Professional property management software is critical to a company's growth and scaling, and its ability to adapt to change and continue to be successful. With efficient software, it is simple to resolve issues and stay competitive. The mistake of selecting the wrong software can inhibit your rental business, weaken the integrity and confidence of your team, and even result in losing money by cutting ties with tenants.

Property management software can be helpful, but how do you find the right one? The software market offers dozens of options, suitable for different types of businesses and possessing different features, but their costs vary. Whether you're switching to new software or searching for a brand-new system, it's important to take your time and make sure you're making an informed choice.

We've put together some hints and tips to help you choose the right software for your needs.

What is Rental Property Management Software?

Rental property management software is a tool created specifically for the real estate needs of landlords, property managers, and owners.

Property management software should assist landlords and property managers in advertising unoccupied properties, screening potential tenants, managing current tenants, bookkeeping, and corresponding with property owners.

Property management software should be both affordable and appropriate for any size property management company, whether you manage thousands of units or are a small DIY landlord with a few rental properties.

Related: How to Choose the Best Property Management Software in 2023

How to Choose the Best Property Management Software.

The best property management software will boost your productivity and meet your needs, making your life less stressful and organizing your workflow. Keep these features in mind when looking for the best property management software.

1. Easy to Use

The main goal of a property management system is to save time, so choose one that will automate your most time-consuming tasks and be easy to use. Before putting it to use, familiarize yourself with how to use it with a demo or tutorial to reduce the learning curve and make sure you’re as efficient as possible.

How To Choose The Best Rental Property Management Software

2. Cloud-based SaaS

Cloud-based software means there's no need to install it on your computer. All your data is based on a cloud; you can access it from any device, wherever you are. Your rental information, financial reports, documents, and other items will automatically be secured in the cloud.

Related: Real Estate Automation: Top Main Tips to Keep in Mind

3. Communication and Maintenance

An on-site messaging system is a huge plus because it allows you to communicate directly with landlords, tenants, and service professionals. You won't have to waste time picking up the phone for every small thing, either.

How To Choose The Best Rental Property Management Software

Tenants can use the maintenance feature to submit and track maintenance requests. Renters can also upload videos and photos, and landlords and tenants can track contractors' progress. Visual work orders assist tenants and landlords in resolving problems with minimal effort, as there is no need to contact them or come to a location. Landlords must create and submit invoices for each work order.

4. Price 

While some property management apps are free to download and use, others require a yearly subscription to access their premium features. Take a look and sign up for a free trial before purchasing the product. Choose an app that offers a variety of features at the best price for your needs and budget.

5. Online Payments 

One of the most substantial benefits of property management software is the ability to collect rent online, which saves time for both landlords and tenants. It also makes automatic payments, security deposit collection, and lease administration easier and faster.
How To Choose The Best Rental Property Management Software

The safety of rent payments made online is a major advantage. Tenants can now pay their rent on time and know exactly where their money is going. Additionally, several regulations and safety measures exist to prevent identity theft and data breaches in the digital realm.

6. Accounting

Ensure the accounting function is built into it or at least integrated with other accounting programs offered, as online accounting is one of the main advantages of using property management systems and you want to get the most out of your new software. 

How To Choose The Best Rental Property Management Software

7. Support

Inquire about whether the software has technical support (even if you don't need it) available seven days a week, and how much it costs (some property management software solutions charge more than $100 per hour, while others are unlimited and free). 

8. Advertising

Consider if the software you are considering offers integration with third-party applications. It could save you time not copying and pasting information from one program to another. Automatic Listing Syndication allows you to post your vacancies to major leading listing websites in one click and instantly reach a growing audience of high-quality residents.

Some property management software solutions offer another great feature - a personal Marketing Website that lets you create a customized listing website with your logo, content, and brand colors. It helps to market your properties or company to prospective clients.

9. Online Leases and E-signature 

Online lease agreements signed electronically are legal documents that expedite and simplify the move-in process. An online lease agreement allows both parties to access the rental agreement if lease clauses need to be reviewed. Unlike paper lease agreements, facilitating leases electronically will save time and money. Autofill and e-signatures are two other advantages of online lease agreements. Documents and payments made online are secure.

Landlord Forms are customizable documents that landlords will need for their rental properties.

How To Choose The Best Rental Property Management Software

Related: Landlord Forms: Lease Agreements for Your Rental Business

10. Rent Reporting

Rent reporting is an excellent option for tenants to establish credit history and raise credit ratings by reporting rent payments to credit bureaus.

Third parties must record rent because it is not always automatically reported, and tenants cannot do so independently. While paying (or not paying) their rent, tenants can build their credit history, and the software will automatically report payments to credit bureaus.

Rent reporting might be the feature that persuades the renter to choose your property. Many tenants and landlords are unaware of and are looking for the rent reporting feature.

Is There a Free Rental Property Management Software Option?

Consider the following factors while choosing rental management software:

  1. Number of units
  2. Property type
  3. Integrations
  4. Features 

TenantCloud is available in four subscription plans: Free, Starter, Growth, and Business. On the Free Plan, our all-in-one property management software includes extensive functionality such as online rent payments (ACH, credit and debit cards), late fees, online rental applications, and the ability to receive and sign lease agreements online. There is also the option to show your listings across multiple sites via automatic listing syndication or to advertise them via a customizable listing website, as well as the ability to manage maintenance requests.

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