Property Management Software Comparison

Factors to be considered before purchasing Property Management Software
Property Type Best in Class:
Property type indicates the ability of the software to handle the accounting, leasing and other activities for different types of properties. Commercial or retail properties vary significantly from the residential ones. Critical activities such as type of leases, CAM reconciliation, utility rebilling etc vary significantly across property types. Even within residential properties, accounting for associations varies significantly compared to single family homes or to multi-family residential apartments. The software should be able to cater to the needs of different types of properties within your portfolio.
Accounting Best in Class:
Accounting activities such as accounts payable processing, tenant accounting (security deposits, running rent, and receiving payments), reconciliations, general ledger postings, and financial statements. Accounting software with user friendly interfaces, simple to understand and clearly segregated task windows and easy reporting tools are superior compared to those with “ledger oriented” or traditional interfaces.
Management Portal Best in Class:
Having a comprehensive and easy to use property management section is one of the key requirements of most property managers. The software should provide a wide range of dashboard options that highlight critical operating information such as vacancy %, soon to expire leases, outstanding rents etc. It should also enable the property manager to perform tasks such tenant screening, processing move-ins and move-outs, send collection emails/letters, place maintenance requests,   raise POs and work orders.
Tenant Portal Best in Class:
In today’s connected age, tenants demand readily accessible information such rental application status,  existing rental balances, pay rents and other charges online, raise maintenance requests and track status of maintenance requests. New age software(particularly web-based ones) have tenant sections with such features.
Owner Portal Best in Class:
Integrated communication tools with property managers, comprehensive list of management reports and financial statemens, insightful dashboards with key operating/financial information makes the tracking by and reporting to owner much easier. An owner section is particularly critical for owners who have a few properties and hence share property managers.
Reporting Best in Class:
Most property management companies nowadays provide a comprehensive list of month-end/quarter-end financials covering rent rolls, vacancy and collection status, financial statements such as cash flows and multiple operating information reports. A good property management software has a significant array of tools such as graphs, dashboards, pie-charts, to visually represent the information. Also, flexibility in templates and easy design of custom reports are additional prerequisites.
Marketing Best in Class:
Quickly reducing vacancies is a critical performance requirement of any property manager. Good software have tight well thought out integrations with various leasing/housing websites. Breadth of tenant sites covered is a critical comparative feature. Also, for commercial and retail property management firms, having lead tracking and sales funnel management features in the software could be critical to drive conversions.
Support
Good support from the software provider is critical for any property management company particularly in the transition/set-up phase. A strong support team is a big plus point for any software company.
Data Management
New age property management software have inbuilt document management software capabilities. By attaching documents such as real estate tax notices, vendor invoices, utility bills, insurance invoices, mortgage statements to the specific transactions, the property managers and accounting staff can readily access the source document when needed. This also helps in properties that undergo audit and also in placing replacement reserve requests to banks/financial institutions.
Features Comparison
Appfolio Property Manager Yardi Genesis Buildium MRI OneSite – Realpage Timberline
Property Type
Commercial Property
Retail
Residential Property
Single Family
Multi-Unit
Property Portfolio Size
Large (1000 units and up)
Mid-Size (251-999 units)
Small (1-250 units)
Accounting
Accrual Accounting
Set up Auto Pay
Cash Based Accounting
Receivables
Payables
Post Rent and late Fees
Financial Statements
Management Features
Automatic Property Mapping
Customizable Reports
Easy Data Migration
Events Calendar
Message Boards
Move in/Move Out Workflow
Proactive System Notifications
Smart Search
Upload Documents
Tenant Portal
Online Lease Agreements
Online Leasing
Online Rental Applications
Rent Comparison Tool
Resident Screening
Owner Portal
Email Owner Statements
Performance Metrics
Surveys
Vacancy Dashboards
Marketing
Automatic Vacancy Postings to Web
Lead Source Tracking
Online Rental Application
Guest Cards
Online Vacancy Posting
Real Time Vacancy Statistics
Data Management
Automatic Data Backup
Export to CSV
Export to Excel
Export to PDF
File Storage
Operating Environment
Web-Based (Online)
Windows
Linux
Mobile Application