What is AppFolio?
AppFolio is a property management system used by property managers to manage various types of portfolios including residential, commercial, student housing, and community associations. AppFolio includes features to help property managers with important tasks such as automatic listing syndication, marketing websites, electronic leases, tenant & owner communication tools, and maintenance management tools. AppFolio also provides several high-tech features like their AI leasing assistant and 24/7 maintenance contact center.
Table of Contents
- What is AppFolio?
- Full Review
- AppFolio Pricing & Cost
- AppFolio Features
- AppFolio Alternatives & Competitors
- Is AppFolio Right For You?
AppFolio was established in 2006 by co-founders Klaus Schauser and Jon Walker. Since then, Appfolio has grown to more than 1,000 employees and generated more than $250 million in revenue in 2019.
AppFolio offers several useful features that help property managers optimize and automate tasks they conduct on a daily basis. These features include automatic listing syndication, marketing websites, electronic leases, tenant & owner communication tools, and maintenance management tools. AppFolio is also equipped with cutting-edge features like their AI leasing assistant and 24/7 maintenance contact center.
In general, property managers use AppFolio as an all-in-one solution to manage the entire property management lifecycle. The AppFolio platform includes tools to support your company from the initial marketing of your units to inspecting your properties after tenants move out.
Overall, AppFolio is one of the most powerful and popular property management solutions on the market. It is best suited for property managers who are responsible for more than 150 units. For customers with small to medium-sized portfolios with a smaller budget, we recommend Buildium. For independent landlords who want a free option, consider testing Avail or Cozy.
AppFolio Pricing & Cost
AppFolio pricing is based on the number of units that you manage. AppFolio enforces a 50 unit and $250 monthly fee minimum. Here are the prices for each portfolio type:
|Portfolio Type||Basic Pricing||Plus Pricing|
|Residential||$1.25 per unit per month||$3.00 per unit per month|
|Commercial||$1.50 per unit per month||$3.00 per unit per month|
|Community Associations||$.80 per unit per month||$.85 per unit per month|
|Student Housing||$1.25 per unit per month||$3.00 per unit per month|
AppFolio has additional charges for some features and services. Details are provided in the table below.
|AI Leasing Assistant|
|Online payments||Transaction fees for tenants:
|24/7 Maintenance Contact Center|
Below, we'll discuss the key features of AppFolio, and how they can streamline your workflow and automate many of your day-to-day tasks. We include screenshots of the product to give you a sense of its design and layout.
AppFolio has several features to help you generate property listings, and efficiently market them to your prospective tenants. These features include custom property listings, automatic listing syndication, rent estimation tool, and marketing website.
Custom Property Listings
Property listings in AppFolio are completely customizable. AppFolio provides a template that includes common sections and fields to help you create your listing. The information about your properties that AppFolio can store and distribute include:
- Credit reports & background requirements
- Minimum lease term
- Move-in date
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Pet policies
- Property type
- Rent price
- Security deposit amount
- Square footage
Automatic Listing Syndication
With AppFolio, you can automatically syndicate your property listings to the most popular property listing sites. Here are some of the websites where you can list your properties.
- Apartment List
- Rental Network
If you opt into AppFolio's Premium Leads, you can syndicate your listings to several pay-to-list websites and receive featured placement on many free-to-list sites mentioned above. Here are the pay-to-list websites you can syndicate to:
- Apartment Guide
- RentPath Network
RentMatch is a rent comparison tool that helps you determine the best rental price for your properties. This tool compares your rental prices to similar units in your area to help you retain competitive pricing for your units.
You can purchase a marketing website through AppFolio to post your rental listings. The website is integrated with the AppFolio platform, and all leads are automatically uploaded into the database. Websites are equipped with an analytics dashboard for tracking performance.
AppFolio helps you manage your applications and leads, so you can quickly decide which tenants are the best fit for your properties. Some of the applicant management features include guest cards, online rental applications, AI listing assistant, tenant screening, and customizable eLeases.
Prospective tenants interested in your unit can choose to submit a rental application or fill out a guest card. These guest cards will contain your prospective tenant’s contact information, which property they are interested in, and the date of their inquiry. Guest cards will also track the prospective tenants most recent activity and indicate if they completed the rental application. Guest Card information is automatically uploaded into AppFolio.
Online Rental Applications
Prospective tenants can submit online rental applications directly through your property listings. This application will collect standard information found on most rental applications such as:
- Contact information
- Employment details
- Residential history
Prospective tenants can pay for the application fee via credit card, and electronically sign the document. All data is automatically entered into your AppFolio database.
AI Leasing Assistant
You can purchase AppFolio’s AI leasing assistant that will respond to leasing inquiries 24/7 through text and email. This tool uses artificial intelligence to automate tasks such as booking showings, qualifying leads, and cross-selling units. All data collected through the AI Leasing Assistant are automatically uploaded into AppFolio.
You can require credit and background checks in your application. These screening results will include the applicant’s credit score, criminal history, and eviction history. AppFolio allows you to set parameters like credit score requirements, so you can quickly decline undesired applicants. Screening results are automatically uploaded into AppFolio. You can pay for the screening tests yourself, or charge your applicants.
Customizable Online Leases
AppFolio's online lease feature allows property managers to quickly generate branded leases that can be electronically signed on any device. Information that your prospective tenants provide in the online rental application is automatically merged into the lease. You can customize leases to meet your unique requirements. Once signed, online leases are automatically uploaded into AppFolio.
Appfolio provides several features to help streamline workflow and increase operational efficiency. These features include an online tenant portal, online owner portal, communication module, maintenance management tools, and a property inspection mobile application.
