5th July 2007

Buildium Property Management Software Review

posted in Property Management |

Buildium Property Management SolutionsRecently, I was introduced to Buildium while searching for a method to accept electronic rent payments from my tenants. I signed up for the 15-day free trial and here is my experience:

Buildium’s product is a pretty slick web-based application which can be used to manage properties of any size. There are basically three editions; The Landlord Edition for smaller operations where a landlord/manager can manage a few single-family rental houses or apartment units, The Property Manager Edition which is designed to manage multiple apartment complexes, and The Association Edition which is set up to facilitate management of condominium associations.

The edition I previewed was The Landlord Edition. This package incorporates the following features:

  • A simple accounting function to track rents, fees and management expenses
  • The ability to keep track of leases and tenant information
  • The ability to manage maintenance tasks for your properties
  • Web-based components to receive rental applications, market properties for rent, accept payments and allow tenants to check their account on-line.

This application is well designed and functionally flawless. It would no-doubt be very valuable to a property owner with multiple buildings to manage. For instance, sometimes there is a property manager on site at each building of which there are multiple spread across town.

In this situation, Buildium Property Manager Edition would be perfect. Since the application is web based, there is no need to setup and maintain the infrastructure necessary to maintain multiple links into a central location where the data are stored. Instead, all that is necessary at each location is a low-grade PC with internet connectivity and Buildium’s application does the rest.

Can you tell that I’m a recovering network engineer?

For my personal situation though, I store this information using a combination of Excel spreadsheets and a full-blown accounting system (not Quickbooks), and while I do maintain somewhat of a modest information infrastructure, I feel that it is necessary due to the fact that I live in central Florida on the east coast.

The point being that a few years ago we had no less than three major hurricanes grace us with their presence. Two of those were direct hits on our area. Both times we lost power for at least ten days and went without internet connectivity for at least two weeks. While we could power our information infrastructure locally with generators, we depended on the local cable company for internet access. For us to not have access to our accounting and tenant information for that length of time in a crisis situation such as this would have been debilitating to say the least.

Also, as far as accepting electronic payments goes, which was the main goal, I’m almost sure that to use this functionality, you have to use the Buildium product. In other words, you couldn’t integrate the functionality directly into your own web site with a product like PayPal.

So, all in all, Buildium has a great, well integrated product but unfortunately it wouldn’t work for my needs.

There are currently 8 responses to “Buildium Property Management Software Review”

Why not let us know what you think by adding your own comment! Your opinion is as valid as anyone elses, so come on... let us know what you think.

  1. 1 On July 6th, 2007, Clifford said:

    You’re a fellow recovering Engineer? Nice!

    I am finding it hard to believe the service is only $20/month. Usually to accept payments, processors charge a percentage of the price (2 to 3%). Does this service only charge the $20 for that? Or does it charge the addition fee?

  2. 2 On July 6th, 2007, Bruce said:

    The current pricing for online payments is here: http://www.buildium.com/Home/Pricing.shtml#onlinepayments

    There’s an application fee and a per transaction fee which is a flat amount which is nice.

  3. 3 On January 29th, 2008, Rent New Tampa said:

    Buildium has been evolving quite a bit over the past year. I have been using it to manage all of the properties for a new management company in Florida and it has been a great fit so far.

    While I do understand the concern with a “web based” system relating to hurricanes (I am in Florida too), unless you are keeping regular backups of all your excel spreadsheets and accounting software at a remote out of state location, a hurricane or fire could also cause you serious problems if you lose everything in your office, etc.

    I still use an accounting solution in conjunction with Buildium… but the web interface really helps in managing customers and tenants alike.

  4. 4 On April 11th, 2009, Tony Sena said:

    I just started using their software and can’t say I have any complaints. So far I am very happy with their software and services. I definitely would recommend it to anyone thinking about starting a property management business.

  5. 5 On June 24th, 2009, Robb said:

    I absolutely love this product. We currently manage 40+ units using Buildium and our business is growing. Many of our rental owners live out of state and the Rental Owner Portal is a terrific feature to allow us to transfer funds to them, allow them to run their own reports, and truly run our business “paperless”.

    The folks at Buildium are responsive and knowledgeable. They are also constantly working and implementing new features. The service is there, the functionality is great, and the price is right.

  6. 6 On December 8th, 2009, Brandon said:

    Buildium is great for managing the books for properties, but it’s terrible for managing books for your company. Buildium support would agree with this, but I wanted to put that out there as an FYI. I’ve learned a lot of the tricks involved in making it manage the books for our company as well, but it might be easier to use another product to manage the company books.

  7. 7 On May 28th, 2010, StLouisRealtor said:

    Thanks for all the reviews, I am thinking about signing up with Buildium myself, and was looking for a site that actually had real people talking about it. So far the only thing keeping me from signing up is the very high fees to get someone there on the phone. I think its $200.00 just to have them walk you through how the software works. I guess this makes sense so we dont call and take up hours of their time, but I just wasnt used to seeing it.

  8. 8 On October 4th, 2010, Evan said:

    I am managing 10 units and acquiring numerous more shortly. I have a very full time job. Looked at Propertyware, Appfolio, Rental Manager, and Buildium. Buildium, in my view, is the best hands down. Outstanding functionality, easy to use, outstanding value, and great customer service.

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