With today’s technology, property management can be a breeze…as long as you choose the right tools. With tons of options on the market, how do you know you’re choosing the right property management app? Well, you need to know exactly what you’re getting into.
Here, I’ll break down the pros and cons of Buildium. We’ll look at an overview of the company, platform features, pricing, and even see how Buildium stacks up next to some popular competitors in key areas.
Here’s what’s in store:
- What is Buildium?
- Buildium Pricing
- Buildium’s Key Software Features
- Buildium Competitors
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts: Is Buildium The Right Platform for You?
Let’s get on with it!
What is Buildium?
Buildium is a full-featured, cloud-based property management software designed to simplify and streamline the tasks and operations associated with managing rental properties.
It’s tailored for:
- Property managers
- Real estate professionals
- Property management companies
- Self-managed condos
- Homeowners associations
Buildium offers a wide range of features and tools as well as customized business options like the option to your own lease agreements and rent collection processes. Furthermore, it offers an Open API (to integrate with other software, expand functionality, and meet specific needs).
Buildium software is used by a variety of property managers, including those managing residential properties, commercial properties, and mixed portfolios. The app aims to improve operational efficiency, transparency, and the overall experience of property owners, tenants, and homeowners.
Before we dive into the features, let’s learn about the company.
Buildium Company Overview
Buildium is a Boston-based, global business that was founded in 2004 by Dimitris Georgakopoulos and Michael Monteiro, who both worked at Sapient prior to launching Buildium. Both founders have a lot of irons in the fire, but have a capable background nonetheless.
Georgakopoulos is a senior executive at Zeno Capital, The Helidoni Foundation, and Outseta and an advisor for ePropertyCare in addition to his current role as President at Buildium – Monteiro, currently a Buildium board member, is an investor with ties to Mpactful Ventures, One Plant, and Wren.
In 2019, RealPage purchased Buildium –along with several other acquisitions– for $580 million. At that time, Buildium was said to have 2 million properties in over 50 countries under their management.
According to Crunchbase, the company is responsible for managing over 1 million properties in 46 countries, but I have a feeling that number hasn’t been updated in awhile…The Buildium customer support specialist I spoke with first said there are hundreds of thousands of properties managed on the platform and that they just hit over 25K customers.
Bottom line: Buildium is a legit company with a solid background.
+Boost Your Property Management Business with a Tenant Rent Reporting
Buildium does offer a feature that allows property managers to report rent payments to credit bureaus. While this is a valuable service for tenants, it can also significantly benefit your property management business.
Rent Reporting, powered by Buildium, is an elective fee-based service accessible through Buildium Resident Center. This service offers residents a straightforward way to register and make payments.
On a monthly basis, Rent Reporting automatically transmits the tenant’s rent payment data to the three major credit bureaus, namely Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. This process results in the establishment of a comprehensive credit history record for the residents.
By giving tenants the option to have rent payments reported to credit bureaus, you can incentivize on-time rent payments, reduce delinquencies, and attract responsible tenants – This is a win-win scenario where tenants can build their credit history, and you can maintain a steady stream of rental income while promoting financial responsibility among your residents.
It’s a feature that adds a layer of trust and reliability to your property management business while helping tenants improve their financial profiles (and it’s something that’s difficult to do on your own).
Buildium offers three distinct pricing plans to cater to various property management needs:
- Essential Plan (Starting at $55/month) – Core features for day-to-day property management.
- Growth Plan (Starting at $174/month) – Additional features, support, and performance insights for optimizing and expanding your business.
- Premium Plan (Starting at $375/month) – Access to an Open API for creating integrations with other software.
Buildium also offers a free 14-day trial with real-world sample data, allowing you to explore the software without providing credit card information.
Buildium’s Key Software Features
Let’s talk about what you get with a Buildium subscription. From listing and screening to accounting and more.
Easily manage your rental properties with Buildium’s intuitive listing feature. You can create and update listings effortlessly, showcasing your available properties to potential tenants. The user-friendly platform simplifies the process, which can help you attract and engage with prospective renters.
