Best Real Estate Accounting Software Options for 2023
This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
The best real estate accounting software is easy to use and has specialized features like tenant management, rental management, and maintenance tracking. However, a full-fledged bookkeeping solution with excellent accounting features, like invoicing, project accounting, class and location tracking, and project management, might also be enough.
We evaluated a range of real estate accounting software. Here are our top six:
- QuickBooks Online: Best overall accounting software for real estate companies and property managers
- Baselane: Best free rental-specific accounting software for independent landlords
- Wave: Best free accounting software for property managers
- Realtyzam: Best easy-to-use accounting software for real estate agents
- Buildium: Best for running day-to-day property management operations
- Zoho Books: Best for mobile accounting
Best Real Estate Accounting Software: Quick Comparison
Pricing (Cost per Month)
Track Profit and Loss (P&L) by Property or Sale
Send Invoices & Accept Tenant Payments
Track Maintenance Quests
$30 to $200
1 to 25
N/A; free to use
N/A; free to use
$52 to $479
$0 to $249
1 to 15 ($3 per additional)
QuickBooks Online: Best Overall Real Estate Accounting Software
- Outstanding general bookkeeping features
- Track income and expenses by class and location with the Plus or Advanced plans
- QuickBooks Payments integration for scheduling automatic monthly e-payments
- Great mobile app with mileage tracking and receipt capture
- Can’t initiate a call to a customer support agent
- No integrated property management features
- Expensive for self-employed and independent agents
- Lets you allocate invoices and expenses under a tenant/customer so that you can track profit and loss of each property easily
- Allows you to set up accounts and subaccounts for expense categories, such as land costs and renovations
- Enables you to create and send invoices to collect commissions
- Allows you to monitor trends in your portfolio
- Lets you track your business mileage automatically
QuickBooks Online is our top pick for best real estate accounting software because of its excellent general accounting features. For instance, it offers time-saving automation tools to streamline accounts payable (A/P) and accounts receivable (A/R) processes, including the ability to pay bills directly from QuickBooks and streamline tenant payment collection with recurring and batch invoicing.
Another feature we like about QuickBooks for real estate is the ability to track activity by class and location. This is particularly useful for companies managing many large buildings with multiple tenants within each.
QuickBooks Online is also customizable to other business types, such as law firms and construction companies. This makes it our overall best small business accounting software.
QuickBooks Online Overview
- Simple Start: $30 per month for one user
- Essentials: $55 per month for three users
- Plus: $85 per month for five users
- Advanced: $200 per month for 25 users
New subscribers have a choice between a 30-day free trial with no credit card or 50% off for three months.
To help you decide which plan suits you, check out our QuickBooks Online comparison.
Supported Business Types
Real estate owners and project managers managing multiple units in different locations
30-day free trial
50% discount for three months if you decide to purchase right away with a free trial
TrustRadius: 7.9 out of 10 based on around 1,500 reviews
G2: 4.0 out of 5 based on about 3.000 reviews
Software Advice: 4.33 out of 5 based on nearly 5,900 reviews
- Project managers who manage multiple units in different locations: QuickBooks Online allows you to set up classes for each of your real estate segments and then locations for each property so that you can track which among your properties are the most profitable.
- Landlords that need to simplify tenant payment collection: The recurring invoicing feature makes it easy for tenants to collect monthly payments from tenants.
Baselane: Best Free Rental-specific Accounting Software for Independent Landlords
- Completely free to use
- Offers a dedicated bank account
- Supports automatic rent payments
- Helps landlords track income and expenses to assist with filing taxes
- No mobile app
- No access for accountants
- Lacks tenant screening and applicant tracking systems
- Not a full bookkeeping system as it only tracks income and expenses
- Bookkeeping software gives you access to a transaction ledger
- Transactions are categorized automatically, so you’ll be able to track relevant home expenses for potential deductions
- Property metrics dashboard provides useful data including asset value and appreciation
- Tenant portal streamlines the process of paying rent and rent collection, allowing tenants to pay rent by connecting a bank or credit card account
- Free checking accounts available with tools specific to landlords
Baselane is an ideal solution for independent landlords seeking an easy way to track income and expenses from multiple rental units, and an added bonus is that it is free to use for both landlords and tenants. With both bookkeeping software and a free checking account that is tailored to landlords, it offers many useful features such as property metrics, reporting analytics, and a tenant portal that simplifies the rent payment process.
