landlord compares the best property management software for small landlord costs

Best Property Management Software For Small Landlords in 2024

Researching the finer points of the best property management software for small landlords in 2024 involves more than just examining software companies’ features and pricing structures. 

In addition to the platform itself, you’re also investing in an entire ecosystem of educational content and community services to help you become the best landlord you can be. When you know more, you grow more. 

With that in mind, we wanted to deliver a deep dive into rental property management software for small landlords on the market today. In addition to key feature sets, we’ll examine the importance of education and community to give small landlords an edge. 

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The Need for Property Management Software

Smaller landlords, or those with between one and 10 rental properties, have different missions depending on their goals. Some want to grow their portfolio fast, while others want to manage their existing rentals via a single solution. They all want to provide convenience to their tenants while cutting down on time-busting manual tasks.

These goals are achievable with today’s best property management software for small landlords.

For those focused on growth, you’ll want to automate as much as possible to allow yourself the time to scope out that next deal or quickly analyze your financial picture. Just because you’re small now doesn’t mean you want to stay that way. 

Or if you’re focused on reducing the time spent managing your property or properties, those same automations drastically reduce the time spent just getting a tenant in the door and collecting rent.

Ultimately, small landlords benefit from software designed to eliminate the tedious tasks associated with running a property so they can focus on what they love.

Key Features to Look for in Property Management Software

Tenant Screening

Finding the right tenant is paramount. A bad tenant can financially devastate a landlord by damaging the property, missing rent payments, or even requiring an eviction. Thorough tenant screening can eliminate these issues before they start. 

However, screening tenants is often a manual process. You have to input names into background-checking sites, pay for the service, and wait for the results. With the best property management software for small landlords, you can collect applications and fees online and run background checks on potential tenants via integrated background-checking services. 

Because these screening tasks happen in a single interface alongside every other part of your business, you can find the best tenants without jumping through hoops. 

Online Rent Collection

One of the biggest challenges facing landlords is rent collection. Often, landlords track rent payments manually, depositing checks or cash into a bank account and writing a rent receipt by hand.

Thankfully, online rent collection enables convenience for both landlords and tenants. When configured properly, tenants can pay their rent anywhere. 

With the ability to set up auto payments, enforce late fees, send payment reminders, and automatically deliver rent receipts, small landlords are more empowered to collect rent than ever. 

Maintenance Request Management

Stuff happens. And a lot of times, it happens at the worst time. 

Juggling maintenance requests can be tricky for small landlords. You could hire a property management company to do the work, or maybe you know a handyperson. Property management companies aren’t cheap, and your handyperson might have their hands full with another job or two before they can get to you, which isn’t the news your tenant wants to hear. 

When you utilize a maintenance request management system, you eliminate the costly overhead of a property management company while tapping into a network of vetted contractors capable of completing whatever job you have. Plus, the software organizes all the requests, pictures, and contacts into a single location.

Lease Agreement Creation and Management

Lease agreements serve as the basis for the relationship between landlords and tenants. They outline all the rules and requirements for both parties, but often, landlords use recycled leases that might need to be revised to comply with recent laws.

That’s why finding a company to partner with who can help you navigate these rental laws while outlining who’s responsible for what can set the stage for a fruitful relationship with your new or future tenants.

When looking for the best property management software for small landlords, the ability to quickly build leases — in about 15 minutes or less — for any state or lease term length can represent substantial time savings. The ability to sign and store that lease digitally is just the icing on the cake. 

Financial Reporting

So much of being a good landlord is putting the right pieces together in the right spots, and financial reporting is no different. 

If you use disparate tools to track and record rent payments, expenses, and more, it’s easy to lose sight of your entire financial picture. As your number of units grows, the problem becomes worse. 

With the right software, you can combine all these financial aspects in a single place to quickly gain an idea of your financial situation without having to check multiple pieces of software or dig around for receipts. 

Continuing Education and Community

Real estate investing requires continual learning. There are countless facets to being a landlord, so approaching the profession like a student can benefit both new and experienced landlords.

Software companies that consider the educational and community aspects ensure you’re well supported no matter how many properties you have now or in the future. When the software you choose grows with you and fits your expanding needs, you can focus on getting work done and not looking for supplementary software solutions.

Top 5 Property Management Software for Small Landlords in 2024

1. TurboTenant

TurboTenant is purpose-built rental property software for small landlords, big landlords, and everything in between. But for small landlords who need to be mindful of every dollar spent, TurboTenant’s free tier offers the most value of any option on the market. 

By signing up for a free account, landlords automatically get access to online rent collection, unlimited listings across the most popular rental websites, a lease builder tool, expense tracking, and more.

Simply put, for the low admission price of zero dollars, landlords can modernize their rental property management processes with software that grows at the same rate they do. 

Aside from pure feature sets, TurboTenant’s focus on education and community ensures you become the best landlord you can be. Continuing educational offerings include free webinars, weekly Be A Better Landlord podcasts, thoughtful ebooks, and a thriving Facebook community

Sign up for free and explore the product at your own speed without worrying about limited time trials. 

2. RentRedi

RentRedi’s landlord software solution offers a number of features that may intrigue small landlords. These include rent collection and accounting, tenant screening, and the ability to sign leases digitally. These features are undoubtedly time savers, but RentRedi doesn’t offer a free tier. 

Compared to TurboTenant, RentRedi doesn’t include a lease builder tool. TurboTenant’s lease agreements are all lawyer-reviewed and help small landlords remain compliant in the face of shifting laws. For remote landlords, they’re a no-brainer. 

Plus, landlords can build TurboTenant leases in minutes, and landlords and tenants can sign them digitally as well. With RentRedi, landlords need to rely on older leases they may have used in the past and upload them into the platform. Or they’ll have to draft a new one from scratch. 

Lease agreements aren’t the only place TurboTenant has the edge. TurboTenant’s diverse educational content is updated regularly, and while RentRedi has several pieces, it hasn’t added to its educational content library in some time.

Check out TurboTenant vs. RentRedi for a deeper look at how TurboTenant helps small landlords tackle tedious administrative tasks and more. 

3. RentSpree

For owners looking for free property management software for small landlords to get started, RentSpree includes a number of free features in its “Basic” tier that could interest you. 

Their Basic tier includes free online rental applications, rent payment collection, and rental listing pages. Like TurboTenant, tenant screening comes at the applicant’s cost, which is $15 less than TurboTenant’s offering at the time of publication.

But once you’ve outgrown the basic features and decide to step up in pricing tiers, TurboTenant’s Premium offering shines compared to RentSpree. RentSpree’s PRO tier clocks in at $20/user per month. TurboTenant, on the other hand, includes unlimited tenants for $10.75 a month. 

That fee gives you complete access to the TurboTenant platform and includes our Landlord Forms Pack, reduced screening fees ($45 vs $55), waived ACH tenant fees, lease addendums, and much more. TurboTenant’s Premium upgrade hits the mark for small landlords looking to go big. 

In terms of education and community, RentSpree regularly updates its posts. Still, if you want additional content like YouTube videos and podcasts, TurboTenant’s regular educational content provides you with weekly content. 

4. TenantCloud

Small landlords often require their property management software to come with a number of free features to reduce costs and boost their bottom lines. Unfortunately, TenantCloud doesn’t offer a free option. 

Instead, interested landlords can sign up for a 14-day free trial to see what TenantCloud offers. After the 14-day trial expires, landlords can choose the Starter tier for $15.60/month or $187 if billed annually. 

Once paid, small landlords get access to rent payments, maintenance request management, listings, and applications. Also included in that price is the ability to manage 15 leases, access to 10 document templates, and tenant screening paid by the applicant. Plus, when you buy into the platform, TenantCloud does a good job of regularly providing educational content.

TurboTenant’s free option, on the other hand, includes free online rent payments, unlimited listings, online pre-screeners and rental applications, showing scheduling, and DIY maintenance tracking. 

In short, landlords get access to several free features they’d have to pay for with TenantCloud, and when they upgrade to Premium, the rewards expand. 

To learn more, visit TurboTenant vs TenantCloud

5. DoorLoop

Like TenantCloud, DoorLoop doesn’t offer a free tier, and the monthly price increases depending on your number of units. 

Typically, DoorLoop costs $59 a month for up to 20 units, though it occasionally runs promotions that bring the cost down. Those promotions usually last a few months before reverting to standard pricing. 

Beware: For small landlords with growth in mind, as the number of doors grows, so does DoorLoop’s pricing. For example, once you add your 21st door, your rate increases by $10. You’ll add another $10 for your 41st door. That said, DoorLoop includes critical features that fit within the parameters of the best property management for small landlords. 

When you sign up and pay for DoorLoop, you can access maintenance management, tenant screening, rent payments, and e-signatures in its Starter tier. However, you must upgrade to their Pro tier to access syndicated rental listings. 

As a small landlord, getting as many leads as possible helps reduce vacancy rates, and TurboTenant offers this feature for free. 

To learn more about real estate investing and property management, DoorLoop regularly updates its blog, YouTube channel, and webinars. However, it doesn’t currently offer ebooks. For a deeper dive, head on over to TurboTenant vs. DoorLoop

Why TurboTenant is the Top Choice for Small Landlords

The choice is clear: TurboTenant is the best free property management software for small landlords. Because TurboTenant offers a significant number of free features that similar software competitors charge for, landlords who want an all-in-one software solution to simplify property management should start by signing up for a free account today. 

There is no risk to you; you don’t have to enter a credit card, and we won’t bug you to start a demo. Just create an account and reveal everything you can do with TurboTenant today.

And if you’re hungry to learn more outside of the platform, TurboTenant’s deep focus on educational content will help you Be A Better Landlord. 

Best Property Management Software for Small Landlords FAQ

What is considered a small landlord?

Typically, small landlords often have 10 or fewer rental units. 

What are the key features to look for in property management software for small landlords?

Check out software that offers online rent collection, lease-building services and management, financial reporting functionality, tenant screening, and maintenance request management.

Why should small landlords consider educational resources and community support when choosing property management software?

We believe that landlords who learn more earn more. Whether that’s learning about how to depreciate property, handle ESA requests, or mitigate mold, landlords who continually learn provide themselves an edge in the real estate industry. 

How can TurboTenant offer their software for free?

TurboTenant collects money when your tenant completes tasks like paying rent or submitting a background check. Additional features like state-specific lease agreements are for sale if you continue using the free version. Those lease agreements are free when you upgrade to Premium. 

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