Real-estate is a profitable venture, making it a popular option among entrepreneurs. However, property management can be demanding, considering the duties and responsibilities of property operators and staff. In the United States, the two most common property management services offered by 80% of industry players are maintenance/repairs and rent/fee collection (iProperty Management, 2022), which are associated with one another as the quality of building maintenance services offered by property management companies contributes to resident satisfaction (Ramli, A. M. A., et al., 2021). In turn, resident satisfaction may contribute to better rates of rent collection.
To improve service quality and ensure growth, the global property management industry has ramped up the adoption of technology over the years. Property owners, operators, and staff have been utilizing efficient online tools like property management software to maintain daily operations, acquire new residents, and keep current tenants satisfied. This guide outlines the different property management software tools available on the market, with insights on their features and pricing to help you determine which one is the most suitable for your business.
The global real-estate market expanded from $9.6 trillion in 2019 to $10.5 trillion in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic (Hariharan et al, 2021). Despite this, apartment rentals in major cities around the world experienced a negative growth rate in 2020. However, many people are still more likely to rent instead of buying their own homes due to uncertain long-term housing situations brought about by the pandemic, according to London School of Economics Professor Emeritus Paul Cheshire (Financial Times, 2022).
Since 2021, the number of residential renters have been growing globally. At the same time, rental prices are soaring because properties have only recently been attempting to recover from rental price cuts between 21% and 50% due to the economic impact of the pandemic, according to real-estate firms Serhant and Rightmove (Financial Times, 2022).
Source: CoStar Group, 2022
Despite a negative rental growth rate of 0.1% between July and August 2022 in the United States, the market is still up year over year after experiencing a 20-month positive growth streak starting in December 2020 (CoStar Group, 2022). Therefore, residents and prospects expect property owners and managers to keep pace regarding the quality of their services and facilities.
Recent property management software statistics show that professionals in the industry are often saddled with a number of day-to-day responsibilities that go beyond maintaining facilities and communicating with tenants. Luckily, online property management software solutions have been supporting rental businesses in their efficient execution of these tasks. Be it marketing, lease signing, accounting, resident requests, and rent collection, there are solutions out there to make the processes more efficient. Digitization and automation of data storage, property monitoring, and financial transactions with clients and vendors all in one integrated platform allow property owners and managers to shift their focus to improving connections with business partners, residents, and prospective tenants. Thus, long-term profitability and benefits for technologically equipped rental businesses may compensate for the financial costs of software implementation.
Source: iPropertyManagement, 2022
The pandemic may have contributed to the 9% decrease in the global demand of property management software in 2020 in comparison with 2019, but the market has since been expanding to address changing consumer preferences and the call for improvement on consumer interactions (Fortune Business Insights, 2022).
Meanwhile, 2021 property management software statistics reveal that property managers accounted for 35.9% of the global property management market share by end-user, the largest among users that also include housing associations and real-estate agents. The segment is expected to grow rapidly between 2022 and 2029 due to the demand from property managers for technologically supported operating systems. With these in mind, it only goes to show that the property management software market is poised to grow further and develop advancements to cater to the needs of the industry.
The property management and real estate industry is ever-changing, especially as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Property management software trends show that there have been shifts in business opportunities in the industry, particularly when it comes to the type of properties being rented and who the tenants are. Take the following, for instance:
Entrata is a comprehensive property management software that is designed to support owners and operators through a variety of management tasks using different features for marketing, leasing, management, and accounting, among others. The software company also supports renters at every stage of their journey—from house-hunting as leads to becoming rent-paying residents.
Entrata’s marketing tools include ProspectPortal, a website builder with user-informed templates, a user-behavior tracker, and a virtual assistant to help convert leads into prospects. Once a new resident’s lease has been signed with the help of Leasing Center agents, communication and transactions between property staff and residents then take place in ResidentPortal.
Entrata Key Features
AppFolio Property Manager is a business accounting and property management software solution developed by AppFolio, Inc., a cloud-based real-estate management software tools provider based in California. Initially created to cater to small and mid-sized residential property managers, the company’s first-ever product has since expanded its offering and client base to serve commercial establishments and community associations today.