If you’re located in the U.S., this may be all you need to know about listings. But, for international users or those with properties offshore, you should know there are some restrictions…
Buildium has limitations for international listings that you need to consider (but this doesn’t mean it’s not going to work for offshore property management):
- Buildium is available exclusively in English, which may pose challenges for property managers and residents who primarily use other languages.
- The support and onboarding assistance provided by Buildium follow Eastern Standard Time (EST). This can be inconvenient for international customers, especially those in different time zones.
- The online payment feature (ePay) in Buildium is designed for customers with U.S. or Canadian business bank accounts – This limitation means that international customers may not be able to utilize this convenient payment method.
- Buildium does not support multiple currencies within the same account for bookkeeping purposes. This limitation can be challenging for property managers dealing with transactions in different currencies.
- Buildium does not offer listings syndication to international property management websites. This can make it harder for property managers to advertise their listings to a global audience.
- The tenant screening feature is not available to international customers. This can be a drawback for property managers who wish to conduct thorough tenant background checks.
These restrictions can be important factors for international businesses. So, be sure to take them into account when evaluating whether Buildium is the right fit for your specific needs.
Buildium simplifies the task of tracking property-related expenses and financial records. Its purpose-built property accounting software helps users manage their financials accurately and efficiently.
It streamlines the often complex process of financial record-keeping, ensuring that property managers have a clear understanding of their expenses.
Online Rent Collection
With Buildium’s online rent payment platform, collecting rent payments becomes quick and hassle-free. This feature allows property managers to receive rent payments online, automating the rent collection process.
This benefits both property managers and tenants by eliminating the need for manual transactions and enhancing the convenience of rent payments.
Maintenance Workflow Management
Buildium optimizes the process of managing maintenance requests and work orders. Tenants can submit maintenance requests electronically through the Maintenance Contact Center, which are then assigned, tracked, and communicated seamlessly through the software.
This centralized system can significantly improve operational efficiency and ensures timely issue resolution.
Now, this does come at an added cost.
The Maintenance Contact Center offers flexible pricing plans starting at a minimum of $140 per month to cater to various needs.
The “All Maintenance Calls” plan is priced at $1.10 per unit per month and provides around-the-clock coverage, including holidays. This plan handles all inbound service calls, gathers relevant information, and assesses whether the issue is an emergency or not.
On the other hand, the “Missed Maintenance Calls” plan costs $.70 per unit per month, with the same 24/7 coverage. During office hours, it answers any missed inbound service calls, and after office hours, it manages all inbound calls, also collecting necessary information.
Additionally, there is a one-time setup fee of $300.
Stress-Free Tax Season
For property managers, tax season can be a daunting task. However, Buildium simplifies this process by providing 1099 e-filing capabilities. This feature makes it easy to create 1099s, reducing the complexity and stress of tax preparation.
Property managers can maintain their financial records in an organized manner, ensuring compliance with tax regulations.
Maximized Rental Exposure
Buildium enables users to advertise rental listings with ease. Through its rental listing syndication feature, property managers can effortlessly increase their property’s visibility.
By syndicating listings to various rental platforms, property managers can attract a broader audience, potentially leading to quicker vacancy fillings.
Buildium’s tenant screening feature offers comprehensive tenant background checks that include:
- Credit reports
- Eviction history
- Criminal convictions
- Identity verification
Property managers can make informed tenant selection decisions, reducing the potential for tenant-related issues.
Professional Business Websites
Buildium provides users with a free property management website hosted on their platform. This feature enhances the online presence of property managers and their professionalism.
Property managers can showcase their properties and services to attract both tenants and clients, ultimately setting them apart in the competitive real estate market.
Plus, a professional online presence is a crucial component to get your company “business credit-ready” when you want to obtain substantial lines of credit. So, a website can kill a bunch of birds with one stone.
