More and more in the real estate industry, you hear about property management software. But do you need it?

What is property management software?

Property management software is an app or web application that provides you with a dashboard from which you can navigate the tasks of managing rentals — such as tenants, rent, and applications.

Typically, you will find an online application that helps you manage your properties from a desktop, but quite frequently you can find landlord software that also provides a companion mobile app as well. This enables you to manage your properties both from your computer and your smartphone.

The benefit of using tech to manage your properties is that you can then take advantage of the mobility and manage your rentals from anywhere in the world.

How do I use property management software?

How you use property management software will larger depend on how you manage your rental operations. 

For instance, if you’re using paper applications and collecting physical checks, property management software can help you get online rental applications and also collect electronic ACH or credit card rent payments. Certain software, like RentRedi, also has partnerships that allow tenants to pay with cash rent as well, via the app.

If you’re a newer landlord, you might not have any systems in place to help you collect rent, screen tenants, or even put your rental on the internet for applicants to find. In this case, most renal management systems will help you set up a system for navigating all these tasks.

If you’ve been a landlord for a little while, you might be looking to improve how you manage rentals, or you might be looking for more advanced features like maintenance, deposit tracking, and managing your team.

In either case, you’ll be wanting to look for simple, yet sophisticated software that can help you manage your properties as you learn and grow in your landlord journey.

What features do I look for?

When reviewing software for your rental business, make sure it has all the features you need. One way to determine what you’ll want to be on the lookout for is to make a list of all the sticking points or issues you find when conducting business-related tasks, such as collecting rent or finding tenants.

  • Rent collection
  • Tenant screening
  • Listing units
  • Lease signing
  • Prequalifications and applications
  • Maintenance management
  • Accounting
  • Tenant management
  • Team management

Is property management software right for you?

Determining whether property management software is right for you will be up to the strategy you want to employ for managing, organizing, and growing your real estate investment business.

For example, if you’re starting a new LLC and you want to set up property-specific bank accounts, landlord apps like RentRedi can help you connect payment accounts to a different property, as well as add separate accounts for security deposits.

If you’re going to be managing your investment properties by yourself, you’ll need to be hyper-organized without putting too much strain on your time. In which case, property management software can provide you with a platform on which to get snapshots and detailed views of your properties, tenants, rent payments, applications, maintenance requests, and more.

Conversely, if you have a team that supports you in managing your rentals, property management software can also be useful in providing teammates and maintenance personnel with easy access to their portions of the business (such as handling repairs, business-related tasks, scheduling, or sifting through applications). In this case, look for landlord apps like RentRedi, which have free teammate accounts.

Where to get property management software?

Let’s face it, there’s a lot of property management software on the market right now, all with similar feature sets and reviews. However, the one aspect that can help you when you’re picking and choosing the app for your real estate business is the price point.

Some property management software can cost you upwards of $200 to manage your investment properties and may come with a host of extraneous features that you don’t want to pay for.

So, once you make sure you’ve got a few property management software apps picked out, then compare the price. If you’re looking at RentRedi, you’ll see that you can get as low as $9/mo (for the annual plan) and all the must-have features listed above—without eating into your revenue or having to pay extra for features you don’t want.