- Introduction to Landlord Software
- Landlord Software Features
- Landlord Software Pricing
- More Resources & Guides for Landlords
Introduction to Landlord Software to Manage Your Properties
When it comes to managing rental properties, there is no tried and true system that works for every landlord. Some rental property owners might prefer to be hands-off and hire a property manager. However, others will want to streamline their expenses in order to accelerate their cash flow potential.
Regardless of your property management style, landlord software offers any type of landlord or real estate investor the flexibility to manage rentals their way—without breaking the bank.
First, we’ll take a look at how you can use landlord software to manage your properties. To do this, we’ll use RentRedi’s features as an example. In the end, we’ll provide you with a snapshot of how landlord software is priced. Additionally, we’ll also provide additional landlord resources!
Landlord Tenant Management Software Features
Every landlord will be different in the features they require from their landlord software. Here are a few unique and necessary features you can look for in a rental management system.
Landlord Introduction Letter
First, when you’re setting up a new tenant in your rental, you might send them a landlord introduction letter. This familiarizes them with your property and any systems you use to collect rent, communicate, or manage maintenance requests.
For example, if you use a property management software like RentRedi, we offer a complimentary tenant letter. You can easily copy/paste, print, or download to send to your tenants. This lets them know how they can manage their renting experience using our app.
You can also modify this document to suit your needs. Maybe include a few introductory sentences about yourself, your contact information, any amenities with the building, or reminders.
Additionally, RentRedi also provides a tenant guide. You can use this guide to educate yourself, your team members, or your tenants on how the RentRedi tenant app works!
Tenant Background Search
Importantly, landlord software should provide you with a comprehensive set of tools you can use to screen tenants.
Prescreening tenants is critical to reducing the time spent on showing your rental. Additionally, it helps eliminate time spent reviewing applications for renters who might not even be qualified for your rental. Most landlords develop minimum requirements they’d like tenants to meet to qualify for their unit.
So if you have curated your own list of minimum requirements, a prequalification feature like RentRedi’s is handy. It is built-in to the app so you can easily collect that information from applicants right away. Then, you don’t have to dedicate time or resources to applicants who won’t be able to rent from you.
Rental applications are obviously a critical component of ensuring a tenant is right for your rental. Most landlord software should feature an application that you can use for your tenants.
Adopting an online or mobile application can cut down time spent on paper applications. Landlord software like RentRedi provides you with an easy-to-use mobile application that’s free for tenants. Additionally, you can manage all your applications right from a central hub of your RentRedi dashboard. This is convenient if you manage more than one rental property or have multiple tenants applying for your vacancy!
Tenant Background Search
Of course, prequalification and application tools are amazing landlord software features that benefit both you AND your future tenants. Ultimately, you’ll want to run a background check on anyone before signing a lease.
Typically, you’ll find most landlord software offers a tenant credit check or a full background report for varying costs. These costs might be distributed to the landlord or tenant, depending on the software.
RentRedi offers an affordable tenant screening program for tenants. Tenants verify their identity and pay $39.99 to submit their screening report. Landlords receive a full TransUnion-certified, credit report, criminal history, and eviction report.
PLUS, you also get a customized leasing recommendation, which gives RentRedi an edge over other landlord software.
What most first-time landlords quickly realize about managing properties is that there is A LOT of paperwork associated with it. For example, you’ll have applications, leases, rental inspection checklists, and move-in checklists to organize.
Of course, if you’re using landlord software, moving most of this documentation to one centralized source will drastically reduce the amount of paperwork for you to keep track of.
Document Storage & Sharing
RentRedi’s landlord software offers landlords document storage so that you can securely store any documents associated with a tenant. This can include anything from lease addendums to landlord reference letters in your dashboard.
Additionally, you have the ability to share any documents you’d like to the tenant via RentRedi’s system.
You can also save time by simply using RentRedi’s tenant application so you don’t have to store that separately. You can also use RentRedi’s lease signing software to send your lease, get a signature, and receive a legally-binding contract!
