Best Property Management Software 2021

Best DIY Landlord Property Management Software

Looking for the best DIY landlord software? Here's a short list of the top solutions used by thousands of DIY landlords worldwide.

Being an independent landlord is difficult. Fortunately, there are valuable software tools built specifically to help you manage your business from listing properties to placing tenants and collecting rent payments.

Below, we outline the types of software you should consider, along with their cost and features. To streamline your vendor selection process, we've also created a short-list of the best individual software solutions for DIY landlords.

Table of Contents

What Types of Software do DIY Landlords Use?

DIY landlords use several types of software. Below are the most commonly used types software, along with a description of each, and their most important features. Keep in mind that some advanced property management systems offer all the tools listed below in a single solution.

Software TypeDescriptionTop Features
Property Management SystemsProperty management systems are the most important software used by landlords to manage properties
  • Property marketing
  • Applicant management
  • Resident management
  • Rent collections and payments
Tenant Screening SoftwareTenant screening software is used to select the highest quality tenants
  • Check credit score
  • Check criminal background
  • Eviction check
Electronic Signature SoftwareElectronic signature software is used to manage and execute tenant lease agreements
  • Electronically sign agreements
  • Store agreements online
  • Distribute executed agreements
Rent Pricing SoftwareRent pricing software is built to help landlords calculate property rent
  • Calculate fair market rates
  • View rate trends
  • Compare your rent to averages
Rent Collections SoftwareRent collection software streamlines the rent collection process
  • Request payments
  • Digital tenant payments
  • Direct deposits
Accounting SoftwareLandlords rely on an accounting tool to manage their finances and pay taxes
  • Track income & expenses
  • Create tax statements
  • Accounting insights

Which DIY Landlord Software Should I Use?

There is no need to purchase every type of DIY landlord software. Some landlords choose to purchase a more expensive property management system that includes every feature. Others choose to keep things simple and only use one or two must-have solutions.

Here's a recommendation for the software you should use based upon your preference for using technology and the size of your business.

How Much Technology Do You Prefer?Example of the Software You Should Use
Minimal technology
  • Free property management system
  • Tenant screening software
  • Free accounting software
Moderate technology
  • Select a basic property management system
  • Purchase basic accounting software
Significant technology
  • Purchase an advanced property management system
  • Purchase accounting software
  • Purchase a rent pricing tool

How Much Does DIY Landlord Software Cost?

Most DIY landlords do not have sufficient budget to buy the best tool in each category. However, if managed wisely, DIY landlords can invest around $1,000 per month and gain access to all the nice-to-have solutions.

Software TypePrice
Property Management Systems$0 to $250 per month
Tenant Screening Software$30 to $60 per report
Electronic Signature Software$0 to $50 per month
Rent Pricing Software$14 per report, $50 for annual subscription
Rent Collections Software$0 to $20 per month
Accounting Software$0 to $75 per month

Best DIY Landlord Software

We've researched the market to find the most popular, highest-quality DIY landlord software in the market. The solutions below are used by tens of thousands of landlords across the country. Read the solution overviews to find the product that is best for your business.

Top Property Management Systems

Property management systems are the foundation of your business. This is the most important piece of software you'll use, we recommend testing a few of the options below. As you evaluate property management systems, keep an eye on the price point – solutions can range from $0 to over $250 per month for larger portfolios.

CompanyWhy We Recommend It
  • Avail offers a free plan that includes all of its major features, but charges tenants for bank transfers, credit card transactions, and tenant screenings.
  • Syndicates property listings to ten popular listing websites.
  • Avail offers a free plan & a premium plan for $5 per unit per month.
  • Read the full Avail review.
  • Buildium is a higher end property management solution that optimizes and automates a variety of important tasks.
  • Buildium can easily scale with your business as you grow your portfolio.
  • Buildium pricing starts at $50 per month.
  • Read the full Buildium review.
  • Cozy's software is easy to use.
  • Automates rent collection and property listing syndication.
  • Offers a free plan and optional for-purchase services (e.g. tenant screening, rent reports).
  • Read the full Cozy review.

Top Tenant Screening Software

When leasing your property, it's critical that you thoroughly screen prospective tenants. These screens typically check a credit scores, criminal charges, and eviction history. Some property management solutions include cheap tenant screening services. There are also independent software tools focused specifically on tenant screening.

