5 Key Property Management Software Features and Top Products That Offer Them

By: Ashish Upadhyay on February 14, 2024
On this page:

As a property manager or a homeowner managing multiple properties, do you often wonder if handling day-to-day operations, such as rent collection, lease tracking, or communicating with tenants, could get simpler? 

If your answer is yes, maybe it’s time to look at property management software and how it can automate many of these routine tasks, freeing you from chasing payments and helping you focus on maintaining your properties. However, with so many software options in the market, it's crucial to understand which key features align with your needs and make the right purchase.  

This article highlights five key property management software features based on the ratings given by verified software users. We also include the highest-rated property management software solutions for each feature. Read more.

Key features of property management software

1. Rent tracking

Rent tracking is a crucial component of a property management system, helping property managers keep tabs on rental income and late payments. Rent tracking helps send automated reminders for rent payments, assisting tenants to stay on top of their financial responsibilities and reduce late payments.

90% of property management software reviewers identify rent tracking as a highly important feature.

What business problem does the rent tracking feature solve?

Sometimes, tenants miss out on rent payments or send in incorrect amounts. Such late or missed rent payments can negatively impact cash flow, making it challenging for property managers to cover operational expenses and maintain profitability. 

Rent tracking automates sending payment reminders and calculates late fees. It reduces the likelihood of late rent payments and improves cash flow management for homeowners and property managers. The feature also allows you to generate customizable reports and supports seamless integration with accounting tools, enhancing financial transparency.

Ideal users of the rent tracking feature 

Property managers overseeing multiple rental units or individual owners looking for residential property management can benefit from this feature. It can help property managers efficiently track and manage rent payments across their entire portfolio, reducing administrative tasks and improving cash flow management.

Top 3 products with the highest ratings for rent tracking

Analysis performed January 2024*

Innago

Innago

4.87 out of 5 stars

308 reviews

Rent tracking feature rating: 4.95/5

DoorLoop

DoorLoop

4.86 out of 5 stars

636 reviews

Rent tracking feature rating: 4.88/5

Buildium

Buildium

4.49 out of 5 stars

2030 reviews

Rent tracking feature rating: 4.83/5

2. Tenant portal

The tenant portal feature in property management software provides tenants online access to various tools, such as a dashboard to view and download rent agreements, rent receipts, and general information about their rental property. Tenants can securely view and pay rent online through the portal, reducing the need for physical checks or money orders. They can also access detailed maintenance histories of the property and track energy efficiency and safety audit records.

87% of property management software reviewers identify tenant portal as a highly important feature.

What business problem does the tenant portal feature solve?

Traditional communication methods, such as phone calls or in-person visits, can be time-consuming and may lead to miscommunication between tenants and their landlords. The tenant portal provides a centralized and efficient communication channel, reducing misunderstandings and improving overall communication between tenants and property managers. 

Tenants can use the feature to submit an online maintenance request with detailed information and add images or videos to support their claims. Such a process enables property managers to address issues more promptly.

Ideal users of the tenant portal feature

Property managers and agents responsible for leasing and managing rental properties can use this feature to enhance communication and engagement with tenants, making it easier to address queries, share information, and manage lease-related activities. It also enables property managers to communicate with tenants, share important documents, and receive maintenance requests.

Top 3 products with the highest ratings for tenant portal

Analysis performed January 2024*

Innago

Innago

4.87 out of 5 stars

308 reviews

Tenant portal feature rating: 4.88/5

DoorLoop

DoorLoop

4.86 out of 5 stars

636 reviews

Tenant portal feature rating: 4.83/5

Hemlane

Hemlane

4.83 out of 5 stars

157 reviews

Tenant portal feature rating: 4.76/5

3. Online payment

The online payment feature in a property management tool allows tenants to pay rent and other fees, such as maintenance and security, electronically through a secure and reliable payment gateway to process online transactions, ensuring the safety of sensitive financial information. This feature offers tenants and property managers convenience, simplifying the rent collection process.

87% of property management software reviewers identify online payment as a highly important feature.

What business problem does the online payment feature solve?

Traditional rent collection methods, such as checks or cash, can result in delays and late payments, impacting the property's cash flow and financial stability. Additionally, offering only traditional payment methods may not align with the preferences of modern tenants who prefer electronic transactions. 

Online payment features provide tenants with various payment options, including credit/debit cards, ACH transfers, and other electronic methods, catering to diverse payment preferences and providing a faster and more reliable method for tenants to submit payments, thereby reducing late payments and improving cash flow management.

