Becoming a landlord can be an exciting prospect. Having a passive source of income can be enough to entice many would-be investors, but many new landlords quickly realize how much effort property management can entail.

Being a DIY landlord requires a lot of financial, maintenance, and document management. Without a system designed to comprehensively track your paperwork, financials and maintenance, daily management tasks can be time-consuming. Ensuring your investment actually offers you a reliable source of passive income requires that you have a few tools readily available–including landlord software. With the right software, you can market your property, screen potential tenants, store and sign leases and other legal documents, track your financials, collect rent and track your maintenance all in one place.

What is landlord software?

Landlord software is software designed to help landlords organize and streamline the business tasks associated with managing rental properties. This includes financial and banking features similar to general business software, but also will include rental-related features that help with tenant screening, marketing and communication, insurance needs, and even leasing and inspections.

Is landlord software and property management software different?

Landlords and property managers often have to track the same information. Property Management teams do you have additional record-keeping that is required to accurately track financials across multiple properties owned by various owners. Comprehensive property management software solutions will offer features for these teams.

Most property management software solutions also offer landlord software and have a version for landlords that offers all the comprehensive features that landlords with a growing portfolio need, without the unnecessary tools that are designed specifically for property managers.

Learn more about property management software: Best Property Management Software for 2022

Do landlords need landlord software?

Whether you choose landlord software, or you opt to keep track of your rental details another way, every landlord will need some way to track essential financials, leasing information, and other vital documents related to their rental property. While a landlord can own and manage a rental property without using a landlord software, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of vital information. Landlords without a landlord software are forced to find creative ways to keep track of important information across a multitude of services.

This often leads to errors, or the need to redundantly input data on a regular basis. Landlord software keeps track of all the relevant information for your property in one easy-to-access location, and since it was developed specifically for landlords and property management, you can rest easy knowing that you are accurately keeping tabs on all the relevant information you need to (without creating unnecessary work and data entry in the process). Landlord software may not be required to manage a rental property, but it is the best option out there to save landlords time and money.

Top 10 Landlord Software Options Ranked:

The below landlord software solutions are ranked in order of customer satisfaction. While each option has its pros and cons, it is important to evaluate each software based on your needs as a landlord, as well as, understand real customer feedback to make the best decision for your business. Stars are ranked out of 5 and are based on Google Reviews since it is a globally-recognized and unincentivized review platform.

Listed below are the reviews with the highest rating for each software.

To see the most recent reviews and get a comprehensive view of customer opinions for each option, be sure to check Google reviews to help you decide what will work best for your rental business.

Rentec Direct

Ranking: 4.8 Stars

Rentec Direct property management software has the highest customer service rating, free online tenant payments, and discounted tenant screening. Rentec Direct offers industry-leading property management software and tenant screening solutions for real estate professionals. Features include online rent payments, tenant and owner portals, the industry’s largest vacancy listing syndication network, full property, tenant, and owner accounting, 1099-MISC tax reporting, and more.

Rentec Direct offers a “Pro” plan for landlords that starts at $35 per month (for up to 10 units). Pricing is based on unit count and has received multiple awards for its customer service. Rentec Direct does not charge for customer service and does not have a minimum portfolio requirement.

Highest Rated Review:

“I searched for months and spoke to several companies in regards to a software that was user friendly and comprehensive. I have 7 doors now and looking to grow that number over the next couple of years. After speaking with Rentec Direct I was assured it was a user friendly software with outstanding support. After using the software for several months now I couldn’t be happier with the ease of use with the program as well as the customer support they have. I am very pleased with the decision to go with Rentec Direct.” -Brian C.

TurboTenant

Ranking: 4.6 Stars

TurboTenant is a free and basic software for DIY landlords who seek an inexpensive way to track basic items and are willing to offload some expenses to tenants. TurboTenant offers rental listing syndication, tenant screening, and other features.

While free to the landlord, TurboTenant offsets costs by allowing landlords to use their tenant screening features and collecting that fee from applicants. TurboTenant also charges extra for phone support, lease agreements, electronic signatures, and tenant applications.

Highest Rated Review:

“As a Landlord, Turbo Tenant has made the rental process so much easier and more secure. Their software populates the lease forms, gives you accurate background checks and credit information is received in less than 5 minutes. And my tenants appreciate the oversight as well when paying from bank to bank with Turbo Tenant, and it’s at no cost to the tenant. And they offer very reasonable renter’s insurance, too.” -Lorena R.

Hemlane

Ranking: 4.4 Stars

Hemlane offers a flexible solution for rental owners, landlords, and real estate investors. Hemlane differs itself from other landlord software options by offering a highest-tier package that includes repair coordination with price thresholds and approvals as well as invoicing and payment to vendors. Hemlane also curates a list of service professionals for handiwork, electric work and plumbing, among other repairs; additionally, Hemlane offers connections to a licensed agent who can coordinate property showings, inspection and other tasks.

