Every property manager needs a great property management system to back them up.
With a system in place that helps you automate and streamline much of your basic business processes– especially the things that typically bog you down– you can focus more on high-value tasks.
Not to mention, reduce stress and find some peace.
That’s where a property management system comes in, which typically comes in the form of a piece of software that can do all kinds of things for you as a landlord or property manager.
Suffice it to say, if you’re managing your or your client’s properties without property management software, you're doing way more work than necessary for the same return.
So, what exactly does a property management software system look like, and what kind of features can you expect?
Below, we’ll break that down, then show you some of the best options available in 2023.
Use the table of contents if you prefer to skip ahead to the software recommendations (or any other section) at any time.
With that said, let’s start from the top.
What is a property management system?
A property management system (or PMS) refers to software designed to make managing properties easier.
It can be used for residential or commercial properties, or anything in between, from vacation homes to HOA communities.
Property management systems are also often used in the hospitality industry, where the software plays a different but similar role in helping hospitality managers run the day-to-day business of their hotel or resort.
For this guide, however, we’re going to focus on the value of a property management software system for real estate property managers.
Why is a property management system important?
A good property management software system provides all kinds of benefits, allowing you to optimize multiple areas of your property business, including:
- Maintenance management
- Document management
- Tenant screening
- And more
Sure, you can do all of this yourself.
But all that time you spend doing menial tasks for things like accounting, collecting rent, communicating with tenants through various channels back-and-forth, etc., is taking time away from more important things.
Exactly how does property management software do that?
If you have (or are still) managing properties and rent payments in something like Microsoft Excel, you know the pain of basic bookkeeping.
It takes an enormous amount of time just to log everything.
Not to mention, it’s not exactly easy to look at and reference when you need to go back to find something.
But with property management software, like our very own DoorLoop, those various accounting and management tasks are:
- Faster to complete, giving you more time for what really matters
- And better organized, making everything from tax season to just finding something with the search function so much easier
But that’s just the beginning.
Simplifying and organizing is one thing. Automation is another whole different beast.
The real value of a property management system for landlords and property managers
Good property management software allows you to automate many tasks you once had to do manually.
And that’s the real value of a property management system for landlords and property managers.
Just some of the tasks you can automate or semi-automate with property management software include:
- Rent collection
- Maintenance order tracking
- Tenant screening
- Posting listings for vacant units
- Scheduling showings and even following up with those prospects after the showing
So, the value is clear. With a property management system, you can:
- Save time
- Automate critical business tasks
- Reduce stress
- And maximize your bottom line
The only problem that remains is picking the right property management system.
Preferably, property management software you can count on, that’s affordable, and that has all the features you need and want.
So, next, let’s talk about some of the best options out there.
5 Best property management systems for property managers and landlords
Below are 5 of the best property management systems out there.
Each has somewhat different features, but they’ll all help you with one, more, or all of the aspects of automation and streamlining we talked about above.
Plus, we added tags under each software so you know who each one is best for, with a good variety of options no matter what kind of properties you own or manage.
1. Landlord Studio
Good for: Rental properties
The first option on our list, Landlord Studio, is designed for rental properties.
In terms of ease of use, property management software can be hit-or-miss, but Landlord Studio has a fairly clean UI that is easy to navigate.
It doesn’t offer as many features as a fully-fledged property management solution (more on that later), but if you’re looking for an affordable starter option, this is a decent starting place.
- Tenant screening
- Payment tracking
- Basic reporting
Landlord Studio’s pricing structure is unfortunately not as simple and easy to understand as its software.
The software is priced based on a combination of per unit, per month pricing as well as a base monthly pricing model.
Their basic Start plan is $5.99 annually, with $1 per unit per month tacked on top of that. For example, if you have 25 units, your monthly price would be $30.99.
Plans scale further, with their premium Scale plan being $19.99 annually in addition to the $1 per unit per month pricing mentioned above.
Good for: HOA community management
If you’ve been reading this and wondering if someone has created an HOA community management-specific solution, you’re in luck.
