Managing property requires you to juggle many tasks. You need to collect rent, keep tabs on late payers, manage property maintenance, advertise vacancies, and most importantly, find the right tenants. And if you own multiple properties, these tasks can quickly get overwhelming.
Although there’s no way to do away with these responsibilities, there’s surely a way to handle them more easily. Real estate property management software can help you automate most of the work, so you can easily manage any number of properties. And the best part is you don’t have to shell out extra bucks for buying software. You can try free property management tools and upgrade later, if required.
In this article, we’ve listed the four best free property management software tools. These tools (listed alphabetically) feature in Capterra’s Top 20 report and have a minimum user rating of 4 (out of 5) and at least 10 user reviews on Capterra. See the full selection methodology here.
- Free plan: Supports multiple properties and offers features such as vacancy advertising, applicant review, tenant screening, rent collection, and property insurance management. Customer support is free of cost.
- Paid plans: The tool doesn’t offer any paid plans.
Cozy is part of a cloud-based suite of property management tools offered by Apartments.com, a property management company. It helps you advertise your rental property, screen tenants via background checks and credit reports, receive rental payments directly in your bank account, and automatically bill late fees.
The software helps your tenants get property insurance, if they don’t already have one. They can share their existing policy details with you or purchase a new policy through Cozy. The tool also allows you to track property-related expenses online, group them under various tax categories, and attach receipt images.
- Free plan: Offers features such as online lease management, document storage, financial tracking and reporting, and tenant communication and messaging. Support options include email, phone, a dedicated rep, and a resources page and are free of cost.
- Paid plans: No paid plans. However, ACH payments have a $2 processing fee and credit or debit card payments have a 2.75% processing fee. Also, screening potential tenants for criminal, credit, and eviction history costs an extra $30-$35.
Innago is cloud-based rental property management software that offers features such as online rent collection, mobile lease signing, tenant screening and messaging, and work order management. It supports residential, commercial, and student housing properties.
The software lets you record both online and offline payments for your rental property. It also offers a free mortgage calculator that allows you to track the balance on your mortgage payments, check the monthly or yearly amortization amount, and view the interest amount.
- Free plan: Includes one free property listing, online rent collection, maintenance management, messaging, tenant screening, and 24/7 customer support.
- Paid plans: No paid plans. However, access to legal forms costs $25, rentability reports are priced at $19.95 per report, and debit card and credit card payments have a 2.9% processing fee.
Rentler Landlord is an online property management platform that helps automate the process of managing your properties. It offers features such as online rent payment, rental listings, maintenance request management, and legal forms.
The software helps maintain detailed records of the rent payments you receive, with a clear breakdown of any one-time fee or recurring charges. You can set up deposits, pet fees, late fees, or any other special fee related to your property. Tenants can pay you online via a bank deposit, debit card, or credit card, and the amount is received in your account within two days.
- Free plan: Supports up to 75 property units, 512MB of data storage, one admin account, and one rent agreement template.
- Paid plans: The starter plan costs $9 per month (billed monthly) and supports 150 rental units, 1GB of data storage, 30 rent agreement templates, and one admin account. Features include online payment options, e-signature, Google calendar sync, and lead generation.
TenantCloud is a cloud-based property management solution that offers features such as online rental applications, tenant screening, contact management, and vacancy marketing. It lets you submit a maintenance request, track insurance, and create a lease agreement online.
The software allows you to create your own listing website to market your properties for free. You can also post your property on TC Rentals, which is TenantCloud’s personal listing resource, or on other listing websites including Oodle, Zillow, Trulia, and HotPads.
How to choose the right free property management software for your business
These considerations can make selecting a property management software solution a little easier:
- Look for hidden charges. Many free property management tools, including the ones mentioned in this article, have some hidden charges or paid features. Before finalizing a product, be sure to check with the software provider if the tool includes any such charges or features.
- Check the number of free property listings. The number of free property listings a tool supports may vary. Some tools may have a free listings limit, after which you need to pay to add more properties. Check with software vendors about the number of free listings their tools support.
- Read product reviews. Read user reviews on third-party websites, such as Capterra, to learn more about the real performance of tools. Reviews help check if a tool’s performance matches your needs and expectations. Read this article to get some handy tips on making the most of user reviews.
- Look for references. References are users of a software tool you may know. They offer a great opportunity to get an in-depth view of the tool’s performance over time. The best part is you can ask them specific questions about the software and settle any doubts. Here are 25 such questions you can ask your references.
Common questions to ask when selecting a free property management tool
Here are a few questions you can ask the software provider to learn more about some key aspects of the tool:
- What kind of customization options does the software offer? If you have unique business needs that require some features to be modified, such as merging two features into one or expanding the scope of a feature, check the same with the software provider. Also, check if the customization is chargeable or can be done for free.
- Does the software support third-party integration? You may need to integrate the software with third-party tools such as accounting and marketing automation systems to extend its capabilities. Check with the provider if the software supports third-party integration with the tools of your choice.
- What kind of support options are available? See if the vendor offers the support options you’re most comfortable with. If you prefer phone support over raising online tickets, ensure the vendor offers it. Also, check if the support options involve any additional charges.
How we rate
This article was updated on Feb. 16, 2021. Products considered for this article had to:
- Be included in Capterra’s Top 20 Real Estate Property Management Software report, published in Aug. 2020.
- Offer a free, stand-alone version of the software (not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product after a limited amount of time).
- Meet our property management software market definition: Property management software helps landlords and real estate professionals track leases, residents and maintenance tasks, as well as collect rent and manage finances to reduce costs and streamline operations.
Software that met the market definition also needed a minimum of 10 user-submitted reviews and an above-average overall user rating compared to other products in the category.
- “Best” free tools had a minimum overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars from reviewers on Capterra at the time of publication.
*Number of reviews and user ratings are as of Feb. 16, 2021.