The best property management software makes it simple and easy to manage real estate portfolios, covering everything from tenant screening to building maintenance.
It's not simply that property management software needs to be able to handle documents such as from office software (opens in new tab), but also needs to cover accounting (opens in new tab) needs and financial management (opens in new tab) as well.
Managing tenants and maintenance will also be necessary, as well as screening rental applications, inventory tracking, advertising and marketing (opens in new tab), as well as ticketing fault reports. Some of the best software will also enable communications direct with tenants to provides updates and status notifications as required.
On top of that there's the number of properties involved, as someone managing a handful of real estate units will likely have different needs to a group controlling thousands.
Luckily there are a number of very comprehensive solutions on the market for organizations that need to manage a lot of property units. Many are cloud-based services (opens in new tab), which means you can access what you need from anywhere, such as on the go using your smartphone (opens in new tab).
Here then are the best property management software platforms currently available, for anyone managing real estate of any type and portfolio.
We've also highlighted the best personal finance software.
Positioned as a network of property management services, Buildium is another popular platform for real-estate specialists. It provides a plethora of property management, accounting, business operations and leasing tools.
Whether you own three properties or three thousand, Buildium gives you a quick and easy way to manage and expand your real-estate portfolio. Not only can you use the software to manage maintenance requests and finances, but you can also market properties and find tenants online.
Just like Appfolio, you can accept online applications and screen tenants before drawing up contracts. There are also portals for property owners, home owners, residents and board members, letting you communicate with stakeholders easily.
The software covers community associations, student housing, affordable housing and residential properties. Pricing depends on the number of units you manage, with additional fees for online payments and electronic documents, as well as for tenant screening.
Described as a real-time property management solution, Appfolio provides a range of cloud tools for apartment, residential, commercial, council and student property managers. The software helps real-estate professionals manage assets and financial data, but also attract new renters and clients.
Aimed at streamlining processes in the real-estate and property management sector, the platform lets users access business metrics, track maintenance, and communicate with renters, owners and vendors. There’s also a dedicated owner’s portal, which offers access to reports and statements.
Other features include the ability to accept online rental applications, and to screen potential renters, distribute vacancy adverts across the internet, collect rent online and perform mobile inspections. What’s more, tenants are able to submit maintenance requests through the software, meaning property managers can quickly resolve faults.
Depending on the type of properties you’re looking to rent or sell, there are several monthly plans available.
Capable of handling properties of any size, Rent Manager is a flexible and easy-to-use property management platform. It comes packed with an asset management database, integrated accounting, contact management, and work ordering capabilities plus marketing solutions.
From the platform, you’re able to track, manage and resolve service issues, and you can keep an eye on your finances by downloading detailed reports. If you’re looking to find new tenants or buyers for a property, you can create a professional and interactive website that’s integrated with Rent Manager.
Another great thing about the platform is that it’s mobile-friendly. Whenever you’re on-the-go, you can accept payments, organize service inspections, enter work orders and take photos from a mobile app.
However, this software isn’t just handy for property managers - tenants can also access real-time information and transaction records, as well as sign leases and pay their rent, from any device. To get an idea of pricing, you’ll need to get in touch with the company, but there is a free trial available if you’d like to check the software out.
Re-Leased allows you to lease residential and commercial properties, retail, office and industrial, office units and mixed family housing.
The software functions as a central hub where you can view upcoming tasks and automated workflows. From one simple dashboard, you’re able to view and manage properties, collaborate and delegate tasks across your team, and communicate with tenants via email and text messages. You can also get reminders on important tasks, and resolve issues. There’s integration with Google Calendar, Outlook and Microsoft 365, as well.
If you’re interested in the software, you can request a pricing quote from the company’s website. Whatever the case, every user can access customer support, add as many properties as they like, connect to Xero accounting software, and use the platform from computers, tablets and smartphones via the cloud.
And to ensure that important business data never ends up in the wrong hands, the app is protected by enterprise-level security.
Founded in 1969 as Qube Global Software, and now rebranded as MRI Software has been delivering tech solutions for almost half a century. It has also created a sophisticated property management solution, which is used by over 10,000 clients across the world.
Targeted at investors and managers, the software is suitable for a range of real-estate businesses, including commercial, residential, mixed-use and student properties.
Features include billing and invoicing, contact management, maintenance tracking, expense management, insurance management, lease management, tax management, a landlord and tenant database, rent tracking and late fee calculation.
However, due to the fact that this software is aimed predominantly at corporate users, you’ll need to get in touch with the company to get an idea of pricing. At the same time, you can demo the platform to see if it suits your needs. Currently, it’s used by real-estate firms such as Hammerson, Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life.
Other property management software to consider
While we've highlighted some of the bigger names in real estate management software, there a number of others which all have their own selling points. Some might be better orientated toward smaller portfolios, others might cover a niche such as holiday lettings, and others might offer special pricing or features. We'll provide a few more to consider and highlight the reasons for adding them here:
FantasticStay (opens in new tab) provides a centralized cloud-based platform for managing real estate, especially where there's a holiday lettings angle. You can manage listings and advertisements from your account, and run them directly on providers such as AirBnB. You can clone properties, have child listings under a parent property, and a lot of features can be automated. It also serves as a communications platform with clients, to ensure you know everything that's going on and can manage bookings. As an all-in-one platform it even has it's own in-built website builder, so you don't need to worry about running the software through another application for the internet.
Rentec Direct (opens in new tab) offers one of the best value platforms, with pricing starting at $35 per month for less than ten properties. Cost rises with increasing number of units, but is ideally placed for the landlord with dozens rather than thousands of properties they need to manage. However, the Rentec Direct platform remains full-featured and comprehensive: it includes tenant screening, accounting, online payments, document organization, and advertising, all run from an online system.
Condo Control Central (opens in new tab) really takes real estate management to the next level in terms of attention to detail. Not only does it offer a dedicated management panel for all the routine tasks, such as billing, letting, and communications, it can even take care of logging deliveries to your properties, it can even monitor resident parking permits and their use. It also has security features for accessing incident report, key records, and entry requests. There are even Push Notifications available for management staff, contractors, and clients.
Building Engines (opens in new tab) is more focused on the management of commercial real estate, which means a bigger and more responsive platform filled with additional features. It's web and mobile platform aims to provide core metrics that go beyond just booking and paying for space as much as managing client expectations and satisfaction. You can also set targets for sales and/or service delivery, and track performance according to your designated business benchmarks. It's no wonder then that it's used by some of the bigger private management firms and leading public REITs across North America.
How we tested the best property management software
To test for the best property management software we searched for a range of popular options as well as took recommendations from people we know who are already using property management software. We then set up an account to allow us to use the software and tested it to get an idea of how easy it was to use, what sort of features it contained, as well as costs to see how competitively it is priced.
Which property management software is best for you?
When deciding which of property management software to use, first consider how demanding your needs are. Do you only need to administrate a few properties or do you have an extensive portfolio you need to manage? Also, you need to ask yourself how good your IT skills to see if you may need additional training to use all of the features you need, or whether you could instead delegate this to a professional.