7 of the best online rental application software solutions in 2024

Tara Mastroeni
Tara Mastroeni | 15 min. read

Published on June 4, 2024

According to Buildium’s® 2024 Property Management Industry Report, 90 percent of renters are interested in completing at least some (if not all) of their rental tasks online. Since 2022, the interest in applying for properties online has risen 9 percent.

To put it another way, having an online rental application process is now table stakes.

Not only does it keep you competitive, it widens the pool of applicants by allowing them to apply from anywhere and at any time. If that wasn’t enough, the right rental application software can help you eliminate manual leasing tasks, lower application costs, improve the vetting process, and increase efficiency.

With all that in mind, it’s important to choose the right application software for your business. In this post, we’ll look at what we think are seven of the best options out there.

But before we do that, let’s break down what rental application software is and what features you should be looking for.

What is Online Rental Application Software?

Although each platform will offer some unique features, most online rental application software serves a similar purpose.

Comprehensive online rental application software helps streamline the tenant application process by collecting applicant information in one dashboard. From there, property managers can review applications, run screenings, check references, accept or reject applications, and send out lease agreements.

Key Features of Online Rental Application Software

Every online rental application software program will be slightly different. However, as a rule of thumb, whichever program you choose should include the following features:

Customizable Fields

First and foremost, you should be able to customize an application to suit your needs. After all, no two landlords look for identical qualifications from their tenants. If your application is static, you may find yourself unable to collect the information that’s most important to you.

With that in mind, look for a platform that provides customizable fields on its online rental application. The right software will allow you to add, edit, reorder, or change sections of your rental application as you see fit.

Sharable Application

Next, the application should be easy to share with potential tenants, no matter what form they’re requesting it in. Some applicants will prefer to receive a link to the application, others will ask to be sent an email, and some will want to fill out a paper copy.

As the landlord or property manager, you need to be able to easily fulfill each of these requests. To that end, your online rental application software should allow you to review, edit, and share copies of your application with just the push of a few buttons.

Mobile-Friendly Interface

Today’s rental applicants are increasingly tech-savvy. According to Buildium’s 2024 Property Management Industry Report, 90% of renters would prefer to complete at least some of the leasing process online.

Given those numbers, property managers should meet today’s on-the-go renters where they are and choose a software platform that works just as well on mobile as it does on desktop.

Website Integration

By the same token, any software program you choose needs to integrate easily with your website. At its core, integration is all about smoothly aggregating information from multiple sources into a single hub.

Your property management software ought to be that hub. Any information you collect – from leads to applications and background checks – should flow smoothly between the two platforms.

Application Management

Once you’ve collected all of your applications, you need to be able to keep track of how they’re moving through your pipeline. The right online rental software should allow you to quickly view the status of each application in the running,

However, beyond that, it should also give you the option to perform a manual edit on the application and to add or change information as needed. Having this ability at your fingertips will enable you to more effectively manage your application workflow.

Tenant Screening and Approval

Lastly, there’s no underestimating the importance of the tenant screening process when filling vacancies In order to make this process as easy as possible, you’ll want to choose a platform that has integrated background check capabilities.

Doing so will allow you to cut out the hassle of having to rely on a third-party provider for this service, as well as having to manually input the results of each background check into your property management software platform.

Why Use Online Rental Application Software?

There are many benefits to using online rental application software. However, the main one is that it can help improve efficiency for landlords and property managers. Put simply, if you select a platform that integrates well with your existing property management software, you can automate many of the laborious tasks that come along with filling vacancies in your property or community.

Once these tasks are automated, you’ll not only save time and energy, but you’ll also improve your efficiency. When your energy is no longer wasted on administrative tasks, you can turn your attention to your larger goals, such as growing your door counts, improving the tenant or resident experience, and increasing ROI.

The Best Online Rental Application Software in 2024

If you’re ready to choose the right online rental application software for your property management business, we’ve curated a list of the seven best platforms that the industry has to offer. When choosing our picks, we looked at a variety of criteria, including available features, capacity for task automation, and overall  ease of us.

