Finding property management systems and tools can be difficult, especially when you’re on a strict budget. You want to find something you can stick with long term and that can fulfill your needs as your scale. The last thing you want to do is switch systems because your old software doesn’t have the capacity or capabilities to support all your properties, residents, and units.
Most companies are familiar with the larger and more popular tools on the market. But with a little extra digging, there are other options available that may be a better fit for your budget.
We’ve compiled a list of six budget-friendly property management systems that may not be on your radar at the moment, but are worth giving a shot. The tools cover every aspect of multifamily property management including:
Check out the full list below.
Buildium is another all-in-one property management system that provides a full suite of features, and comes in two different levels — Core and Pro. You don’t get as many features as you do with some higher level software, but you have access to all the functions property managers need to lease and maintain all your units.
Some of the features of Buildium include:
Pricing starts at $45 per month for the Core version, and $150 per month for Pro. You can save 10% by paying annually instead of month-to-month.
Buildium is good for smaller property management companies that don’t need a tool quite as robust as some of the enterprise tools like Yardi or Real Page. The downside is some of the features come at an additional cost for the Core version, so it may be a better deal to go with the Pro version depending on the features you need.
Cozy is an online platform that allows you to send online applications and collect rent from residents. It also has a few features for residents that make life a little easier for property managers.
Some of the features of Cozy include:
The best part about Cozy is the core features (accepting payments and online applications) are free. Cozy does charge for credit reports and background checks though. Also, if a resident decides to pay by credit or debit card, they will have to pay a 2.75% transaction fee. However, paying from their bank account is completely free.
Cozy is a nice option for property managers who only want the ability to handle payments and rental applications online. They are working on additional features like leases and income/expenses tracking, but for now, it’s primarily a tool for collecting rent from residents for free. If you’re just looking for a way to transition from handling everything on paper, Cozy is a good place to start.
Property matrix a customizable property management tool. Its main selling point is the ability to personalize it to fit your needs. With most property management software, you have to adjust your processes to fit its functionality. Property Matrix set out to make software that adjusts to fit your needs instead.
Some of the features of Property Matrix include:
Pricing starts at $239 for the standard version and $289 for the ultimate version. Property Matrix also offers volume discounts if you have over 1,000 units.
Property Matrix is an enterprise property management system. The pricing makes it a good option for companies that plan to to scale to multiple properties. If you don’t want to feel confined to the settings that come out the box for other software, the customization options for Property matrix make it a good option.
Older multifamily companies that have been running on paper for a while will likely feel very comfortable with Rentec Direct. The simple and classic interface and streamlined features puts it in between very simple options like Cozy and more robust software.
Some of the features of Rentec Direct include:
Pricing starts at $15 a month for Rentec Pro and $30 per month for Rentec PM. There are no setup costs and the first month is free.
Rentec Direct is a great option for small to medium sized multifamily management companies. The low pricing makes it affordable for companies with 50 units or 500+. If you want a tool that has the features you’d expect in property management software but don’t want to spend too much money on extras, Rentec is worth a try.
RentPost is a very simple property management tool with an easy to use interface. It’s not as well known as some of the other tools on this list, but it provides almost everything you need in multifamily management software.
Some of the features of RentPost include:
RentPost starts at $29 per month. A great benefit of RentPost’s pricing is each level includes all features. However, larger accounts will give you more document storage space and owner accounts.
RentPost is ideal for property management companies that want a nearly all-in-one solution that’s fast and clutter free. Unfortunately, you miss out on some features such as in-depth multifamily marketing (i.e. posting your vacant units to apartment listing sites) but for the costs, that’s understandable.
If you’re willing to stretch your budget out a bit more, Appfolio is worth the consideration. A bit more well-known that the others we've mentioned, Appfolio gives property managers the ability to do everything from application screening and signing leases to handling rent payments and tracking maintenance requests. With its features and price, Appfolio strikes a balance of providing a lot of the features you get with higher priced tools, but at a price point slightly higher than lower cost competitors.
Some of the features of Appfolio include:
Appfolio charges a flat rate of $1.25 per month, per unit (minimum of $250 per month) plus a one-time onboarding fee (minimum of $400).
Appfolio is good for property managers who want to be able to handle every aspect of their property within a single tool, with all the extra bells and whistles. Just make sure you intend on using all the features that come along with it to get the most value for your money. For instance, if all you want is the ability to collect rent online, there are cheaper options.
These are six of the top property management systems that will help you streamline your processes and work more efficiently. In 2016, there’s no reason to still be relying on a paper system for leasing, accepting payments and other aspects of multifamily management.
Not only will using these tools make your life easier, but it’s becoming the standard in the multifamily industry. Residents expect to be able to pay their rent online and submit maintenance requests through a ticketing system. Refusing to go digital could be losing you residents.
In order to give you a quick price comparison on the six tools we mentioned, here’s the monthly cost for managing 500 units with each:
Take a look at the features and interface of each tool to see which one will work best for your company. You don’t have to sacrifice functionality and quality to get a property management system for an affordable price.
In addition to setting yourself up with the tools for success, you'll also need to have a solid strategy. Contact us for help with your apartment marketing needs.
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