Property management software is the modern way to run a real estate business. It automates crucial tasks related to leasing functions, tenant management, facility management, and accounting. Certain software can even streamline communications between landlords and tenants.
Without property management software, managing properties requires much more manual effort and even in-person responsibilities.
For example, think about something as simple as signing a lease. If you haven’t gone digital, you’ll need to meet with tenants in-person and have them sign a physical document.
While this may not be a big deal if you have just one investment property that’s located in your neighborhood, it poses a problem at scale.
Property management software can support a wide range of property types, from residential to commercial or industrial. Property management tools are designed to accommodate the needs of various users as well. Whether you’re a landlord with a few investment properties or a property management firm managing hundreds of locations, there are lots of options to consider.
Finding the best property management software for your unique situation can be a difficult and time-consuming task if you don’t know where to start. Fortunately, I’ve already done the research for you and narrowed down the list to seven choices.
The Top 7 Best Property Management Software
Continue below for an in-depth review of each software on our list. You’ll learn more about the top features, benefits, pricing, use cases, and potential drawbacks to find the best property management software for you.
#1 – Avail — Best Overall Property Management Software
• Free for basic features
• Paid plans start at $5
• Trusted by 150,000+ landlords
• Digital leasing and automatic deposits
• Sign up for free
Avail is our top overall recommendation for property management software. This solution makes it easy for landlords to find tenants, screen tenants, and sign leases. You can also use this software to collect rent from any device.
I like Avail because it has the features you need for each stage of the rental process.
Once you publish a new rental listing with Avail, they’ll post it on various sites across the Internet to help you find tenants quicker. Once you have some applicants, Avail makes it easy for you to run background checks, credit reports, eviction history, and more.
With Avail, you’ll benefit from digital leasing, automatic rent deposits, and maintenance tracking.
The best part about Avail? This software is free.
You can use Avail without paying a dime for as many properties as you need. With that said, I highly recommend the paid version of this software, which is just $5 per unit per month.
The paid software gives you premium features like custom applications and leases, as well as next-day rent payments and no ACH transfer fees. It’s an affordable solution, even at scale.
That’s why this software is trusted by 150,000+ landlords.
With that said, Avail isn’t perfect. It’s geared more towards DIY landlords as opposed to property management companies. It’s not as feature-rich as some of the other software on the market today.
#2 – AppFolio — Best For Managers with Multiple Property Types
• Supports any property type
• Collect rent online
• Online maintenance requests
• $250 monthly minimum
• Request a free demo
AppFolio is an all-in-one property management software that’s designed for landlords and property managers alike.
It’s an ideal solution for those of you who have an extensive property portfolio. This software supports residential properties, commercial buildings, student housing, and community associations (HOA).
From marketing to leasing, accounting, reporting, and maintenance, AppFolio has it all.
AppFolio has unique features specific to each property type.
For example, single-family and multifamily management have basic features like online leasing and online rent payments. But student housing allows you to separate leases and tenant ledgers by the bed. Properties with HOAs have features for board member management and automatic payments for dues.
Here’s an overview of the prices for AppFolio Property Manager:
- Residential — $1.25 per unit per month
- Commercial — $1.50 per unit per month
- HOAs — $0.80 per unit per month
- Student Housing — $1.25 per unit per month
The rates are cheap, but there is a catch. AppFolio has a minimum monthly fee of $250. So it’s made for property managers with hundreds or thousands of units.
In fact, the monthly minimum is the only thing preventing AppFolio from being our top overall recommendation. But for landlords and property managers with just a handful of properties or even a couple dozen units, AppFolio likely isn’t worth the price.
If you’re interested in AppFolio, sign up for a free demo to try it out.
#3 – Tenant Cloud — Best For DIY Landlords
• Free for up to 75 units
• Paid plans start at $9
• Accounting tools and reports
• Accept online payments
• Sign up for free
Tenant Cloud is an ideal solution for landlords who want to manage properties on their own. If you own lots of investment properties but don’t want to outsource a property management company, Tenant Cloud can make your life much easier.
With Tenant Cloud, you can accept rent payments online via ACH transfer, PayPal, credit cards, and debit cards. It has a built-in accounting system for you to store receipts and view financial reports.
