Best Property Management Software 2020

Avail vs. Buildium

Is Avail or Buildium the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best property management tool to help grow your business.

Property managers use property management software to optimize and automate important tasks they conduct daily. There are several property management solutions in the market, which can make it tough to determine the best solution for your business.

However, if you're reading this article, then you're on the right path. This guide will help you choose between two of the most popular property management solutions, Avail and Buildium. We will explore the differences between the two solutions, including an in-depth look into their unique features, and make it simpler to decide which tool is best for you.

Comparison Summary

Avail and Buildium are both popular property management solutions used by thousands of customers each. These solutions allow you to syndicate property listings, screen tenants, automatically collect payments, and manage maintenance requests. Buildium is the more fully-featured option, and Avail is the more affordable solution.

When comparing the two, it's important to focus on the specific tools offered by each vendor, and the corresponding subscription price. Here's a quick test to determine which solution is best for you:

You'll prefer Avail if:

  • You desire a solution that offers a free subscription
  • You are an independent landlord
  • You manage less than 10 units

Free Avail Account

You'll prefer Buildium if:

  • You desire robust accounting and reporting tools
  • You desire robust communication features
  • You manage more than 10 units
Free Buildium Trial


Table of Contents

Avail & Buildium Price Comparison

The subscriptions for Avail and Buildium are both based on the number of units you manage. In addition, Avail offers a free plan that is sufficient for many independent landlords.

If you manage less than 30 units, then Avail is the more affordable option. Over 30 units, Avail’s price of $5 per unit actually becomes more expensive than Buildium, which is a more advanced tool. Buildium’s plans start at $50 per month, which makes it less affordable for landlords with less than 10 units.

Here is a table comparing the monthly cost per unit for Avail’s Unlimited Plus Plan and Buildium’s Growth Plan:

Number of UnitsAvailBuildium
1 unit$5$160
10 units$50$160
20 units$100$160
30 units$150$160
40 units$200$160
50 units$250$160
100 units$500$210

Avail Pricing Details

Avail offers two subscriptions – one is free & one is priced at $5 per unit per month. The free plan does not include some advanced features including expedited payments, marketing websites, and customizable applications & leases.

  • Unlimited: $0 per unit
  • Unlimited Plus: $5 per unit

Avail also offers some services for an additional cost:

  • ACH fee: $2.50 per transaction (waived in Unlimited Plus Plan)
  • Credit & debit card fee: 3.5% per transaction
  • Credit, criminal background, and eviction checks: $55 per screening
  • Rent analysis report: $19.99
  • Free Trial

Buildium Pricing Details

Buildium’s pricing starts at $50 per month and depends on the volume of units you manage and the plan you choose.

  • Essential Plan: Starting at $50 per month
  • Growth Plan: Starting at $160 per month
  • Premium Plan: Starting at $460 per month
  • Credit card transaction fee: 2.75%
  • EFT transaction fee: $0.50 (fee waived for Growth and Premium Plan)
  • Basic Tenant Screening: $15 for customers. $30 for applicant
  • Premium Tenant Screening: $18 per screening. $99 setup fee
  • Free Trial

Avail & Buildium Feature Comparison

Avail and Buildium are both useful solutions that include the core set of features needed to manage your properties. Both platforms include automated listing syndication, tenant screening, automated payments, and maintenance request tracking.

Although there is an overlap between the two solutions, Buildium is the more feature-rich option. As you can see in the table below, only Buildium offers features such as two-way texting, mobile applications, accounting tools, and 1099 efilling.

For a full analysis of their features, read our Avail and Buildium reviews.

FeatureAvailBuildium
Customizable Rental ApplicationsYesYes
Marketing WebsiteYesYes
Rental Price Analysis ToolYesYes
One-click Listing SyndicationYesYes
Electronic LeasesYesYes
Automatic Payment CollectionYesYes
Online Tenant PortalYesYes
Maintenance ManagementYesYes
Built-in Messaging Chat BoxYesYes
Two-way textingNoYes
Email NotificationsYesYes
Bulk MessagingNoYes
Property Inspection ToolNoYes
Mobile ApplicationsNoYes
ReportingLimitedYes
AccountingNoYes
CAM ChargesNoYes
1099 eFillingNoYes

Avail's Unique Features

Avail does not offer any unique features in their platform. However, Avail is the more affordable option that offers a completely free subscription. Avail is the better choice depending on your budget, the features you desire, and the volume of units you manage.

Buildium's Unique Features

Buildium offers several features not found in Avail. It's important to understand the features below to determine if Buildium is ideal for your business.

Text messages and Emails

Avail and Buildium are both equipped with a built-in messaging tool that allows landlords and tenants to communicate. However, Buildium allows property managers to conduct conversations through text messaging and emailing. Along with its customizable templates and bulk messaging feature, Buildium is the far more robust solution for communication.

Outgoing Payment Tools

Both Avail and Buildium allow you to receive payments from tenants. However, only Buildium allows you to send outgoing payments directly in the platform. This is particularly useful for paying vendors for maintenance work, or sending payments to property owners.

With Avail, all outgoing payments must be managed in a third-party solution. This could create a suboptimal workflow for landlords managing a large volume of properties.

Accounting

Both Avail and Buildium will help you track and manage payments. However, Buildium provides a suite of robust accounting tools that Avail does not. Here are a few features only found in Buildium:

Company Financials: With Buildium, you can track important financial data including company cash, unpaid bills, and net income. You can also analyze your company’s capital distribution in this module.

buildium company financial

General Ledger: Buildium offers a general ledger where you can track and manage your account receivable & payable, revenue, and expenses. The general ledger automatically records any payments that you send or receive, and is equipped with search and filtering tools to help you organize your statements.

buildium general ledger

Automatic Bank Reconciliations: Buildium automatically reconciles your banking and transaction information. In Avail, this task must be completed manually which adds to your workload and increases the chance of human error.

buildium reconciliations

1099 eFilling: Buildium includes tax management tools like their 1099 eFilling feature. You can verify tax numbers, track recipients with missing tax information, confirm that your 1099s were sent, and track summary forms.

Bottom Line

Avail and Buildium are popular property management solutions with thousands of customers. Both solutions include a variety of useful features including automatic property listing syndication, tenant screening, automated payment collection, and maintenance request tracking.

If you are an independent landlord that manages less than 30 units, Avail is the better option. Avail offers a free subscription that includes the core set of features that are likely sufficient. If you desire robust accounting & communication features and manage a large volume of units, Buildium is likely the better option.

If you’re interested, visit Avail or Buildium today to get started.

Lloyd Park

Lloyd Park is a Junior Research Analyst at SoftwarePundit, where he conducts in-depth analyses of software markets and products. Lloyd also has experience managing the development of software platforms and is an expert in content production & media software.

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