Ideal users of the online payment feature

Property managers and property owners renting out their properties can use the online payment feature to facilitate easy and efficient rent collection, reducing the reliance on traditional payment methods, such as checks, money orders, and cash. Moreover, managers overseeing residential communities or homeowner associations can use the online payment feature to facilitate the collection of community-related fees, such as homeowner association dues.

Top 3 products with the highest ratings for online payment

Analysis performed January 2024*

Innago

Innago

4.87 out of 5 stars

308 reviews

Online payment feature rating: 4.90/5

Hemlane

Hemlane

4.83 out of 5 stars

157 reviews

Online payment feature rating: 4.81/5

DoorLoop

DoorLoop

4.86 out of 5 stars

636 reviews

Online payment feature rating: 4.78/5

4. Property database

The property database feature in property management software serves as a central repository to store essential property details, including address, type (residential, commercial), size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and other relevant specifications related to rental properties. This feature helps property managers organize, track, and access property details efficiently.

85% of property management software reviewers identify property database as a highly important feature.

What business problem does the property database feature solve?

Property managers may spend significant time searching for specific property details, such as addresses, interior details, and amenities without a centralized database, leading to inefficiencies. The property database allows for quick and efficient retrieval of property information, saving time and helping property managers create comprehensive real estate listings to attract interest from prospective clients.

The property database feature also facilitates comprehensive financial reporting and analytics, giving property managers visibility into property performance and enabling data-driven decision-making.

Ideal users of the property database feature

Housing managers and rental property administrators managing multiple properties can use this feature to facilitate organized management of housing properties, including managing lease agreements and storing and retrieving tenant information and maintenance history. Additionally, the feature is helpful for short-term rental managers to manage short-term leases and keep track of booking and maintenance history.

Top 3 products with the highest ratings for property database

Analysis performed January 2024*

DoorLoop

DoorLoop

4.86 out of 5 stars

636 reviews

Property database feature rating: 4.84/5

Innago

Innago

4.87 out of 5 stars

308 reviews

Property database feature rating: 4.79/5

ResMan

ResMan

4.57 out of 5 stars

461 reviews

Property database feature rating: 4.78/5

5. Lease tracking

The lease tracking feature in property management software helps property managers efficiently manage and monitor lease agreements for rental properties. It allows property managers to create new leases with essential details, including lease terms, rental amounts, security deposits, and renewal options. This feature also provides a centralized platform for storing, tracking, and managing lease-related information.

82% of property management software reviewers identify lease tracking as a highly important feature.

What business problem does the lease tracking feature solve?

Managing lease expirations manually can lead to oversight, missed renewal opportunities, and vacancies. Additionally, ensuring lease terms comply with local rental laws and regulations can be challenging without an automated system. 

The lease tracking feature sends automated alerts for upcoming lease expirations, facilitating timely renewal negotiations and reducing the risk of vacancies. The feature also incorporates compliance checks that compare lease terms against local rental laws and regulations. This helps property managers identify potential noncompliance issues and take corrective actions proactively.

Ideal users of the lease tracking feature

Property managers and homeowners renting out their properties can use lease tracking to facilitate efficient lease agreement tracking, automate renewal processes with tenants, and ensure accurate management of lease-related information. If property managers handle multiple rental units or properties, the feature can act as a centralized dashboard for tracking leases across a diverse property portfolio and improve overall efficiency.

Top 3 products with the highest ratings for lease tracking

Analysis performed January 2024*

ResMan

ResMan

4.57 out of 5 stars

461 reviews

Lease tracking feature rating: 4.90/5

Innago

Innago

4.87 out of 5 stars

308 reviews

Lease tracking feature rating: 4.85/5

DoorLoop

DoorLoop

4.86 out of 5 stars

636 reviews

Lease tracking feature rating: 4.81/5


Methodology

Key features: To identify the key features of this article, we asked users to rate, on a scale of “low importance” to “critical,” how important different features are for applicant tracking software. The features showcased are those that the highest percentage of reviewers rated as “highly important” or “critical” over the past two years (as of Jan. 30, 2024).

Feature eligibility: To be included in the set of features considered, a given feature had to have at least 200 user ratings within the past two years (as of Jan. 30, 2024), of which at least 20% must indicate the feature is “critical.” Eligible features were determined from two sources: 

  1. Our research team’s review of public information about property management software usage, definitions, and associated features.

  2. Reviewers’ indication of the features they use for property management.

Product selection: To identify the top-rated products per feature, we evaluated user ratings for products that offer each feature. For a given product, reviewers rate each feature on a scale of one to five stars. A given product had to have at least 20 user ratings (between January 2022-24) for the feature in question to be considered.

*We selected products for this article based on their average ratings between January 2022 - January 2024, which may differ from their current overall average ratings.