My Personal Experience with Buildium’s Property Management Software
There are many property management software on the market but I am only qualified to talk about the ones I have personally used.
I signed up for Buildium immediately after I got my first property to manage and it has been one of the best decisions I have made, not because of Buildium but because automating many of the tasks allowed me to grow my property management company very quickly.
My favorite feature of Buildium is the simplicity of use and intuitiveness of the software. You can tell that it was created by landlords and property managers.
The best way to test what Buildium has to offer is to sign for their 14-Day Free Trial (no credit card is required.)
I created a test account just to check if Free is really Free. It is and I recorded it if you want to watch the signup process and the entire walkthrough.
As with any software, there are some features I love and some I don’t.
Here are my favorite Buildium Features
I go over most in the video as well and show you how everything works.
When you sign for Buildium, you get a free public website. You can customize it to fit your brand by changing the logo, the colors, the URL, and by adding custom pages.
The website is mobile-friendly and it offers accessibility adjustment. For example, blind users can turn the screen reader and listen. Check out the free trial for the other options.
This website is not the prettiest but it is fast and it offers good user experience and it has everything that you could possibly need in a property management website.
Here are the most important features of the public website:
- Mobile responsive
- Web accessibility compliant
- Online application
- Login for tenants and property owners
Advertising and Leasing
Buildium makes it easy to advertise the property, screen tenants, create and renew leases. . What used to take me hours, now takes a couple of minutes.
I can list and advertise my rentals with one click. Buildium syndicates the listing to most major websites like Zillow Group and Apartment.com
Applicants can apply and pay the application fee online. Once the application is submitted, it can be processed instantly.
There is a customizable checklist for all the documentation needed and a place to upload documents like paystubs, IDs and bank statements.
The price for screening a tenant: credit, criminal and eviction is $15 and the screening is done by Transunion.
The process of moving in a tenant is automated too. After I approve an application, I can create and email a lease within minutes. Buildium takes the pertinent information from the application and the property and creates the lease for me.
Online signing the lease is also available but it’s an additional $5 per lease with the basic plan.
Buildium’s lease renewal is a huge time saver for me. From the rent roll, I can instantly see which leases are coming up for renewals and mail or email them offers with one click. Buildium creates the email or letter for me and I just have to click send.
Accounting and Payments
One of the things I’ve always loved about Buildium is how intuitive and easy it is to use, especially the accounting. You don’t need a specialized degree to use it.
With Buildium I can receive payments, pay my vendors, pay owners, all electronically.
If the tenants pay rent by EFT, I can see when they paid and what is the status of the transaction.
The payments are processed within 1 to 3 days.
In addition to EFT, tenants can pay by credit card or cash if they go to 7-11 and a couple of other locations. There is no excuse for missing rent.
Tenants prefer submitting their maintenance requests online. I’ve encouraged that from the beginning. The only reason they call is if there is an emergency.
Once I receive a maintenance request I can send the entire request to my vendor with one click.
The vendor calls and schedules the repair and I can update and change the status of the repair online. After the work order is closed, I can enter the bill and notify the owner.
From the communication center, you can send an announcement to all tenants or to all property owners. You can send text messages and emails to all or you can send messages to specific people.
And you can also send mailings, actual letters from your desktop.
Buildium has many templates that are already available for you, or you can create your own.
Sending a text, email or letter is as easy as clicking send.
What I Don’t Like About Buildium
I don’t like the Property Inspection add-on. I found it too expensive and not very user-friendly. It will be great if Buildium develops their own software for inspections or find another partner.
One thing that’s missing is the maintenance call center. It will be great to incorporate that.
Overall it’s hard for me to find many things I don’t like because I’ve used Buildium for so many years and I have been able to compare it with other property management software.
Prices and Plans
Buildium’s basic plan is called Essential and the cost is $50 per month. It includes everything I mentioned above but some optional features are extra.
- Incoming EFT Fees- Incoming payments by EFT cost $1.00 per transaction.
- Outgoing EFT Fees – Outgoing payments by EFT cost $0.50 per transaction.
- Credit Card Fees – 2.95% per transaction (this should be paid by the tenant)
- Bank Account Setup Fees – $99 to set up electronic payment
- eLease – $5 to sign a lease online
- Property Inspections – $99 Set up; $40-$95 monthly fee
- Tenant Screening – $15 per screening
In the Growth [$160 per month ] and the Premium [$414] plan, all of these extras are included in the price.
The Premium plan is the only one that offers an open API and clients leads.
Finally, there is no substitute for trying the software for yourself. Buildium offers a free trial, no credit card is required.
Related article: Buildium vs AppFolio: A Side-by-Side Comparison