The key to successful and efficient rental operations is to find the best property management software for your rental business.
While property management platform needs will vary from landlord to landlord (or property manager to property manager), there are some necessities that you should always look for when choosing property management software.
In this post, you’ll learn the top 15 best property management software features to help you streamline your operations and score high-quality tenants while reducing your costs and conserving your time.
Best Property Management Software Features to Seek
1. Rental Listing Creation & Syndication
One of the best property management software features you could look for is the ability to easily create an online rental listing once and have it posted to multiple websites simultaneously—without doing any extra work.
This is a must-have if you want to save a ton of time on marketing your listings. This feature will enable you to access previous listings you had created so that you can re-post them when vacancies open up for your properties.
2. Lead Pre-Screening & Scoring
The best property management software you’ll find will allow you to send automatic pre-screening questions to your tenant leads and automatically score your leads based on their answers.
What’s more, it should allow you to filter and sort these in a clear view so that you can determine the best potential tenants.
Why? Before you show a tenant your property, pre-screening questions that are up to your standards should always be sent to your potential tenants. This helps with the process of elimination and allows you to conserve as most of your time as possible.
A feature that facilitates this process and streamlines it should be one of your top considerations when shopping for a property management app or software system.
If you come across property management software without this feature, move on and consider a different solution.
3. Comprehensive Background Report
The best property management software around won’t only help you find the best tenants using pre-screening and lead-scoring, but it will also provide you with a full background report.
This includes criminal record, credit reporting and eviction history. It should be provided through a trusted and secure third-party service (such as TransUnion). Ideally the software you choose will integrate, simplify and decipher the report findings for you for quick insight.
4. Lead & Tenant Status Information
This is hands down one of the best property management software features you can find.
This is because it will clear up any confusion about what stage in the application process a specific lead is at, without having to search through your emails or notes for specific correspondence.
The software you choose should also display a label next to each person’s name (indicating if it’s a current tenant or a lead) and should associate their name back to a lease and property. The more units and properties you have, the more time this feature will save you.
5. Ready-Made Digital Rental Applications
Digital rental applications are the quickest and most cost-effective path to filling a rental unit, making this a must-have feature in property management software.
The ideal software will give you the ability to use a ready-made application generated by the software, automatically pulling in the information you already have stored in your dashboard regarding a tenant. This information would pertain to the unit they’re applying for and all other pertinent information.
6. Digital Lease Management
When shopping for the best property management software, make sure it will not only include digital rental applications, but also digital leases.
The most useful software will do all of the following:
- Allow you to upload your own lease templates if you wish to do so
- Supply pre-made leases that you can edit and/or re-use
- Automatically populate tenant and unit information from your dashboard
- Facilitate easy digital signatures for both you and the tenant prospect
7. Online Rent Collection
The top property management software platforms will make it as easy as possible to collect rent online. And you should have options as to the methods you give your tenants for payment.
For example, if you want to allow tenants to pay with credit card, you should be given the option to turn that feature on. Similarly, you should be able to restrict tenants to paying solely by debit or ACH if that’s what you prefer.
Oh, and don’t even bother investing in a platform if it doesn’t give your tenants the option to enroll in automatic payments. You should also be able to have the payments directly deposited into your bank account.
This is simply one of the best property management software features available to rental pros focused on their bottom line.
8. Lease Balance Tracking
Good rental property management software will allow you to see where each of your leases are in terms of the current amount owed by the tenant—at any given time. This includes security deposits, rent, late fees, etc.
9. Maintenance Request Management
The best property management software to invest in will also include maintenance request management.
This means the system should give your tenants a login portal so they can submit maintenance requests and photos of the problem. You should be able to track the status of each request and mark it as resolved after it has been taken care of.
10. Automatic Tenant Notifications
The best property management software will supply the functionality for automatic tenant notifications.
These are notifications that have been set up in your account to be triggered and pushed to a tenant when a certain action is going to take place (or hasn’t taken place) within a set number of days.
For example, you can set it up so that a tenant will be reminded their rent is late if it hasn’t been paid within 7 days of the due date (or any other number of days you specify). The same goes for notifications about upcoming rent due, entering the eviction process, lease expiration, etc.
11. Centralized Communication
Don’t even begin to think you’ve found the best property management software unless it centralizes your communication with tenants. Tenant correspondence is one of the top problems that landlords and rental pros struggle to keep organized, so make sure the software you choose keeps it organized in one centralized dashboard.
12. Business Email Address & Phone Number
No need for elaboration here. Look for a platform that gives you a business email address and phone number that are connected to your dashboard. This way, you receive all texts, emails and phone correspondence in one centralized location.
This will not only keep you organized, but it will also help with boundaries. Keeping your private contact information away from tenants will help maintain a healthy balance in your personal life.
13. Easy Custom Website Builder
The best property management software will provide you with an easy custom website builder with several templates to choose from.
This gives you the flexibility to showcase your properties on their own website and makes it possible to market your rental business on more than just listing websites. The tool should be so simple that you don’t need to hire a web developer or web designer to help build the website.
14. QuickBooks Integration
Do you like your financial data to line up and tax season to be as little of a burden as possible? The best property management software should definitely integrate with your QuickBooks account.
15. Fully Accessible by both Mobile App and Browser
If on-the-go accessibility is important to you, make sure this is available as an option so that you choose the best property management software for you and your business.
Our Recommendation for the Best Property Management Software
At NowRenting, we developed the all-around best property management software available on the market today. This is because we’re hyper-focused on ease-of-use combined with the smart technology necessary for streamlined rental property management.
And we’re landlords ourselves, so we knew exactly how to make the software as helpful as possible.
With NowRenting, there are multiple plans available to support your needs. We offer a plan for solo landlords ($9/month) as well as a plan for rental professionals ($59/month). No matter which plan you choose, we’re here to support you as your rental business grows.
(Note: As of December 2018, NowRenting’s pricing structure has changed. Visit the pricing page for current information.)
Not to mention NowRenting includes all of the 15 features we list above, plus more.
Try NowRenting free today for 7 days: