Taking your rental property management online is the only way to go if you want to scale your business. However, with so many different property management software solutions to shop, it can be difficult to know exactly which one to go with. Below we dive into the key differences between the most popular rental property management solutions to help you find the best landlord software to suit your unique needs.
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Benefits of Property Management Software
Leveraging a property management software will not only streamline and professionalize your rental business, but it’s also a great way to make you and your tenant’s lives easier.
Property management software is created to simplify daily administrative tasks as a landlord, all in one place. No more running around town to collect rent, shuffling through paper documents, using out-of-date lease agreements, or struggling to recruit great tenants. Luckily, technology will help you leave these challenges in the past. Not only will using a property management software save you time, but in turn you’ll increase your return on investment.
Plus, in 2023, we’re all used to the convenience of clicking a button to complete what could potentially be a burdensome task; the rental industry is no different. If you are still using out-of-date methods to manage your property, you might fall behind your competitors. Transitioning to a software that is specifically tailored to manage properties will make your business more successful.
Essential Features of a Quality Property Management Software
To ensure that your property management software platform of choice is providing you with all the lucrative and efficient features possible, it’s essential to research and compare the different options available. While all property management software solutions offer unique services, the following features are the most important:
- Marketing: Marketing your rental property online is the only way to easily find great tenants in 2023. It’s easy, quick, and the most popular method for tenants to search for their next rental. The more sites you push your listing to the better, so it’s smart to pick a software that has the ability to market your listing across top platforms. Creating an online listing can take less than five minutes and good landlord software will post it to popular listing sites within 48 hours.
- Rent Collection: Collecting rent online is easy for you and your tenants, and offers more than traditional rent collection methods. As a landlord, you can set late fees and keep a clear “paper trail” of all payments. As a tenant, you can set up autopay to easily pay rent on time and have the option to report your rent to build credit history. Some software options even provide integrated accounting so you can track your finances all in one place, making tax season that much easier.
- Tenant Screening: The best way to protect your bottom line is to get reliable tenants in your rental. To do so, you have to screen them thoroughly with an eviction report, credit check, and background check (bonus points if you can verify their income). Screening an applicant through a property management software will be secure, accurate, comprehensive, private, and efficient; you’ll know whether to move forward with an applicant in less than five minutes.
- Lease Agreements: Lease agreements are the bones of your rental business and are needed to protect yourself and your tenant. Even better, a state-specific lease agreement template will allow you to create a professional and air-tight lease in five minutes, protecting you, your property, and your tenant. Plus, using a property management software to create your lease means you don’t have to worry about updating it to comply with your local landlord-tenant laws, and you’ll always have a copy of it on hand.
Although there are many more services that a property management software can provide to boost your rental business, these four features are a necessity when managing your investment properties online.
The Importance of Landlord Software in Property Management
Whether you’re a veteran landlord with 100 properties, or a newcomer investor with a single rental, landlord software will offer you a multitude of unique benefits.
As a landlord, there are many daily time-consuming tasks, from marketing your property to communicating with your tenant, to screening applicants. When using a great landlord software, you can cut the time of these administrative tasks in half. In turn, you free up time to spend with your family, or search for your next investment property.
Landlord software is made specifically for you to efficiently professionalize your daily tasks. Features such as tenant-landlord instant messaging, lease templates, and professional digital listings all elevate your business in ways that are not possible without a great landlord software. Check out the following property management software options to begin taking advantage of efficient landlord tools.
Top 5 Property Management Software
As the true all-in-one property management software made specifically for landlords, by landlords, TurboTenant makes it easy for you to continue to be a rockstar landlord without the hassle.
TurboTenant’s user experience is accessible for both the technologically savvy and those who have little experience with digital platforms. Plus, their team is dedicated to guiding you through their many features offered, as well as continuously improving and adding more features based on customer feedback. TurboTenant is also unique in the fact that they provide free monthly continuing education specifically for landlords – from guiding you through the eviction process to navigating the challenges of emotional support animals.
- 50+ Marketing Syndication Partners
- Customizable Online Application
- Automatic Pre-Screener
- State-Specific Leases
- Maintenance Request Management
- Tenant Portal and Rent Reporting
- Rent Collection via ACH or Credit Card
- Integrated Accounting
- Autopay and Automatic Late Fees
- Free Education
TurboTenant offers both a free subscription and a $99 annual Premium subscription. There is no limit on the amount of doors for either option, and no surprise upcharges for Premium members. With the option to create a completely free account and access each unique feature, landlords can get a sneak peek into the software before committing to the upgraded subscription.
Avail also provides essential all-in-one features that are necessary for managing all the different tasks of a landlord. Their user experience is simple, clean, and provides straightforward access to their variety of tools. They also have a significant amount of positive customer support reviews, making it easy to navigate any technological challenges or emergency situations.
Another awesome benefit to Avail is they offer next-day payments for their Premium users, making it even more efficient to collect rent on-time. Overall, they offer a comprehensive feature package, solid support, and simple pricing. However, Avail has significant limitations to their product, such as a lack of marketing syndication partners and limited “free” subscription functionality. Avail also has a pricing structure that impacts your ability to grow your portfolio.
- 12 Marketing Syndication Partners with Premium Subscription
- Next-Day Payments with Premium Subscription
- Free Subscription Option
- State-Specific Lease Agreements
- Tenant Screening Report
- Mobile App
Similar to TurboTenant, Avail offers both a free and Premium subscription. Avail’s Premium subscription pricing depends on the amount of units you have, as they charge $7 a month per unit. Although you still have the option to peek into the product without any financial commitment, their cost per unit makes it difficult to scale your business without impacting your bottom line.
