Let’s say you’ve decided it’s time to purchase property management software. You’ve looked at features, read through some reviews, and are down to a few options.
One factor you still might be wary about is pricing. Property management software companies use a variety of different pricing models, making it challenging to determine which one is actually the best value for your needs.
Some software companies even use multiple pricing models within their platforms. Because price is probably one of your determining factors, you must understand each pricing structure before making a final decision.
To help you get started thinking about pricing, here are the primary pricing models used by property management software companies.
Onboarding & Setup
Setting up your account on some rental property management software platforms is more detailed or involved than on others. The more complex platforms will typically offer paid onboarding and setup. What this means is that landlords pay a one-time fee to not only gain access to the platform, but also to receive additional customer support and help to get up and running.
This pricing model is ideal for landlords who aren’t accustomed to software or are less comfortable with technology. Having professional help during the onboarding process can be a huge help for many landlords.
If you need or value having your own account representative during onboarding, expect to pay this fee. A few platforms that offer this service include Buildium, Appfolio, and TenantCloud.
Monthly subscriptions are the most common pricing structure across all software companies. Property management software companies with monthly subscriptions require a monthly fee to access the platform.
If you’re interested in a software platform with a monthly subscription, be sure you look into whether the company offers multiple plans for different features. One company that uses this model is Buildium.
In unit-based pricing models, landlords are charged more for adding more units. You’ll either be charged on a unit-by-unit basis or when you reach a threshold, such as 25 or 50 units.
With unit-based pricing, the larger your business grows, the more you’ll have to pay for software. For this reason, if you’re looking for consistency in pricing, this model probably isn’t best for your business.
Companies that use this pricing model include Appfolio and Yardi Breeze.
Feature-based pricing is the most popular pricing model for property management software. With this structure, landlords only pay for the specific features they want to use. So, for example, if you’re primarily interested in property management software for the online rent collection feature but don’t need certain other features, you won’t have to pay for those.
Feature-based pricing is ideal for landlords who already know which features they want and which ones they don’t. However, this model also tends to be combined with multiple pricing structures. For instance, feature-based pricing might be combined with a monthly subscription.
Companies using this pricing structure include Yardi Breeze, Tenant Cloud, Avail, Buildium, and Appfolio.
Freemium price structures are also popular among property management software companies. This model can either be structured as a feature-light version, where basic functionality is free but additional features are charged, or a free trial version, where you get full access to the software for a limited number of days.
Freemium pricing models are ideal for landlords who want to try a platform before committing to the full payment.
Some examples of companies that use the freemium model include Tenant Cloud and Avail.
Finally, a few property management software companies provide their products to landlords entirely free. These companies profit off of small fees charged to tenants, not landlords. For instance, they may generate revenue via processing fees on credit card transactions or small fees for purchasing renter’s insurance on the platform.
Innago is one example of a free property management software company.
Find Affordable Property Management Software
Depending on your individual preferences, different pricing models might suit your rental business better. No matter which kind of pricing you land on, if you’ve done your research before making the purchase, you are certain to find success with your new software.