Real estate can be tricky business. On the one hand, everyone needs somewhere to live — but on the other, there are a lot of necessary hoops to jump through for a tenant and a landlord to come to an agreement.
List of the 7 best free property management software in 2018
- Rentec Direct
- TenantCloud Property Management
- Online Rental Property Manager
From marketing your property and sifting through applications and background checks to drafting leases and making sure the property is in suitable shape, managing a residential property is a lot of work. And that work doesn’t end once a tenant moves in. After that, there's maintenance requests, rent and HOA fee collection.
Property management software, however, can help with all of these tasks.
Specifically designed for landlords and property managers, these platforms can house and perform all of your day-to-day duties. With more than 2,600 new renters entering the rental market every day, that’s a lot of potential business and a lot of potential work. If you’re just starting out as a property manager, it may seem daunting. Luckily, there are free property management tools available to help ease you into the property management world. If you only manage a handful of units, these tools are a great way to stay organized without a lot of investment. Most free property management tools are only free if you manage one to 10 units, but some are available for businesses of any size.
Recently, we wrote about free commercial commercial property management tools. While there is some overlap with free residential property management tools, there are several products specifically tailored for residential property management. Are you a property manager for a vacation rental or bed and breakfast? Don't fret; free vacation rental software exists that will help you manage your vacation rental's listings, bookings, and hopefully repeat customers. Our criteria for “free” software has also changed slightly since that blog was published.
Best free property management software
The list we’ve outlined here includes any property management solution with an available free offering. It should be noted that this does not include products that are only free on a temporary basis, such as limited trial versions for new users. They may only support one user or one project, but they’re truly free offerings. Scaling, however, will often require full investments.
These products only represent a small portion of the 200-plus property management software offerings listed on our platform. Whenever possible, the products are ranked by user satisfaction score. All data comes via validated user reviews on G2 Crowd as of July 12, 2018.
Image courtesy of Cozy
Cozy is a free property management tool that allows landlords to collect rent online, manage renter applications and screen potential tenants. Users can also track maintenance requests, communicate with tenants and market listings.
- All features are free for landlords
- $19.99 for a rent estimate and property analysis
- 2.75% fee for debit or credit card rental payments (for tenants)
- $24.99 per credit report or background check (paid by applicant)
- $39.99 per full tenant screening report (paid by applicant)
- Collect rent online
- Online rental applications and screening tools
- Tenant credit reports and background checks
- Track maintenance requests
- Organize property expenses
- Document sharing
- Market listings on Realtor.com and Doorsteps
- Unlimited tenants and roommates
- Transaction histories
What users like:
“Cozy has really changed the game for landlords and agents alike. It's really is a one-stop shop. Posting the apartment with syndication to other sites for maximum views online. Once you get an interested applicant you can process their application online and it's connected to the unit. Once the application is accepted, you can then add rental payments and delineate what is rent and what is security.”
— Cozy review by Manhattan R.
What users dislike:
“It's not so easy for my elderly tenants, but after walking them through the first time, they are totally fine with it.”
— Cozy review by an agency in real estate
Recommendations to others considering the product:
“Make sure you are self-sufficient when it comes to figuring out a new API, because one thing Cozy does not have is helpful customer service. However, they are fairly quick with responding to email inquiries.”
— Cozy review by Andrew B.
2. Rentec Direct
Image courtesy of Rentec Direct
Rentec Basic is the free version of Rentec Direct for those managing 10 or fewer units. Users can file and store documents online, manage recurring transactions and track financials.
- Pro: $35/month
- PM: $40/month
- Track income and expenses
- Property and tenant accounting
- Tenant screening
- Online file management
- Manage recurring transactions
- Management reports
What users like:
“Rentec makes my job a breeze. The software contains pretty much everything I need to run my business. The accounting platform for managing my properties is nice and easy to learn. The built-in tenant screening makes it easy for me to screen potential tenants, and the built-in ACH gives me a hands-off approach to rent collection.”
— Rentec Direct review by Jason H.
What users dislike:
“The product does not display much financial reporting and does not tie into QuickBooks or Quicken.”
