Rent tracking was once, and can still be, a great big pain in the back house.
Then, old-school programs like Excel kept you from having to look at your lousy handwriting and made it easier to organize everything.
However, it didn’t make you more efficient, just more organized.
Now, rent tracking apps and property management software have entirely transformed the chore of basic property accounting.
What once took hours now takes a few minutes, with many tasks being outright automated with the right tool.
And that brings us to the purpose of this guide.
Nowadays, there are many apps out there you can use to track rent payments– some that even allow you to collect rent directly from a tenant portal within the app.
Below, we’ll guide you through some of the best options.
Whether you’re looking for a simple solution to track essential property accounting elements such as rent payments or you want a more comprehensive property management software tool, you’ll find what you need.
First, let’s talk about all of your options, from the most basic manual systems up to software, and why one is far better than the others.
How do you keep track of rent?
This is just as much a question for you as it is a question of what’s possible.
How do you keep track of rent?
There are essentially 3 ways you can do it:
- You can write a few notes in your smartphone’s notepad each month
- You can track rent in a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets
- Or you can use software to track your rent payments
Option #1 is about as helpful as shooting yourself in the foot.
Not only are you likely not tracking important pieces of information, only noting down when you received what rent payments, but you’re not using anything to confirm those amounts, such as online payment or check receipts.
Option #2 isn’t much better. It can feel like even more work, though with fewer mistakes.
By tracking rent with a spreadsheet in something like Excel, you can stay far better organized. However, it’s generally suggested that you use one spreadsheet for each property.
What if you have 20… 100? More? Way more?
Then you’d have that many spreadsheets (or a billion-line spreadsheet).
If thinking about that didn’t give you a headache, that makes one of us.
That brings us to option #3.
So far, the problems we’ve faced are:
- Not a reliable way to track financial data
- (Way) Too much work to track
Property management software such as a rent tracking app solves both problems, and it automatically does this.
Much of the manual work becomes automated in a rental tracking app.
No need to submit information; just connect your accounts, and they’ll regularly update without needing to lift a finger.
Also, what was once countless overly complicated spreadsheets have now become a simple and easy-to-use database.
Search, review account history, and access any other information from your convenient tenant database in moments.
So, if you weren’t entirely convinced yet that an app is the right choice for tracking all of your property management finances, it’s time to upgrade.
Now that it’s clear that getting rent tracking software is the way to go, let’s talk about what features you should look for in a good property management app.
What features should you look for in a rent tracking app?
Not every rental tracking app is made equal.
Some are pretty basic and only come with a few core features, oftentimes leaving much to be desired.
Sure, you can get by with the basics. But as we touched on a bit so far, rental tracking software can do so much more.
So, you should be looking at what else you can automate, consolidate, and streamline with an excellent rental tracking app.
Here are the features you should look for:
1. Tenant portal
This first feature includes accepting payments online automatically, but it can also be so much more.
Many rental software solutions offer a complete tenant portal, including:
- Online rent payments
- Tenant communications for things like maintenance orders, straight from the app
- Account information
With a convenient tenant portal that tenants can access straight from their smartphones, paying rent and keeping up with payments is more manageable.
Plus, tracking rent is a cinch for you.
Also, tenant communications straight from your rent tracking app is a game-changer.
You can keep all communication in one place? No more chasing down vendors and tenants trying to get a maintenance order done?
Sign me up.
2. Process tenant applications
Property management apps don’t stop at rent tracking and tenant communications.
A robust solution seeks to automate and streamline your entire process, saving you time and money.
One of those processes an app can help you with is allowing prospective tenants to submit applications online, which you then receive straight in your app.
Even better, some apps allow tenants to process application fee payments, and you to customize your applications and view the status of those applications.
3. Applicant screening
Taking the next step, a property management app can even automate the screening process.
Many apps allow tenants to request their background checks while submitting their applications.
They can even process the payment for their background check right from the app. Talk about convenience (and time-saving, for you).
4. Automatically upload vacancy listings
Vacancies are a wasted opportunity and a missed cash flow.
Keeping up with vacancies and uploading those vacant listings to top property listing platforms is vital.
But what if you could automate that process?
Many property apps allow you to do just that, automatically listing vacant units on the top property listing platforms without you having to lift a finger.
5. Manage maintenance orders
If you’re a property manager or landlord, you know handling property maintenance is a big part of the job.
It takes work, a lot of work, and something always seems to go wrong when balancing communication between vendors and tenants.
Property management apps often allow you to manage work orders, including allowing:
- Tenants to send in maintenance requests, add documents, and attach images/video
- And property managers and owners to reply to those requests, contact vendors, monitor progress, and even pay vendors, all within the app
Taken together, a quality app can completely transform your maintenance process from time-consuming and headache-inducing to streamlined and automated.
6. Accounting software integrations
Some property management software solutions, like DoorLoop, offer robust accounting features.
Feature such as:
- Check processing
- The ability to accept ACH, Credit card, and other payment methods
- Full chart of accounts functionality
- And more
However, depending on the app you use, there’s a chance you might need a particular feature that only a dedicated accounting program like QuickBooks has.
That’s where integrations come in.
Many rental tracking apps offer integrations with programs like QuickBooks and Xero, allowing you to connect your rental tracking app with your accounting app so they can work together.
Now that we’ve covered a bit of what you should look for, and can get, with a good rent tracking app, let’s dive into your best options.
7 Rent Tracking Apps
There are many apps on the market, from more straightforward rent tracking solutions to more robust property management solutions.