1. Buildium: Great All-in-One Property Management Software

online rental application software buildium

Buildium is a compressive property management software solution that is well-suited for property managers of all sizes, from individual landlords to community managers. It also has the capacity to handle commercial properties, as well as affordable and student housing arrangements.

Features

Buildium has a robust lineup of available features. In particular, the following are uniquely suited for managing the rental application process:

  • Lease Management: Buildium offers a digital-first process from lead to lease that will make bringing in new tenants and renewing contracts a breeze:
  • Rental Applications: The rental application software is easily customizable and can be shared with tenants with the click of a button.
  • Tenant Screening: Powered by TransUnion, the integrated tenant screening software allows you to access full credit, crime, and eviction data, so that you can quickly fill vacancies with the most qualified applicants.
  • PetScreening®: Buildium’s  marketplace partner makes it easy to screen pets for housing-related risks and to review applications for animal accommodation requests, like ESAs.

Pricing

Beyond rental application tools, Buildium also includes an impressive lineup of property management solutions, such as:

  • Property Accounting: This tool gives you the ability to reconcile bank accounts, manage accounts payable, and record payments.
  • Resident Portals: Each resident has access to a portal that allows you to track communications and maintenance requests, as well as collect payments.
  • Maintenance Request Management: Both residents and owners can submit maintenance requests and any necessary supporting documentation.
  • Maintenance Contact Center: The Maintenance Contact Center will help you answer maintenance calls 24/7, log requests in Buildium, and dispatch preferred vendors during emergencies.
  • Open API: Our open API helps you integrate software solutions more efficiently

 

2. Propertyware: Fully-Customizable Property Management Software

online rental application software propertyware

Propertyware® may be best suited for property managers whose portfolios consist mainly of single-family homes. The platform is almost completely customizable, allowing property managers to tailor their software to meet the needs of their business at every level. This is perfect for property managers with a large number of properties with unique needs.

If your portfolio includes a smaller number of doors, or you’re looking for something more out-of-the box, however, Propertyway may not meet your needs.

Features

This software’s strongest application-oriented features include:

  • Listing Widget and Syndication: Use its listing widget to create and customize listing ads based on the criteria your prospects are searching for.
  • Lead Tracking: Track every prospect from the moment the lead comes into the day the lease is signed.
  • Application Portals: Better manage your applicant pool and streamline the listing process by taking advantage of its application portals.
  • Tenant Screening: Paired with AI technology, its comprehensive credit and background checks can help you lease with confidence.
  • Leasing Contact Center: Let the leasing call center handle the hassle of fielding calls, scheduling showings, and answering tenant questions.

In addition to application-specific features, Propertyware® includes tools meant to assist owners through every step of the rental process, including:

  • Property Management: This software offers owner and tenant portals and rent collection capabilities among other features to allow existing owner-tenant relations to operate smoothly.
  • Maintenance: The software’s call center can field calls and dispatch vendors for you, while its integrated tracking features make it easy to keep work orders organized.
  • Accounting: Propertyware comes with tailored-to-you dashboards and unlimited custom reports, so that you can stay on top of the information that matters most.

Pricing

Propertyware also offers three pricing options, starting with a flat fee per unit and a minimum monthly spend.

Each tier comes with the following, among other features:

  • Custom reporting
  • Marketing
  • Property management
  • Online portals

Its pricing tiers look like this:

  • Basic: At $1.00 per unit, per month, the Basic plan maintenance and accounting features, tenant screening and rent collection capabilities, plus unlimited training and support.
  • Plus: At $1.50 per unit, per month, the Plus plan includes all the services in the Basic plan, plus two-way text messaging, e-signatures, and access to the platform’s property inspection app.
  • Premium: At $2.00 per unit, per month, the Premium plan includes all of the features in the other two plans in addition to maintenance project organization and online vendor portals.

 

3. RentSpree: Budget-Friendly Online Rental Application Software

online rental application software rentspree

If you’re on a budget and you’re only looking for online rental application software capabilities, RentSpree® could be a good fit. This rental application and tenant screening program is free for property managers and landlords because it passes its fee on to your applicants.