FRONTSTEPS is one of many HOA management solutions out there, with features that make it perfect if you’re managing large HOA communities, such as community calendar management.
- Community and calendar management
- Committee tools
- Work order management
- Training tools
- Payment processing
FRONTSTEPS doesn’t offer its pricing online, so you’ll need to contact their sales team for more information.
Good for: Simple rent tracker
If you’re really just looking for a simple rent tracker, Rentpal is a good option.
It offers tools for bringing in new tenants such as digital signatures and screening and collecting and tracking rent payments for current ones.
We know that the idea of taking on a new piece of software can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not used to it.
And while we think trying a full property management system solution will offer better results, there are simpler solutions that will get you started towards automation and optimization of your property management efforts. Rentpal is one of them.
- Digital signatures
- Tenant portal
- Automated rent payments
- Payment options: ACH to PayPal
Rentpal doesn’t list its pricing publicly, so you’ll need to contact their sales team for more information.
4. RealPage Commercial
Good for: Commercial properties
RealPage Commercial is a great option if you’re looking for a solution to manage commercial properties.
From commercial-specific features such as common area maintenance reconciliation to lease administration, RealPage offers features that commercial property managers will value highly.
- Work order management
- Leasing automation
- Tenant portal
- Robust accounting, including valuable calculators for late fees, CPI increases, and recurring charges
RealPage Commercial uses a per square footage model. Pricing differs depending on if the properties are office and retail assets vs. industrial.
Office and retail pricing start at $12.50 per month per 10,000 square feet, while industrial assets are $5.83 per month per 10,000 square feet.
Good for: All-in-one property management
If you have a mixed portfolio and you need someone that can handle everything, DoorLoop is the perfect option.
Whether you manage only rental properties, commercial, condos/HOA, or a mix of all that and more, DoorLoop is designed to help you streamline everything in one platform.
If your biggest hurdle with software is that it can feel overwhelming or complicated, DoorLoop is the way to go.
That’s because DoorLoop was designed with ease of use in mind, making it the most intuitive and easiest-to-use software on the market.
So, whether you’ve tried a dozen options before or zero, we know you’ll love DoorLoop for its ease and simplicity of use.
However, that doesn’t mean it lacks in features—quite the contrary.
- Full accounting suite: Automate rent collection, accept multiple payment methods, and organize all your accounts in one place
- Tenant portal and communications management: Wish you had one central location to manage all of your communications with tenants? With DoorLoop, you can.
- Maintenance management: Create work orders and allow tenants to view them from their dashboard. They attach images and a note and you assign it to a vendor. Once the job is complete, you pay that vendor, all from DoorLoop.
- Tenant screening and listing tools: Need to fill units? DoorLoop makes it easier than ever with features that help you automate parts of the process.
- And much more: Including an IDX-based website, vendor portal, and other great features.
DoorLoop’s Starter plan is just $59/month for your first 20 units.
Get started with DoorLoop
We said it before, and we’ll say it again: you can’t underestimate what a good property management system can do for your business.
From automating monotonous time sinks to streamlining multiple tasks into a single platform while improving organizational efficiency…
...whether you manage one or one thousand properties, you need property management software.
Review the options we presented and which would best serve your property management needs, then take action and start saving time and reducing stress.
And consider DoorLoop, the all-in-one property management solution that lives on the cloud and has a convenient iOS and Android app that makes it easy to use wherever you are.
So, jump in and give it a try, schedule a free demo of DoorLoop today.
Innago is free property management software that can be used for residential properties, commercial buildings, and student housing.Is Innago really free? ›
Innago is free property management software that can be used for residential properties, commercial buildings, and student housing.How do I set up rental properties in Quickbooks desktop? ›
- Create a Company.
- Set up a Chart of Accounts.
- List the rental property as a Fixed Asset on the Chart of Accounts.
- Add business bank, savings, credit card, and mortgage accounts.
- Configure the property as a Class.
- Create the tenant as a Customer.