From online rental applications to tenant screening and maintenance requests, Tenant Cloud has everything you need to manage properties on your own.
Some of the top features of Tenant Cloud include:
- Online payment collection
- Accounting tools
- Online applications and tenant screening
- Manage all of your contacts in one place
- Rental agreements, notices, and e-sign
- On-demand reports
- Track renters insurance
- Renter lead generation
- Team management tools (for property managers)
Tenant Cloud has a free forever plan for landlords with up to 75 units. Unfortunately, the plan is very basic and doesn’t include any of the premium features.
To benefit from things like auto pay and e-sign, you’ll need to upgrade to the Standard plan, which costs $9 per month. For landlords and property features that want access to all of Tenant Cloud’s best features, including QuickBooks integration, the Advanced plan costs $35 per month. The advanced plan has team tools and up to 10 administrative accounts.
You can get two months free when you sign up for annual billing.
#4 – Propertyware — Best For Managing Single Family Homes at Scale
• Starts at $1 per unit
• $250 monthly minimum
• Tenant and owner portals
• Easy to scale
• Get a free demo
Propertyware is another all-in-one property management solution. It’s a great option for property managers and landlords who need a way to manage rental units at scale.
This software can best be compared to AppFolio, which we reviewed earlier. Unlike AppFolio, Propertyware is designed specifically for single-family homes, whereas AppFolio is better for multiple property types.
Propertyware is a cost-effective tool for scaling hundreds or thousands of single-family properties, which is ideal for property managers.
The platform boasts case studies of property managers who were able to scale from 400 units to 2,500 units in less than three years after switching to Propertyware.
Top features of Propertyware include:
- Flexible tenant payment options
- Accounting tools
- Maintenance tools
- Marketing and vacancy listings
- Tenant screening
- Online portals for tenants and owners
Pricing for Propertyware starts at $1 per month per unit with a $250 monthly minimum. For additional features, there are $1.50 and $2 per unit per month plans with a $350 and $450 monthly minimum, respectively.
You can add-on other features like a maintenance contact center, leasing contact center, and professional website design.
Propertyware is really only worth the price if you’re managing hundreds of units. But it’s easy to scale into the thousands, specifically for single-family properties. This software is not made for multifamily homes, apartments, or commercial buildings.
#5 – Buildium — Best For Property Management Companies
• Supports multiple property types
• Great features
• 10% off annual billing
• 15 day free trial
• Get started for free
Buildium and Propertyware (reviewed previously) are both very similar. That’s because they are both subsidiaries of the same parent property management software company, RealPage.
While Propertyware is best for single-family homes, Buildium’s software can support any multiple property types—residential, community associations, student housing, and affordable housing.
Buildium is also designed specifically for property managers and property management companies, whereas Propertyware could be suitable for a landlord managing lots of properties on their own.
Buildium has every possible feature you could imagine for property management. From leasing to accounting and business operations, this software has it all.
Pricing for Buildium is based on the number of units you have. The higher the unit number, the cheaper the price per unit.
To calculate your costs, simply input the number of properties you manage to get a quote. The prices change in real-time as you move the slider. You can save 10% on your plan if you sign up for annual billing.
Buildium does have a basic plan for up to 150 units, but the majority of people using this software have unit counts in the hundreds or thousands.
This software is not for everyone. It’s not made for landlords or part-time property managers. But Buildium is an excellent choice for property management firms.
Sign up for Buildium to start your 15 day free trial.
#6 – TurboTenant — Best Free Property Management Software
• Free for landlords
• Free property listings
• Tenant screening
• Bulk tenant communication
• Sign up for free
More than 250,000 landlords trust TuboTenant to manage their properties. It’s a great option for DIY landlords that want to modernize the way they list and manage units.
TurboTenant is completely free for landlords.
This platform lets you create dedicated property listing pages to help you rent out your units faster. It simplifies communication by allowing you to send bulk messages or individual messages to tenants from a single inbox.
You’ll be able to manage applications and screen your tenants online as well.
I’m sure some of you are wondering why TurboTenant is free. The answer is simple; the costs are passed to the tenant.
Tenants pay a $35-$45 fee to apply. The price depends on how detailed of a report you want to see. TurboTenant also offers landlord add-ons for things like the online signatures, state-specific lease agreements, and rent estimate reports.
