For any landlord to succeed, whether managing one property or a group of rental properties, collecting rent online must be an efficient process. Collecting rent is vital if you want to pay your bills on time and have a healthy cash flow. Online rent collection is one of the best options to enhance your property management system.
Traditional methods, such as paper checks, are becoming out of date. The demise of checks and cash is is good news for landlords because rent checks usually mean that landlords have to chase up monthly rent payments and issue late fees. And, it's not just the millennials that now prefer paying their bills online—more of the older generation are switching to online financial transactions.
In this article, we will take a closer look at Buildium and why property managers use it to collect rent. Then we will discuss some alternative options that might better suit your needs.
What is Buildium Property Management Software?
What is Buildium? This is a property management app that allows users to pay their monthly rent online. Tenants can pay with a bank account or credit card and set up reoccurring payments. This type of rent collection system means that renters should always pay on time.
Buildium allows landlords to receive rent on time and without having to send out reminders. With PayNearMe, tenants can also pay in cash in stores associated with PayNearMe. This doesn’t require a bank account or a credit card.
For landlords, Buildium also includes property management accounting software. The feature allows landlords to track every payment—rent, security deposits, and other community expenses. The built-in calculator lets you see your exact situation in real-time, and then, you can generate a range of reports, for example:
- Balance sheets
- Cash flow statements
- General ledger
- Rental Owner Statements
- Budgets vs. Actual
Buildium is a simple way to create financial statements, enabling you to see how your business is growing.
How much does Buildium cost?
Buildium has paid plans and costs between $50 and $460 a month to use. There are three packages available, each with a free marketing website, standard report generation, and a free trial.
The Essential pack starts at $50 per month. As well as the above mentioned, you can take advantage of basic tenant screening.
The Growth pack starts at $160 per month. It includes all of the above plus performance analytics and insights, unlimited eLeases, premium screening, and live phone customer support.
The Premium pack starts at $460 per month. In addition to what comes in the Growth pack, you can benefit from a dedicated grow consultant. The Buildium Premium Pack helps you find new client leads and provides business analytics and insights, open API, priority support, and annual discounts.
Who is Buildium for?
The pricing range shows that Buildium is excellent for large property management companies with singular or multiple rental units. In particular, the property management software system is ideal for Residential housing, community housing, student housing, and affordable housing.
Alternatives to Buildium to Collect Rent Online
If Buildium isn’t for you, you could also choose a management system from one of the following software programs. Many rent collection apps are free to use, significantly cutting down on your overheads.
RentDrop property management software provides a positive customer experience for landlords and tenants. It is free for landlords and tenants to use—forever. Tenants can pay by credit card, debit card, ACH, and direct payments into a bank account.
You can use RentDrop to arrange for tenants to pay rent online, security deposits, and late fees. The RentDrop app also features a dashboard, allowing you to see an overview of your situation, and you can set up email notifications. Tenants can set up automated payments, and there are lease management tools for landlords.
Related reading: Why you should never spend money on a rent collection app.
PropertyWare has a good range of payment options, including online payments and tenant and landlord portals. 24/7 communication is possible through the leasing and maintenance contact centers as well as a text message service. It is also beneficial to integrate your property inspections into the software.
As well as reporting on your rental payments, you can also manage utility payments. Another crucial feature is that the app includes renter’s insurance. There are three payment plans:
- Basic starts at $1 per unit with a minimum monthly charge of $250
- Plus costs $1.50 per unit, and has a minimum monthly cost of $350
- Premium is $2 per rental unit with a minimum fee of $450 per month
Appfolio allows landlords to keep in touch with tenants and vendors. The property management app is suitable for residential and commercial property management. Appfolio’s software is free from third-party integrations and uses the most advanced technology for the perfect user experience.
Online rent payments are just one of the serves in the app. You can also make the most of email marketing, post vacant units, and collect guest cards to improve the customer experience. You can sync your bank accounts to streamline payments and access flexible real-time reports. AppFolio costs $0.80 per unit per month, up to $1.25 per unit per month. But there’s a monthly fee of $250.
Related reading: Is AppFolio worth the money?
RentTrack is an excellent solution to collect rent online. Because the app also reports to all three credit bureaus, tenants can also improve their credit score. Landlords receive rent payment in their bank account in one business day.
RentTrack ensures excellent security for the client's sensitive data as well as property management tools. The software is PCI compliant, and the latest cryptographic algorithms protect data transmission and data storage. RentTrack has monthly costs, and the credit reporting feature is $9.95 per month.
5. Rentec Direct
Tenants can pay via ACH or credit card, and there are now 20,000 locations that accept cash payments. Property managers can then set up automatic rent payments for tenants. Accepting electronic signatures is a great feature. There is also a file library that allows you to store and share documents, keeping communications in one place. The app also features built-in text and email services.
You can keep track of all your financial operations by syncing data and making use of the full general ledger accounting and robust reporting system with built-in 1009-MISC e-filing. To help build a successful rental business, a free website comes with the monthly paid plan to discover your listings. The app also automatically syndicates vacancies to the leading property listing services. Rentec provides excellent customer service with plenty of support getting set up.
Rentec Direct packages start at $90 or $100 per month, depending on the number of units you have. There is a 2-week free trial with both packages.
This property management software system has a versatile range of payment options, both online and through the mobile app. Tenants can pay with a credit or debit card, via eCheck, or in one of the 40,000 locations in cash. The app has a level 1 PCI compliant rating, so data is protected to the highest standards. This payment platform processes an impressive $15 billion a year in rent collection.
Tenants benefit from paying their rent online because it reports rent payments to the credit bureaus. This software program allows for email and text messages whereby tenants can select their preferred payment method and reply to pay. If they choose autopay, tenants can set up recurring rent payments.
ManageCasa is a streamlined property management app that landlords can use to communicate with tenants. You can use the app to collect rent online, share reports, lease agreements, and files. Simple communication tools allow you to keep on top of property maintenance.
ManageCasa property profile support is expansive, including residential, commercial, and student associations. Using the app, it’s also possible to manage also marine and self-storage units. The software had pre-configured bookkeeping accounts.
How much does ManageCasa cost? The pricing system is very straightforward. Landlords with 1-3 properties can use ManageCasa for free. Property managers with more than four rental units start at around $2 per unit per month, and the cost decreases the more units you have.
Why RentDrop is Our Recommended Alternative to Buildium
Although Buildium is a fully functional property management app, our top recommendation remains RendDrop. Of course, Buildium is a popular app and has a lot of features. However, it can be costly for landlords to use and can’t compare with RentDrop in terms of cost. You might not need all of the property management functions, which means you end up paying features you don’t need. Not only that, but even the Essential pack is more expensive than most of the other solutions.
Then there is the slight issue of the technology used. There is no point in having an online payment platform when some tenants have reported problems with paying rent. As soon as tenants start having issues with paying their rent online, it defeats the purpose. Many find this unacceptable, and far more so when spending over $400 a month.
The RentDrop rent collection app has many benefits. just the right number of services, not only for less money—but free. You can set up automated payments, accept multiple payment methods, and efficiently manage the different types of payment received. The dashboard is visually appealing so that you can see your real-time situation at a glance and get notifications of any updates and payments.
The technology is simple, secure, and above all, reliable. RentDrop has does a great job meeting the needs of tenants and landlords to ensure prompt rent collection online.