For property management, technology used to be limited to simple tasks that had a limited impact on your business goals. But that’s a thing of the past. Several new technologies—and hundreds of new software options—have emerged in recent years designed specifically with property managers in mind.
This guide will help you identify some of the best technology for property management out of that long list of tools. There’s technology out there for specific functions—such as inspections, accounting, maintenance, and leasing—and more comprehensive software to make managing your entire business easier. We’ll highlight tested, high-quality options that fit into both categories.
Let’s jump in.
- What Are the Benefits of Using Technology for Property Management?
- Our Picks for the Best Technology for Property Management
- 1. Buildium: Comprehensive Technology for Property Management
- 2. All Property Management: Go-To Technology to Grow Your Property Management Portfolio
- 3. HomeWiseDocs: Flexible Software for Association Documentation
- 4. Tenant Turner: Intuitive Technology for Finding New Tenants
- 5. Goodjuju: Helpful Services for Building Property Management Websites
- 6. ShowingHero: Great Technology for Automated Showings
- 7.Property Meld: Dedicated Technology for Maintenance Coordination
- 8. Nutiliti: An Easy Solution for Managing Utility Services
- 9. HappyCo: Specialized Tools for Property Management Inspections
- Which Technology for Property Management Should You Choose?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Benefits of Using Technology for Property Management?
Ultimately, property management technologies are time saving tools. They make the experience of working with owners, communicating with tenants, and handling the nitty-gritty of managing each unit, lease, work order, and vendor relationship easier.
But they can also go one step further. By putting valuable business insights at your fingertips, they can help you make smarter business decisions about everything from structuring your team to setting your marketing budget, helping you to grow and unlock new revenue streams.
That’s a tall order for any one investment to fill and a lot to keep in mind when evaluating your options, so let’s break things down a bit further.
Using Technology to Keep Up with Owner and Tenant Expectations
According to our 2023 Industry Report, 80% of landlords are comfortable conducting business online, a figure that has grown consistently over the past few years. The majority of these rental owners now want the property management company they work with to handle several functions online, including:
- Sending and receiving payments
- Maintenance and repair requests
- Document storage and sharing
- Leasing management
- Financial reporting
In response, companies have turned to property management software, particularly those that include owner portals to give their clients access to essential details, from inspection findings to monthly reports. They’ll be able to access the details they want in real time and at their own convenience through the portal, which means your clients can have many of their questions answered and needs met without additional effort for your team.
Likewise, most renters (90% as of 2023) are open to taking care of tasks related to their rentals online. The pandemic has partially been responsible for this, along with a larger percentage of younger, tech savvy tenants entering the rental market. But these expectations are also starting to extend beyond a single demographic. Tenants of all age groups want their property manager to offer digital options. Their top requested services include:
- Electronic payments
- Email and text communication
- Electronic leasing
- Online maintenance ticketing
- Reporting on-time payments to credit bureaus
- Online utility setup and billing
Smart property managers are keeping up with renters’ preferred payment methods and introducing solutions that are a win-win for their tenants and their own business. Online maintenance ticketing, for example, can provide a fast, straightforward way for a tenant to make a repair request, which property managers can view, send off to a vendor, and track through to completion. Showcasing some of these technologies and the convenience they create can also be a compelling way to attract prospective tenants to your properties.
Using Technology for Property Management Operations
One of the easiest ways to benefit from technology is to use it to do business more efficiently. In Buildium’s 2023 Industry Report, 48% of surveyed property managers said they’re using technology to improve efficiency.
While generic tools, such as basic word processing, spreadsheets, and document sharing services, do shave some time off the average workday, purpose-built software has the benefit of targeting the specific intricacies of property management.
A great example of this is creating lease agreements. Property management software often comes pre-equipped with several different types of templates that you can easily customize, creating custom fields and adding details as you go. Once you have an agreement that meets your needs, you can save and share it.