That said, if you’re looking for more robust property management software, you’ll need to look elsewhere, as RentSpree’s features are very limited.

Features

RentSpree focuses solely on the rental application process, offering features for:

  • The application itself
  • Credit and background checks
  • Rental history
  • Reference requests
  • Invoice estimate
  • Document uploads

Pricing

RentSpree also has three pricing tiers, Standard, Premium, and Application Only.

Standard includes rental application, background check, credit report, and rental history, and charges $39.99 to applicants, Premium includes everything from Standard plus income estimate, automated reference requests, and document uploads. Applicants are charged $49.99.

Application Only is free for property managers and applicants, and includes just the application.

The PRO plan costs $19.99 per month for the property manager and includes the features listed above.

Finally, for rent payments, RentSpree charges a processing fee of $3 for recurring ACH payments or 3% for credit card or debit card payments. That can be charged to either the owner or the tenant.

4. RentRedi: On-the-Go Online Rental Application Software

online rental application software rentredi

RentRedi® offers separate owner and tenant apps, which allow owners and property managers to field applications, manage leases, collect rents, and triage maintenance requests from a mobile interface while letting tenants submit applications, mobile payments, and maintenance requests.

While these features may be ideal for the property manager who’s always on the go, this software lacks some accounting features and may not be as useful to those who are looking for an all–in-one property management software solution.

Features

RentRedi’s features can be broken down into two categories: the features offered by the owner app and the features offered by the tenant app.

For its part, the owner app enables owners to list and market properties, conduct tenant screenings, e-sign leases, collect and cash rent payments, manage maintenance requests, and complete some accounting tasks.

Meanwhile, the tenant app allows them to submit rental applications and maintenance requests, make mobile payments, and manage their rental insurance. The tenant app comes with a credit boost feature, as well, that’s aimed at helping tenants improve their credit scores.

Pricing

RentRedi charges a flat monthly fee for its services in three distinct payment plans: a monthly plan, a six-month plan, and an annual plan. The further in advance you pay, the more you can save.

Here’s how the pricing breaks down:

  • Monthly Plan: $29.95/month
  • 6-month Plan: $20/month
  • Annual Plan: $12/month

 

5. TurboTenant: Online Rental Application Software with Rent Collection

online rental application software turbotenant

TurboTenant® is another software platform that’s focused mainly on the rental application process. It offers an online application and the ability to market listings—plus tenant screening and rent collection capabilities. However, it lacks robust accounting tools and maintenance request administration. It’s likely a better fit for owners with smaller door counts, who may not need a truly comprehensive software solution.

Features

The feature that sets TurboTenant apart from other platforms on this list is its documentation offerings. The platform boasts two distinct purchase options: a ready-made forms package or a state-specific lease drawn up by a local lawyer to help ensure compliance.

Beyond that, although its reporting features are not as built-out as other software programs, TurboTenant does allow owners to sync their rent payments, expenses, and bank accounts, making it easy to keep track of your finances at a glance.

Pricing

TurboTenant offers a free base plan and a paid premium option.

The free plan includes:

  • Unlimited property listings
  • Applications and screening
  • State-specific leases
  • Online rent collection
  • Maintenance requests

The premium plan, which costs $9.92/month includes everything in the free plan, plus:

  • Priority listing review
  • Lower screening fees for tenants
  • Unlimited lease agreements
  • Expedited rent payouts

6. TenantCloud: Online Rental Application Software for DIY Landlords

online rental application software tenantcloud

Of all the software platforms on this list, TenantCloud® takes the most DIY approach and may be an ideal solution for hands-on owners who manage their own properties. Property managers, on the other hand, may want a platform that allows for more automation.

Features

Like most of the other platforms highlighted, TenantCloud offers similar accounting, tenant screening, rent collection, and maintenance tracking features. It also has some unique offerings.

For example, its Roommates® feature lets you generate a separate lease for each tenant and collect rent from each tenant individually. On the accounting side, its Rentablity Report® lets you see what your competitors are charging to help you set competitive rent. Finally, it also offers a maintenance bidding feature, which lets you put your maintenance tasks out to bid with ease.