Tenants one-click agree and submit identity verification that landlords can review and approve. After you accept the tenant’s submission, the lease signature becomes legally binding!
Importantly, not all landlord software has document storage and sharing capabilities or lease signing available with their product. Some landlord software might offer this at an additional cost, as well.
Be sure to research price costs associated with this. For RentRedi’s landlord software, document storage & sharing and lease signing are included at no extra cost in all RentRedi plans.
Tenant Payments & Online Rent Collection
A key feature you should consider in any landlord software is rent collection and tenant payments. This will be a main component of most landlord software, as it’s obviously a large portion of the landlord-tenant relationship.
For online rent collection, you’ll want to set up charges, direct payments to different accounts if you have multiple LLCs for your rental properties, and collect security deposits. Additionally, you may need to manage late fees, and block payments—which we discuss in further detail below.
For tenant payments, you’ll want to ensure your tenant is incentivized to use your landlord software as a method of rent payment. Most landlord software has processing fees the tenant incurs when paying rent, so this can be a major factor when it comes to finding the best property management system.
For RentRedi, if a tenant pays ACH, their fee is only $1. Additionally, if you’d like to incur that fee for the tenant (which some landlords offer as a reward for paying rent on time), you are able to do so by customizing your payment settings!
Besides processing fees, there are additional features to be on the lookout for that can excite your tenant about using their side of the landlord software. For example, credit reporting, auto-pay, renter’s insurance options, and maintenance request submissions are all attractive features to tenants.
Not only can tenants use an app to pay rent—thus saving them and you time on the payment hand-off—but they can also set up tenant auto-pay to make the process even easier.
Landlords can even see if a tenant has auto-pay enabled directly from their RentRedi dashboard. This is a unique feature in landlord software, so be sure when researching auto-pay capabilities to verify landlords can view a tenant’s auto-payment status.
Cash Rent Payments
One special feature to be on the lookout for in landlord software is the ability to pay and collect cash rent payments. Even though many renters are eager to pay rent via an app, you might still have tenants who prefer to pay in cash. This can be annoying, especially using landlord software, because you’ll want to track all your rent payments in a centralized dashboard. Fortunately, there are two options you can be on the lookout for in a property management system.
While it might seem strange to be able to submit a cash rent payment via an app, RentRedi makes it possible. Tenants can sign up for a Chime bank account, deposit cash at over +90,000 retail locations, and then submit the payment to you via the RentRedi app.
Unfortunately, you may have those tenants who want to pay in cash and refuse to use the app. If this happens, you can still collect cash rent and mark it as manually paid in the RentRedi system. This way, you’re still able to manage rent collection easily—and see who has paid, who hasn’t, and what’s due/overdue.
As a bonus, if they sign up for credit boost, tenants are able to report their rent payments to credit bureaus to help improve their credit score. This can be a major incentive for tenants. Rent is likely their biggest payment, but they can’t use it to build their credit, as homeowners can with mortgage payments. But, with RentRedi, tenants can add on this feature and get credit (literally!) for paying their rent on time.
Even though renter’s insurance might seem unimportant, tenants having renter’s insurance is beneficial for both landlord and tenants.
For landlords, renter’s insurance is important because it helps you protect your rental assets and liability that might not be covered by landlord insurance.
For tenants, renter’s insurance is an absolute must. However, many tenants don’t realize that their property isn’t covered by landlord insurance if it’s damaged or stolen.
It can be hit or miss if landlord software includes renter’s insurance options, as most property management systems can leave out key features that help protect both landlords & tenants. However, RentRedi provides tenants with an affordable option to sign up for renter’s insurance if they don’t have it or upload & submit proof of insurance to their landlords via the RentRedi tenant app.
Additionally, landlords have the ability to track a tenant’s insurance status from their dashboard AND request proof of renter’s insurance documentation for tenants if they don’t purchase it from RentRedi.
