The Ultimate Landlord Toolkit

Welcome to Landlord Gurus Ultimate Toolkit! The products and services listed here have been personally selected by Eli and Chris, as essential tools for landlords wanting to make their property management processes run smoothly. We’ve searched, compared, and chosen what we believe to be the best tool available for virtually every task a landlord is presented with.

Scroll down to specific categories if you are looking for a specific need.


Property Management Software

These are our picks if what you want is one tool with features to make each step in managing rental property easier. They simplify each of your property management tasks, from property listings, tenant screening, rent collection, lease creation, to maintenance tracking, and more.

LANDLORD GURUS CHOICE

Avail is our top choice for full-featured property management software. If you’re looking for a one-stop solution to manage the whole rental management process, we think Avail is your pick.

  • Advertise your property, find and screen tenants, sign leases, collect rent, and e-sign custom local leases, with tools built specifically for DIY landlords.
  • Strength: Complete Solution

Why We Picked Avail:

Avail offers a full line of features for DIY landlords including advertising, rent collection, tenant screening, state-specific leases, maintenance management, accounting, and more.
Transparent pricing with both free and affordable premium subscription plans.
Avail is a category winner in several of our software comparisons, making it one of the best all-around products for landlords.

ADDITIONAL FAVORITES

While these tools weren’t our top pick for full-featured software, either of these selections would make a worthy addition to any landlord toolkit. Everyone has different needs, and we believe these are great solutions to explore.

RentRedi is an all-inclusive landlord-tenant app. Manage vacancies, screening, and rent collection from wherever you are, on any device.

STRENGTH: Complete Solution


Hemlane Logo

More than simply property management software, Hemlane is a platform that bridges the gap between DIY and full-service property management.

STRENGTH: Complete Solution



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Listing & Advertising

These are invaluable tools to help you advertise your vacancies. They syndicate your listing across multiple advertising platforms, making it quick and easy to attract the maximum number of potential renters when you’re filling an open unit. Avail is our top pick when it comes to advertising, however TenantCloud and RentRedi are great options to look at as well.

LANDLORD GURUS CHOICE

We’ve picked Avail as the best overall software for our ultimate landlord toolkit when it comes to adverting vacancies.

  • Advertise your property, find and screen tenants, sign leases, collect rent, and e-sign custom local leases, with tools built specifically for DIY landlords.
  • Strength: Complete Solution

Why We Picked Avail:

Vacancies are syndicated to a broad range of rental listing sites, reaching a huge percentage of people searching for housing online.
Advertising is free!
Avail is the only service to score on both of our Extra Credit categories: automated showing time scheduling, and a rental pricing research feature.

ADDITIONAL FAVORITES

These two products have particular strengths. TenantCloud is great for landlords with larger portfolios. Their pricing is simple and reasonable, and they include an owner portal that’s useful when a property manager is involved. RentRedi boasts an industry-leading mobile experience. More than any other company we’ve reviewed, we appreciate how intuitive and functional their mobile interface is.

End-to-end property management solution. Receive payments online, advertise properties and screen potential tenants. Robust accounting and maintenance features.

STRENGTH: Complete Solution


RentRedi is an all-inclusive landlord-tenant app. Manage vacancies, screening, and rent collection from wherever you are, on any device.

STRENGTH: Complete Solution



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Tenant Screening

Carefully and thoroughly screening potential tenants is critical when it comes to picking renters that will pay reliably, take care of your property, and be good neighbors. These are our favorite tools to make the screening process easy and quick. 

LANDLORD GURUS CHOICE

When it comes to background, criminal, and credit screening, RentPrep is our top pick.  

  • An industry leader in tenant screening, RentPrep offers a selection of reports starting at $21. Get started by setting up your free RentPrep Account.
  • Strength: Tenant Screening

Why We Picked RentPrep:

RentPrep’s Rental Background Check report is hand-compiled, which helps eliminate the errors that are common with many screening services.  Records on judgements, bankruptcies, evictions, criminal activity, and searches on several other categories are included. 
Landlords have the flexibility to pick and choose from options including the Rentals Background Check, adding on a Full Credit report via TransUnion, or choosing from specific reports in and a-la-carte fashion. 
Reports start at $21, and landlords get to choose whether to pay for them or have the applicant pay RentPrep directly. 


ADDITIONAL FAVORITES

ApplyConnect and Marble also offer great tenant screening tools. ApplyConnect ONLY does tenant screening, making them an easy pick if you want it done in the simplest, fastest way possible. All it takes to get reports is to send an invitation link to your applicants.

Marble earns their spot here because of their unique system of filling vacancies. Prospective tenants view vacant units on their own, using smart locks and an innovative security process. When an application is received landlords automatically receive screening reports.

