@Gulliver R. Back when I had a larger portfolio and self managed, I used Buildium. I used their platform for years, it was a good product to start, but they really built it out and added tons of great features that saved me time. Buildium is a bit pricey if you only have a handful of units. While I can't compare Buildium to the other platforms you mentioned, I would give Buildium a recommendation.
thanks for your input @Andrew Kerr
@Gulliver R. How many units do you manage?
Buildium was originally designed for small-medium size portfolios, say under 100 units. Now they are going after the larger property management portfolios and trying to compete with Appfolio. You really need to compare what ancillary services you use the most - eg online rent collection, ACH payments to vendors/rental owners, tenant screening, e-leases, etc. These are the areas where Buildium/Appfolio are going to be different, and even the price tiers within Buildium are going to be different from each other. I haven't personally used Appfolio, but I had a local PM demo his platform for me at a conference and it looked really slick - definitely more powerful/feature rich than Buildium. I think Appfolio is the go-to choice if you're managing more than 150 units.
I personally use Buildium for my small self managed portfolio and like it over all. They continue to raise prices, so I may look take a look at RentecDirect, or even some free options.
Please up-vote my answer if you found it to be helpful! - Thanks
@Ryan Swan I have <100 tenants. But I also utilize online rent payments. I’m also interested in tenants signing leases electronically with a digital signature. Do you know if Appfolio or any other company offers this feature?
Buildium does, and I'm sure Appfolio does too
You need to review the pricing carefully, because those services are charged "al a carte" on one plan, but included in the more expensive plan.
@Gulliver_R. I recently started using RentecDirect. While not as flashy as Buildium, for the price, they have more features baked in. $0 ACH, E-Leases through DocuSign, inexpensive tenant screening.
For my portfolio of <10 homes, it’s $35 a month.
I'm interested in getting some "2018" feedback on these property management packages as well. Do you find yourselves needing to also use a separate accounting package such as Freshbooks/Quickbooks, or does the built in accounting functionality of these PM packages get the job done?
Hey @Keith Meyer , while I can't speak to the other two, Appfolio has been great for us. We manage ~150 units and just finally made the switch over to a property management software. The built in accounting is very extensive and you should easily be able to get away with using it in place of Fresh/quickbooks, although we currently are still keeping our old systems in place as a back up until we get more comfortable. While there are definitely some things that we feel are lacking on the tenant side, (i.e: very basic online lease signing that makes it difficult to customize each lease you send out, no canned/generic responses for their email client, task/notification section could use tweaking) their accounting is awesome. One last thing, we have been using their services for 2 months now and they've already had 5-10 upgrades. The developers are constantly listening to the clients suggestions and implementing them quickly. Hope this helps!
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