package arrives or outsourced package delivery services are just two of the ways in which technology can help you improve your tenant's experience and make your property more marketable.
Note: The information contained in this article has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. The applications selected are examples to show a feature in context, and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations.
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