It’s the black sheep of residential real estate. The red-headed stepchild.
It’s not sexy, but property management is what keeps the lights on in many modern brokerages. In the world seasonal commissions, the occasional Great Recession, and uncertain future of real estate sales, property management is a survivor. Rent checks come in every month. And Silicon Valley can’t conduct quarterly inspections or show up for eviction court, yet. It’s a boots-on-the-ground business.
It’s also a tough business with slim margins. That’s why keeping your business lean and efficient is paramount. Online property management software can help you do that.
These tools are designed for single family, multi-family, and commercial real estate.
There are a few basic elements to a quality property management system. You want it to have:
- Online rent payment
- Online maintenance requests
- Rental marketing tools
Many of the best services have additional add-ons and upsells like native tenant screening and background checks, renters insurance, and a website.
Read below about some of the best rental property management solutions!
Top Property Management Software for Residential Landlords
Apartments.com is a top rental portal that offers a rental manager system. This tool includes listing to all Apartments.com website properties, tenant screening, leases, and payment collection. These tools are helpful for DIY landlords or small property management firms.
The AppFolio property management platform offers a variety of features that make it an ideal choice for residential, commercial, student housing, and HOAs. The software includes maintenance tracking, tenant portals, online payments, and more, making it easy to manage your property. Additional integrated services like renters insurance, landlord insurance, paid lead generation, and a website for your business make it an all-in-one solution.
Avail is a great property management software for landlords with fewer than 10 properties. It includes listing syndication, credit reports, lease signatures, rent payment, and more.
Buildium is a comprehensive property management platform that includes a resident portal, website, accounting tools, tenant screening, renters insurance, maintenance support requests, and more. Its pricing makes it an attractive solution for anyone with a few properties to manage.
RealPage's Propertyware is a popular residential property management software solution that includes a tenant, owners, and vendors portal, work order and leasing management, collect rent online, renters insurance options, and a website add-on. The additional cost to outsource your maintenance requests and leasing inquiries to their live answering service takes that disruptive workload off your and your staff's shoulders.
TenantCloud is an easy to use and affordable property management software that is perfect for DIY landlords. It has a wide range of features to help with managing your rental property, including rent tracking, managing applications, listing syndication, and more.
Our residential property management tool, Yardi Breeze, is designed for smaller to mid-sized property managers. Our full range of PM services expands to numerous different commercial applications, including military housing, public housing, or even parks and airports.
Zillow Rental Manager
Zillow's rental manager tool is a great way for landlords to manage their properties within the Zillow ecosystem. It includes screening tenants, signing leases, and collecting rent.
More Property Management Software Options
Some other real estate transaction management software options include:
- Lead Simple
- Rent Manager
- Rental Beast
- Rentec Direct
Landlord vs Manager
Some of these tools target DIY landlords:
- Tenant Cloud
- Zillow Rental Manager
Others are for professional property managers.
The line can be blurry at times. Professional management software will include more owner facing tools like owner portals, accounting, and reporting.
Where to Advertise?
Unlike the MLS for residential real estate sales, rentals are far less likely to be all represented on a single platform, and varies from market to market.
For example, most property managers put Austin, TX rentals on the MLS with a 25-50% leasing agent fee offered, but just 30 minutes away in Killeen, TX less than 5% of rentals make it to the MLS and leasing agents are effectively non-existent. Property managers instead rely on simply posting rentals to Zillow, Trulia, or even just their own website.
So, where you need to market your rental may depend on what is most common for your market.
There are strong web-based rental property management software solutions available for real estate business owners of any size. I recommend taking several for a test drive and which suits you and your style best!