Choosing the Right Property Management Software: AppFolio vs. Buildium

Appfolio vs Buildium product review

AppFolio Overview

The AppFolio vs Buildium debate is relatively common among individuals that need property management solutions.

Both of these are popular platforms used by thousands of property owners and administrators to manage both commercial and residential properties. That said, each one has its own set of key features, so it’s essential to understand the different software options in order to choose the best one.

We’ll start by analyzing AppFolio, a property management software option that helps landlords manage multiple units.

Overview of AppFolio's Features

In this section, we will analyze AppFolio’s marketing capabilities as well as all the other features that make it a leading platform.

AppFolio is a cloud-based property management solution. It’s designed for landlords who have a large portfolio size, so it can only be implemented by managers in-charge of 50 or more units.

Founded back in 2006, AppFolio established is a well known software among property managers.

The main functionalities of AppFolio include property management features, analytics for real estate investors, and similar features that give decision-makers more clarity. Not only this, but AppFolio’s AI leasing assistant can handle basic, yet necessary tasks, like scheduling showings and even basic tenant screening before showing vacant units.

Pros and Cons of using AppFolio

AppFolio is an all-in-one solution. It means that it allows you to manage finances, set up automatic late fees, create a marketing website, and other features that help grow your portfolio size. However, AppFolio does not offer a built-in bank, you can connect your existing bank account.

Now, it’s important to note that, even on the premium plan, there are pros and cons to using AppFolio.

Pros

Through AppFolio, you can delegate parks of the tenant screening process, including credit, eviction, and criminal checks.

Additionally, some of the features that every real estate investor and property management expert will find valuable include:

  • A fully customizable interface and set of features
  • It’s cloud-based and requires no installation
  • The ability to create a website for marketing
  • An online tenant portal that can be personalized
  • Accounting and financial reporting abilities
  • Simplified listing syndication
  • A tool that analyzes rental prices
  • An online owner portal and mobile application
  • Around the clock support
  • An clear and user-friendly interface
  • Several customer support channels including chat, phone, and email

Cons

Property owners that use AppFolio have a ton of extra features available. Some of these additional property management capabilities have additional costs, so it’s important to pay close attention if you’re using this platform for maintenance management.

Moreover, some things you should look out for include:

  • It’s expensive
  • Not best fit for landlords with less than 50 units
  • Limited basic integrations
  • There is a significant learning curve for new users due to all the features
  • It’s challenging to reach a human due to all the self-serve care options
  • The link to advertise vacant units has caused issues for some users
  • Transition from old software isn’t always smooth
  • Two pricing ranges, which limits flexibility
  • Variable onboarding fee
  • Poor reporting features
  • Low focus on security, which may compromise user data

Pricing and Plans Available for AppFolio

How much does AppFolio cost? As we just mentioned, the platform has two distinct pricing plans for commercial and residential owners. The two plans available are known as the core plan and the plus plan.

Managing multiple properties is not enough to sign up for the app. AppFolio actually requires a minimum number of units in order to get started with the core plan and the minimum monthly cost is $280.

The plus plan is designed for managers with 1000+ properties and the minimum charge per month for this plan is $1500, though this varies depending on the features you have.

Buildium Overview

What many don’t realize when comparing these two is that Buildium is actually older than AppFolio. Buildium was released to the market in 2004 as a way of simplifying the job of property managers.

Overview of Buildium's Features

When comparing Buildium vs AppFolio, it’s easy to see why they are such close competitors.

Both share some of the same features, including potentially free property inspections, online payments, tenant screening, online portals, assistance while screening tenants, and many more.

Pros and Cons of using Buildium

Let’s take a closer look at some of the advantages of using Buildium.

Pros

We’ll discuss the Buildium price scheme in the next section, but it’s worth noting that this platform offers a more conventional pricing scheme suitable for a single property or thousands of units.