Pricing

TenantCloud has four pricing tiers, although users can access a discount if they choose annual billing instead:

  • Starter: $15.60/month
  • Growth: $29.30/month
  • Pro: $50.40/month
  • Business: Custom pricing

The features you’ll have access to will vary depending on which plan you choose. Here’s how they break down:

  • Starter: Rent payments, maintenance management, listings and applications
  • Growth: Everything in the Starter package, plus access to a lease builder, owner forms, and a property message board
  • Pro: Everything from the Growth package, plus access to tax reporting, application customization, and vendor network creation
  • Business: Everything from the Pro package, plus team management and task management tools, as well as listing auto-refresh capabilities

7. SimplifyEm: Online Rental Applications Software with Day-to-Day Management Features

online rental application software simplifyem

SimplifyEm® can help you streamline some of your day-to-day operations as an owner or property manager and gain more efficiency. However, its suite of features is less built out than other software solutions, so individuals with larger portfolios or those who are growth-minded may need to look elsewhere.

Features

SimplifyEm has some essential features yo, including tenant applications and screening, financial reporting, maintenance request tracking, tenant and owner portals, and integrations with QuickBooks® and Excel®.

It also has a built-in library of state-specific leases, as well as other property management forms, such as rental inspection and eviction notices. It allows owners to check tenant balances, generate invoices and statements, and collect rental payments securely with just a few clicks,

Pricing

SimplifyEm’s pricing is based on door count. You’ll pay a flat monthly fee based on the number of units you manage. The tiers range from less than ten units, which starts at just $40/month, up to 2,000 units, which will cost you $2,015/month.

The features that are included in your plan will vary based on your door count. Every plan includes the following:

  • Email, text, and live support
  • Income and expense tracking
  • Report generation
  • Managing tenant and lease information
  • Managing vendors and year-end tax reporting
  • Renters insurance
  • Document storage

As your door count grows, you’ll gain access to more included features. If you need access to a specific feature that’s not included in your plan, you can still add it for an additional fee.

Which Online Rental Application Software Is Right for You?

As you can see, when you want to enhance your application process, there’s no shortage of platforms to choose from. The best software is the one that helps you vet applicants thoroughly in a way that’s fast enough to capture your ideal tenants. To achieve this, the software should be efficient and simple to use, something you can only really be sure of by testing it out yourself. That’s why Buildium offers a no-risk, 14-day free trial.

Comprehensive software such as Buildium gives you another important benefit: a seamless connection between your application process to the rest of your lease and property management tools. That level of efficiency makes quality property management software well worth the investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What information is gathered in an online rental application?

Every rental application is a bit different. However, they usually include identifying information about the tenant, such as name and date of birth, the tenant’s rental history, income and employment information, pet information, and references.

How long does it take to set up an online rental application?

Depending on which online rental application software platform you use, setting up an online application can be done in under an hour. Most platforms have rental application templates that you can use as a base. Then, you can customize the application in order to collect the information that is most important to you.

How can online rental application software integrate with other software tools?

Most online rental application platforms use an open API to transfer information from one software application to another. Some platforms integrate with programs such as Excel and Quickbooks while others, like Buildium, will connect with a full list of Marketplace partners to make the property management process easier than ever before.

How can online rental application software be scaled when managing multiple properties?

Online rental application software can often be scaled by accessing new features available at different pricing tiers. Buildium, for example, offers three distinct pricing options, with expanded capabilities in each one. However, all the tiers include the base features of: accounting, maintenance, task management, violations, and online portals.

How does online rental application software ensure compliance with local rental laws and regulations?

Using online rental application software helps you comply with local rental laws and regulations because it helps you develop a consistent process for screening each tenant, which can help guard against Fair Housing complaints.

Tara Mastroeni

Tara Mastroeni is a real estate and personal finance writer. Her work has been published on websites such as Forbes Advisor, Business Insider, and The Motley Fool. She has also been featured as a subject matter expert on Innovators with Jane King and the American Trends podcast. Find her at TMWritingServices.com or on Twitter at @TaraMastroeni.

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