In fact, the entire leasing lifecycle benefits from this kind of specialization. With the right technology you can process applications, perform tenant screenings, send out and sign lease agreements and inspection documents, store all the details on that specific lease, and even collect rent payments and security deposits all within the same platform.
You won’t be spending as much time jumping between programs, fishing out a particular file, or getting a new team member up to speed on a tenant or lease. Everything is right there for you in one place.
Using Technology to Find Marketing and Business Growth Opportunities
Another benefit of having all the details of your properties and leases easily accessible is that you can make smarter business decisions, both big and small. If you open up the repair history for a specific unit and see similar work orders, for example, it may be time to invest in a new appliance or find a new vendor.
On a larger scale, you can use insightful reports on a property and convenient communication tools to build stronger relationships with clients, which can translate to referrals to other properties.
These tools put you in good stead to become trusted advisors for your clients when they are looking for new investment insights. You’ll have the data to back up recommendations you make, further adding to the value your company brings to owners.
With analytics tools, you can also look into your own business growth, nurturing areas that have the potential to give you the most ROI. That includes marketing. As we’ll explore, there’s technology specifically designed to strengthen your brand and help you find more leads.
Finally, certain services such as rent reporting to credit agencies or a third-party, 24/7 maintenance contact center can add value for your tenants, more than justifying additional service fees to help bring in additional revenue.
Our Picks for the Best Technology for Property Management
To build a list of the best technology for property management, we looked at solutions that include the tools we discussed above. Then, we compared options based on how much time, effort, and money they can save your team. We also looked at their potential to unlock entirely new revenue streams for your business.
Because the best technology is the one you actually use, we also considered how user-friendly each tool is. The different features and capabilities of the top technologies listed here are all simple to understand and easy to navigate, without compromising on the level of control and visibility they give you to manage your properties and your entire business.
With those considerations in mind, here are our picks for the best technology for property management.
1. Buildium: Comprehensive Technology for Property Management
Buildium® is a comprehensive property management software that serves property managers of all sizes and property types (including single-family, multifamily, community associations, and even commercial and student housing). With purpose-built tools and a simple-to-use interface, property managers can adapt Buildium to meet whatever needs and growth strategies matter to them.
Buildium’s array of features helps property managers control the chaos of everyday tasks, attract new clients, and stay competitive with the experiences they deliver. That includes
- Online marketing tools, including listing syndication, a free website, online applications, tenant screening, and online lease signing
- Easy maintenance requests, ticketing, tracking, and follow-up through the Resident Center and the property management dashboard
- Automated electronic payments and accounting, including eFiling for 1099s
- Business performance metrics and reporting tools, all accessible within an Analytics & Insights hub
- A full suite of lead-to-lease tools that take your prospective tenants from application to tenant screening to signed lease
- Mobile apps you, your tenants, and your owners can use to text, pay, and accomplish tasks on the go
If there’s something Buildium doesn’t offer through its main platform, one of their Marketplace partners almost certainly does. Buildium Marketplace is an ecosystem of best-in-class digital tools that integrate seamlessly with Buildium in just a few clicks—no coding required.
If you’re looking for additional customization, Buildium’s Open API offers the unmatched flexibility to customize data workflows and create all new automations.
Buildium offers a 14-day free trial version of the full software and offers three pricing plans: Essential, Growth, and Premium. Key features such as online portals, maintenance, tasks, accounting, and more are accessible in each pricing plan, while additional features are available for purchase.
The Basic plan starts at $55 per month, the Growth plan starts at $174 per month, and the Premium plan starts at $375 per month. There is also an extra 15% annual discount in the Premium plan when residents use select services.
2. All Property Management: Go-To Technology to Grow Your Property Management Portfolio
If you’re on the market for new clients, All Property Management® can help you take a proactive approach to get in front of property owners looking for your services. All Property Management is an online resource for landlords and property owners to find local property managers with experience and service offerings they’re looking for. As a PM, you can join the network to start getting qualified leads with little effort on your part.