The features of AppFolio Property Manager currently include staffing, training, marketing, leasing, maintenance, accounting, reporting, and communications.
AppFolio Key Features
AppFolio Property Manager offers pricing plans for different property types. Residential subscriptions start at $1.40/unit/month while Commercial subscriptions start at $1.50/unit/month. Community Associations may also avail of the platform for $0.80/unit/month. Note that onboarding fees are based on portfolio sizes.
Founded in 1984, Yardi Breeze is a global American software company for real estate companies. In 2018, the company launched an app of the same name to serve as a simple property management software for smaller portfolios.
Yardi Breeze caters to residential properties, commercial establishments, affordable housing, storage units, associations, manufactured housing, and public housing. It offers marketing, managing, accounting, and live-chat features under two pricing plans—Breeze and Breeze Premier—through any supported browser and compatible device.
Yardi Breeze Key Features
Yardi Breeze offers pricing plans for different property types:
Subscriptions for self-storage, manufactured housing, and public housing are also available by quote.
Innago is one of the property management software companies that offer free, easy-to-learn, and easy-to-use resident management software solutions, supporting small and mid-sized landlords of commercial properties, residential properties, and student housing. This mobile-compatible tool provides its users with a simple, flexible, and effective interface to smoothen the management process and support property operators in their daily operations.
Among its many functionalities are work order tracking, built-in communication, rental payment management, online leasing, document storage, and invoice automation. The platform also has a module for tenant screening where you can generate comprehensive reports on potential tenants.
Innago’s base platform is available completely for free. However, charges may apply for certain services such as criminal and eviction history screening, ACH payment processing, and credit/debit card payment screening.
Avail is a free rental property management software solution, which was founded in the US in 2012 by working professionals who are also part-time landlords handling their own family properties. Designed to help independent owners and operators, this platform comes with tools such as credit screening, online rent payments, and maintenance tracking.
In addition to the abovementioned, it comes with syndicated listings that will allow you to manage your listings on multiple platforms. These include Zillow, Zumper, Walkscore, Doorsteps.com, ApartmentList, and more. Moreover, the platform supports photo uploads and workflows, which can come in handy for maintenance requests.
Avail Key Features
Avail’s basic plan is available for free. Should you need access to its premium features, the vendor offers paid plans, starting at $5/unit/month.
BuildingLink.com is a property management platform used by thousands of high-end buildings in the US and around the world. It is primarily built for condominiums, cooperative housing, homeowners associations (HOAs), and multi-family housing. As such, it offers features such as record-keeping and administration, maintenance, communications, front desk and staff operations, and resident services.
BuildingLink also integrates with other software, including Yardi, Entrata, and Condo Manager, to provide its users with services, such as accounting, payment solutions, and smart home automation.
BuildingLink.com Key Features
On-Site is an end-to-end cloud-based leasing platform designed to simplify the entire property management process. It focuses on lead-to-signed-lease conversion for single-family housing, multi-family housing, student housing, and affordable housing. With this, users can gain access to a marketing suite, leasing suite, property management module, and a renter portal.
With On-Site at your disposal, you can secure stronger leads, qualify renters using custom screening criteria, build online workflows, as well as digitize leases for your renters. The platform also makes it easy for renters to update leases, pay rent, and make maintenance requests online.
On-Site Key Features
SKYLINE is a fully integrated property management solution built for various property types. Built to create paperless workspaces, this platform comes with accounting functions, lease administration options, as well as facilities management tools. It also comes with a portal where users can dispatch user requests, process applications, manage documents, and more. As it is completely cloud-based, users can access the platform wherever they may be.
SKYLINE’s commercial real estate users include office, retail, industrial, and data centers, while its residential real estate clients include single-family housing, multi-family housing, condominiums, HOAs, and student housing.
SKYLINE Key Features
StarRez is a mobile-friendly resident and property operations tool that focuses on academic communities, multi-family housing, staff housing, and shared housing. It supports over a thousand customers in more than 25 countries in North America, Canada, Europe, and Asia Pacific with its housing accommodation automation solutions for small to large properties.
