If you own a rental property that you let out to tenants, you’ve probably considered (or are already using) a property management platform to help you streamline the rental process.
There are several software solutions today that can help you collect property rents online and allow your tenants to submit maintenance requests or other inquiries quickly and easily.
What Defines a Perfect Property Management Platform?
Your needs determine the perfect property management platform. It must meet the requirements you’re seeking for managing tenant requests and rent.
Some people may own just a few rental properties, while others may own dozens. Each of their requirements for a well-performing property management platform will be different. Here are a few considerations to consider when searching for a solution.
Cost of the Platform
While cost should not be the only factor you consider when deciding on a property management platform, it is a variable. If you own only one or two rental properties, an expensive software solution may not be worth it. For starters, it will cut your profits. It may also provide many functions that you don’t need.
Thus, it’s best to establish a budget when determining how much you want to spend on your solution. Some people may be comfortable spending a few hundred dollars per year, while those who manage a lot of tenants may need the functionality of a more expensive system.
Features and Modules
There are various features and modules available in the property management platforms on the market today. Not all of these will be pertinent to every rental property manager. Some of the most common include:
Online Payment and Account Access
This one is a bit of a no-brainer. You want your tenants to be able to pay you quickly and on time, and the best way to do that is to give them access to cloud-enabled software that they can access from anywhere.
They can also review their account details to check past payments or see if any outstanding balances are due. Any solution that you choose should have this feature.
This option is also a must-have. It’s not uncommon for items or appliances to need maintenance in a rental property. In a rental apartment, you may have a plumbing issue. In a commercial building, a window may need to be repaired.
Whatever the problem, having easy access to a site that allows clients to request maintenance makes it easy for owners to track and resolve issues quickly and efficiently.
Some platforms allow rental landlords and tenants to share documents, such as their lease, floor plan, or insurance verifications. If you find this to be a helpful way to store client information (and for them to access it), you may want to seek out a property management solution that offers this feature.
In some cases, property landlords with several tenants may choose to have rental applications processed online. This allows landlords to check the credit score of potential tenants and easily verify their records and financial information online.
If you have multiple spaces for rent or don’t have another solution for processing applications, this may be a good option.
What Property Management Platforms Are Available?
There are several platforms on the market today for property management.
AppFolio provides a seamless user interface that users can access on a computer or mobile phone. It offers many features, including property accounting, online payments, screening, maintenance requests, and several other items.
However, this solution can be quite expensive for an owner with just a few places for rent. Prices start at $280 per month, and there are additional monthly charges for each space rented and managed through the platform.
TurboTenant markets itself as a free solution for rental property owners who own several different properties. You can handle screening of your applicants, rental collections, and rental management using the tool, which is also available as a mobile app.
However, TurboTenant pushes the cost of the tool to your renters. Whenever a renter submits an application, they’ll need to pay $45. There are also fees associated with payments made via credit or debit card.
The free solution is ideal for collecting rent and communicating online with tenants. Renters will pay a set fee for bank transfers or credit card payments.
PayRent’s mid-range plan allows you to monitor over 25 units but allows for cheaper bank fees for renters. There is no screening process provided for credit checks, but PayRent has found that most landlords already have a process to review their client’s documents before granting them a lease.