How to Use Software to Simplify Property Management

Property management software is the first of our advanced tips– and for good reason.

While it's no secret that DoorLoop offers its own top-rated all-in-one property management software (with award-winning support, btw), that's not why this is the first advance tip.

Whether you go with DoorLoop or find that another property management tool is a better fit, using software of some kind is the key due to its ability to save you an enormous amount of time and money.

With the right property management tool that offers the features you need based on your type of portfolio, you can manage:

  • Every aspect
  • of all your properties
  • From one place
  • In less time

We'll talk in the next section about deciding whether to hire a property manager, but even if you do, you may prefer to have that property manager manage through your preferred property management software.

You won't always have this choice, as large-scale property management companies will already have a system in place, but these are all important things to figure out either way.

The difference with and without property management help from software and/or a property manager is immense, so you should go without one, the other, or both.

Why Use Property Management Software? The Benefits

First, let's talk about why you should use property management in the first place.

What we talked about above is really just scratching the surface.

Knowing what property management software can do for you is the first step because it will help you decide if it's worth the investment for you.

The main benefits of property management software come down to this:

It saves you time (to focus on other things)

It's no exaggeration to say that property management software can and will save you hours per week. Those are hours you can do anything with, including:

  • Figuring out how to increase your margins
  • Purchasing more property
  • Or simply spending time with your family.

It saves you money

Property management software costs money, so how does it manage to end up saving you money?

We already talked about the time savings, which directly translates into money saved in many cases.

Besides that, most of the savings is big-picture, but it's potentially very big.

For example: what if you could set up workflows that allow you to organize and schedule maintenance out for the next year and automatically notify your team when that maintenance needs to be completed?

Property management software can help facilitate a preventative maintenance system, saving you on costly (and unexpected) repairs.

It simplifies every aspect of property management

Complexity leads to inefficiency; it also leads to stress and mistakes.

This one can't be overstated, simplifying your property maintenance, tenant communication, and rent collection alone is worth the cost of admission.

Then, when you factor in other features such as automatic listings, faster and easier tenant screening reports, and everything else that cuts down on time and the steps necessary to manage your properties and you're looking at a whole lot less stress and way more peace of mind.

It can stabilize your cash flow

Property management software can help make your cash flow more consistent in a number of ways.

First, some tools have automatic rent collection which is like direct deposit for your tenant's rent payments.

No more driving to pick up rent or any other inefficient way of collecting rent. Instead, rent is collected automatically each month, which leads to clients who are more consistent in paying rent as it's auto-drafted.

Software also makes it easier to collect late fees and other fees such as pet rent, parking, etc. as all of those can be similarly automated.

Property Management Software Features

Property Management Software Features

Not every property management software is created equal.

With that said, the tools and features you can get from software are diverse and powerful.

So far, we touched on the benefits of property management software. Within that, we talked about a few of the features.

Now, let's talk about everything that property management software can do.

  • Automatic rent payments
  • Tenant portal
  • Automatic listings
  • Leasing tools
  • File storage
  • Owner portal
  • Tenant screening
  • Property accounting
  • Maintenance management
  • CRM for contact management (leads, tenants, contractors, etc.)

What Are Your Property Management Software Needs?

Now that you know what property management software can do, let's talk about what you need it to do for you.

Here are a few archetypes to give you an idea:

Person 1: Just starting out

If you're new to property management software and are wary of stepping away from your tried-and-true spreadsheets, this is a good starting point.

You'll be missing a number of useful features that will allow you to simplify and streamline your property management, but it will help show you the value of software as a tool.

Person 2: Already use QuickBooks or another accounting tool

Many who look into property management software are already using an accounting software such as QuickBooks for their property accounting.


You could use a good property management tool for your accounting as well, but you may prefer to stay with what you're using now.

If that's you, then the features you'll likely find most useful are:

  • Maintenance management
  • Tenant portal
  • Tenant communication features
  • And leasing tools

Alternatively, a small few property management tools like DoorLoop have QuickBooks Online integrations, allowing you to get the best of both worlds.

Person 3: Property management overload

If property management has you overwhelmed and you need something to simplify things and give you back your time, then going all the way with software may be the way to go.

As we talked about earlier, there are several features that property management software like DoorLoop can offer that will help you simplify your management process and save you hours of time each week.


The most notable ones include:

  • Automatic rent collection
  • Property accounting tools
  • And maintenance management

Each of the above strikes straight to the heart of one of the three largest time wasters that every landlord deals with.

Other Considerations: Customer Service, Usability, Convenience, and More

It's easy to become hung up on features– and they are important– but there are several other considerations when choosing a property management software that you shouldn't overlook.

As the title suggests, they are:

1. Customer service

Why does customer service work?

You might think that after you figure out how the software works everything is fine, and you won't have much need to communicate with the company whose software you're using.

But customer service is not only critical for getting onboarded fast and effectively (and a big job in itself, especially if you're moving over from another software like QuickBooks).

It's also important for having a helpful contact you can reach out to easily to make feature requests and for when you need to do something brand new you've never done in the software.

It's also vital when you run into an issue, as is inevitable in any system from spreadsheets to the one that lives solely within your own brain.

Software is no exception and sometimes you'll run into a glitch or a limitation that you need help with.

2. Usability

How easy is the software to use?

When you're sitting down with a rep getting a demo, does everything seem smooth?

Is it easy to access every feature you need, or is the menu convoluted, items hard to get to or find, and the software itself slow and dated?

Usability is a massive concern as you or your property manager will likely be using it every single day.

