There are a lot of moving parts when you own and manage a rental property, and trying to keep track of everything by hand can be overwhelming for even the most experienced investors. Make one mistake, and unhappy tenants could cause vacancy levels to rise, driving cash flow down.
That’s why real estate investors with one to several hundred rental properties all use landlord software to help manage property more smoothly and maximize the potential return of rental property investments.
What is Landlord Software
Landlord software helps property owners and managers to monitor all parts of a rental property performance including:
- Marketing vacant property for lease to reach as many qualified prospects as possible
- Screen tenants and conduct comprehensive background checks
- Collect rent payments online
- Process maintenance and repair requests
- Track income and operating expenses
- Pay vendor and utility invoices online
- Compile monthly income and cash flow statements
- Generate tax-ready financial statements at year end
Top 10 Best Landlord Software Systems
Landlord software can be computer-based, cloud-based, or a combination of both. The best landlord software systems give investors a choice, and oftentimes include smartphone apps for iOS and Android to make paying rent, asking for maintenance, and monitoring property performance easy and convenient.
Based on these criteria, here are 10 of the best landlord software systems for real estate investors to look for this year.
Both novice and experienced real estate investors use Stessa, and with good reason. Even though pricing is 100% free, rental property accounting software from Stessa gives rental property investors an amazing number of features that help owners maximize profits:
- Automate incomes and expense tracking
- Accept rental payments online
- Automate typically manual parts of rent collection, including depositing checks, charging late fees, and monitoring payments for financial reporting
- Track unlimited properties via a personal online dashboard
- Monitor property performance at the property and portfolio level
- Upload, organize, and securely store invoices, leases, and other real estate documents
- The industry’s best security with strict internal controls and multi-factor authentication to protect your data and privacy
- Track expenses and property performance on the go with the iOS and Android app
- Run unlimited income statement, net cash flow, and capital expense reports for each property
- Export tax-ready financials to make filing taxes quick, easy, and virtually error-free
Stessa’s goal is to provide the real estate investment community with powerful tools at the lowest possible cost. There are optional, premium services that investors may take advantage of, including rent analysis to help make rental property as profitable as possible.
As an added benefit, Stessa’s Cash Management deposit accounts currently earn 2.00% APY (compared to the national average interest of 0.03% on checking accounts as of July 2022, according to the FDIC). Stessa Cash Management users can earn interest on balances from automated rent collection deposits, CapEx account, and operating account.
Annual Percentage Yield (APY) of 2.00% is effective as of 8/24/2022. No minimum opening deposit or account balance required. Fees could affect earnings on the account. Stessa is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Blue Ridge Bank, N.A., member FDIC. The national rate is the average of rates paid by all insured depository institutions and credit unions for which data is available to the FDIC, with rates weighted by each institution’s share of domestic deposits.
Go here to create a free Stessa account.
AppFolio offers landlord software for professional real estate investors and property managers with large portfolios. The software works with a variety of property types, including single-family rentals, small multifamily and large apartment buildings, condominiums and townhomes, student housing, homeowner associations (HOAs), and mixed-use commercial real estate.
Landlord software from AppFolio is powerful and robust, with features such as marketing vacant units, tenant screening and background checks, customized renter applications and tenant leases, lease preparation and signing online, rent collection, maintenance requests, and portals for both tenants and owners.
The minimum monthly fee is $250, along with a one-time onboarding fee.
Buildium is another complete software system for landlords and property managers with larger portfolios of residential rentals, student housing, and affordable housing communities. Software features from Buildium include:
- Online rent payments
- Lease management
- Online rent payment processing
- Income and expense tracking and accounting
- Property message boards
Buildium has three pricing plans – along with a free trial period – that include accounting, maintenance, tasks, violations, online portals, and resident & board member communications:
- Essential starting at $50 per month
- Growth starting at $160 per month
- Premium starting at $460 per month
Cozy is a perfect landlord software solution for small investors. That’s because the company’s goal is to help rental investors become great landlords, giving both landlords and tenants peace of mind.
Pricing for Cozy is free for landlords, with state-of-the-art rental management tools such as marketing vacant rentals, online rental applications and tenant screening, rent collection online, property income and expense tracking, and secure document uploading and storage.
Tenants pay for items such as tenant screening reports, and credit card or debit card payments for rent. Cozy also offers tenants renters insurance with an average policy cost of about $20 per month.
