We explore the world of real estate accounting software and how you can choose the best software for your portfolio management needs.
Whether you're a seasoned real estate investor or a property management professional, the key to effectively managing your assets lies in having the right tools at your disposal.
In this article, we delve into the world of real estate accounting, exploring the top 9 software available for investors today. The software in this list include both general accounting platforms and solutions specifically designed for real estate investors.
The real estate accounting software you eventually choose will come down to your requirements, but should ultimately pair a range of property management and accounting features with affordable pricing and good customer experience.
With so many options on the market, evaluating and selecting the best possible real estate accounting software can be challenging. There are numerous considerations from ease of use to the available features and functionality to customer support and reviews.
One important question you need to answer before you begin your search is, do you want an accounting only platform? Or do you want a property management software with quality accounting functionality?
There are pros and cons to both approaches. For example, accounting platforms like QuickBooks for rentals offer comprehensive accounting tools and reporting that caters to the most complex accounting needs. However, they lack important property management features (like automated rent collection and tenant screening) and can be challenging to set up and use on a day to day basis unless you’re already an expert.
When selecting real estate accounting software:
A few key differences between property management software and real estate accounting software include:
All-in-one property management software eliminates the need for multiple systems, reducing associated costs. Instead of investing in separate accounting, tenant management, and rent collection tools, you can streamline your operations with a single, integrated solution. This consolidation will save you time and money while simplifying your budgeting.
As mentioned, software like QuickBooks can be incredibly challenging to set up correctly and operate for real estate businesses. Leading to costly accounting errors. Property management and accounting software comes equipped with default expense categories, custom reports, and property management features that align with both your property management and accounting needs.
An important part of owning and operating rentals is managing leases and tenancies. Most purpose-built software offer robust tenant management features, making it easier to track lease agreements, store documents, manage tenant information, and automate rent collection.
Tenants should be able to set up automatic payments online and landlords send rent receipts, set up automated rent reminders, automate income tracking, block partial payments and manage late fees.
Landlord Studio is the top rated real estate accounting software on the market. It has been meticulously crafted by landlords for landlords.
Streamline your real estate accounting with automated income tracking and bank feeds, and utilize the GPS mileage tracker and smart scan receipt features to ensure you’re maximizing your end of year deductions and portfolio profits.
With the ability to instantly generate customizable reports in .csv or pdf formats you can effortlessly analyze your data throughout the year and at tax time. Plus, easily share crucial financial insights with your business partners and accountant.
This powerful real estate accounting and reporting is paired with a suite of award winning property management tools. Collect rent online, create rental listings, screen tenants and store essential documents, all in one place.
Landlord Studio is a best in class real estate accounting software for landlords with powerful property management functionality built-in. Save $500 per per year property in additional tax deductions, and save days of admin time along the way. Available on any device and your first 3 properties are completely free.
Your first 3 units with Landlord Studio are free. See our pricing here →
While industry specific real estate accounting software holds several advantages over general accounting software, including cost-efficiency, feature sets and ease-of use, for investors already familiar with an accounting platform and with complex accounting needs it may still be worth exploring a general accounting software for their needs.
QuickBooks is the leading accounting software on the market, used by the majority of accountants in the US. However, while it can be tailored for use by real estate investors and property managers it’s complexity and versatility makes it difficult to set up and use for property owners.
Quicken, like QuickBooks offers robust financial tools which can, in a pinch, be adapted for use by real estate investors. The platform excels when it comes to maintaining precise financial records for tax preparation. However, like QuickBooks, it can be a challenge to set up, especially for larger, more complex portfolios, and as your portfolio scales it can quickly become unwieldy.
Xero is an accounting platform that prides itself in ease-of-use. Offering robust financial tracking, reporting and invoicing tools. Once you’ve properly set up your chart of accounts for real estate investments it performs better than some of the other accounting specific tools listed. Nevertheless it can become challenging to track individual properties with more than a few units in the system.
Sage offers a solid foundation for real estate accounting, providing essential tools and features for financial management in the industry. Its strength lies in its versatility for various business types which can sometimes result in it falling short of the specialized capabilities found in industry-specific software.
Sage offers a range of products and services with a complex pricing structure. You will need to contact Sage to determine which product is best suited to your needs and get a quote for pricing.
Pros and cons of using property management software for real estate accounting.
TenantCloud offers excellent property management capabilities including rental information tracking, payment handling, lease management, maintenance oversight and tenant communication.
However, it's worth noting that, because it’s tailored to property management over real estate accounting, it may not be suitable for people looking for a more robust real accounting software. Additionally, users have reported the app to be hard to use making this primarily a desktop software.
The Starter plan costs $12 a month. The Growth plan costs $40 a month.
Propertyware excels in the realm of single-family home property management, offering a comprehensive platform designed to meet the core property management and accounting requirements of property managers overseeing extensive portfolios.
It's worth mentioning that as it’s tailored to larger portfolios it is less cost-effective for property managers or independent landlords overseeing fewer than 250 units and is rated only 3.8 stars when it comes to usability.
Propertyware has three pricing tiers.
Their Basic plan costs $1 per unit per month with a $250 minimum and a $500 onboarding fee. Plus costs $1.50 per unit per mont with a $350 per month minimum and a $700 onboarding fee. Premium costs $2.00 per unit per month with a $450 minimum and a a $900 onboarding fee.
Buildium represents a robust cloud-based solution explicitly crafted for the management of large portfolios. It encompasses an extensive array of cutting-edge features typically associated with property management software.
This platform has an intuitive mobile portal and is distinguished by its award-winning customer support. Additionally, it offers invaluable analytics tools that yield critical insights, enhancing your grasp of your rental business's performance. It also provides tools tailored for the management of community associations and homeowners associations (HOAs).
Buildium offers three pricing tiers. The first and most basic plan starts at $52 per month and has optional extras that you can pay for.
Their Growth plan starts at $166 per month.
And their Premium plan starts at $479 per month.
AppFolio is a top choice among real estate investors maanging large rental portfolios. It includes standard features commonly found in property management software, like managing maintenance requests, automating payments, and enabling online leases.
Pricing starts $280 per month for their Core plan and $900 per month for their Plus plan.
While software like QuickBooks, Xero, Buildium, or Appfolio certainly offer valuable features and have their own merits, Landlord Studio excels in several key areas that set it apart as the best real estate accounting software.
Firstly, Landlord Studio has been meticulously designed to match the unique needs of real estate professionals. Its intuitive interface makes it easy to get started and with its powerful mobile app use on a day to day basis becomes seamless and stress-free.
Thirdly, Landlord Studio pairs award winning accounting with streamlined property management features, so you can centralize every aspect of your property management, from document storage to rent collection in a single system.
And it does all this for free.
Get professional real estate accounting tools and take the stress out of tax season with Landlord Studio today.