All Property Management includes a search tool with a map that helps you identify property managers near you in four simple steps:
Step 1: Search by property type and zip code.
Step 2: Review the list of search results.
Step 3: Compare and contrast property manager quotes.
Step 4: Contact and discuss your management needs.
Joining the network is free with no term contacts, set-up fees, or monthly fees. Users only pay per lead.
3. HomeWiseDocs: Flexible Software for Association Documentation
If you manage an association, you know that keeping track of documentation can quickly eat up much of your time. HomeWiseDocs® is specifically designed to make part of that responsibility easier. Its dedicated documentation software streamlines the work your association needs to do to prep documents during the sale and resale process.
With HomeWiseDocs, you can order and keep track of the essential documents needed to refinance or sell condos and other properties in an HOA or COA. You’ll be able to eliminate a lot of the paperwork and staff time that would usually be needed during the sale or refinance process. It also works well with other association software, including Buildium.
Using the HomeWiseDocs’s document management tools, you can:
- Process payments
- Answer requestor questions in a timely manner
- Fulfill order requests and guarantee deadlines
- Coordinate order delivery Identify orders with missing or expired documents
- Monitor document expiration timing
- Utilize an analytics dashboard to track performance and find new revenue sources
If you’re a community association manager, you won’t be charged for using the software. Instead, fees are added to the price that you set for documentation services.
4. Tenant Turner: Intuitive Technology for Finding New Tenants
Tenant Turner® is a lead scheduling and listing syndication tool that can help speed up the process by posting each of your listings across the sites of your choice at the same time. You can save previous information you entered in case you need to relist a unit and update any details, such as the point of contact for a listing.
Tenant Turner takes its service a step further by also helping you to schedule and manage showings (both in-person and virtual), manageable through a leasing dashboard. The company claims that it can reduce lead calls by 70% through its self-service phone system, or by up to 100% using the optional call center.
Tenant Turner includes several leasing features:
- A centralized leasing dashboard to view your listings, leads, and viewings
- Pre-qualification & scoring Pre-screening with scoring to help focus on qualified leads
- An optional call center where all lead calls are recorded
- Listing imports so you won’t have to re-type data
- In-person showings with calendar integrations to manage your viewings and their statuses in one place and receive alerts along the way
- Custom pre-qualification questions that Tenant Turner asks your tenant leads you specify for more detailed screening
- Various electronic lock options for easier, safer virtual showings
- Reporting visibility and owner reports for each rental’s lead and all past viewing activity that you can share with your owners along with details on leads, viewings, lead sourcing, CodeBox access, and more
Tenant Turner has a few pricing options:
- The scheduling software & automated phone system costs $1 per month, per residential unit under management $50 minimum subscription, with a $19 one-time carrier registration fee. This includes automated answering, calendar integrations, unlimited leads and unlimited users.
- The electronic lockbox add-on is priced based on the type of lock system. All these options include secure self-access for leads, on-demand property tours, setup and shipping, automatic access for vendors, tracking, and fraud detection and prevention.
- Each SentriLock costs $155 plus a $5.00 monthly service fee per lockbox with a 6 year warranty.
- Each CodeBox Junior costs $85 plus a $5.00 monthly service fee per lockbox with a 1 year warranty
- Each CodeBox Senior costs $95 plus a $5.00 monthly service fee per lockbox with a 1 year warranty
- The leasing line call center add-on costs $100 per month for the first 50 minutes plus 85 cents per minute thereafter.
5. Goodjuju: Helpful Services for Building Property Management Websites
If you want to win new business, you’ll also need to strengthen your brand presence and make sure the best parts of your business are highlighted when prospective clients search for you. This is where Goodjuju® comes in handy.
Goodjuju is a marketing agency that builds websites, optimizes your SEO for local rankings, manages your Google Ads, and even helps you manage your online reputation. Their website tool is customizable and integrates with Buildium. The service is built for property managers looking to grow their business by generating leads on a consistent basis.