Another feature we like is the ability to auto-categorize transactions by property and Schedule E categories. While Baselane may lack a mobile app and tenant screening tools, it more than makes up for it by offering live bank feeds, auto categorization of transactions, and a checking account that allows you to earn up to 5% cash back on purchases. Its customer service is also accessible, with the ability to contact an agent by phone, email, or live chat.
Baselane’s service is completely free to use for both tenants and landlords. While automated clearing house (ACH) payments are also free, it charges a 2.99% convenience fee for rent payments made by debit or credit card.
Independent landlords seeking free rental-specific accounting software
None; Baselane is free to use
Phone, email, live chat
- Independent landlords seeking a free checking account: Baselane Banking offers a free checking account with landlord-specific tools, such as the ability to set up multiple accounts per property. There are no account fees or minimum balances, and you can earn up to 5% cash back on purchases. To learn more about the benefits of opening an account, read our Baselane Business Checking review.
- Independent landlords seeking cash flow management tools: Baselane helps businesses manage their cash flow by providing real-time insights into cash inflows and outflows. Baselane’s bookkeeping software includes property metrics and reporting analytics as well as rent collection tools.
- Novice real estate investors: We selected Baselane as one of our best banks for real estate investors because of its useful tools such as the ability to tag transactions easily by property and Schedule E categories, allowing you to stay organized and assisting with tax preparation.
Wave: Best Free Accounting Software for Property Managers
- Free forever for unlimited users, transactions, and customers
- Connect bank account to import transactions
- Set up automatic monthly e-payments
- Cannot track P&L by property
- No property management features
- Cannot track automobile mileage
- Lets you track income and expenses on your real estate properties in total but not by property
- Allows you to generate month-to-month or year-to-year comparisons to determine cash flow trends
- Enables you to create recurring invoices to simplify tenant payment collection
- Lets you accept rent payments online through Wave Payments (paid service)
There are several free real estate accounting software on the market, but we pick Wave as the best no-cost platform for management companies because it has decent accounting features and has no limitation on the number of users. If you only need to send invoices, accept payments from your tenants, and organize your income and expenses for tax filing, then it is a great choice. You can send unlimited, customizable invoices and pay minimal fees for processing payments.
- Free for accounting and invoicing
- Credit card and bank payment processing fees apply per transaction: 2.9% plus 60 cents per transaction (for most cards) and 3.4% plus 60 cents (for American Express)
Supported Business Types
Small-scale property managers that don’t need inventory accounting
Free Plan Limitation
No limitation; free forever
Email, chatbot, self-help library, and live chat for customers subscribed to one of Wave’s paid services
GetApp: 4.4 out of 5 stars based on around 1,400 reviews
TrustRadius: 7.1 out of 10 based on about 160 reviews
- Small-scale property managers: Wave is great for property managers with a small portfolio and who only need a tool to send invoices and track income and expenses.
- Individual agents who are often out of the office: Wave’s free mobile app lets you send invoices, collect payments, and capture expense receipts.
If you can’t afford QuickBooks, you might find Wave a low-cost alternative. Check out how Wave compares against QuickBooks.