Online Tenant Portal
Tenants use the online tenant portal to pay rent & dues, submit maintenance requests, view & download leases, and view insurance coverage summary. Tenants can sign into the online tenant portal through browser or mobile app.
Online Owner Portal
Property owners use the online owner portal to stay updated on their properties’ performance and finances. Property owners can view statements & reports, make contributions via credit card or eCheck, review inspection reports, and access important documents.
AppFolio has robust communication features, so you can easily connect with your residents, owners, vendors, or prospects. You can conduct text message and email conversations directly in AppFolio, and conversation histories are saved in the platform. You can also send mass text messages and bulk emails to your recipients which is useful for announcements, notices, and newsletters.
In AppFolio’s maintenance module, you can view maintenance requests, manage work orders, schedule recurring work orders, assign vendors, and track maintenance statuses. You can also use this module to store receipts, photos, and videos.
You can purchase AppFolio’s 24/7 maintenance contact center service to reduce your maintenance management workload. The contact center will field your tenant's calls, dispatch pre-approved vendors, and enter information directly into the platform.
You can use AppFolio to send tenant surveys to rate your vendors after maintenance is completed. This is a useful tool to help you choose the best vendor for you.
Property Inspection App
AppFolio’s mobile app can be used to augment your property inspections. You can use your mobile device to take photos & videos, and upload them directly to the platform. You can also add property descriptions, take inventory, record fixed assets, and tag tasks for follow up.
Rent Collections and Payments
AppFolio allows you to quickly send and receive electronic payments. It supports a variety of payment methods and payment schedules.
AppFolio’s online payments feature streamlines the collection of application fees, rent & dues, and owner contributions. Payments can be made by credit card, eCheck, or electronic cash payments. In AppFolio, you can receive one-time payments, or set up recurring payment schedules. All payments are automatically recorded in the database which makes accounting faster and more accurate.
The bulk tenant charge feature is useful if you have multiple units with similar charges each month, such as utility fees. AppFolio provides a spreadsheet template where you can fill out charge amounts per unit in Excel, and upload the file into the database. AppFolio will automatically create separate tenant charges, saving time and effort on your end.
With the eCheck and Bill Pay feature, you can pay your owners, vendors, and property management companies directly in AppFolio. You can set up recurring payment schedules, and all payments are automatically recorded into the database.
AppFolio is equipped with an accounting module that helps you manage your company's finances. Here is an overview of the accounting tools found in the platform.
AppFolio automatically records all payments you receive in the accounts receivable module. With this tool, you can track receipts, charges, and bank deposits. There are also search and filtering capabilities to help you sort through data.
Smart Bill Entry
You can purchase AppFolio’s Smart Bill Entry to accelerate the billing process. This feature uses artificial intelligence technology to automatically process PDF invoices and identify key information. The information is uploaded into AppFolio where you can review and approve the bill.
AppFolio’s Sync Transactions feature allows you to link your bank accounts, so you can conduct bank reconciliations in the platform. Deposits are automatically cleared when the amount and date matches. If the date in AppFolio differs from the date in the bank account, AppFolio will automatically make the adjustment.
AppFolio is equipped with reporting capabilities to help you monitor and visualize key data points of your properties. Reports are real-time, customizable, and allows you to drill down on specific items. You can add filters, adjust columns, create groupings, select different fields, and sort by different titles. Also, you can schedule reports to be generated at set time intervals. Below are some of the reports you can generate in AppFolio.
- Leasing Reports: unit vacancy detail, guest cards, insurance usage, lease expiration detail by month
- Owner and Vendor Reports: purchase orders, vendor ledger, work order labor summary
- Property and Unit Reports: activities summary, fixed assets, annual budget - comparative, rent roll
- Tenant Reports: delinquency, tenant ledger
- Transaction Reports: aged receivable detail, payment plans
Plus subscribers have access to AppFolio’s analytics module. AppFolio’s analytics offers property managers insight into the performance of their properties across different regions. Dashboards and charts are interactive and allow you to drill down to investigate individual data points in greater detail. Here are some of the data visualizations you can generate in AppFolio:
- Demand by guest card and application volume
- Lead conversion rate
- Occupancy rate
- Projected occupancy rate
- Units vacant
- Projected vacancy exposure
- Price per square foot
AppFolio Alternatives & Competitors
AppFolio competes with many other property management solutions that offer similar functionality. The best choice for you will depend on your budget, volume of properties, and feature preference.
AppFolio’s top competitors are:
AppFolio vs. Buildium
AppFolio and Buildium are both all-in-one property management solutions trusted by thousands of property managers to automate repetitive tasks and increase operational efficiency. These solutions include features such as automatic property listing syndication, tenant screenings, automated payment collection, maintenance management tools, and accounting & reporting modules.
AppFolio is best suited for property managers managing a large number of units because they offer an AI leasing assistant and 24/7 maintenance contact center. These tools automate the tasks of responding to rental inquiries and fielding maintenance calls which are particularly difficult to manage as you scale.
Buildium is ideal for property managers managing less than 150 units. Because AppFolio enforces a $250 minimum monthly fee, Buildium is more affordable than AppFolio at this number of units. Also, AppFolio charges extra for a marketing website, which is included in Buildium’s subscription cost.
For in-depth analysis, check out our AppFolio vs. Buildium comparison guide.
Is AppFolio Right For You?
AppFolio is an all-in-one property management platform used by thousands of property managers to manage various types of portfolios. The platform optimizes and automates many tasks in property marketing, resident management, accounting, and reporting.
AppFolio’s broad suite of features makes it an ideal tool for property managers responsible for a high volume of properties. Those with small to medium-sized portfolios and a smaller budget should consider Buildium. For independent landlords who want a free option, consider testing Avail or Cozy.
If you're interested, you can schedule an AppFolio demo today.