Cozy is a free property management solution used by over 50,000 landlords nationwide. Access to the platform is free, but includes fees for tenant screenings and credit card transactions. Automates rent collection and property listing syndication.Is Stessa really free? ›
Stessa is free to get up and running – save time, and maximize returns across your portfolio. Ready to go Pro? Upgrade anytime to unlock advanced tools to manage and optimize your portfolio.How much is MCS rental software? ›
Starting from $90, MCS Rental Software is priced fairly, commonly offers a free trial and is most fitting for midsize businesses of 101 to 1000 employees.What are the 5 functions of a PMS system? ›
A property management system (PMS) is software that facilitates a hotel's reservation management and administrative tasks. The most important functions include front-desk operations, reservations, channel management, housekeeping, rate and occupancy management, and payment processing.What is property management system in simple words? ›
A property management system is sometimes referred to as a hotel operating system or hotel OS. PMS provides a centralized computer system to organize, schedule and perform the day-to-day functions and transactions involved in accommodations businesses.Can you use QuickBooks for real estate? ›
Consistently tracking your finances with QuickBooks is a great way to create a predictable, sustainable real estate business. You can easily use the numbers to help you set realistic goals each year. These goals will also serve as a guide to creating quarterly milestones.Can tenants pay rent through QuickBooks? ›
Collect rent with ACH for free and sync those transactions with your QuickBooks Online account. Invite tenants to pay their rent and see their lease details with our resident portal.
Simply put, yes, QuickBooks does have the capacity to be used for managing rental property accounting transactions. The software lets you set up properties as customers, tenants as sub-customers, and classes to track various transaction types.What is RentTrack on my credit report? ›
RentTrack is a rent reporting platform for property management companies that captures residents' rental payments and reports it to the credit bureaus, including Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.Is it cozy or Cosy? ›
The Americans favour the spelling cozy, while the British prefer cosy. Both spellings are used in Canada. A well-insulated house is cozy (or cosy) all winter long.Is TurboTax good for rental Properties? ›
If you own investment or rental property, TurboTax will help you with deductions, depreciation, and getting your biggest possible refund. When you rent out a house or condo, taxes can be a headache.Who owns Stessa? ›
Stessa co-founders Heath Silverman and Jonah Schwartz have always shared a passion for both technology and investing. Together, they have founded numerous technology companies as well as a real estate investment firm focused on residential property in the greater SF Bay Area.What is the best tenant experience app? ›
- HqO Workplace Experience App.
In July 2009, MSC Software was acquired by the private equity firm Symphony Technology Group. The "dot" was dropped from the company's name in 2011 and the company's name is currently MSC Software Corporation.What is rental ware software? ›
Rentware is the most modern Software as a Service (SaaS) solution for rental, simply booking software or booking calendar for both B2C and B2B rentals and also suitable for a mixture of both. Even free company or club internal rentals can be displayed.How much is management platform software? ›
The cost of project management software varies depending on the provider and the type of plan. Single-user plans cost $3.66 per month on average. Small businesses will pay $4.39 per month on average. For medium-sized businesses, the average cost for a plan is $16.88 per month per user.What are the 4 pillars of PMS? ›
4 Stages of the Performance Management Cycle Process
The cycle of performance is based on 4 key pillars: planning, monitoring, reviewing and rewarding.
- The Balanced Scorecard. ...
- Management By Objectives. ...
- Budget-driven Business Plans.
- Fairness and Accuracy. ...
- Efficiency. ...
- Performance Elevation. ...
- Guide on Compensation. ...
- Incorporate Feedback from Multiple Data Sources. ...
- It Should Be A Basis for Coaching Skills Development. ...
- Set Expectations. ...
- Allow for Monitoring.
- Cloud Software Solution. ...
- On-Premise Hotel Solution. ...
- Hotel Web Booking Engine Software. ...
- Hotel Front Desk System. ...
- Hotel Housekeeping Solution. ...
- Hotel Channel Management System. ...
- Hotel Billing and Invoicing Software. ...
