As property managers continue to embrace technological innovation, an increasing number of critical tasks are being trusted to property management software – from listing vacant units across a range of websites to the automatic collection of payments. Utilized in conjunction with the Cloud, which most property management software runs on, additionally allows users to access critical data and solutions at any time and on any device.
With the Cloud powering PropTech solutions across the Real Estate industry, it’s becoming a matter of necessity for firms to take advantage of the automation and flexibility offered by such cloud-based innovation.
Some of the leading vendors in the property management software market include:
• Yardi Systems
• Real Page
• Rent Manager
With so many property management solutions to choose between, it can be difficult to determine which particular software is suited to your portfolio.
Like Buildium, AppFolio is an all-in-one property management system utilized to manage an array of portfolio types and conduct various tasks through the use of tools – some of which are unique to the software, like AppFolio’s AI leasing assistant. The software assists property managers in managing their assets and financial data, in addition to streamlining key real-estate processes including communication between renters, owners and agents.
It should be noted from the offset that AppFolio’s services come with the requirement of the management of a minimum of 50 units, with an accompanying $250 base monthly fee. However, this should not put off prospective clients from a property management solution that arguably offers a broader range of tools than Buildium, particularly for organizations with a high volume of properties.
The software is equipped with a number of tools that allow property managers to automate certain key tasks, though, the features that merit some consideration, when compared to Buildium, are that of its AI leasing assistant and the 24/7 maintenance contact center. AppFolio’s AI leasing assistant is a particularly valuable tool that allows organizations to automate the process of booking viewings for instance, while providing responses to potential leasing clients. Further to this, any data collected by the AI is automatically stored on the software itself for future analysis.
Buildium’s flexibility in offering its services to organizations with units below AppFolio’s 50-unit minimum (with a minimum fee itself of $50) potentially marks it as the more cost-effective option for those property managers with small to medium-sized portfolios.
Though it possesses a more limited range of tools in comparison to AppFolio, there are a number of unique features that the software offers, which allows Buildium to stand alongside AppFolio as a direct competitor. For instance, while both Buildium and AppFolio offer custom marketing websites, only Buildium provides this feature as part of its subscription cost – if this is a deal breaker for your organization, going with Buildium can significantly cut your costs here.
We’re technically cheating a little here by including Yardi’s two Real Estate management platforms: Yardi Voyager and Yardi Breeze. However, it’s difficult to ignore a platform that offers two options, which effectively compete with AppFolio and Buildium.
Voyager, designed for larger portfolios (of around 1000 units or more), is an enterprise platform intended for those property management companies requiring customized solutions for specialty markets and unique challenges. By contrast, Yardi Breeze is better suited to residential-heavy portfolios (though it may also be useful for the management of commercial properties) – for instance, RENTCafé, which is included within Breeze’s monthly subscription, was designed mainly with residential properties in mind.
Nonetheless, the main advantage of utilizing Yardi’s platforms is the relatively smooth transition available – from Breeze to Voyager – for those organizations who have expanded their portfolios beyond the capabilities offered by Breeze (or Breeze Premier).
This all-in-one single-family property management platform is an affordable option for businesses, arguably competing directly with Yardi Breeze, given that the software prioritizes residential portfolios, providing a range of features from tenant screening to marketing.
Furthermore, the customization capabilities on offer, allowing users to build custom fields to tailor the platform according to their business objectives, enables clients to exercise a great degree of control over the software.
While some may be keen to highlight the limitations of the Propertyware platform, the cloud-based software may be more suitable for certain residential property managers than Yardi Breeze due to its narrow focus on low-density, small residential properties. In other words, the platform is particularly well-suited to landlords with a minute range of tenants.
MRI’s software provides a comprehensive range of tools suited to both commercial and residential property managers. In regard to residential properties, the software is used mainly by asset and leasing managers with a multifamily-heavy portfolio of properties.
MRI’s commercial property solutions come with some useful tools to empower your business, including a central data repository, which allows staff to access essential information quickly, in addition to optimizing workflows to reduce the risk of bottlenecks.
Finalizing the list is Rent Manager’s property management solution, which caters to smaller-sized businesses with mixed portfolios.
What is particularly intriguing about the software is its offering of a voice recording and broadcasting feature, which allows users to record and send messages to all contacts within your directory, saving the time it would take to get in touch with each individual customer about similar issues.
Despite the range of solutions provided in, and beyond, this guide, users continue to find issue with the general lack of flexibility and customization capabilities on offer across the board. With that in mind, a more suitable and cost-efficient option going forward for most organizations may be to favor the development of software specifically tailored to meet your organization’s unique business needs, ahead of a one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t quite hit the mark.
With unrivaled expertise in software creation – not to mention our experience in providing solutions within the Real Estate sector – VUSE can be a reliable partner for your business, developing applications customized according to your business objectives, allowing you to be an increasingly disruptive force in the industry.
If you want to find out how VUSE can start transforming your business operations, get in contact with us today!