ApplyConnect tenant screening services logo

Tenant screening solution perfect for independent landlords. Screen tenants, market your vacancies, and take applications for free.

STRENGTH: Tenant Screening


Marble presents a happy medium between DIY management and hiring a professional property manager. For a reasonable flat fee Marble fills vacancies, executes leases, coordinates maintenance, and facilitates electronic rent collection.

STRENGTH: Hybrid Full-Service Mgmt



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Lease Documents

Landlord-Tenant laws are changing rapidly around the United States, and the consequences for failing to follow them are getting more serious. Finding a source for lease documents that are thorough and up to date for your location is essential, in order to protect yourself and your investment from costly mistakes. 

LANDLORD GURUS CHOICE

Avail gets our vote as the best overall service if you want to make sure that your lease documents are up-to-date and compliant with local laws. In addition, they do this as part of a full-featured property management software package. This means you can send your applicants a link, receive their application and screening reports, and a complete e-signed lease, all without a bit of data entry! 

  • Advertise your property, find and screen tenants, sign leases, collect rent, and e-sign custom local leases, with tools built specifically for DIY landlords.
  • Strength: Complete Solution

Why We Picked Avail:

Avail is affordable! The only charge involved with using Avail for all property management functions is a $2.50 transaction fee for each ACH rent payment (credit card fees are higher), and you can choose to pass that on to tenants. Full access to state-specific leases is included. 
“Local Assist” helps landlords create leases that they know will be compliant with local laws. Plus, Avail’s lease documents are customizable. For a $5 monthly fee per unit landlords can add clauses, attach property rules, or edit lease documents. Plus, this is a flat fee, which also covers all rent payment costs. 
Avail is a full-featured property management software solution, so in addition to writing leases you can advertise, screen, collect rent, and more. 


ADDITIONAL FAVORITES

Ironically, we picked these next two because they’re essentially opposites. ezLandlordForms ONLY provides rental property management documents, while Hemlane lets property owners go “hands-off” on as many property management duties as they want to.

With a range of free rental applications and lease templates, landlords can easily create legally binding documents in minutes using EZ Landlord Forms.

STRENGTH: Leases & e-Signing


Hemlane Logo

More than simply property management software, Hemlane is a platform that bridges the gap between DIY and full-service property management.

STRENGTH: Complete Solution



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Rent Collection

Online rent payment software and apps allow landlords to get paid electronically each month, greatly reducing hassles and stress. Within a few business days, your online rent payments will be transferred directly to your bank account, taking less time than processing a paper check or visiting your local bank. Tenants can setup autopayments, which drastically reduce late rent, and when it does happen late fees can be charged automatically.

LANDLORD GURUS CHOICE

PayRent is our rent collection choice for the Landlord Gurus Ultimate Landlord Toolkit. If what you need is fast, secure, reliable online rent collection, we think PayRent deserves the first look.

  • With no subscription plan and a simple pricing structure, PayRent helps property owners and managers collect rent online safely, reliably and automatically.
  • Strength: Rent Collection

Why We Picked PayRent:

PayRent focuses solely on online rent payment for independent landlords like ourselves.
With multiple plans starting at $0/month and the ability to pass-through transaction fees to your tenants, landlords have access to a low-cost solution for collecting rent payments. 
PayRent offers RentDefense, which virtually eliminates late and lost rent. Along with other measures, RentDefense uses bank account verification and alternative means of payment to assure ontime rent.


ADDITIONAL FAVORITES

If you are looking for a more complete, fully featured or hybrid software approach for your rent collection tool, both Avail and Hemlane would make worthy additions to your toolkit.

avail property management software logo

Advertise your property, find and screen tenants, sign leases, collect rent, and e-sign custom local leases, with tools built specifically for DIY landlords.

STRENGTH: Complete Solution


Hemlane Logo

More than simply property management software, Hemlane is a platform that bridges the gap between DIY and full-service property management.

STRENGTH: Complete Solution



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Maintenance Management

Managing repairs and maintenance is one of the most unwieldy tasks any landlord faces. Many property management software products now offer a portal that brings tenant requests, progress tracking, and recording expenses together in one place. Some even allow landlords to loop-in their preferred vendors, or provide a service provider database, making coordination even easier. Here are our top software picks for managing rental property maintenance.

LANDLORD GURUS CHOICE

RentRedi is our favorite for rental property maintenance, as it offers great coordination and tracking features. Furthermore, users can choose an add-on feature offered through a partnership with Latchel, that takes the burden of rental property repairs off a landlord’s shoulders while still letting them set spending guidelines and stay in touch with what’s going on. 

