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The top five best property management software applications

Whether you're managing just a few apartments or hundreds of units, property management software can help you market your property and track tenant accounts accurately and efficiently.

And by integrating with your accounting software, property management software applications can provide a seamless user experience from advertising vacancies to year-end reporting. There are dozens of applications to choose from, but any property manager will be well served by one of the top five best software packages.


Propertyware is an online property management system that allows managers, owners, vendors and tenants to access their data from anywhere through a simple web browser and Internet connection.

Built as a customer management solution, Propertyware integrates core property management functions while also offering four premium add-on modules: Management, Marketing, Maintenance and Website. Propertyware supports all sizes of business, from a few tenant units to several thousand units.

Rent Manager Online

Rent Manager Online originated as Rent Manager in 1982 and has gradually evolved into a completely customisable online property management tool.

Tenants can make rental payments online and vacancies can be automatically marketed online by management. Free online training and fee-based, in-person training is available. Rent Manager Online also boasts an international clientele with clients managing up to 30,000 units each.

Buildium Property Manager

Buildium Property Manager is an online property management system designed for fee-based management companies, but is limited to a maximum of 1,000 units per client. The package is especially suited to international management companies, featuring time zones, "country" fields and culture-specific customisation.

Vacant units can be uploaded to client websites or advertisements. The program also integrates tenant background checks at a rate of £7.70 each, as of November 2010, but fails to integrate a debt collection service.

DIY Real Estate Solutions

DIY Real Estate Solutions is an integrated online property management system designed for managers of less than 1,000 units. Tenant services include background checks and credit screening services as well as an integrated debt collection service, and permits current tenants to view their accounts and make payments online. The package also features design tools and templates for DIY customers to create personalised websites that feature photos, floor plans and online applications.

AppFolio Property Manager

AppFolio Property Manager is an online property management system that focuses on continual improvement. The program encourages customer involvement with built-in opportunities for feedback and to invite new feature suggestions. Most-suggested features are then incorporated in the software on a monthly basis.

AppFolio automatically posts vacancies to a list of rental websites and provides detailed accounting features, but does not provide for making electronic payments to vendors. Customers can request customised, hosted websites for a flat fee of £650 as of November 2010.