Hemlane offers an all-in-one landlord software solution for investors with one to 100 rental units. The company helps landlords manage property to reduce stress and get peace of mind.
- Rental advertising on the top 30 rental listing websites
- Applicant tracking sends interested tenants to your website to book showings
- Tenant screening includes a comprehensive credit and background check
- Lease management with automatic late fees and secure document storage
- Online rent and financials with income and expense reporting
- Maintenance and repair via a convenient maintenance portal
Pricing is free for the 1st month. The Basic plan runs $36.50 per month for one unit, while the Essential plan includes 24/7 repair coordination and costs $49 per month for one unit.
Propertyware is specifically geared toward single-family home investors with 250 or more properties under management.
Features include vacant property marketing with listing syndication, lead tracking and follow-up, tenant screening services, online rent collection, maintenance requests, accounting, and a portal for vendors.
The minimum monthly fee begins at $250 plus an implementation fee of $500.
7. Landlord Studio
Landlord Studio simplifies rental property accounting and property management for DIY landlords. This end-to-end landlord software solution offers rental accounting, online rent collection, and tenant screening:
- Streamlined rental accounting: Recurring expenses, smart scan receipt, bank transaction reconciliation, and full financial reporting.
- Online rent collection: Allows tenants to securely pay their rent online directly into the owner’s account, which reduces late fees and speeds up cash flow.
- Tenant screening: Comprehensive credit checks, background reports, eviction history.
More than 27,000 properties are managed with Landlord Studio in more than 64 countries worldwide. The company offers a free 14-day trial period, along with three monthly plans:
- Start is $5.99 per month for up to 3 units
- Growth is $9.99 per month and is best for growing portfolios
- Scale is $19.99 per month and is ideal for owners with 20 or more units under management
8. Rentec Direct
Rentec is touted as the highest-rated and easiest to learn property management software that includes free US-based support.
Landlord software from Rentec Direct includes a professional custom website for tenants to learn about available property, tenant screening before signing a lease, tenant online rent collection, online file management to securely store lease agreements and other documents, and a complete accounting system with full bank, property, and tenant accounting features.
Pricing is free for the first two weeks, then $35 per month for one to ten units. There are no setup fees and no term contracts. Enhanced tenant screening packages run from $7 to $15 per package, and include nationwide criminal search, SSN validation, nationwide eviction search, and a Transunion credit report.
TenantCloud provides free end-to-end property management software to landlords with features including:
- Tenant management
- Full accounting
- Online payments
- Online maintenance requests
- Free listing website
- Listing syndication to multiple rental listing websites
- Online applications and tenant screening
- Automatic invoicing
- Property analysis reports
Apps are available for both Apple and Android. TenantCloud security includes 256-bit encryption through SSL with daily backup to highly secure AWS data centers. Pricing options include a free Basic trial forever, Standard $9 monthly for up to 150 units, and Advanced $35 monthly for up to 500 units.
10. Yardi Breeze
Yardi Breeze is known as a refreshingly simple landlord software solution with intuitive and powerful property management features. Standard features include property accounting, vacancy and prospect tracking, ILS (internet listing service) posting, online tenant applications and payments, email and text communications, online maintenance and vendor payments.
This landlord software is designed to work with almost every type of property, including residential, commercial, affordable housing, self-storage, and manufactured housing.
Yardi Breeze offers two different pricing packages:
- Breeze $1 per unit per month with a $100 monthly minimum based on an annual agreement
- Breeze Premier $2 per unit per month with a $400 monthly minimum based on an annual agreement
How to Choose the Best Landlord Software
There are five technologies tenants want landlords to offer, according to the 2021 State of the Property Management Report recently released by Buildium:
- Access to a resident portal
- Paying rent online
- Submitting maintenance repair requests online
- Electronic leasing
- Communication using text or email
Even though the demand for residential rental property is at all-time highs, it makes good business sense for owners to choose a landlord software solution that gives tenants the most important things they are looking for.
Landlord software helps rental property owners save time and money, keep tenants happy, and help generate robust returns year after year. While there are several good software solutions to choose from, it’s important to select an option that isn’t overly complex or expensive.
Oftentimes, free landlord software can offer rental property investors everything they need to track property performance, maximize profits, and grow a real estate portfolio.