Not only this, but the pros of Buildium include:

  • A comprehensive list of features
  • A user-friendly, intuitive interface
  • Customizable appearance and capacities
  • Powerful basic integrations
  • Mobile application for landlords
  • Extensive customer support resources, including a knowledge base
  • Low-cost or free property inspections, depending on the plan
  • Bank account setup available
  • Basic and advanced tenant screening
  • Various customer support channels
  • Standard reporting
  • Features for property accounting, company financials, and 1099 filing

Cons

  • Premium plan and growth plan prices are relatively expensive
  • A huge list of features that can get confusing
  • Lack of robust data security
  • Limited reporting features
  • Maintenance tracking abilities are relatively basic
  • No 24-hour support line
  • Doesn’t have intelligent leasing task automation

Pricing and Plans Available for Buildium

Buildium property management software has three distinct pricing options.

These are the essential plan, the growth plan, and the premium plan. At the time of writing, they were $52, $166, and $479 monthly, respectively.

There is no minimum number of units required to use Buildium, pricing selection not withstanding. That said, property owners with a few units can opt for the most affordable option and upgrade their plans when necessary.

Baselane vs AppFolio and Buildium?

You need to research all alternatives when looking at property management software like AppFolio and Buildium, including Baselane.

If you’re a smaller landlord or investor with <50 units and are looking for a free modern digital software than checkout Baselane.

Baselane is more focused on helping you with the financial management of your rental properties and helping non-commercial landlords and real estate investors grow their rental business with powerful tools and insights.

Baselane is a free powerful financial platform that offers banking built for landlords, online rent collection, accounting, reporting, and several embedded financial products including insurance, loans, tenant screening, lease creation and renters insurance.

Moreover, some of the best features in Baselane include:

Banking

  • No account fees nor minimum balances
  • Multiple banking accounts per property and unlimited virtual accounts
  • High 4.25% APY interest on all deposits and up to 5% cashback
  • Auto-tag rent income transactions
  • Virtual Cards to control spending and auto-tag expenses


Rent Collection

  • Compatibility with all entity and property types
  • Free online rent collection
  • Edit Lease and auto-charge late fees
  • Generate custom invoices
  • Tracking rent payments (Amazon shipment tracking tyle)


Accounting and Reporting

  • Easily connect Baselane and external bank and financial accounts
  • Master transaction ledger
  • 1-Click Categorization
  • Receipt Upload
  • Reports include: Income and Expense reporting, Net Operating Income, Cash Flow, Schedule E and more


Other

  • Modern easy to use UI/UX
  • Competitive Loans (get a quote in 60 seconds)
  • Competitive and Fast Insurance (takes 3-4 minutes to buy a policy)

Conclusion

In addition to taking care of maintenance requests, monitoring online rent payments, and performing tenant screening, property managers have to ensure that property owners stay informed and happy with the performance of their units.

Having an army of assistants is not cost-effective, or even necessary. The best property management software comes packed with carefully designed features that help you complete important tasks, regardless of your portfolio size.

Looking for a powerful property management software solution to help you manage your units? Baselane is here to help.

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Baselane Banking is now offering 4.19% APY interest

Automated and free Rent Collection, without the stress

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Financial Technology, Real Estate Investing, and Property Management, Accounting and Tax, Finance
Saad started his career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) working for a top-tier accounting firm. He was responsible for helping audit alternative investment funds. He later worked at a hedge fund where he was responsible for preparing financial statements and implementing new technology. He also ran a successful private tax practice for five years.

After completing his MBA at Duke, Saad joined The Boston Consulting Group to do management consulting. At BCG his experience spanned several industries and growth projects across Pharma, Retail, and Technology companies. His passion for democratizing finances led him to Plaid, a fintech, where he worked with large Banks and Financial Institutions to make finances and money easier for all.
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Appfolio vs Buildium product review
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Choosing the Right Property Management Software: AppFolio vs. Buildium