Buildium vs Appfolio 2024: Which property software is better?

Jeremy Biberdorf
By: Jeremy Biberdorf


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When it comes to property management, finding the right platform is critical. Buildium and Appfolio are leading choices, each offering an array of features designed to simplify rental property business operations. This article delves into an in-depth comparison of these platforms.

Buildium is Better for:Appfolio is Better for:
Residential property managers who handle a large volume of properties.Managers handling mixed portfolios of residential and commercial properties.
Managers in need of affordable options with a wide range of features.Property managers seeking advanced features like Appfolio’s AI leasing assistant.
Property managers looking for premium tenant screening and maintenance management services.Those who want customizable reports based on portfolio size.

Introducing the Platforms

Buildium: An Affordable and Comprehensive Option

As a robust platform, Buildium offers a wide array of services tailored to residential property managers. With features like online payments, maintenance request handling, and premium tenant screening, Buildium makes property management efficient and streamlined. If you’d like more info about Buildium –– check out our full review.

Appfolio: Advanced Property Management Features

On the other hand, Appfolio provides a suite of advanced features, from basic tenant screening to AI-powered leasing assistants. This platform is tailored for managers of mixed portfolios, including commercial and residential properties.

Buildium Appfolio
Type of Service Property management software Property management software
Best Use Residential property management Mixed portfolio management
Customer Support Phone, email and live chat Phone and email
Maintenance Management Included Additional cost
Custom Reports Basic reports included, premium reports at an extra cost. Included
Current Promotion

More Info

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Modest Money Overall Rating
4.2 rating based on 5 ratings
3.9 rating based on 5 ratings

Factor 1: Tenant and Lease Management

Buildium offers a comprehensive suite of tenant and lease management features

  • Appfolio provides online applications and an AI leasing assistant.
  • Buildium takes the lead due to its premium tenant screening and management of lease dates.

Buildium: Premium Tenant Screening and Lease Management

Buildium shines in its tenant and lease management features. Prospective tenants can fill out online applications, and managers can conduct premium tenant screening, including a thorough credit check. Buildium also simplifies lease management by tracking lease dates and facilitating electronic leases.

Appfolio: Online Applications and AI Leasing Assistant

Appfolio offers online tenant applications and an AI leasing assistant to streamline the leasing process. However, when compared to Buildium’s comprehensive tenant management features, it doesn’t quite meet the mark.

Factor 2: Online Payments and Rent Collection

Buildium offers online rent payments and keeps track of rental payments

  • Appfolio facilitates online payments and automates rent collection.
  • Buildium is better due to its efficient rent collection system and multiple payment options.

Buildium: Efficient Rent Collection

With Buildium, online rent payments are a breeze. It provides various payment options, not only catering to different tenant preferences but also keeping track of rental payments meticulously. This reduces the chances of missed or late payments and makes property management smoother and more efficient.

Appfolio: Online Payments and Automated Rent Collection

Appfolio enables online payments and automates rent collection, especially for vacant units. While this service is convenient, it lacks the diversity of payment options offered by Buildium. This can limit the versatility and convenience for both tenants and property managers in managing the financial aspects of rental properties.

Factor 3: Pricing Model

Buildium uses a per-unit-per-month pricing model

  • Appfolio also uses a per-unit-per-month pricing model but at an additional cost for some features.
  • Buildium offers an affordable Essential plan that comes with comprehensive features.

Buildium: Affordable Plans with Comprehensive Features

Buildium’s pricing model is based on a per-unit-per-month basis, which provides flexibility based on the volume of properties managed. They offer an Essential plan, which covers most key features needed by property managers, making it an affordable and comprehensive solution for many.

Appfolio: Additional Cost for Some Features

While Appfolio also uses a per-unit-per-month pricing model, some features come at an additional cost. This means that although the base cost may seem competitive, the total cost can add up for larger property management companies, making it a pricier option when you consider all the necessary features.

Factor 4: Customer Service

Buildium provides customer service via phone, email, and live chat

  • Appfolio offers customer support through phone and email.
  • Buildium comes out ahead with its live chat feature for instant help.

Buildium: Multichannel Customer Service

Buildium’s customer service shines with its multichannel approach. In addition to phone and email support, Buildium offers a live chat feature. This means users can get instant help when they need it most, adding another layer of convenience and reassurance to their property management experience.

Appfolio: Phone and Email Support

Appfolio provides customer support through phone and email, offering a traditional support structure. While this is reliable and will meet many users’ needs, it lacks the real-time, instant support feature like live chat, which is offered by Buildium and can be a key differentiator for many users.

The Verdict: Buildium is a Step Ahead

Both Buildium and Appfolio are excellent tools, offering a wealth of property management features. However, when it comes to overall usability, comprehensive features, and pricing, Buildium stands out as the better choice.

With its emphasis on tenant and lease management, efficient online rent collection system, and its affordable pricing model, Buildium offers property managers an efficient and cost-effective tool for managing their operations.

If you’re a property manager looking to streamline your operations with Buildium –– click here to start your 15-day free trial today.
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Jeremy Biberdorf

About the Author:

Jeremy Biberdorf is the founder of Modest Money. He’s a father of 2 beautiful girls, a dog owner, a long-time online entrepreneur and an investing enthusiast.