Goodjuju’s primary service is building out custom websites. Each website is optimized to convert as many visitors into contacts as possible and is search-optimized and mobile-responsive to improve the user experience.
Other services include local search optimization, so that your listing shows up for the most competitive local searches.
For larger advertising budgets, they can also manage your Google Ads for you to generate more leads from Google Search. This can help you start generating leads quickly.
Finally, they offer a reputation management service that helps you generate more leads and close more deals by getting more high-quality reviews. They can also monitor critical reviews and can respond to them automatically.
6. ShowingHero: Great Technology for Automated Showings
If scheduling showings is a challenge, a dedicated solution might be the best option to actually get prospective applicants to show up and to follow up with them promptly.
ShowingHero® focuses on leasing and showing automation with a platform that helps eliminate tedious tasks related to showing your properties. Buildium also integrates with ShowingHero to automate leasing coordination, which can help you fill vacancies 3x faster and improve profitability by 70%.
ShowingHero’s features include:
- Prescreens of prospects prior to viewings
- A mini calendar you can send to prospects that allows them to book a time that works around your schedule
- Compatibility with electronic SMART lock boxes that are operated with one-time access codes for tenants to view the listing on their own
- Data, reporting, and showing insights, including click-through rates, showing rates, and agent activity
Pricing for ShowingHero starts at $22 per listing per month, with a minimum requirement of four listings. Included in that price tag are unlimited users, leads, and showings, with no obligation to sign annual contracts or cancellation fees.
7.Property Meld: Dedicated Technology for Maintenance Coordination
Maintenance can be one of the most resource-intensive parts of the job, so specific maintenance management technology can go far in boosting efficiency.
Property Meld® is a property management software solution that focuses solely on making maintenance easier for your team and your tenants.
Property Meld has several helpful features, including maintenance scheduling, automated alerts, and the ability to directly message vendors and tenants.
Maintenance staff and vendors get an alert when a work order is assigned and they can update the status of those work orders in real time.
With the Projects feature, you can assign and keep track of multiple work orders for the same project and keep track of them all at once. Vendors can submit invoices through the platform, as well.
While software is specifically for maintenance, it also integrates with other more holistic property management software tools, such as Buildium.
Property Meld charges $1.60 per unit per month for its software, with a $160-per-month minimum. On their pricing page, Property Meld notes that they reserve the right to audit each customer’s use of their tools and limit them to prevent overuse.
8. Nutiliti: An Easy Solution for Managing Utility Services
Nutiliti® makes the move-in process earlier by activating utility services, including electricity, water, gas, and internet. The service also manages tenant billing across units for both property managers and renters.
You’ll have access to pre-configured extensions which you can tailor easily to meet the specific needs of your properties and your business. Their team also monitors the service continually to make deployment easier and implementation faster.
The service handles all aspects of utility activations and deactivations on behalf of property managers.
They also take care of service appointments, in-person activations, and the tenant bill-back process—from invoicing to collections—including answering billing-related resident phone calls.
Nutiliti obtains, processes, audits, and pays all of your provider invoices and offers a standalone web application, along with a mobile app for iOS and Android.
The platform bills and collects from residents directly, allowing residents to split water, electric, gas, and other shared utilities among roommates.
Nutiliti does not have pricing details available on their site, so you’ll have to reach out directly to schedule a demo and get more information.
9. HappyCo: Specialized Tools for Property Management Inspections
HappyCo® helps multifamily property managers and teams inspect properties to document conditions, spot problems, and manage work orders with ease. The platform uses a checklist-style interface that displays all your inspection details and your inspection report in an easy-to-navigate format.
HappyCo integrates with Buildium, as well, so you can perform thorough inspections on the go and sync data with Buildium in a single step, through the Inspections mobile app.