- Hotel Reporting and Analytics Solutions.
The fees charged by PMS are relatively higher than that of Mutual funds. At the same time, the add-ons are provided in terms of login and on-demand view of the portfolio. Analytics etc., are all these high-end services that come at an additional cost.What are the benefits of using a computerized property management system? ›
The number one benefit of using a PMS is saving time. One of the biggest problems hoteliers face is being time-poor. With a PMS, you'll reduce time spent on admin, increase time available for backlogged tasks, and most importantly, free up time for yourself.What is the difference between PMS and CRS? ›
The Central Reservations System (CRS) sits above the property level to manage and distribute Availability, Rates and Inventory (ARI) to guests via various channels. The Property Management System (PMS), meanwhile, manages all of the on-premises management needs (housekeeping, POS, check-in/check-out, etc.).What are property management system factors? ›
A property management system should include key functionalities such as front-desk operations, back-office management, housekeeping, revenue management, reporting/analytics capabilities, customer relationship management, as well as a central reservation system.What is the property management system used by hotels? ›
What is a Hotel PMS? A hotel property management system (PMS) is a set of solutions that hoteliers use to manage their day-to-day hotel operations activities such as reservations, front desk, housekeeping, maintenance, billing and invoicing, analytics and reporting.Do I need a CPA if I have QuickBooks? ›
Yes, you do need a bookkeeper even if you have Quickbooks. We understand that you're a small business owner, and you want to save money where you can. But relying on software alone may cost you more in the long run. Accountants and bookkeepers can offer so much more than Quickbooks.Can you use QuickBooks without an accountant? ›
If you are a sole trader, you can do your own tax return but it is usually worth consulting an accountant anyway. They can check your return and verify you are claiming expenses correctly. Even if you manage your money using QuickBooks, it's worth having your tax return checked and approved by an accounting expert.
QuickBooks is a full-featured business and management suite with all the tools that a small business would need, but it's also costlier. Quicken helps families and individuals track account balances, investments, budgeting, and other expenses.How do I record paid rent? ›
Rental expenses are recorded as a debit in the journal entry. This is because rent expense is a nominal account. Per Nominal Account rule, all expenses and losses need to be debited. Thus, rent expense will be on the debit side of entry.How do you record rental expenses? ›
Rent Expense Under the Accrual Basis of Accounting
Under the accrual basis of accounting, if rent is paid in advance (which is frequently the case), it is initially recorded as an asset in the prepaid expenses account, and is then recognized as an expense in the period in which the business occupies the space.
Rent account is a nominal account. Other examples of nominal accounts are wages account, commission account, interest received account. The rule for nominal accounts is: Debit all expenses and losses; Credit all incomes and gains. Was this answer helpful?Is QuickBooks tracked by IRS? ›
Yes. When you complete a Merchant application, QuickBooks Payments will compare the info provided on the application to the info on file at the IRS.Is rent a bill or expense in QuickBooks? ›
Rent payments are an important and often substantial business expense that must be recorded properly in your QuickBooks chart of accounts to accurately summarize your expenses for the period.How do I record a rental property in QuickBooks? ›
- Open the Customer menu from the home screen.
- Select Receive Payments.
- Choose the Receipt Account from the Accounts drop-down menu.
- Select the correct Tenant from the Customer list.
- Enter the amount of the payment.
All for $29.99 per year (that's only $2.50 per month). Get started today! You'll wonder how you managed family life before Cozi.Who bought Cozy? ›
WASHINGTON, DC–CoStar Group has acquired online rental solutions provider Cozy Services for $68 million. The company plans to integrate Cozy's Services into its Apartments.com platform.Is cozy the same as apartments com? ›
Apartments.com, formerly Cozy, offers products that help landlords complete the different stages of the landlord journey. Avail helps you list your rental property, find great tenants, properly screen tenants, digitally sign rental leases, collect rent, track rental income, and manage maintenance — all online.
