Appfolio and Buildium are both online property management systems designed to assist property managers, landlords, and real estate owners with accounting, maintenance requests, inspections, tenant communication, and reporting processes. Each of these software solutions helps property managers gain a competitive edge and stay up-to-date with the latest technology.
These property management software options have many similarities, but also differences. Get to know more about each:
AppFolio Property Manager provides mobile, all-in-one property management software to effectively market, manage and grow their business. This software is popular with all types of property management companies, including mixed portfolio property managers, of:
AppFolio includes features to support the modern manager: online applications and leases, owner and resident portals, online payments, built-in screening, maintenance requests, mobile inspections, bulk texting, and robust accounting and reporting.
Buildium is a property management software designed by property managers for property managers. This all-in-one, cloud-based platform allows landlords and real estate developers alike to be more efficient in their business processes. Use this software to take control of everything from back-office accounting and tenant leasing to development operations and maintenance work orders.
Buildium currently services more than 13,000 rental properties in over 46 countries – totaling over one million units. Thanks to expert advice and relentless support, this platform enables property management companies to outperform the competition by balancing power, simplicity, and ease of use.
AppFolio and Buildium are both Cloud-hosted platforms, accessible from anywhere via web browser. As long as you have a computer and Internet access, you can use both solutions equally. By keeping services in the Cloud, property managers can access tools from anywhere, whether at the office or at home. And each solution includes customer portals so tenants and renters can make online rent payments, schedule maintenance requests, and communicate directly with landlords.
Additionally, both AppFolio and Buildium have iOS and Android compatible apps for use on mobile devices. Landlords can now perform important property management processes while on the go. For example, inspect an apartment for move-out without taking copious amounts of handwritten notes, just upload everything through the app in real-time.
Winner: Tie, both have full functionality on the web and apps
Budget is another big factor when comparing property management solutions. AppFolio pricing is determined first by your specific type of property management then by the number of units you have.
This is the current pricing structure for AppFolio:
All AppFolio packages have a minimum monthly fee of $250 per month with a “Plus” version available for property management firms with 1,000+ units.
Buildium pricing starts at $47 per month, regardless of the property type being managed. Like AppFolio, the total cost is dependent on the number of units. The more tenants and properties you manage, the higher your monthly bill. Unlike AppFolio, there is no monthly minimum payment.
Winner: Buildium has lower minimum costs and cheaper pricing for a higher number units
Next, your property management company has to consider scalability when selecting a software. Are you planning to manage a single tenant and unit? Or do you control multiple congregate living spaces with hundreds of units apiece? Or maybe you’re currently operating a few properties but plan to expand. A scalable software can grow to fit your expanding business needs.
AppFolio can be used by property managers with only a few units or over 1,000 units. Buildium also has software capable of serving small and large property management companies alike. In fact, there is a special pricing plan for customers with over 5,000 units. Of the two options, Buildium has slightly more enterprise-level users compared to AppFolio.
Winner: Tie, both can scale up with growing businesses
There are many different types of properties to be managed in the world, primarily divided into residential and commercial. While both of these solutions can be used for a wide range of property types, AppFolio has more options for specifically commercial properties. This extends to unique housing situations like congregate living facilities, student dorms, and senior centers, which have a mixture of residential and commercial needs.
Both of these property management solutions can be somewhat customized to fit your business needs. Set up online tenant portals so renters can pay rent, utilities, and late fees. Or focus on managing existing leases through an owner portal. AppFolio and Buildium are mostly equal when it comes to setting up the exact modules for your type of property management.
Property management systems have turned to software to manage practices which were once performed manually. For instance, both AppFolio and Buildium have tools which automate tenant screening and allow for new tenants to sign electronic leases. These features greatly expedite your business processes.
One of the drawbacks of comprehensive property management software is becoming overwhelmed by the more complex features. Essentially, trying to digitize all possible services can make it difficult for new users to handle certain tasks. And working between a desktop and mobile app can also cause issues for users who are unfamiliar with the different formats.
Based on user reviews, Buildium is slightly easier to use for most services while AppFolio is almost too complex. Of course, usability can greatly depend on personal user experience and preferences.
One major obstacle of property management is filling vacant units. Reaching new tenants is just as important as retaining your current clients, especially in areas with high renter turnover. Advertising is one way to draw in these prospective renters to your commercial or residential properties.
Fortunately, AppFolio has a specific module for real estate marketing. This allows agents and landlords the ability to post listings online, either on their own websites or third-party multiple listing services (MLS). Unfortunately, Buildium does not have an equivalent tool for advertising vacant properties or units.
Which property management software is best for your business will depend on your type of business and budget. Buildium has a slight advantage over AppFolio when it comes to usability and pricing, though those are still largely dependent on your property management style. Selecting the right option may also depend on if your portfolio is mostly commercial or residential, as AppFolio has an edge with commercial management.
Overall, both solutions provide many advantages to property management companies. SoftwareConnect can help you search.
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