Managing a portfolio of rental properties is like juggling a fruit salad; there’s too much in the air at one time, and it all needs to be handled simultaneously. This is where rental property management software (and this guide) comes in.
On any given day, you could be:
- Collecting rent payments from several tenants
- Navigating multiple new maintenance requests
- Paying out vendors for previous ones
- Screening several applicants
- Completing some applications
- Sending a report to one of your owners
- And putting up the listing for a vacant unit
That’s a lot to deal with.
And, sure, a team really helps with that. But so does technology. And while you want both, tech is (way) cheaper.
Below, we’ll talk a bit about what property management software can do for your business and how it can transform how you operate.
Then, we’ll follow it up with a list of the 10 best rental property management software tools available, so you have great options to choose from
First, let’s talk about what features you should be looking for in a great rental property management tool.
What features should you look for in rental property management software?
It’s essential to keep in mind that not every rental property management tool is made equal (i.e., has the same features).
When deciding which software to choose, you should consider:
- What features a particular software has
- Of those, what features would be helpful to you
- And what features you need (i.e. the dealbreakers)
Depending on the software, you might only be getting the core features, while others offer additional features that can help you streamline and automate additional areas of your property management efforts.
Here are some features you should look for in good property management software:
1. Automatic rent payments and tenant portal
The #1 thing that rental property management software does for you is make it easier to collect rent and communicate with tenants.
The bottom line is most important, and having software that facilitates faster, reliable, and semi-automated rent payments is invaluable.
Many property management software solutions offer a complete tenant portal where you can collect rent and communicate directly with tenants.
Tenants can then handle rent and additional responsibilities through the portal, such as pet rent, parking fees, and even send in maintenance requests.
Talk about efficiency.
Rent– faster, more reliably, and with less work on your end? Perfect worlds do exist.
2. Manage maintenance orders
Juggling work orders between tenants and vendors can be a pain, following up with this person while putting in this order and replying to that vendor.
Another major area that online rental property management software helps with is streamlining your work order system.
With most property management tools, you can:
- Accept maintenance requests directly from tenants
- Create work orders and add attachments such as notes and images
- Assign that work order to a vendor
- Pay that vendor
- And communicate with tenants on that maintenance request for information and status updates
All your work orders in one place, with one central communication tool that helps you simplify and streamline the entire process.
3. Applicant screening and online applications
The best rental property management software doesn’t just help simplify and even semi-automate rent collection and maintenance orders, it also does the same to help you bring in new tenants.
Many property management tools offer features like:
- Online applications: Tenants can sign applications entirely online, and process their application fee. You can view the status of those applications with a few clicks.
- Applicant screening: To make the entire entry process even easier, many tools allow applicants to also request their own background check while submitting their application and process the payment.
4. Automatic vacancy listings
Need some help sooner in the pipeline too?
Vacant units are a missed opportunity and money that’s actively slipping through your fingers.
Fortunately, many rental management tools allow you to list vacant units on key property listing platforms automatically. No additional work is necessary.
That way, you have less downtime between tenants and can maximize cash flow.
Now that we’ve covered some of the key features in the average rental property management tool, let’s dive into the best software options available.
The 10 Best Rental Property Management Software [2021 Edition]
You’ll find a lot of options for rental property management software online.
The only problem is many don’t deliver on all of the features we listed above, or do it while having horrible customer service or lacking in another significant area.
That’s why we gathered a list of some of the best property management tools that are specifically designed to handle rental properties.
Here are 10 of the best options available in 2021:
Want an all-in-one rental property management solution with:
- All the features we mentioned above (and more)
- Stellar–and responsive– customer service
- Designed with ease-of-use in mind
- And at a price that easily fits your budget?
Then DoorLoop is the pick.
DoorLoop is designed by property managers, for property managers, so it was crafted with many of the common pain points of other property management software (slow and clunky UI, lousy customer service) in mind.
Whether you deal strictly in rental properties or have a mixed portfolio, DoorLoop can handle any type of property.
- Manage your entire property accounting in one place: Including automatic rent payments, custom reports, bank reconciliations, multiple payment methods, and integrations with popular accounting software such as QuickBooks.
- Convenient tenant portal: Collect rent, communicate with tenants, even allow tenants to submit maintenance requests themselves directly from within the app.
- Streamlined work order management: After tenants submit their maintenance request from within the app, create the work order, attach notes and images, assign it to a vendor, pay that vendor, and communicate with the tenant.
- Owner portal: Print checks, run reports, and more.
- Marketing and screening made easy: Automatically list vacant units on top sites, screen tenants, and run background checks, all within the app.
- And much more
The most significant variance within the property management software space is easily price. Some are affordable, while some are way outside the average budget. A few offer free trials, most don’t.
Fortunately, DoorLoop has you covered on both ends.
Not only can you try DoorLoop for 50% off until 2022. Starting January 1st, 2022, DoorLoop will be just $49 per month billed annually for up to 20 properties.
Rentroom is a complete property management solution that boasts good accounting features and an intuitive interface.
The software also boasts some unique community features, making it a decent option for condos, multi-family, and HOA properties.
Rentroom’s accounting reports are limited, though, so if that’s a key feature for you, this might not be the best option.
- Online rent collection and payment reminders
- Other basic accounting features such as cash reconciliation
- Tenant portal
- Maintenance management
Rentroom offers a free trial to try out the software before investing. However, they don’t list their pricing publicly, so you’ll need to contact them directly to find out more.
3. Landlord Studio
Landlord Studio is a property management software that offers both a desktop and convenient iOS and Android app versions.