With that said, TurboTenant is a bit limited. It doesn’t have some of the other features that you’d commonly see with basic property management software. You can’t use it to collect payments online. But it’s a free way to get your vacancies filled, and tenants screened quickly.
#7 – Syncbnb — Best For Short-Term Vacation Rentals
• Starts at $15
• Syncs with 200+ booking sites
• Eliminate double bookings
• 30 day free trial
• Get started for free
Syncbnb is designed specifically for landlords and property managers with short-term vacation rentals.
It’s a bit different compared to some of the other property management software on our list. This is not really an all-in-one solution for managing properties. Instead, this platform synchronizes your listing calendar across multiple booking sites.
Syncbnb updates your calendars in real-time across every site to avoid double bookings. In fact, the software offers a “zero double booking guarantee.”
The concept is simple. Let’s say someone books your vacation unit on Expedia. The listings on HomeAway and Booking.com will automatically block out those dates. It syncs with 200+ booking channels.
You can use this software to manage multiple listings as well. It has everything you need to stay organized for all of your short-term rental properties.
Pricing starts at $15 per month per rental unit with an annual contract. The month-to-month rate is $19.
Syncbnb is not a full-service property management solution. You’ll need to collect payments and manage bookings through other platforms. But it’s a great add-on to avoid double bookings and manual labor, especially for those of you who are managing multiple vacation properties and listing them on multiple websites.
Try Syncbnb free for 30 days.
How to Find the Best Property Management Software For You
There are certain factors that you need to look for when you’re evaluating different property management software. The best option for me might not be the best one for you.
This is the methodology that we used to come up with the top picks on our list. Keep these elements in mind when you’re shopping around for property management software.
What kind of properties do you own or manage?
Some software might only support single-family homes. Other software is better for managing multiple property types, including residential, commercial, industrial, student housing, and community associations.
Make sure that the software you select can accommodate the needs of your property types.
Number of Units
How many units are you managing?
The answer will have a significant impact on the software that’s best for you. Someone managing four units won’t have the same needs as someone managing 40 units, 400 units, or 4,000 units.
Things change at scale. Generally speaking, property management software that supports hundreds or thousands of units tend to have more premium features out of the box. Software for just a handful of properties might have fewer features, but it could be free for basic use cases.
Each property management software will have different features available. Not every feature will be all-inclusive with every plan. You might have to upgrade your plan or pay for add-ons to get what you’re looking for.
Common features included with various property management software include:
- Property listing tools
- Application management
- Tenant screening
- Leasing and e-sign
- Online rent collection
- Tenant and owner portals
- Maintenance management
- Accounting tools
Expect to pay a bit more if you want as many features as possible. But only consider plans with features that you’re actually going to use.
Landlord vs. Property Manager
Most property management software is made with specific users in mind. Landlords who own properties don’t have the same needs as property managers or property management companies.
Property management firms need software to accommodate multiple team members. The software has to meet the needs of the property owners as well as the tenants. Most software designed for property managers is built to scale.
But some landlords prefer to manage properties on their own. In most cases, this type of software is intended for fewer properties.
The price for property management software varies on a number of factors.
Traditional paid plans are usually billed per unit per month. But the price per unit is usually based on the quality of the features offered in the plan.
Some software charges as little as $1 or even $0.80 per unit. However, those typically have monthly minimum requirements, starting around $250 per month.
It’s also important to keep an eye on paid add-ons. Lots of software is advertised for free. But you’ll pay extra for things like background checks, credit reports, and other premium services on a per-usage basis.
What’s the best property management software? It depends on what you’re looking for.
Avail is our top overall recommendation. It’s an affordable and easy-to-use option for landlords. But there are plenty of other options to consider based on your needs.
Property managers with multiple property types would be better off with AppFolio or Buildium. Propertyware is the best software for managing single-family homes at scale. If you’re a DIY landlord and don’t want to hire a property manager, Tenant Cloud and TurboTenant will both be top options for you. We recommend Syncbnb for short-term vacation rental management.
Whether you’re a landlord who owns one property or a property management company that manages thousands of units, you can find software to accommodate your needs in this guide.