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Managing rental properties can be a time-consuming and stressful task for landlords and property managers. But what if there was a way to simplify and streamline the process, allowing you to focus on growing your rental property business?

Thanks to residential property management software, you can do just that!

With rental property management software, landlords and property management companies can collect rent online, set automated rent reminders, screen tenants, track maintenance requests, manage bank accounts, generate financial reports, handle lead tracking, and so much more.

Basically, this all-in-one tool is an excellent solution for handling all your accounting, expense tracking, marketing, maintenance, and lease and tenant management needs.

Here we'll review these powerful property management tools and provide you with the knowledge needed to select the best property management software so you can improve your productivity and reallocate your saved time to finding new properties and growing your business.

What Is Residential Property Management Software?

Residential property management software is a game-changing tool designed to help landlords and property managers oversee their rental properties more efficiently. Imagine having the power to streamline these tasks all in one convenient platform:

  • Accounting
  • Tenant screening
  • Rent collection
  • Maintenance requests

General property management software exists, but residential property management software is designed specifically for residential living spaces, rather than commercial, industrial, or vacation units.

Whether you're a big residential property management company or a landlord with just a few units, rental management software can make your life easier and business more profitable.

What Are the Benefits and Features of Residential Property Management Software?

So what makes residential property management software so special?

Here's how property managers and owners can benefit from these programs:

  • Accurate and automated financial management: Let the rental property management software handle any day-to-day financials and generate reports for you so that your accounting is easy and accurate.
  • Cost savings: For property owners, you can save a lot of money by using a property management system instead of hiring a property manager. For property managers, an all-in-one software will reduce the number of subscriptions for applications your business may use.
  • Scalability: Grow your business with a good property management software that helps market your properties and scales as you add more units to your portfolio.
  • Data protection: Protect you and your tenants' secure information and documentation from malicious actors with a program that has robust security.
  • Mobile accessibility: Run your business on the go with a cloud-based software that's accessible from your laptop, phone, or tablet.
  • Enhanced efficiency: Automate tasks, become more efficient, and apply your newfound time and resources to growing your business or simply enjoying life.
  • Improved tenant experience: Old and prospective tenants will be grateful to have a portal for paying rent and requesting maintenance from their landlords or property managers. Watch your landlord-tenant relationships flourish.
  • Data-driven decision-making: With data analytics, you can understand your market and make informed decisions for growing your business and keeping your tenants satisfied.

Rental property management software offers these benefits through all the features it provides, such as the following:

  • Accounting tools: Potentially replace your existing accounting software. Enable different payment methods, automatically process transactions, run custom reports, reconcile your bank accounts, and more.
  • Tenant portal: Centralize all communication with your tenants into one dashboard for online rent collection, maintenance requests, and more. Automatically collect rent payments and late fees, and have the system remind your tenants of upcoming due dates on your behalf.
  • Owner portal: Likewise, property managers can centralize all communication with landlords and/or investors into a dashboard. Offer a transparent experience for both parties in the business.
  • Marketing tools: Market properties and units that are vacant, collect and process applications and associated fees, and screen your tenants to prepare for new residents and grow your business seamlessly.
  • Maintenance request system: Create, track, and communicate about work orders through a maintenance request system for not only property owners and managers but also tenants and vendors. Keep everyone on the same page every step of the way.

These features all include countless sub-features as well, including but not limited to website design and scheduling for property showings. Altogether, they make managing your rental properties a breeze, so real estate investors can focus on growing their portfolios and increasing their rental income.

Can You Use QuickBooks as Your Residential Property Management Software?

While QuickBooks can be used for basic accounting needs in managing rental transactions, it doesn't offer the full range of features that dedicated residential property management software provides.

QuickBooks lacks specialized features to screen tenants, manage maintenance requests, market properties, communicate with tenants and vendors, and collect rent, which are crucial for managing rental properties effectively.

QuickBooks is, however, a solid accounting software for reporting, payroll, check printing, customer database management, and more. It's a good option if you're only working with a few properties or are getting your feet wet.