In the app, you can view and share inspection details using Buildium’s communication portals and HappyCo, and tie inspections to your leasing process. This gives you a more complete picture of every unit, property, and active lease in your portfolio.
HappyCo’s list of features cover most inspection and maintenance tasks. They include:
- Virtual inspections
- Guest inspections to assign inspections to team members, vendors, and even residents
- Real-time due diligence monitoring
- Intuitive work order management lists
- Time-saving, pre-built templates
- Fully customizable inspection checklist forms that let you adjust sections, items, ratings, and other details to suit your property type and the layout of individual units
- Reporting features that capture all past walkthrough, including scoring, comments, and photos
- The ability to save drafts automatically on the mobile app and sync details with all your users
- A digital management tool for larger projects
- IVR technology to auto-capture and route missed calls
- Performance reporting and analytics based on technology from Looker®
HappyCo is free to use as part of Buildium’s Growth and Premium plans. For a standalone option, subscriptions are priced per unit, per month with a minimum requirement of 250 units. You can reach out to them directly for more specific pricing information.
Which Technology for Property Management Should You Choose?
If you’re deciding between these various technologies and are still unsure about which route to take, the good news is you don’t need to settle on one solution. To get the most value out of your investment, opt for comprehensive property management software that lets you manage various parts of your business using one platform.
With its Marketplace, Buildium gives you the best of both worlds. You’ll have access to features that span all your operations. With the ability to pick and choose Marketplace partners with more specialized features, so you can target the areas that matter most to you.
Once you’ve invested in one or a few of these technologies, be sure to monitor how well they’re working for you, how much time you’re saving, and if there are any ways you can be getting more value out of particular tools.
With technology always evolving, you’ll want to occasionally revisit the options out there for property management and look into whether or not the platform you use has any new features that might be useful.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can property management technology help me manage my properties more efficiently?
Property management technology makes your operations more efficient, eliminating manual processes with automation and easy-to-use tools for different parts of the job. With features such as online rent payment and collection, managers can process payments promptly without the hassles of physical checks.
Maintenance requests can be lodged and tracked digitally, ensuring quicker response times and reducing downtime for repair work. Financial reporting and bookkeeping tools can give you an instant snapshot of income and expenses, assisting in effective budgeting and financial forecasting. Digital document storage, on the other hand, reduces the need for physical storage spaces, cuts down on paper costs, and ensures that essential documents are easily accessible and secure.
Tenants also benefit from more transparent and faster communication, with automated reminders and notifications that keep them in the loop. The same goes for property owners. They can monitor the health of their investments in real-time, with insights on occupancy rates, maintenance issues, and financial metrics available at their fingertips.
Can property management technology reduce my operating costs?
Yes! The efficiency that comes with property management technology can also cut down on operating cost. By moving tasks like rent collection, lease renewals, and maintenance requests to digital platforms online, you’re left with less manual administrative work.
Tools such as virtual showings and communication portals speed up processes that would normally require slower, back-and-forth interactions between tenants, clients, and your team. This makes it easier to do more with less and frees up your staff to focus on more revenue generating projects.
The visibility that platforms such as Buildium provides gives you a more detailed and extensive view into how you run your business. You can pinpoint where things are running smoothly and where you’re wasting money, not to mention what new investments you’ve made in your business are paying off.
What is the benefit of using all-in-one property management technology?
An all-in-one platform makes it easy to access the details you need in one place. With one platform, learning the ins and outs of its features and how to get the most out of each is faster and onboarding other members of your team becomes much more straightforward.
It’s hard to overstate the benefit of having the details on every payment, lease, vendor, work order, property, tenant, and owner all accessible within one platform. Easy syncing between online rent payments and your accounting tools, for example, means that every fee is accounted for with close to no effort on your part.
You’ll also likely save money with comprehensive property management software as opposed to signing up for multiple software subscriptions. If you do need to branch out into other tools, software such as Buildium makes it easy to integrate its tools with other platforms and services.