All three of Hemlane’s tier options requires a base fee of $28 per month and their lowest tier costs $2 per unit, while their highest costs $32 per unit.

Highest Rated Review:

“I am a new real estate investor. One of the things I didn’t want access to were Tenant personal information. For this reason alone Hemlane was a great fit for me. In addition to that Hemlane is easy to use, recommend tenant viability, service provider setup is easy, document sharing with tenants is simple, etc. I hope that they add credit reporting for tenants.” -Terry M.

Avail

Ranking: 4.2 Stars

Avail is a landlord software built for DIY landlords. Avail allows landlords to find tenants, view credit history, sign leases and collect rent. Avail offers rental listing syndication to the top dozen listing sites nationwide and has maintenance repair tracking property accounting features.

Avail offers two tiers, a free for landlords version and a tier that charges $5 per month to landlords. Tenants pay for the cost of credit, criminal background, and eviction checks (which vary by location due to state laws) and the costs of tenant screening reports can be covered by tenants or the landlord if they choose.

Highest Rated Review:

“This is the most useful platform one could ever have! For fraction of the cost, for having an awesome user interface, and awesome customer service. It serves me so well as a beginner landlord, im 30y.o. who has a regular job. Avail platform made it easy for me to take care of my own property. thank you guys for your hard and smart work!” -Jstn D.

TenantCloud

Ranking: 3.9 Stars

TenantCloud is a rental property accounting and management software that provides landlords with the ability to manage online rent collection, tenant communication, and maintenance requests on their desktop or mobile device.

TenantCloud offers multiple tier options including a free basic plan up to a “Growth” plan with a monthly fee of $50. While landlords can have an unlimited number of listings with any plan, features and file storage limits will be the main determining factor for which tier is right for a landlord’s needs. TenantCloud also offers a “Business” tier plan with priority tech support and phone assistance. This tier requires that you contact TenantCloud for a custom quote for pricing.

Highest Rated Review:

“Great software for small landlords and property managers who are looking on managing your rental business within a single app. It’s very uncomfortable to keep different kinds of data in different programs. With this software, you can get rid of everything else. Even my QB is integrated into the system. Saves me so much of my time. Instead of meeting tenants, I can send them online leases and sign with e-signature. Or collect rent via online payments. love when technologies work for people and help them with routine. That’s what TenantCloud does for me. Thank you!” -Gillian W.

Buildium

Ranking: 3.5 Stars

Buildium is a property management and landlord software company, offering options for landlords and property managers alike. Their software allows real estate professionals to manage property portfolios, including online rent & payments, vacancy management, maintenance cycles, and accounting. In 2015, Buildium acquired All Property Management, an online marketing service for property managers, allowing Buildium to give property managers a way to acquire new customers and increase revenue.

Landlords have three tier options to choose from, the first starts at a monthly minimum of $50 and does not include phone support or onboarding. This tier also includes additional fees for bank account set up and incoming and outgoing online payments.

Highest Rated Review:

“We have been using Buildium for over 9 years now and it was by far the best decision for our company. Being a web based system our staff/vendors have the flexibility to work anywhere with an internet connection and even on their phones. Buildium is constantly providing updates and new features to grow with their customers. Alexis is our customer service rep and she is fantastic!! They always listen to their customers and accept feedback and ideas. We continue to be impressed not only by their outstanding products for the Property Management industry, but also by their excellent customer service and their fantastic, always positive, attitude in the process. Excellent product. Amazing people. We will continue to recommend Buildium without hesitation.” -Joyce T.

Stessa

Ranking: 3.3 Stars

Stessa is a free software that offers paid premium services for investors, including mortgage financing and rent analysis to evaluate a potential property. Stessa is an asset management software and is designed to manage the investment side of owning a rental property. Some Stessa landlords still use a property manager who handles daily maintenance and management tasks, since Stessa does not track these areas. Stessa allows landlords to track unlimited properties, automate income and expense tracking, and organize and store real estate documents. It also has features to export tax-ready financials.

Stessa does not offer tenant screening, landlord insurance management, and some other features that other landlord software options may offer. Stessa also does not offer phone support or additional training beyond documentation. Stessa does offer chat support.

Highest Rated Review:

“Software is incredibly easy to use and I can manage my numbers. I wish I could be able to link my banks easily to Stessa to get some more automation – Krishna A.

AppFolio

Ranking: 3.3 Stars

AppFolio is a software solution geared toward landlords and property managers with large portfolios. With a comprehensive features list, this software is designed to work for residential and commercial real estate. Landlords with a high portfolio count will enjoy AppFolio’s robust features including self-service online renter portals, online applications and leases, online payments, built-in screening, maintenance requests, mobile inspections, bulk text messaging, accounting and reporting, among others.

AppFolio requires a minimum of 50 units to utilize their service. Landlords can choose from two tier options with their lowest tier’s pricing coming in at $1.40 per unit with a minimum fee of $280 per month. AppFolio requires annual billing and a contract, and charges setup fees which are based on portfolio size.