RentRedi has a solid amount of helpful features in their product, but the most valuable and detailed part of their product is their mobile app. On their website, it is clear that they market the app to both landlords and tenants – creating what appears to be an inclusive experience for everyone involved in the rental process. Tenants have flexible, tailored features such as the ability to pay rent with cash and report their on-time rent payments to build credit.
Although RentRedi offers a foundation of good property management features, some of the most necessary tools are missing from their product. RentRedi does not provide state-specific lease templates and they lack a network of marketing syndication partners.
- 4 Marketing Syndication Partners
- Comprehensive App
- Tenant Portal
- Rent Collection
- Pre-qualifications & Applications
- Premium Maintenance Requests & Coordination
While each property management software offers a distinct pricing structure, RentRedi’s is the most confusing on this list. According to their website, you can choose between a monthly, annual, or biannual pricing structure at $19.95, $9, or $15 respectively. The annual plan is the most affordable, totaling $108/year. RentRedi does not offer any free subscription.
4. Zillow Rental Manager
Zillow Rental Manager is a great way to push your listings to one of the most recognized websites for rental property marketing. Because of this, hosting your listings on Zillow’s site offers unique exclusivity. Zillow Rental Manager also syndicates with Trulia and HotPads.
Even though you can successfully market your property to top listing platforms, Zillow Rental Manager doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that you can find from other property management platforms. Another downside is there is a lack of customer support on their site, making it difficult to find guidance or request help. If you’re looking for an all-in-one property management solution, this is probably not your best bet.
- 3 Top Marketing Syndication Partners
- Rent Collection
- State-Specific Lease Agreements
- Tenant Messaging
- Tenant Screening
For only offering limited property management features, Zillow Rental Manager can get pretty expensive. For a premium listing, you’ll pay $29.99/per listing, per 90 days. If you want to use any of their other features you’ll have to pay a la carte fees such as a $29 screening report fee and a $9.95 debit card transaction fee for rent collection.
DoorLoop is a comprehensive property management software, tailored to property manager companies: from tenant screening, to integrated accounting, to limited marketing syndication. However, DoorLoop does not offer lease agreements, which is an essential part of digital property management. Plus, there is no free option. If you want to peek into Doorloop’s functionality prior to committing, you will have to schedule a demo with their team.
DoorLoop is dedicated to their customer support services, highlighting this across their website as a stand-out feature. As a customer, you will receive a dedicated account manager, guided data migration, virtual training for your team, and Monday through Friday support.
- 6 Marketing Syndication Partners
- Dedicated Account Manager
- Integrated Accounting
- Mobile App
- Online Tenant Portal
- Rent Collection
DoorLoop has three subscription options: Starter, Pro, and Premium. The price for each tier is dependent on the amount of properties you have, with a maximum of 160 units for their cheapest subscription. Starter ranges from $49-$189/month, Pro ranges from $49.50-$124.50/month, and Premium ranges from $74.50-$429/month.
Among the five software options on this list, DoorLoop is definitely the priciest.
How to Choose the Right Property Management Software
With the many different property management software options to choose from, it’s important to make sure you’re weighing your options based on your specific needs. We recommend factoring the cost of your chosen software into your rental property management expenses and deciding exactly what you can spend.
Make sure that you’re not going with a more expensive option that offers fewer features. It’s important to get the most bang for your buck. Try out a free subscription or demo prior to committing to one property management software.
How TurboTenant Has Helped Landlords
Over 550,000 landlords currently use TurboTenant to manage their rental property portfolio. Of TurboTenant’s 677 reviews, 90% of customers recommend the platform. Customers overwhelmingly support the program, reporting that “becoming a landlord went from overwhelming to easy” and “TurboTenant is a great resource for landlords as well as tenants. Everything is all in one place and the app is very easy to use.”
Although many property management software companies offer helpful features, TurboTenant goes above and beyond by continuously improving their product to match the demand of the rental industry while keeping their costs as low as possible.
Along with 24/7 chat support, their team’s goal is to help landlords “be better landlords”. They do this by offering free landlord education, a comprehensive free subscription option, community events, an active TurboTenant Facebook group for Landlords, plus easy and inclusive features to communicate with tenants. As a TurboTenant landlord, there is no shortage of resources you can tap into to continue to improve your property management and share tips with other landlords.
Unlike other property management software, TurboTenant is transparent with their costs. While there is a flat annual fee of $99 for a Premium subscription, this purchase includes all a-la-carte features, minimizes tenant application fees, and even waives ACH bank transfer fees for tenants. You won’t experience any surprise bonus costs for necessary tools as a TurboTenant Premium landlord.
Don’t want to spend the $99? Want to peek into the product first? You can create an account today on TurboTenant’s site and have the chance to get acquainted with the platform, access almost all of the most important features for landlords, and market unlimited properties for free.
No matter what property management software you decide to use, know that you’re already taking proactive steps to improve your rental property business and the daily challenges of managing a rental property. Optimizing your rental management with quality software will change the game of your business and will provide you with benefits that would have never been possible before.
To easily begin managing your properties online with confidence, check out TurboTenant’s All-in-One Rental Property Management Software today.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How is property management software important nowadays?
Property management software is important because it keeps all the multi-faceted tasks of property management organized, efficient, and inexpensive. In addition, everything is done online these days, making it difficult to have a successful rental property business without having digital capabilities. Property management software is necessary to scale your business all while making your life easier as a landlord.
What would the ideal property management software do?
The ideal property management software will be able to perform all your daily landlord tasks in one place, while also storing important information, documents, and landlord-tenant communication history to keep your business more organized. The most important features include tenant screening, rent collection, lease agreement templates, and marketing syndication. These are just some of the essential tools that a property management software can offer, but there are way more features available across different platforms that can streamline your business.