No matter what you’re looking for, there’s an option that fits
Here are 7 of the best options on the market:
The first option on our list, DoorLoop’s own property management solution, includes a complete tenant portal and full mobile app functionality.
DoorLoop is designed by property managers, for property managers, so you know the features are designed with your pain points and needs in mind.
Whether you’re looking for a simple app that makes rent tracking easier or a full-service suite that can help you streamline your entire operation, it has everything you need.
- Tenant portal that allows for online rent payments, easy access to account info, and tenant communications directly from the app
- Full accounting suite including multiple payment options such as ACH and credit cards, and custom reports
- Maintenance order management, from assigning jobs to vendors to editing work orders and communicating directly with tenants from within the software
- Tenant screening features as well as automatic property listings
- And more
Looking for a full-service app that you can try for free without making an immediate investment?
DoorLoop’s complete rental property management software is 50% off until 2022, with a 30-day money back guarantee. After 2022, prices start as low as $49/month for your first 20 units. Try it free today.
Landlordy is an iPhone-specific app that allows you to do things like track rent payments and send invoices.
The app offers a free version, though it’s pretty restrictive, only allowing one property on the plan. And while it doesn’t offer an Android version, it does integrate well with iPhone features such as your camera, messaging, and email.
- iPhone app (no Android)
- Track rent payments and other business expenses
- Integrates with all iPhone features such as SMS messaging and camera
Landlordy offers a limited free version for just one property and tenant lease. Their basic plan starts at $14.99 per month and comes with additional options such as data backup.
3. Rentec Direct
Rentec Direct has a robust list of features designed for property managers and tenants, including a tenant portal and mobile app functionality.
Their app is convenient enough to use, though both their app and cloud software interfaces can feel a bit clunky and hard to navigate.
Rentec Direct features
- Tenant communication features such as SMS and email
- Work order management features such as the ability for tenants to issue maintenance requests
- Lease tracking
- Tenant screening
Rentec Direct pricing
Rentec Direct’s starter PRO plan starts at $35 per month, covering up to 10 units. Their next plan up is $55 per month for up to 50 units.
Rentec Direct is unique in that it offers some of its features as separate paid add-ons, such as a $7 per month Basic Screening Package. These are typically features included in most basic plans, however.
4. Landlord Studio
Landlord Studio is a property management app that offers versions for both iOS and Android.
The app offers a clean interface that’s easy to navigate, along with features such as payment tracking, deposits, and other accounting capabilities.
However, by comparison, its features can be a bit thin if you’re looking for a more complete solution.
Landlord Studio features
- Payment tracking
- Expense tracking
- Tenant screening
Landlord Studio pricing
Landlord Studio’s pricing structure is a bit complex, with both per unit per month pricing layered on top of a base monthly pricing structure that gates features based on what you pay.
All plans are $1 per unit per month, with each of their three payment plans offering 1 unit included in the monthly fee.
Their Start plan is $5.99 (paid annually), with each unit after the first being $1 per unit per month. So, if you have three units, you’d pay $7.99 per month.
Their premium tier plan Scale, which they state is best for 20+ units, is $19.99 (paid annually), though that again only includes 1 unit within the price. So, if you have 20 units, you’d pay $38.99.
5. Rent Manager
Rent Manager offers a convenient mobile app experience as well as a desktop version and a robust set of features.
It’s mainly for more advanced users, based on both the rich feature set (though it will cost you) and the fact that their interface isn’t the most intuitive.
They have one of the best feature sets on this list, though their pricing isn’t transparent.
Rent Manager features
- Online rent payments
- Vendor payments
- Owner portal
- QuickBooks and other accounting integrations
Rent Manager pricing
Rent Manager offers two pricing models.
First, it offers pricing tiers for multiple versions of its software. Second, it provides a more typical per unit, per month pricing model.
However, Rent Manager doesn’t offer exact pricing on their website. So, you’ll have to sign up for a demo to get information from a sales representative.
Rentmoji is a primarily cloud-based rental tracking app with a convenient mobile app.
Their interface is clean and relatively simple to use, making it one of the better app experiences on this list.
In addition, you can use a vast number of integrations to do anything the app can’t handle. However, pricing is high compared to most of its competitors.
- Maintenance order management
- Track and automate rent payments
- Communicate with tenants directly from the app
- Large number of integrations
Rentmoji doesn’t make its pricing public, which means it is on the higher end. You’ll have to contact them directly to get more information.
7. Property Matrix
Property Matrix has a good balance of features and usability, with simple and intuitive navigation.
It offers good customization and lots of accounting features, though they may be the priciest option on this list by far.
Property Matrix features
- Customizable reports
- Accept online payments via ACH and credit card
- Owner statements
- In-app document signing
Property Matrix pricing
The enterprise option of the list, Property Matrix’s Standard plan, starts at $400 per month, covering up to 250 units. Additional units are $1.50 per unit per month.
Which rent tracking app makes the most sense for you?
We hope this guide helps you find a tool that can help simplify and optimize your property management efforts.
Whether you’re a property management company with hundreds of properties or an investor with a few dozen, the right software can make all the difference.
That’s why we’re passionate about DoorLoop’s own robust set of features.
No matter what you’re looking for, DoorLoop’s property management app has everything you need, from:
- Automating online rent payments
- A complete suite of accounting features to manage all your financials
- Tenant portal and maintenance order management system for streamlined communication
- Tenant screening, background checks, and automatic listings
- And much more
Try DoorLoop for free until 2022 and see what it can do for you.