StarRez has a mobile application that allows its users to access all its features anytime and anywhere. Its general key features include resident screening, automated billing processes, and data security. For student-users, StarRez provides roommate-matching, room maintenance, and resident engagement. StarRez also has integration with other online tools and systems, such as PayPal, Microsoft Dynamics, and Mailchimp.
StarRez Key Features
Improves staff workflow to ensure property and facility maintenance
SimplifyEm is a property management software created by real estate professionals to simplify the process from end-to-end. Whether your portfolio is small or extensive, the platform provides various solutions to help you manage them to a tee. Among its features are tenant management, payment collection, and maintenance request tracking.
More than the basic functionalities already mentioned, this platform can easily collect digital lease signatures, track income and expenses, as well as automate a slew of repetitive tasks. It also comes with a built-in document storage to keep all important files in one place. There’s also a portal through which tenants and owners can communicate with ease.
SimplifyEm Key Features
SimplifyEm offers pricing plans between $25/month for up to 10 units and $1,620/month for up to 2,000 units.
Property Matrix is a user-friendly property management software solution built for customization. The system can easily adapt to your existing workflows and enhance processes using automation. Among its many features are enterprise accounting, payment processing, and document management. It also has a communication hub where tenants, owners, and vendors can share files, submit requests, and the like.
The platform also offers enterprise class reporting features. It has an editable report designer where you can generate reports on every aspect of your business. Moreover, the platform can simplify the posting of property listings as it can directly post on platforms like Zillow, Trulia, Live Lovely, and more.
Property Matrix Key Features
Property Matrix offers pricing plans starting at $450/month, including 250 units and a $1.75 charge for each added unit.
Pendo is an online property management platform based in Canada that provides services to properties of any size. Whether you manage one or 100 units, Pendo can streamline property management processes for you. It comes with tools to help you scan tenants, send out digital lease agreements, and collect payments.
Pendo also generates condition inspection reports to help make moving in and out easier for tenants. With this, all you need to do is snap photos of the property and take notes so you can keep a record of the condition of your property before someone moves in or after someone moves out. In addition to these, Pendo automatically tracks essential metrics like income, expenses, overdue rent, and more so you can cover all your bases at all times.
Pendo Key Features
Pendo offers pricing plans starting at $10/month, including simple automation for properties with one to five rental units.
MRI Angus, formerly Angus AnyWhere, is a building operations platform developed by Angus Systems, which has been acquired in January 2022 by MRI Software, a global real-estate solutions company. MRI Angus focuses on the optimization of property management for owners, operators, and occupants.
The platform offers tools to help you manage tenant requests, visitor security, preventive maintenance, as well as property risk management. It can also generate a building directory, create a tenant handbook, manage certificates of insurance, and create custom property-specific surveys to improve the overall experience of tenants.
MRI Angus Key Features
Established in 2008, Condo Control is a property management software company that serves condominiums, co-ops, HOAs, and management companies, among other industries. The company’s staff includes licensed property managers, security professionals, and property board members so you can rest assured that it can provide you with the functionalities that you require for operations.
With this at your disposal, you can gain access to record-keeping functionalities, tenant communication options, as well as a concierge module to improve tenant-facing functions. It can also integrate with various software solutions so it can play well with your existing processes.
Condo Control Key Features
Founded in 2013, Guesty is a global all-in-one short-term and vacation rental management solution that boasts of supporting efficient property operations, helping clients increase revenue, and assisting them in scaling their businesses. The platform is a consolidation of communication, financial, growth, and operational tools for aparthotels, glamping, serviced apartments, urban rentals, and vacation rentals.
Among its many features are booking website creation, channel management, multi-calendar reservation views, payment processing, revenue management, task management, and 24/7 guest communication services. These aside, the platform also has robust reporting tools to help you gain insights into the performance of your properties.
Guesty Key Features
Your choice of software solutions significantly depends on your business requirements, goals, and target market—whether you cater to single-family housing, multi-family housing, student housing, condominiums, or commercial properties, among others. Thorough assessment of business and resident needs and concerns, paired with in-depth research on the relevant features of management solutions capable of efficiently fulfilling your requirements may help you in your decision-making.