CompanyWhy We Recommend It
  • Avail's platform offers an optional tenant screening service.
  • Reports for credit score, criminal history, or eviction history are $30.
  • A bundle of all three reports costs $55.
  • Read the full Avail review.
  • Cozy also offers an optional tenant screening service as a part of its platform.
  • Reports for credit score, criminal history, or eviction history are $25.
  • A bundle of all three reports costs $40.
  • Read the full Cozy review.
  • RentSpree is a software tool focused specifically on tenant verification.
  • Reports have an almost instant turnaround time.
  • The platform allows for reference checking.
  • The RentSpree report is priced affordably at $30.

Top Electronic Signature Software

Landlords use electronic signature software to store and manage their legal documents. The most important document is often tenant leases, which can be stored online, edited, executed and distributed with the right software solution. Many property management systems include this functionality – we've included two popular point solutions below.

CompanyWhy We Recommend It
  • DocuSign is the most popular electronic signature software in the market.
  • Allows you to store, edit and distribute rental agreements.
  • Includes mobile app for managing documents on the go.
  • DocuSign's Real Estate Starter package is $10 per month.
  • PandaDoc is a fast-growing, innovative electronic signature solution.
  • It offers a free plan that includes unlimited documents, the ability to send documents to tenants, and the ability to collect payments the moment each document is signed.
  • Plans range from free to $49 per month.

Top Rent Pricing Software

Landlords use rent pricing software to determine the ideal rent for their properties. These solutions leverage large databases of public and private information to estimate rental prices for your property. When evaluating the systems, pay attention to the data sets that each uses to calculate estimated rents.

CompanyWhy We Recommend It
  • Rentometer is a popular rent estimate solution with free and premium reports.
  • Free reports include average, median rent within a 0.75 mile radius.
  • Premium plan includes the ability to filter data, and do batch analyses on up to 100 properties at once.
  • Rentometer is free to use for basic reports, paid plans start at $49 per year.
  • RentRange provides rental estimates on almost 100 million US residences.
  • Each estimate includes a confidence score to give you a sense of accuracy.
  • Report includes local data on vacancy rates, rent benchmarks, rent trends, and other investor metrics.
  • RentRange property reports start at $14 each.

Top Rent Collections Software

Rent collection software is used by DIY landlords to collect monthly rent payments. If you purchase a property management software like RentRedi, it will likely come with a rent collection tool. However, it will likely charge payment processing fees. The point solutions below are easy to use and in many cases, completely free.

CompanyWhy We Recommend It
  • RentRedi is a property management tool that excels in rent collection.
  • You decide whether you or the tenant pay the payment processing fees.
  • Includes advanced features such as the ability to link multiple bank accounts, bill for late fees, and send rent receipts.
  • RentRedi costs $9 per month with the purchase of an annual plan.
  • Venmo is an extremely popular digital wallet that allows individuals to transfer money.
  • It's likely that your tenants already have Venmo and know how to use it.
  • You can receive payments in 1-3 days for free, or same day for a small fee.
  • Venmo accounts are free.
  • Zelle is another popular application that individuals use to transfer money.
  • Zelle has partnered with most major banks to offer money transfer service for free.
  • Money is deposited directly into your bank account.
  • However, Zelle is not available to all consumers and SMBs – check with your bank and your tenants bank before getting started.

Top Accounting Software

As a DIY landlord, keeping track of your finances is extremely important. In fact, accounting software is one of the most popular types of software used by landlords. There are widely-used, affordable accounting tools that will work well for you. Three of the most popular options are below.

CompanyWhy We Recommend It
  • FreshBooks is a popular accounting tool used by over 24 million people.
  • All-in-one solution that manages bookkeeping, invoicing, expense tracking and rent collections.
  • Late payment reminders and late fees for rental payments.
  • FreshBooks subscriptions start at $4.50 per month.
  • Read the full FreshBooks review.
  • QuickBooks is the most popular accounting software tool on the market.
  • It includes tools for tracking income, expenses, invoicing, accepting rent payments and managing 1099 contractors.
  • Add-ons include payroll and an optional $50 set up fee.
  • QuickBooks subscriptions start at $7.50 per month.
  • Read the full QuickBooks review.
  • Wave is a popular accounting tool that was designed for entrepreneurs.
  • It offers a very robust free plan, as well as the option to pay for payments and payroll capabilities.
  • Invoicing is free and unlimited.
  • Wave offers a free plan that handles accounting, invoicing and receipt scanning.
  • Read the full Wave review.
Lloyd Park

Lloyd Park is a 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. You can connect with Lloyd on LinkedIn.

Lloyd is an expert in several software categories including:

  • Dental software
  • Email marketing software
  • Field service management software
  • Legal software
  • Property management software

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