Unique features include a clean and modern UI as well as solid accounting features.
However, beyond its accounting features, Landlord Studio can feel a bit lacking compared to other tools on this list.
Landlord Studio features
- Robust accounting features such as rent and expense tracking and reporting
- Tenant screening
- Clean UI
Landlord Studio pricing
Landlord Studio uses a monthly pricing model with an additional cost per unit. Their Start plan is $5.99 per month for 1 unit, with each additional unit after the first being $1 per unit per month.
Their premium Scale plan starts at $19.99 per month when paid annually for 1 unit, with the same $1 per unit per month added after the first unit.
4. Rent Manager
Similar to Landlord Studio, Rent Manager offers a clean desktop and app version.
However, where Rent Manager differs is in its relatively expansive feature set.
They easily have one of the longest lists of features of the software mentioned here, though their UI is known for being a bit clunky, and their pricing isn’t transparent.
Rent Manager features
- Accounting features such as online rent payments and reporting
- Owner portal
- Vendor payments
- QuickBooks integration
Rent Manager pricing
Rent Manager’s pricing model is complex, to say the lease. They use two pricing models: per unit, per month, as well as pricing tiers for each of its multiple software versions.
However, they don’t list exact pricing publicly, so you’ll need to contact them directly to learn more about their pricing model.
Propertyware is another rental management software with strong accounting features, such as custom reporting and automatic payment reminders.
If you’re particularly interested in strong accounting reports capability, Propertyware is worth considering as it has some of the best on this list.
The big drawback is that Propertyware is designed for more extensive portfolios above 250 units, so pricing is high.
- Strong accounting features and comprehensive reports
- Maintenance order management
- Owner portal
- Tenant communications
As opposed to the common per unit, per month mode, Propertyware uses a strictly per unit model that is anchored by a monthly minimum.
Their basic plan is $1 per unit per month with a $250 minimum, making it pricey compared to most of the options on this list.
In addition to the monthly fee, there is an additional onboarding fee equal to x2 your monthly payment ($500 if you’re paying the $250 monthly minimum).
Hemlane has several unique features that make it stand apart from many of the tools on this list.
Features include agent match that can match you with local agents for showings as well as other leasing tools.
The trade-off is that Hemlane is one of the priciest options on the list, depending on how many units you have.
- Leasing tools such as tenant screening
- Unique local support features such as agent match
- Maintenance management
- Online rent payments
Hemlane has a relatively straightforward pricing model, though it can be a bit on the pricey side. They balance this somewhat with a 30-day free trial to make it easier to decide if you want to invest.
Their Basic plan starts at $30 per month with $2 per unit per month after the first unit. In other words, if you have 20 properties, you’d pay $70 per month.
Their premium-level Complete plan starts at $60 per month and a whopping $32 per property per month for every property after the first.
TenantCloud is one of two options on this list that offers a 100% free version. Plus, it offers that plan up to a whopping 75 units.
What’s the trade-off? While their free plan is unique, TenantCloud as a whole offers a limited number and scope of features, lacking many of the premium features most property management tools have.
- Basic accounting features such as online rent payments and reports
- Work order management
- Vendor payments
TenantCloud offers a 100% free plan of up to 75 units.
However, if you’d like to get some of the features not available to the free plan, you can move up to the starter paid tier at $9 per month for up to 150 units, and $35 per month plan up to 500 units for TenantCloud’s complete list of features.
Rentmoji is another great rental property management software with both a convenient desktop and mobile app version.
With Rentmoji, you get a clean UI that’s easy to navigate, along with a long list of valuable integrations such as QuickBooks.
The only negative is the price tag, with Rentmoji coming in with a higher price tag than most options on this list while offering similar features.
- Tenant communication tools
- Lots of integrations
- Maintenance management
- Accounting tools such as automatic rent payments
Rentmoji doesn’t list their pricing publicly, so you’ll need to contact their sales team directly to find out more.
9. Rentec Direct
Rentec Direct is a property management software solution with a balance of features, such as work order management, tenant screening, and mobile app.
The software has a few bright spots, including robust reporting features as well as lead tracking.
The trade-off for being an established solution with lots of features, though, is that users report the UI feels a bit clunky and dated.
Rentec Direct features
- Robust reporting
- Maintenance management
- Tenant portal with SMS communication
- Mobile app
Rentec Direct pricing
Rentec Direct’s starter plan is reasonable, though many will find the basic unit maximums limiting.
Their basic plan comes in at $35 per month for up to 10 units, $55 for 50 units, and up to $450 for 500 units.
Landlordy is a unique option in that it’s iPhone-specific. If you’re just looking for a simple solution that mainly helps you track rent payments and send invoices, this could be a good fit.
However, keep in mind that you’ll be losing out on many of the more premium features that many of the other options on this list offer, like a tenant portal, owner portal, and maintenance management.
It’s also important to consider that it currently only offers an iOS version, no Android.
- iPhone integrations such as SMS messaging
- Payment reminders
- Basic accounting features such as rent and expense tracking
- iPhone app (no Android)
Landlordy offers a free plan for up to 1 property and tenant lease. Their starter plan is $14.99 per month with some additional features, such as data backup.
Try One For Free
Sifting through the sea of options can make it hard to choose which rental property management tool you go with.
Fortunately, DoorLoop makes this part easy with the ability to try its software out 50% off until 2022 with a 30-day money back guarantee.
So, you can jump in now and see why DoorLoop is known for its ease-of-use and responsive customer service, while getting all features you need to take your property management efforts to a whole new level.
Get started with DoorLoop’s complete rental property management software today.