Reporting rent to the credit bureaus is a positive addition to your credit report that can help you build credit and improve your credit score. If you pay your rent on time and in full regularly, consider taking steps to add it to your credit report.Does credit score lower rent? ›
Generally, a higher credit score indicates a higher probability that you're financially solvent and will be able to pay the rent on time. But that doesn't mean renters with lower credit scores need not apply.Why do landlords use credit score? ›
Your credit scores can be important when you're looking to rent an apartment. That's because the landlord or property manager may pull your credit as part of the screening process. Your credit history can show them how you've managed money in the past and help them determine whether you might be a responsible tenant.Is color spelled color or Colour? ›
Is it color or colour in the USA? In US English, “color” (no “u”) is the correct spelling. In UK English, “colour” (with a “u”) is standard. This regional spelling distinction carries over to other forms of the words, including “coloring/colouring” and “colorful/colourful.”What is correct gray or GREY? ›
Grey and gray are two different spellings of the same word. Gray is more common in the U.S., while grey is more common in other English-speaking countries. In proper names—like Earl Grey tea and the unit Gray, among others—the spelling stays the same, and they need to be memorized.What does cozy mean in slang? ›
having or fostering a warm or friendly and informal atmosphere. “had a cozy chat” “the small room was cozy and intimate” synonyms: informal, intimate friendly.How do I pay on Innago? ›
We give your tenants the flexibility to pay their rent with the payment method they prefer using. Tenants can connect their checking or savings account, or a debit/credit card.How long does Innago take to process payment? ›
Innago, for example, delivers funds into your account after just one business day.What does Innago do? ›
Too many alternatives are expensive & overwhelming, turning a "solution" into a problem. Innago allows you to easily: collect rent, screen tenants, list properties, manage work orders, create applications, sign leases, organize financials, communicate with tenants, & much more!
They also offer tools and services that enable you to accept rent payments through ACH and credit card transactions.
Centralize maintenance information, and keep it within reach anywhere, anytime with the proprietary Propertyware Mobile App for iOS® and Android®.How long does Yardi payment processing take? ›
Yardi will process payments on a daily basis. Each day, requests are sent to Payroc (or your financial institution) for processing and are expected within 1 to 4 business days. In usual instances, payments are seen in your operating accounts by end of the business day.Is it safe to use ACH to pay rent? ›
With scheduled payments, it's a hassle free and safe way to ensure your rent makes it on time, every month. You'll never have to pay a late fee! You'll never have to worry about having a supply of checks, envelopes or stamps. Your electronic transfer will never get lost in the mail, or stolen.Can you use ACH to pay rent? ›
The ACH payment network is a nationwide financial system that allows for electronic credit and debit transfers between institutions and individuals. An ACH transfer can be automated, which is especially useful for landlords to ensure their tenants automatically pay monthly rent without requiring reminders.Who are best tenants to rent to? ›
The best type is the one who checks you out too
Nothing too evasive from their side but enough to show that they are serious diligent tenants that you can feel comfortable to trust that they will pay their rent in time and look after your property.
The best way to attract a quality tenant at your showing is by representing yourself as a high-quality landlord. Demonstrating your organizational skills, providing clear information, and presenting a clean property will show potential tenants that you are a landlord they want to rent from.How can I be an attractive tenant? ›
- Pay rent on time.
- Follow lease terms.
- Refrain from causing problems with other tenants or neighbors.
- Keep from damaging your property beyond normal wear and tear.
- Communicate politely and in a timely matter.
What is Stessa? Stessa is modern software built specifically for owners of residential income property. Set up your first property today to automate your income and expense tracking, produce instant reports for tax season, and get real-time performance metrics.What does Yardi mean property management? ›
Yardi is a software vendor that makes applications for all sizes of property management and real estate companies. The company makes software suites for property management, marketing, commercial applications, senior living and investments.What does Buildium offer? ›
Buildium streamlines the rent cycle with features like tenant and lease tracking, full general ledger accounting, automated rent and fee reminders and on-demand reports. For the property owner, rent collection can be automated; and propertymanagers can receive online payments via Buildium's tenant portal.