Going with a tool with is dated and clunky will slow you down and make it harder to get anything done.

To avoid this, you should look for software that is:

  • Easy to navigate and finding things seem simple and straightforward
  • And fast without long loading times between features and sections of the software

3. Convenience

Usability is a part of this, but convenience stretches to more than just that.

By convenience, I'm referring mainly to two things:

  • How easy is it to use on multiple platforms, and
  • For multiple members of your team

Is the software easy to use on your smartphone when you're out seeing properties? Or can you only access it on your laptop?

And how about if you need your property manager to have access to a general contractor?

Is it easy to give them a limited access guest account that allows them to look at only what you want them to see?

This may or may not apply to you, but if it does, you could be highly inconvenienced.

4. The age of the software

Software of every kind is initially built on a foundation of code that was built at or before the software itself was built using that system.

Because of this, software ages over time and becomes more limited as that system itself becomes dated.

The result: Some software companies are old, clunky, and slow.

They may have tons of features and have been around for a while, but they aren't very flexible, their customer service is slow and unresponsive, and making a feature request, well... forget about it.

It is possible to update from the platform that software is built on to a newer one, but the amount of work involved and the near impossibility of planning the whole update out without inconveniencing customers means pretty much no software company ever does it.

It's important when considering software to find out how new it is and what it's built on. Software that is 10-15 years old is going to be super limited in what it can do, and those limitations will hold you back.

How Much Does Rental Property Management Software Cost?

So far, you should have a clear idea of whether property management software would be useful to you.

Plus, you should know what you're looking for in terms of features and capability.

With that said, how much does property management software cost?

As you might expect, pricing varies based on the features the software offers.

The three archetypes of pricing are:

  • Free but limited
  • Low cost with everything you need (tens to hundreds)
  • High cost for enterprise (thousands)

There are free versions of property management software that have a few bare-bones features such as basic accounting and rent collection, but that's usually where their feature set ends.

Others offer extensive features for enterprise-level portfolios but are extremely high cost. What features these offer can vary wildly and depends on the software.

The "just right" level is in between, where you can often get all or most of the same features of a high-cost enterprise tool offer but for a fraction of the cost (usually topping out at no more than a few hundred dollars per month on the high-end).

Shopping for Property Management: A Simple Resource Guide

Ready to get started?

By now, you should know everything you need to figure out whether property management software is a fit for you and what kind of features you want most.

Now, it's just a matter of figuring out your options.

Property management software is pretty diverse, but it pretty much comes down to these categories:

  • Low-cost with only property accounting (typically just rent collection and a few minimal features)
  • Property-type specific (HOA/condo, commercial, short-term)
  • And all-in-one property management software (typically a complete set of features for your entire portfolio depending on the tool)

As well as other factors

So, what should you choose?

Here are some archetypes to give you an idea of what type of software would best fit you:

No budget / Very low budget

If you have no budget currently for software but you'd like to get started, there are several options.

Keep in mind, however, that you'll typically only get a handful of accounting-only features for $0-10 per month software plans.

You won't get access to any robust features and typically nothing related to:

  • Maintenance management
  • Tenant communication
  • Owner portal
  • Leasing and listing
  • Screening
  • CRM

Here are some guides whether you're looking for free or very low cost:

Property type specific

This isn't an issue but for a few unique types of properties, as many full-featured property management tools can accommodate all different property types.

However, in the case of these property types, you could go with a tailored solution:

  • Mobile home parks
  • Short-term rentals/Airbnb
  • HOA/condos

Some property management software offers features even for short-term rentals and HOAs.

However, many don't, so you'll want to check with your software of choice before making the jump to make sure it has the features you need and want.

Here are some guides to help you find software built for the type of unique properties you rent:

All-in-one property management software

The ideal option in almost every case, if you have some budget for software.

Depending on the tool, anywhere between $50-250 per month can net you a whole suite of features that allows you to tackle a number of different areas of property management.

Even within this category, however, no two software tools are created equal and each will have its unique strengths and weaknesses.

With that said, the overall theme is that you're getting a tool that is designed to allow you to manage your entire portfolio.

To see one in action, you can schedule a demo of DoorLoop to get an idea of what you can expect from an all-in-one tool.

With DoorLoop, you get access to:

  • Automatic rent collection
  • A full property accounting suite
  • Maintenance management system
  • Tenant communication tools
  • Tenant portal
  • Owner portal
  • Leasing tools
  • CRM for lead and tenant management
  • Document storage
  • Automatic listings
  • Robust reporting
  • Tenant screening
  • Valuable integrations with tools like QuickBooks
  • And a convenient mobile app

Some list, right? And that's not even every feature.

If you don't have the budget for property management software, a free option will be a better fit.

However, for less than most pay for mobile service each month you can get access to a suite of tools that allows you to streamline, simplify, and optimize how you manage your entire portfolio.

Schedule a free demo to see what DoorLoop can do for you.

If you don't have the budget yet, the good news is as you built up your portfolio and widen your margins, you can always migrate and move up to a more complete solution.

What Is the Best Property Management Software for You?

No matter where you're at in your investing journey, the important part is to find software that works for you based on everything we talked about above.

That includes:

  • The benefits that matter most to you
  • The features you care about
  • Your budget
  • And the types of properties in your portfolio

Remember, software is designed to make things easier, not harder.

If you try something out and– after the initial setup and learning curve, which always takes some getting used to– things just don't work out, consider trying something else.

Once you find a property management tool that works for you, the time, money, and headache you can save with software is invaluable.

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