Highest Rated Review:

“Our firm has worked with Appfolio for 8+ years and we continue to be impressed not only by their outstanding products for the Property Management industry, but also by their excellent customer service and their fantastic, always positive, attitude in the process. Excellent product. Excellent people. I continue [to] recommend Appfolio without reservation.” – Gary B.

SimplifyEm

Ranking: 3.0 Stars

SimplifyEm is a property management software designed by real estate professionals with small to mid-sized landlords and property managers in mind. SimplyEm is a web-based solution and offers features such as property accounting, tenant management, lease tracking, bank reconciliation, maintenance scheduling and vendor management.

SimplifyEm’s pricing is based on unit count and starts at $25 per month (for up to 10 units). Some features such as communication history, Quickbooks export and work orders are not included among others, are not included for unit counts under 50. For landlords with less than 50 units, online rental applications are $3 and vacancy advertisements are $3 per listing.

Highest Rated Review:

“I am a property manager in Las Vegas, Nevada and use this software daily. I have found it very easy to use. It allows me to stay on top of my rent collections. I have been using their online rent collection service and my tenants find it very easy to make payments from their bank account or using their card. Lately I have started using their rental ads, online application, online leasing service, and their tenant screening service to find new tenants and screen them. I have found that it was very easy to integrate these in my process. I highly recommend this software to all property managers.” -Michelle B.

RentRedi

Ranking: 2.1 Stars

RentRedi is an easy-to-use mobile landlord app with features such as tenant screening, online rent collection, and listing syndication to Realtor.com, Doorsteps, and RentRedi. RentRedi’s Latchel landlord maintenance software partnership also allows landlords to utilize hands-off maintenance coordination for an additional fee. RentRedi is only available on a mobile device.

RentRedi offers a flat fee for unlimited properties starting at $19.95 per month. Additional savings is available by subscribing to the 6-moth or annual plan. Maintenance coordination and tenant screening reports are separate fees. RentRedi charges tenants $35 for tenant screening.

Highest Rated Review:

“Excellent customer support and software is ideal for landlords trying to streamline their property management duties. I manage for multiple property owners and this allows me to track individual properties from one dashboard. Love it!” -Michelle G.

What other options do landlords have instead of landlord software?

If you are looking to invest in a rental property, you have inherited rentals, or you are already a landlord and are looking for your best data-tracking solution, there are a few options available to you. Traditionally, landlords would track all property maintenance tasks on pen and paper, by hand. This is still done; some landlords prefer the old-fashioned techniques that they feel are tried and true. Unfortunately, manual tracking requires a large time investment and is far more prone to error. If your ultimate goal with owning a rental property is passive income, manual tracking is not for you.

Modern tracking options include accounting software, spreadsheets, and cloud-based storage. Landlord software offers these features along with online rent payment options and other time-saving features, but landlords can choose to track this information across a few solutions and software options instead. DIY landlords can create their own systems with a combination of these solutions.

Spreadsheets for landlords:

Spreadsheets are certainly a step up from the old bound ledger books with hand-entered information, however, they require constant manual upkeep in order to populate relevant data points and perform relevant mathematical functions. This requires a level of computer-savviness that not every landlord possesses, and can even go so far as to require some basic coding skills to effectively track the information you need to reference in the future.

Accounting software for landlords:

Accounting software offers a lot of benefits from a blank spreadsheet. They are automatically populated with relevant information related to business and accounting, making them far more intuitive than a simple spreadsheet. However, not all businesses are alike, and a landlord business has specific information that accounting software can not efficiently track.

QuickBooks, for example, is a leading accounting software often at the forefront of any professional’s mind when they think about accounting software for their business. While it can work for tracking important financial data within rental management, QuickBooks has its limitations when it comes to managing rentals. Since traditional accounting systems are not designed for property management, they can require double or even triple entry of transactions to maintain accurate and auditable records.

Simultaneously, both spreadsheets and accounting software lack the ability to store important legal documents relevant to property management. Items such as lease agreements, maintenance information, tenant screening reports or criteria, all must be stored on your home computer or through a trusted third-party cloud-based service. While every landlord is certainly able to combine a few software solutions together to track everything they need, the time it takes to do so can begin to put a damper on your excitement about real estate investing. By far, the biggest advantage to opting for a landlord software is the time savings and peace of mind offered by working with a trusted industry expert. Landlord software is crucial to keeping your time investment reasonable.

How can you find the best landlord software for you?

Choosing the best landlord software comes down to understanding your business needs as a landlord. A landlord software with a robust list of features will save you significant time in the long run, while a basic software with less features might be at a lower price point. Keep in mind that free software may come with a la carte pricing, additional customer service fees, and may offset costs by charging tenants.

Look for free trials of landlord software:

Evaluate how much your time is worth and what features you feel are must-haves for your daily management needs. Be sure to look for free trials to get a feel for the features available and contact their customer support team during your trial to evaluate the customer service. When evaluating your options, be sure to read reviews on a third-party site and see what real landlords love or don’t like about a particular option.


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