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Rent Manager Property Management Software: BiggerPockets Review

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Founded in the United States in 1986, Rent Manager is “designed to manage every facet of your unique operation.” It comes up frequently in forum discussion as one of the top possible options for property management software, particularly for larger portfolios, alongside other heavy hitters like Buildium and AppFolio. It can do basically everything, from accounting to work order management to automatic custom reports.

There are two versions of the software: a stand-alone desktop system (available for Mac or PC)  and a cloud-based online option that comes with mobile app offshoots for additional tasks. A side-by-side comparison of the two is available on the company site. This isn’t the only choice for users to make; the software prides itself on customizability and offers an open API. 

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Rent Manager Pricing

Pricing for the software varies depending on a number of factors. There are three different pricing options: Rent Manager Online, Rent Manager Standalone - Enterprise Per Unit, and Standalone Enterprise - Unlimited. Forum discussion suggests that the online system is set up as a monthly subscription fee, while the Standalone is a one-time purchase.

As the name implies, the Per Unit version pricing is determined based on number of units and recommended for 25–200 units. It does include the ability to add units. The Unlimited version is designed for large portfolios and companies that intend to have multiple users access the software via a Local Area Network, and that have their own IT and backup services. 


Rent Manager Tools

The standalone desktop system and cloud-based online system offer the same base functions, with quite a few add-ons included in only the online version. Both options include residential and commercial property management solutions, with a double-entry accounting system, work-order management, a customer relationship management database, tools for prospect and lease management, and more than 250 built-in financial and property reports, plus custom report creation. Reports can be set up to generate automatically based on a schedule of your choice.

In terms of features, both online and standalone editions offer aerial view property maps, a loan manager, customizable reports, CAM and reconciliation abilities, and a metered utilities tracker. A side-by-side comparison of the two is available on the company site

If you want to go beyond the aforementioned abilities, you’ll need to go for the online software.

Rent Manager online adds a higher level of interaction and access, including online management tools for both residents and owners, mobile access, report automation, integration with Trulia and Zillow, and an extensive suite of mobile apps. The apps have capabilities including payment acceptance, inspections, work orders, and photos. The available online portals can be accessible by prospects, tenants, and owners to sign leases, submit/collect online payments and owner contributions, and more. Prospective tenants can file applications, then be moved to “tenant” status all within the system. 

If tenants have an issue, that can also be solved within the interface, a feature praised by forum user and moderator Ryan Murdock. A service request submitted within the system can be assigned to a preferred vendor, who can then access it through a mobile Rent Manager app. The vendor can then use the app to update the work order status and add comments and photos. 

The software does include rent collection, as well as other payment management, via ePay processing and the PayLease integration. There’s also VoIP phone integration. If Rent Manager itself can’t do it, one of their many integration partners is probably able to.

Forum user Andrew Clark comments, “I use Rent Manager Software with the PayLease payment add-on. It's cheap, the tenants love it. They can pay in person at Walmart, Kroger, most check cashing places, online via checking, saving, debit or credit card. It all goes straight to the bank. I don’t deal with any NSF's either, PayLease handles all of it.”

One forum user reported significant frustration during the initial setup process but after clearing that hurdle was extremely pleased with the software. “I was really frustrated with it at first but I have to say now that I'm finding I really like it,” said Mickie Hanson. “To be honest my mind was still in Quickbooks online set and the way that Rent Manager does things is different. It's not an accounting package but has the bookkeeping integrated. … When a prospect fills out my application (easy to integrate) if they lease from us the move in takes care [of] putting in all the info from their application.  All in all, once I started using it I found the more I used it the better I liked it. At first I thought I'd made a mistake but no, I picked the right solution for my company. I just needed to use it the way it was designed.”

Rent Manager and Real Estate Investors

A somewhat steep learning curve, higher-end costs, and vast software suite mean that Rent Manager isn’t ideal for beginners. But if you’ve been in the business for a while and have a larger portfolio—or are reaching the stage where your Google Docs just aren’t cutting it anymore—Rent Manager could be ideal for centralizing and streamlining your operations.

It can work within the single family, multifamily, and commercial spaces. User portfolios usually start at 100 units and can go up to more than 50,000. General forum consensus is that if you don’t have a fairly large portfolio, it’s more than you need. (BiggerPockets member Andrew Syrios comments, “We use a software management program called Rent Manager that has a great accounting module, but it's for property managers with a good number of units.”)  

Forum user Christa Rimonneau says, “The property management company I work with used Rent Manager, switched to Appfolio and is now back to Rent Manager (within 2 months). … Rent Manager allows landlords to pull reports for all sorts of time periods and situations. When I refinanced pulling all of the reports was easy and I didn't need to bother my team. … Seems in the comments everyone is self-managing—so if you expect to bring on other landlords in the future, I would take a look at Rent Manager.”

But as we said, it’s a lot of software, so it’s best for someone who needs to keep track of and manage a lot of moving parts. 

Rent Manager Pros and Cons


Pros

  • Extremely large system—can do basically everything
  • Contains all accounting materials
  • Mobile app for maintenance, including photo capability
  • Lots of automation capability
  • Extremely customizable, including an open API
  • Plenty of integrations available
  • Customer service garners frequent praise. 

Cons

  • Initial setup can be time-consuming
  • Somewhat steep learning curve
  • Among the more expensive options.


Rent Manager not for you? Read more property management reviews.

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