However, when it comes to residential property management, there are unique needs that QuickBooks simply cannot fulfill:

  • Tenant-specific classification: QuickBooks only has a classification for customers. However, tenants need their own classification.
  • Separate payments: It's ideal to separate different payments like rent, deposit, and pet fees from one another. However, it's difficult to run more than one bank account on QuickBooks.
  • Separate accounts: Similarly, you need multiple accounts for property management, such as for property management tasks (e.g., collecting rent and paying vendors) and for managing your business (e.g., payroll and utilities). To do this in QuickBooks, you need a Premium plan, making it more expensive and still inconvenient.
  • Other systems: In addition to accounting, property management requires systems for communications, work orders, marketing, and more, which QuickBooks isn't built for.

These things and most of QuickBooks's features are available through property management softwareÔÇöwithout any complicated or time-consuming workarounds. You can try a demo for DoorLoop to see how these features work together to replace QuickBooks.

Keep property management simple by using a leading property management software. But how do you choose one?

How to Select the Best Residential Property Management Software

how to choose the best residential property management software

There are several factors to consider when making your decision, which we'll explain more below.

By taking these factors into account, you can ensure that you select a rental property management software solution that will help you manage your properties efficiently and effectively.

Cost

Plan a budget for your business and use that as a guide when shopping around for software. Some providers offer free property management software with basic features, while other property management software has a monthly fee.

For some, there is a minimum monthly fee of $200-250. This may not be worthwhile if you have a small portfolio.

To get the best value for your money, compare the pricing plans of different software options and see which suits your rental property management business.

Scalability for Portfolio Growth

Choose a property management software that can grow with your portfolio. The seamless experience you have managing one unit should be the same as when you are managing hundreds.

When assessing the scalability of property management software, keep these factors in mind:

  • Number of units or properties the software can manage
  • Capacity to add or remove units or properties
  • Cost associated with this growth

In general, you want to make sure the program will grow with you in a cost-effective manner.

Key Features

Evaluate which key or advanced features are included in the rental property management software. For example:

  • Tenant screening
  • Rent collection
  • Maintenance management
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Owner and tenant portals
  • Property accounting

Additionally, consider whether it's a cloud-based software with an app for mobile accessibility.

Integration Capabilities

Integration capabilities are important to consider when selecting property management software, as they allow it to work seamlessly with other services you may already be using or need, such as accounting software and online payment systems.

A software solution with strong integration capabilities can streamline your workflow and make managing your rental properties even more efficient in terms of both time and cost.

Data Protection

Between property owners, managers, tenants, and vendors, loads of personal information is exchanged during the property management process. For this reason, robust security is paramount.

Safeguard your valuable rental property information and maintain the trust of your tenants by considering data protection when selecting property management software. Ensure that the software provides data encryption, access controls, and compliance with laws and regulations to protect your data.

Interface

A user-friendly interface is crucial for ensuring that you and your tenants can easily navigate and use your chosen property management software.

When evaluating the interface of different options, consider how easy it is to use, whether it can be customized, and if it works on different devices. Can your 80-year-old grandpa figure it out?

A software solution with an intuitive interface can make managing your rental properties a smoother and more enjoyable experience for all parties.

Mobile Accessibility

Mobile accessibility is a must for any property management system. Look for solutions that offer mobile apps or mobile-friendly interfaces, allowing you to manage your rental properties on the go, whether you're at home, in the office, or out meeting with tenants.

Mobile accessibility ensures you can stay on top of your rental property business, no matter where you are.

Make it easy for your tenants by ensuring that their portals are also accessible on mobile devices.

Customer Support and Training

Customer support and onboarding can make all the difference when it comes to getting the most out of your property management software.

Look out for the following:

  • Large range of customer support options
  • Good onboarding
  • Fast response times
  • Free training
  • Robust knowledge base

Make sure that the software's company will truly be there and ready for you if something goes awry.