— Rentec Direct review by Madeline M.
3. TenantCloud Property Management
Image courtesy of TenantCloud
TenantCloud is a free property management tool that has features for landlords to collect online payments, create leases, manage keys and other property details, assign maintenance requests and schedule automatic reminders. Tenants can also set up a reusable renter profile, apply online and submit maintenance requests.
- Standard: $9/month or $90/year
- Advanced: $35/month or $350/year
- Online payments
- Automatic late fees
- Agreement template builder
- Online leases
- Property keys and specs
- Maintenance requests
- Equipment and service reminders
- Data import and export
- Insurance tracking
- Rental applications
- Marketing website
- Customizable dashboard
What users like:
“I went with TenantCloud and really like it. The design is great and navigation is seamless. So far I am quite happy. It is easy to use; yes the customer service is not immediate, but I always get answers for all my questions.”
— TenantCloud review by Nina G.
What users dislike:
“Lack of templates for forms and contracts.”
— TenantCloud review by Andy N.
SmartPropertyManager.com is a free tool for users with fewer than 10 units for rent. Available features include a home dashboard, tenant tracking, accounting, payment histories, document management and task management.
- Personal edition
- Professional edition: $13.14/month (converted from GBP)
- Premium edition: $65.99/month (converted from GBP)
- Enterprise edition: $330.21/month (converted from GBP)
- Home dashboard with active and overdue tenants, property portfolio, active tasks and more
- Track value of properties over time
- Store files and images
- UK tax worksheets
- Property accounts
- Task management
- Document management
Be the first to write a SmartPropertyManager.com review!
Image courtesy of Pendo
Pendo is a free property management tool for users with only one rental property. Users can send and manage digital applications, manage leads and applicants, share and sign leases online, screen tenants and create property websites.
- Indie: $29/month or $312/year
- Pro: $99/month or $1,068/year
- Send and manage digital applications
- Share and sign leases online
- Manage leads and applicants
- Tenant profiles
- Tenant screening
- Advertise rentals
- Capture leads and collect applications
- Deposit management
- Online rent payments
- Property dashboards
Be the first to write a Pendo review!
6. Online Rental Property Manager
Image courtesy of Online Rental Property Manager
Online Rental Property Manager (ORPM) is a free platform for landlords hoping to manage rental properties, units, applications, leases and tenants. ORPM is open source and customizable to fit the needs of any property management company. ORPM is also cloud-based and therefore accessible through web browsers and via mobile devices.
- All versions
- Manage applicants and tenants
- Add, search and manage applications and leases
- Manage landlords, properties and units
- Export data to CSV
- Import data from CSV
- Support multiple users and groups
Be the first to write an Online Rental Property Manager review!
Image courtesy of Innago
Innago is a free property management platform that is also cloud-based and can be accessed anywhere. Designed for landlords that manage small- to mid-sized properties, Innago provides tenant management tools, account management, custom leases, exportable financial data and recurring invoices.
- All versions
- Online e-check and credit card payments
- Tenant screening reports
- Online access anywhere
- Tenant management tools
- Dedicated account manager
- Custom lease agreements
- No limit lease signing
- Online lease storage
- Exportable financial data
- Multiple bank deposit destinations
- Custom invoice generation
- Recurring invoices
- Record offline payments
- Maintenance request portal
- Tenant communication
- Tenant payment reminders
Be the first to write an Innago review!
Next steps for selecting the best free property management software
While this is only a handful of products, our real estate software categories contain many more solutions to help you run your real estate business. From robust all-in-one platforms to individual, specialized tools, there are hundreds of products to choose from.
Being able to collect rent online can help streamline accounting, while online maintenance requests are convenient for both tenants and landlords. Even the ability to list properties, schedule showings, receive applications and run background checks using the same software platform can save hours of time.
Many real estate tools, including most property management software, will not be free, but some will offer free trials. If you’ve used any of the products featured and loved or hated them, feel free to leave a review to help other buyers like you find the perfect software.
For further readings on the real-estate industry, be sure to check out how to create a real estate website that converts.
* Please note: Reviews may have been edited for spelling and grammar.