  • RentRedi is an all-inclusive landlord-tenant app. Manage vacancies, screening, and rent collection from wherever you are, on any device.
  • Strength: Complete Solution

Why We Picked RentRedi:

RentRedi offers great tools for communicating with tenants about repair issues. Tenants can include photos and videos of a problem, and all correspondence is kept in one place. Additionally, landlords can bring vendors into the conversation to make scheduling and troubleshooting easy. 
For those landlords who decide that they want to be free of the stress and burden of managing repairs and maintenance, RentRedi partners with Latchel to offer full-service coordination and a database of trusted service providers. Repairs are even covered by a $100,000 insurance policy. 
We like that RentRedi meets each landlord where they are. If they want to maintain a hands-on approach, the software tools make rental management much easier than the traditional methods. If a landlord wants to step away from maintenance duties, RentRedi has an add-on solution for that. 


ADDITIONAL FAVORITES

Our next two picks make our list of favorites because they both have maintenance coordination features built in, but tackle the challenge in slightly different ways.  Hemlane offers three different levels of rental maintenance service, from DIY tools to full coordination using their own networks of service providers. Avail is at the top of our list for several categories, and does a great job with maintenance management as well, making it a great choice if you want one product that helps you streamline each of your property management processes.

Hemlane Logo

More than simply property management software, Hemlane is a platform that bridges the gap between DIY and full-service property management.

STRENGTH: Complete Solution


avail property management software logo

Advertise your property, find and screen tenants, sign leases, collect rent, and e-sign custom local leases, with tools built specifically for DIY landlords.

STRENGTH: Complete Solution



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Reporting & Accounting

A property management tool with good accounting features makes it easy to keep track of rental property income and expenses. This makes record keeping and tax preparation straightforward and gives you good information to make decisions about the financial performance of your investments.

LANDLORD GURUS CHOICE

Stessa is the best overall accounting software for our ultimate landlord toolkit. It is quick and easy to link your property information and accounts to see a current view of how your portfolio is performing in real-time, giving you the insights to make better decisions.

  • Asset management and accounting software for real estate investors, including smart money management, automated income and expense tracking, personalized reporting and more.
  • Strength: Accounting and Financial Tracking

Why We Picked Stessa:

Stessa is perfect for landlords and property owners who require easy to use reporting and accounting tools to help take their business to the next level. 
The software is built by landlords for landlords, giving you the reports and metrics that matter most. 
Stessa recently introduced Stessa Checking, making it even easier to integrate banking with your property management tools.


ADDITIONAL FAVORITES

While these were not our top choice for this reporting and accounting, the RentRedi and Rentec Direct still make worthy additions to your landlord toolkit. RentRedi’s accounting tools stack up pretty well against Stessa’s, and the built-in full featured property management software is an added bonus. And we think Rentec Direct offers the best tax preparation tools out of the bunch.

RentRedi is an all-inclusive landlord-tenant app. Manage vacancies, screening, and rent collection from wherever you are, on any device.

STRENGTH: Complete Solution


Rentec Direct

Designed to address the needs of DIY landlords as well as property management companies, Rentec Direct includes all the tools necessary to manage and rent your properties

STRENGTH: Complete Solution



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Landlord Banking

Having a business banking account is a necessity for any independent business, especially real estate. Linking banking and rental property management software simplifies landlord banking by streamlining rental management, accounting, rent payments, taxes, and more.

LANDLORD GURUS CHOICE

Baselane is our choice for a landlord bank account. Landlords can create a free bank account for rental property with no account fees or minimum balance requirements, and it seamlessly integrates with your bookkeeping, reporting, analytics, and rent collection tools. Baselane is also currently offering a $300 bonus for qualified new users.

  • Integrated set of property management tools to help real estate investors and landlords save time and money while increasing their rental property returns.
  • Strength: Landlord Banking

Why We Picked baselane:

Baselane offers interest yields that are 82.5 times the national average on all deposits, even on security deposits. Landlords can also receive up to 5% cash back on all spending with a Baselane Visa Debit Card.
You can setup a dedicated virtual account for security deposits to avoid commingling of funds. 
Baselane provides automated rent collection that ties into your Baselane bank account, allowing tenants to make payments via ACH or debit or credit card,


ADDITIONAL FAVORITES

Stessa and Azibo also would make great additions to your landlord toolkit. Stessa’s new checking account makes it even easier to integrate banking with your rental property accounting tools. Azibo offers a landlord-centric bank account with zero monthly fees that ties into its complete property management software tools.

stessa landlord accounting logo

Asset management and accounting software for real estate investors, including smart money management, automated income and expense tracking, personalized reporting and more.

STRENGTH: Accounting and Financial Tracking


azibo logo

Full-scale accounting functionality, and complementary suite of useful features make it a fantastic option for landlords and property managers looking to streamline their workloads, save time, and grow their business.