Rent Late Fees
Even with good tenants, there’s a chance that rent may be submitted late once in a while. For other tenants, they might consistently pay rent late. This can be especially frustrating if it prevents you from submitting your mortgage payment on time.
For landlord software, you want to ensure that auto-late fees are included in your subscription package, as this can save you MANY headaches from having to chase down tenants, collect a late fee, or even calculate what that late fee is.
While we can’t speak to other landlord software, RentRedi’s late fee management is automated and customizable. For example, if you need to accommodate special state or local landlord-tenant laws around late fees, you can easily set up those rules in RentRedi’s platform. Then, your late fees are sent automatically to your tenants to pay.
Landlord Eviction Process
Evictions are a difficult process for all parties involved. And it can be tough to know how to navigate the process correctly, as states and local laws will have different requirements for evictions. Additionally, you have to give the tenant an eviction notice and prevent them from paying rent in order to get the process underway.
Many states will require that you show tenants haven’t submitted rent payments to you. However, in the tech age, many landlords find this difficult. Fortunately, landlord software like RentRedi can be beneficial in setting up the ability to block payments directly from your dashboard to prevent tenants from submitting rent payments to you.
Manage Maintenance for Rental Properties
Very similar to rent collection, maintenance repairs can be a huge hurdle in the renting experience for both landlords and tenants. However, landlord software offers a range of tools landlords can use to make managing maintenance for rental properties easier.
Maintenance Work Order Management
This feature is typically offered in most landlord software. However, some services, like Zillow Rental Manager, do NOT offer this. If you’re a DIY landlord or trying to streamline costs and tasks associated with managing maintenance, double-check that the landlord software you’re looking at has maintenance management tools.
RentRedi’s maintenance features enable you to manage your repair requests from one dashboard, add your maintenance team for free to the platform, and see videos of the issue. Tenants can easily submit repair requests directly from the RentRedi app (versus having to email, call, or text you) and attach videos of the issue.
Outsource Maintenance & Repair Coordination
Additionally, if you’d like to delegate maintenance tasks to your property managers, contractors, or outsource coordination & service providers, you can add on RentRedi’s premium feature for premium maintenance that lets someone else handle the maintenance for you so you’re not stuck dealing with maintenance while trying to run your business.
This is a great option if you’re working a 9-to-5, want dedicated & quality time with your friends and family, and have non-real estate-related interests you’d like to pursue. Let’s face it, it’s easy to get burnt out trying to manage your life, work, and business, so premium maintenance can be one alternative to handling maintenance yourself.
Big & Small Landlord Software Pricing
Pricing for landlord software can vary depending on the type of service offered. The most important thing to look at is flat-pricing and feature comparisons.
Flat-Pricing vs Tiered Subscriptions
The unfortunate part of landlord software is that often businesses either charge you PER unit, a minimum price, OR charge you more for tiered pricing plans. This means they force you to pay extra for basic features like lease signing or tenant screening. Or, if you’re a smaller landlord, you end up paying a high rate just because you don’t meet their minimums for units.
However, RentRedi’s subscription model is flat-priced, which means it’s a business model unique and an affordable option for all-sized landlords.
- Subscriptions are flat-priced for all RentRedi features
- There are no minimum requirements
- You are not charged per unit or tenant (so you can start small and grow)
- Subscription plans are only based on how often you prefer to pay (i.e., monthly, quarterly, annually)
- You actually save money purchasing the quarterly or annual plan options
RentRedi does offer landlords the ability to add on premium features from services that RentRedi partners with to provide you with exclusive access to property management services like premium maintenance and rental property accounting.
This is done to ensure that the cost of RentRedi’s subscription can remain flat-priced and low for landlords who do not wish to use these additional services, are just starting out, or want to start with RentRedi first before purchasing additional features. You can access these features any time by visiting the “Member Perks” section of RentRedi.
Property Management Software for Landlords: More Resources & Guides
- Guide to Rental Property Maintenance
- Guide to Online Rent Collection
- Guide to Rental Property Management Software
- A Landlord’s Guide to Managing a Rental Property by Yourself