By choosing a software solution with strong customer support and onboarding options, you can smoothly transition into your rental property management software with confidence.

Customer Reviews

Last but certainly not least, don't forget to check customer reviews when evaluating property management software options. Customer reviews provide invaluable insights into the quality of a software solution and its features, as well as the level of customer support and training provided by the company.

By considering the experiences of other landlords, property managers, and even tenants, you can make a more informed decision about which rental property management software is the right fit for your rental property business.

Top Residential Property Management Software

Now that you know what to look for in residential property management software, let's dive into the 10 best property management software options of 2023.

Each of these software solutions offers a unique combination of features, pricing, and support options to help you manage your rental properties efficiently and effectively.

DoorLoop

DoorLoop residential property management software

DoorLoop is an all-in-one residential property management software built to manage anything with a door. It helps landlords and property managers manage their properties with ease and confidence.

Its dashboard was specifically designed to be intuitive and easy to use (even for beginners), and its features centralize and streamline any property management business.

The fact that DoorLoop is a quickly growing property management software company is also advantageous; the software is very modern and built from the ground-up with today's most important integrations in mind (e.g., Stripe, TransUnion, Zillow, and HelloSign) and an open API powered by Zapier.

DoorLoop Features

  • Accounting suite designed to replace QuickBooks
  • Owner portal
  • Built-in CRM and tenant portal
  • Maintenance order management
  • Advertising and marketing tools
  • Automated system to collect rent and other fees
  • Responsive customer service
  • Mobile app
  • Open API

DoorLoop Pricing

DoorLoop's affordable pricing, starting at $59 a month for up to 20 properties, makes it an accessible option for landlords, property managers, and other real estate professionals of any portfolio size and type. DoorLoop also offers multiple pricing tiers based on your needs.

Entrata

Entrata residential property management software

Entrata is another mostly cloud-based property management solution with a wealth of tenant, maintenance, and accounting management tools at its disposal.

Entrata Features

  • Tenant portal
  • Tenant screening
  • Maintenance request management
  • Lead tracking
  • Accounting
  • Lead-generation tools

Entrata Pricing

The program's pricing model is not listed online, so you'll need to get in touch with one of Entrata's salespeople to learn more about how much it would cost for your rental property business.

RentRedi

RentRedi residential property management software

RentRedi is a user-friendly property management software that offers a range of features to help landlords and property managers manage their rental properties with ease. It's a good option for rental property management companies on a budget.

RentRedi Features

  • Tenant portal
  • Tenant screening
  • Maintenance request management
  • Marketing tools
  • Mobile app
  • Dedicated customer support team

RentRedi Pricing

In terms of pricing, RentRedi has a pay-as-you-go model for $19.95/month. You can save by choosing six-month or annual plans as well. The features are the same regardless of which plan you choose.

SimplifyEm

SimplifyEm residential property management software

SimplifyEm is a property management software geared more toward the accounting side of things.

So if you're just looking for a program to help manage your property accounting and some other typical rental property management software features aren't priorities for you, this might be a good choice.

SimplifyEm Features

  • Tenant portal
  • QuickBooks Online integration
  • Automated rent payments and reminders
  • Dashboard payment reminders
  • Lease agreement processing

SimplifyEm Pricing

SimplifyEm has multiple pricing tiers based on the number of units you have. It starts at $35 per month to manage up to 10 units.

Avail

Avail residential property management software

Avail is another software for managing properties that is intended for those on a budget. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy to navigate and take advantage of its features.

Avail Features

  • Online rent collection
  • Tenant screening
  • Maintenance request management
  • Digital leasing
  • Marketing tools

Avail Pricing

Avail's pricing (or lack thereof) is what makes it stand out. It offers a 100% free plan to get started, regardless of how many units you have. This plan has very limited features but might be a good option for newer landlords or property mangers.

For those who want more features, Avail offers a paid plan for $7 per unit per month.

Yardi Breeze

Yardi Breeze is targeted toward users with small portfolios consisting of mostly residential properties. Its users have also praised its intuitive, easy-to-use interface.