STRENGTH: Complete Solution



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PropTech Hybrid & Alternatives

“Hybrid”, “Virtual”, “Automated”, “Flat Fee”. These are three terms used to describe an emerging class of products, all of which could fall under the term “Proptech”. Essentially these products bridge the gap between self-management and hiring a traditional property management. As we all know by now, technology now makes the basic tasks of property management (advertising, screening, rent collection, etc) easier than ever. A hybrid property management approach leverages these features and finds innovative ways to tackle the really challenging parts of being a landlord, including filling vacancies and coordinating maintenance. Landlords get to choose the aspects of management they want to control, and outsource the rest. This helps busy landlords save time and find a management model that is far less costly than hiring a traditional property management company.

LANDLORD GURUS CHOICE

Hemlane is a cross between DIY and full-service management that automates day-to-day administration, from advertising vacant properties to collecting rent and late fees. Because it lets landlords to choose how much control of the day-to-day operations of their rentals they retain, Hemlane is our choice for the ultimate landlord toolkit.

  • Hemlane is a next-gen property management tool that helps property owners manage their rentals. More than simply property management software, Hemlane is a platform that bridges the gap between DIY and full service property management.
  • Strength: Hybrid Full-Service Mgmt

Why We Picked Hemlane:

Flexibility to choose how much control landlords can maintain over their properties.
Hemlane can connect you with local, in-person leasing agents and 24/7 repair coordination with local service professionals. 
Landlords can choose to self-manage their rentals using automated property management software features such as advertising, tenant screening, rent collection, lease management, and more. 


ADDITIONAL FAVORITES

Marble offers landlords a simple, secure, and cost-effective way to strike a happy medium between DIY management and hiring a professional property manager. For a reasonable fee Marble fills vacant units, executes leasing, coordinates maintenance, and facilitates electronic rent collection.

Marble presents a happy medium between DIY management and hiring a professional property manager. For a reasonable flat fee Marble fills vacancies, executes leases, coordinates maintenance, and facilitates electronic rent collection.

STRENGTH: Hybrid Full-Service Mgmt



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Specialty Tools

We’ve chosen the following products for you to pick from when assembling your own Ultimate Toolkit. Each of them provides a solution for one of the many different challenges independent landlords face.

LANDLORD GURUS CHOICE

Honeycomb and Obie have both identified the specific needs of landlords and real estate investors, so that you’re shopping on a platform that is specially designed to find you the right coverage. Filling out their applications online is quick and easy, and you’ll get multiple quotes to review instantly.

Rent Guarantee

Many landlords just can’t afford to have any interruption in rental income and still pay their bills. Each of these companies offers their own form of “Rent Guarantee” or “Rent Assurance”. Avail is a full-featured property management tool, which gives landlords the option to purchase insurance against late rent. Nomad signs long term leases with landlords, takes over management of the property, and guarantees cashflow. PayRent is an online rent payment platform, which also gives landlords the opportunity to opt for a rent guarantee.

Virtual Tours

Virtual touring helps renters see quickly whether they’re really interested in a place, saving everyone time. RentRedi is a full-featured property management software tool that lets landlords include a video tour on their vacancy listing. Marble uses smart locks and an innovative security process to enable renters to view properties on their own. Marble falls under our “Hybrid” category (see above), offering a unique end-to-end property management solution that takes virtually all burdens off a landlords’ shoulders, for a flat fee.

Furnished & Shared Housing

Offering furnished housing and strategically dividing living spaces are both strategies landlords use to maximize the revenue of their properties.

Rent Estimates

When advertising a vacancy setting the rent too high will mean it sits vacant longer than it should, while pricing too low means lost revenue over the long term. RentCast compiles local listing data so you can get the highest rent the market will bear. TurboTenant offers a Free Rent Estimate Report as part of their full-featured property management software platform.

Investment Analysis

Use an investment analysis tool to see how your property compares with other similar properties in your area and make sound decisions regarding potential investments. With DealCheck, you can quickly search for properties and import their description, list price, potential value, rental estimates, property taxes, photos, and more.

Maintenance Coordination

Managing routine maintenance and tenant repair requests is stressful and time consuming, especially if you have a full-time job or live far from your rentals. Each of these companies has a unique approach to taking the burden of maintenance coordination off a landlord’s shoulders.

Security & Smart Home

Here are a few products we’d suggest you look at when you’re assessing how new technology can enhance security and help you run your property efficiently. Swiftlane offers great solutions for larger apartment buildings.

Tenant Utility Billing

Tenants have come to expect that they will pay for their own utility costs, as opposed to having them included in rent. Here are a few products that make it easy to meter each tenant’s usage so that you can bill them.

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Find a Property Manager

Sometimes you just need to find the right property manager, so you just don’t have to worry about it anymore!

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Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and Landlord Gurus may earn a commission. Our mission remains to provide valuable resources and information that helps landlords manage their rental properties efficiently and profitably. We link to these companies and their products because of their quality, not because of the commission.

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