Streamlined Online Leases
Property managers can digitize and streamline the entire leasing process with Buildium. From lease agreement templates to applications, signatures, and tenant onboarding to doc storage, this feature enhances efficiency and convenience.
Both property managers and tenants benefit from a modern and accessible leasing experience.
While Buildium offers an Open API, which allows users to integrate the software with other solutions, improving operational efficiency. This is a feature that’s been added some time in the past four years, and appears to have been a popular request.
An integration with Buildium into your other software can enhance data sharing and streamline workflows, making day-to-day property management processes more efficient.
The Resident Center in Buildium focuses on enhancing resident engagement and improving communication. By providing tools that empower residents to connect and access information, Buildium helps property managers deliver a better resident experience.
You can accomplish quite a few tasks:
- Collect payments
- Track maintenance requests
- Deliver text and email updates
- Share and store maintenance documents
High resident satisfaction can lead to tenant retention and a positive reputation for property management, and thats what Resident Center is designed to help with.
Plus, remember, Buildium can help you report your tenants’ on-time payments to the credit bureaus – renters love this.
When I speak to the quality of a company’s customer service, I like to reach out on my own (rather than rely on Trustpilot reviews). I can say that Buildium’s customer support chat did not disappoint – I asked a question (during weekday business hours) and was connected to an agent within less than a minute. The agent was courteous, quick, comprehensive, and to the point with his answers.
While chatting with the agent, I was invited to be connected to a product specialist and given personal contact information for any future outreach. In my limited experience, this tells me that their support processes are attentive.
With that said, Trustpilot’s users have had a mixed bag of experiences.
Some users have praised the support staff who know their stuff and are ready to help. They’ve had their issues resolved satisfactorily and love how it streamlines their property management tasks.
However, not everyone’s on the same page – Some folks have had a tough time setting up the platform to fit their specific needs and have expressed frustration over delays and the lack of implementation support. Slow responses and e-payment quirks also got their share of complaints.
Your experience might depend on which seat you’re in…just keep in mind dissatisfied users typically tend to be more likely to leave a review than satisfied users.
Appfolio tends to come up most often as a Buildium competitor. But, there are also tons of options, the most popular being YardiSystems, RentRedi, and TurboTenant. So, let’s peek at a quick comparison of these solutions.
|Reporting and Analytics||✅||✅||✅||Limited||Limited|
|Rent Reporting to Credit Bureaus||✅||⛔||Limited||⛔||⛔|
|Price Range||$52-$479 monthly||Undisclosed||Undisclosed||$19 and up monthly||$0 to $35 monthly |
Be sure to do your due diligence and make sure this info is up to date.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Buildium good for accounting?
Yes, Buildium is equipped with property accounting tools, making it suitable for property management accounting needs.
Does Buildium export to QuickBooks?
Yes, Buildium offers the ability to export your financial data to QuickBooks for seamless accounting integration with the Open API. Though, this requires technical knowledge.
Does Buildium have an audit trail?
Yes, Buildium provides an audit trail feature to track changes and maintain transparency in your property management operations.
What is the difference between Buildium and AppFolio?
Buildium and AppFolio are both property management software solutions, but differences lie in features, pricing, and customization — The right choice depends on your specific business needs.
Final Thoughts: Is Buildium The Right Platform for You?
Buildium is a comprehensive property management solution tailored for property managers and real estate professionals. Its array of features includes easy rental property management and listings, efficient tenant screening, customizable lease agreements, and simplified rent collection through online payments.
Property accounting, maintenance request management, and communication tools are seamlessly integrated into the platform. Moreover, Buildium provides access to reporting and analytics tools for tracking essential metrics.
While it offers various pricing plans to cater to different needs, the cost may vary depending on your specific requirements. As with any software, there might be a learning curve when initially getting started with Buildium, customer service could be hit or miss, and there are definite limitations for international listings.
In all, I think Buildium is awesome…for those whose needs the platform meets. I would recommend signing up for the free trial to poke around and see if it’s going to work for you. I use it myself, and think it’s an easy-to-use and well priced property management software for landlords.
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