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What You Should Know About Property Management Software and How to Choose the Right Fit

January 30th, 2021 (updated)

Want to grow your property management company?

Automation Software Technology Process S

Nit-picking over what software to use for your property management business is no fun, but we hope we can make the process smoother for you today.


You want to be able to find the right system to help your property management company grow and scale effectively, especially if you are just starting a property management company. However, knowing where to start and getting into comparisons can be time consuming.

We work with dozens of successful property managers across the country, so we are pretty familiar with most of the popular property management software options on the market today.


Today we will cover some of the important aspects you need to consider, and we will evaluate some of the more mainstream property management software's that our own clients use.

What is property management software?

As a property manager, you have an ever growing stack of responsibilities.


Taking calls from property owners and tenants, collecting rent, listing properties for rent, keeping track of accounting, converting your leads, and managing maintenance work orders just to name a few.

What if there was a solution that could handle all (or most) of those tasks for you, all in one place, and much of it even on auto-pilot?

That's what property management software does for you!


It helps to make your daily work flow smoother, and makes it easier for you to grow and scale your business.


By freeing up more of your time, you can focus more on things like marketing strategies and sales, not running around picking up rent checks.

What are standard property management software features?

Different software's will have slightly varying or unique features, but most of them will cover the basic needs of property managers. The basics are things like accounting, operations, management, and leasing.

Features to Help Your Accounting Processes:

Accounting features will make it easier for your company to do tasks like:

  • Accepting online rent payments from tenants

  • Direct deposit for property owners/investors rent funds

  • 1099 Tax filing for your vendors

  • Bank reconciliation to match up for property management licensing audits

Features to Help Your Daily Operations:

Stuff to help your ship run smooth and tidy. Things like:

  • Rental listings center with all vacant/filled properties data

  • Dedicated portal for owners to login and access documents, financials, etc

  • Dedicated portal for tenants to login and pay rent, submit work orders, etc

  • Access to software for all team members for efficient updates and task management

  • You can keep track of maintenance work orders by priority and timeline

Features to Make Leasing Easier:

Leasing takes a lot of time and activity, these features improve efficiency:

  • Online rental applications from tenants

  • Screening and background checks online

  • Advanced rental property advertising and syndication

  • Electronic signatures on leases to reduce needed meetings

  • Document storage in the software portals

Optional software features or add-ons:

Offering the right services and features to make your property management business more efficient can help you stand out to prospective clients and get more leads because of it.

Some software's will offer a feature that others won't. You need to consider what is important to your company and what services you wish to offer your owners and tenants so you can choose the software that will help your company shine.


Only you know your company and what makes you special and different. You will want to look at the specific software features to align the best option with your company goals and needs. These might include offerings such as:

  • Renters Insurance

  • Maintenance Contact Center for Tenant Calls

  • Remote Check Printing or Payments For Vendors

  • Property Showings Scheduling/Assistance

Pricing and costs of software:

Although not the most important thing to consider, the cost of property management software is something you obviously care about. Most software's charge you a certain monthly rate per property with volume pricing (the bigger your portfolio, the lower the cost per property).

Some software's display a setup fee, and others don't show one (check to see if it's a hidden fee).

It's also worth noting that a few popular software's require a minimum amount of properties under management to even qualify for using their software.

Do you need the software to integrate with your website?

If you have a property management website for your company (you definitely should) that acts as the digital hub for existing owners and tenants, you will want to make sure that your software can integrate nicely with your existing website.

You'll want to showcase rent payment options on your website, embed tenant and owner portal links, and you'll definitely want to display your available properties for rent.

If you want to showcase these things on your website, make sure to ask if the property management software you are interested in has the ability to embed via HTML code, iFrame, or another method.

Popular Property Management Software's (Residential)

There are more and more new faces every year, with dozens of software options. For the purposes of keeping things more simple, we'll just look at a few of the most popular softwares like Appfolio, Buildium, and Propertyware.


AppFolio Property Manager is designed for property managers who want to automate, modernize, and grow their business. Whether you manage multifamily, single-family, student housing, HOA, condo, or commercial properties—or maybe you manage a mixed portfolio—our all-in-one cloud-based solution has features built specifically for you so you can streamline your workday and focus on your bottom line.

All Available Features (listed on their website)

  • Online Owner Portal

  • Owner & Vendor eCheck

  • Owner Contributions

  • Texting to Owners

  • Performance Insights

  • Online Maintenance Requests

  • Maintenance Contact Center

  • Work Orders

  • In-House Maintenance

  • Mobile Inspections

  • Professional Websites

  • Revenue ManagementPLUS 

  • Rent Comparison Tool

  • Marketing Campaigns

  • Vacancy Dashboard

  • Vacancy Posting

  • Premium Leads

  • Guest Card Tracking

  • Mobile App

  • Rental Applications

  • Tenant Screening

  • Online Leases

  • Online Portal

  • Texting & Email

  • Insurance

  • Task Management

  • Configurable WorkflowsPLUS 

  • Schedule Rent Increases

  • Rent By-the-Bed

  • Universal Search

  • Accounting

  • Real-Time Flexible Reporting

  • Performance InsightsPLUS 

  • Online Payments

  • Tenant Debt Collections

  • Bulk Tenant Charges

  • CAM Tracking & Reconciliation

  • Holding Deposits

  • Automated Late Fees

  • AP Approval Process

  • Security

  • Extended Access to Data


Buildium is an all-in-one property management software used by thousands of property managers. It helps all of the typical property management tasks on a daily basis.

They offer some unique features and services exclusive to Buildium.

All Available Features (listed on their website)

  • Property accounting

  • Company financials

  • Online payments

  • Retail Cash Payments

  • 1099 eFiling

  • Resident Site

  • Owner portal

  • Document storage

  • Maintenance request tracking

  • Property Inspections

  • Renters Insurance

  • Rental listings

  • Rental applications

  • Showings Coordinator

  • Tenant screening

  • Professional website

  • eLease

  • Violations tracking

  • Board communications

  • Accounting and budgeting

  • Onboarding

  • Award-winning support

  • Ease of use

  • Data security

  • Cost savings calculator


"We know that where you are today may not be where you are tomorrow, a year from now or in five years. Propertyware is the only solution of its kind in the industry that truly grows as your business grows. Our full suite solution means you will never have to settle for limited growth because of limited software. With Propertyware, you won’t have to"

All Available Features (listed on their website)

  • Global Customization & Reports

  • Marketing

  • Property Management

  • Owner Portals

  • Tenant Portals

  • Maintenance

  • Accounting

  • Screening

  • Payments

  • Unlimited Support

  • Unlimited Storage

  • Unlimited Online Training

  • Two-Way Text Messaging

  • eSignature

  • Inspections

  • Maintenance Projects

  • Vendor Portals

  • AssetProtect

What property management software is the best?

That answer will be different for every property management company you ask. We work with a lot of property managers that find value in these differing property management software features, pricing, and integrations.

Ultimately, you know your company and what you want to offer. You know what services you need. If you don't, that would be the best place to start before you choose a new software.

If you have any questions about operating your property management company or about marketing to grow your company, get in touch with us for a free analysis and we will do our best to point you in the right direction.

Want to grow your property management company?

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