Yardi Breeze Features

  • Owner portal
  • Automated online rent payments
  • Accounting tools
  • Maintenance request management
  • QuickBooks integration

Yardi Breeze Pricing

Yardi Breeze's pricing differs depending on the type of properties you're managing. For residential properties, Yardi Breeze starts at $1 per unit per month for the basic plan and $2 per unit per month for the upgraded plan. However, the plans have a minimum monthly fee of $100 and $400 per month, respectively.

Innago

Innago residential property management software

Innago is known for its ease of use and mostly free option, making it another good starter option for those new to using software for property management.

Innago Features

  • Online rent payments
  • Basic accounting features
  • Tenant screening
  • Lease management
  • Maintenance tools
  • Tenant portal

Innago Pricing

The software itself is entirely free, but it comes with some processing and screening fees. All ACH payments cost $2, while debit and credit payments charge 2.75%. Additionally, background checks cost $30-35.

AppFolio

AppFolio residential property management software

AppFolio is another robust option for residential property and lease management. Despite AppFolio's expansive features, the software's UI remains generally easy to use.

AppFolio Features

  • Tenant portal
  • Smart bill entry
  • Utility management
  • Automated online rent payments
  • Security deposit account holding

AppFolio Pricing

Designed for small- to mid-sized portfolios, AppFolio starts at $1.40 per unit per month. However, it has an additional minimum monthly fee of $280. Additionally, the basic version of AppFolio requires a minimum portfolio size of at least 50 units.

TenantCloud

TenantCloud residential property management software

TenantCloud is yet another affordable and cloud-based option for landlords or property managers on a budget. This makes it a decent solution for those who do not need extensive features and are looking to get their feet wet with a property management program.

TenantCloud Features

  • Basic accounting features
  • Online rent collection
  • Maintenance request management
  • Insurance reminders
  • Vendor payments

TenantCloud Pricing

With regard to pricing, TenantCloud starts at $15 per month for its basic plan, which includes rent payments, maintenance, listings, rental applications, eSignature, tax reports, and leads tracking. For more features, you'll have to upgrade.

Rent Manager

Rent Manager residential property management software

Rent Manager is intended for more advanced users, but it does have a robust set of features and has cloud-based, desktop, and mobile versions to fit the needs of your business.

Rent Manager Features

  • Online rent collection
  • Owner payments
  • Reporting
  • Custom training
  • Professional website service
  • QuickBooks integration

Rent Manager Pricing

Rent Manager's pricing is not listed publicly. You'll have to contact the company directly to schedule a demo and learn about the cost.

What Is the Best Residential Property Management Software?

So what software do residential property managers use? Which one is the best?

With so many great options available, selecting the best residential property management software can be a challenge. In the end, however, the best software is the one that does what your business needs and more, allowing you to grow.

Ask yourself:

  • Which software will eliminate the most time-consuming aspects of accounting for your properties?
  • What tool feels like an asset instead of a burden or a liability?
  • Which application will streamline and automate your systems so you can be more organized and efficient while watching your cash flow improve?

Finding a good fit is difficult. DoorLoop's founders are property managers who recognized this and created the solution of their dreams to make property management easier than ever.

With a comprehensive accounting suite, in-app communication options, easy work order management, tenant and owner portals, screening and marketing tools, and additional features, DoorLoop is an all-in-one solution that we believe can work for you.

That said, regardless of which rental property management software you choose to support your business, we hope this guide helps you in your property management journey!

For now, check out DoorLoop's features, determine its cost with a handy pricing comparison calendar, and schedule a free demo today to see how the program can help you.

Want to compare more property management software systems? Download this free whitepaper to get the inside scoop on the most popular picks!

Melissa is a Content Creator and Copywriter at DoorLoop with a background in copyediting and writing for real estate, scientific, academic, legal, and gaming settings. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Missouri- St. Louis with a B.A. in English and a minor in Classical Studies.

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