Chicago Property Management Blog

Apps and Software to Help DIY Landlords

Apps and Software to Help DIY Landlords

Let’s face it: being a landlord can be tough. While there are many positive aspects of property investing and management, there are some drawbacks, too. 

Being a landlord today is much more involved and complex than it used to be in previous decades, and it’s more important than ever that landlords gain every advantage out there to help manage everything relating to their rental properties.

Some of the most valuable “don’t-own-a-rental-without-it” tools for DIY landlords are mobile apps and software programs. The best programs can eliminate a slew of headaches for property owners and managers. The benefits of using apps or software programs often prove invaluable to landlords. Some of the biggest benefits include:

The following are some of the top apps and software programs to help DIY landlords free up countless hours of time, stay more organized, and have a better property ownership experience all around:


Buildium is a software program that was designed by property managers. It allows landlords the ability to control almost every facet of their investment properties remotely and is a popular program for residential and association property owners and managers.

The Buildium software offers automatic rent collection with a tenant portal, vacancy management, accounting, a healthy amount of online training materials, and online ticket support. It is very user friendly and seems to be the happy medium between being user friendly and robust enough to offer everything you need for a smaller real estate portfolio. However, it may not be the best program for owners of single properties, and due to their account minimum, the plans can be a bit on the expensive side. 


This option for property management software is absolutely free for landlords; however, nothing in life is really free, and in this case, it turns out that the tenants pay for it through fees. The TurboTenant software has a reputation for excellent customer support, and there is no cost to landlords, regardless of the number of properties or units that are managed.

TurboTenant is a straightforward program that has features like tenant screening, application management, dedicated listing pages, the ability to send bulk tenant messages from one inbox, and vacant property listing capability. 

It’s excellent for DIY landlords who are looking to facilitate tenant management, despite having a lack of advanced features.

Yardi Breeze

Launched back in 1984, this is one of the first cloud-based software solutions for DIY landlords. 

There are many features available with Yardi Breeze, including no requirements for minimum or maximum units, free training and customer support, and no set-up fees. Other features include automated marketing, templates, maintenance requests, renters’ insurance, workflow sheets, tenant communication options, and more.

However, there is no mobile app available, and it’s only ideal for small or midsize landlords. The software is easy to understand, though, and is suitable to streamline property owner processes.


The best app for DIY landlords is AppFolio, which is popular with landlords who have large rental portfolios. AppFolio offers helpful features to manage units remotely and has an astounding number of resources to help landlords grow their businesses and maximize efficiency. 

One of the best and most popular features is the ability to pay only for the features landlords use and need. This app for landlords supports all types of rentals, and it also offers an extremely useful mobile version. There is a reasonable minimum monthly fee required, and features are available à la carte, so you only pay for what you require.

AppFolio is an exceptional app for landlords who have multiple properties because it has a monthly fee based on the number of units instead of tiered pricing. It supports multiple property types, including everything from student housing and community associations to commercial buildings and residential properties. 

Some of the best features of this program include accounting software, maintenance request features, utility billing, customizable online leases, marketing tools, rent collection features, tenant screening, online payments, tenant debt collection, automated accounts payable, and more.

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