Realtyzam: Best Easy-to-Use Accounting Software for Real Estate Agents
- Affordable for even part-time agents
- Easy to use
- Good mobile app
- Tracks automobile mileage
- Cannot speak or chat with customer service
- Lacks some accounting features like invoicing
- Doesn’t track assets and liabilities, so it can’t produce a balance sheet
- Cannot reconcile your bank account
- Lets you manage and track your sales activities and commission payments
- Allows you to record all the real estate transactions that you’re working on
- Enables you to run real-estate reports, such as average commissions, miscellaneous stats, and listing/buyer expenses
- Lets you store and manage client information with the optional customer relationship management (CRM) module
- Lets you log your mileage with its built-in mileage tracking feature
Even though Realtyzam scored poorly overall for real estate companies, it is terrific software for independent real estate agents to track their commissions and the related expenses. We found Realtyzam especially useful for real estate agents with no accounting experience and those wanting to track expenses and commissions by listing.
It has a simple interface that includes only the features you need to monitor your sales activity. From the Sales Activity page, you can easily record all your existing deals, whether they’re closed or not. You can record a new transaction for a seller or buyer and then update the status until the deal is closed.
Additionally, you can purchase the CRM add-on if you need to store documents, manage lead and client information, and record notes, like deeds of sale, contracts, and tax declarations. It can even help with marketing by allowing you to create reports on lead sources.
- $14 per month when billed monthly; $11.58 per month when billed annually
Try Realtyzam for free for 30 days—no credit card required upon sign-up.
After 30 days, it will still be free until you sell two properties or generate a $3,000 income and expenses
Supported Business Types
Individual agents or small teams that need to track sales activity and commissions
You can use Realtyzam for 30 days for free. However, it will still be free after 30 days until you close two deals or record $3,000 of income and expenses
Online support ticket and online resources like blogs and frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Individual real estate agents: Self-employed real estate agents can use Realtyzam to track costs separately for each property and monitor commission payments and expenses.
- Real estate agents with no accounting experience: Realtyzam has fewer features than most similar providers which makes it easy to navigate even by agents with no background in accounting. You can also connect your bank account to reduce data entry.
- Sales and marketing teams: The CRM module can help you better track lead information from different sources and identify high-quality leads.
Buildium: Best for Running Day-to-Day Property Management Operations
- Outstanding property management features
- Separate P&L by property
- Allocate common area expenses to properties automatically
- Leasing tools to streamline rental workflows
- Mobile app doesn’t include accounting functions
- Lacks common accounting features like mileage tracking and receipt capture
- Can be difficult to use for new users
- Lets you track real estate-related transactions
- Allows you to record payments from tenants and collect fees and deposits or issue refunds if needed
- Enables you to connect your bank account to set up recurring payments
- Lets you record available or upcoming units in just a few clicks
- Allows you to manage and track tenant maintenance requests
We recommend Buildium for property management because it helps landlords and real estate professionals simplify various workflows, such as rental listings, tenant screenings, and online payments. A popular feature is the maintenance management module, which allows landlords and managers to create work orders and attach documents and videos and then send them to vendors.
Once the orders are completed, you can pay your vendors directly from Buildium. Tenants can also submit maintenance work requests themselves from their smartphones using the mobile app.
On the accounting side, it enables you to collect rent, manage bills, and classify transactions transferred from your bank account. Additionally, it offers flexible options for paying rent. For instance, it integrates with PayNearMe to accept retail cash payments from renters, which are then transferred to landlord accounts.
- Essential: $52 per month for 150 units or fewer
- Growth: $166 per month for over 150 units
- Premium: $479 per month for up to 5,000 units
If you have more than 5,000 units, custom pricing applies. Try out Buildium’s features by signing up for its free 14-day trial with no credit card required. The trial includes preloaded test data to see how Buildium works.
Supported Business Types
Medium-sized to large-scale real estate owners and managers needing robust property management features
14-day free trial with no credit card required
Phone, help center, support ticket, and online resources like blogs
Capterra: 4.5 out of 5 based on around 1,950 reviews
Software Advice: 4.49 of 5 based on around 1,950 reviews
G2: 4.4 out of 5 based on around 170 reviews
- Property managers with more than 100 units: Buildium’s plans are designed for large-scale real estate property managers. For instance, the entry-level plan supports up to 150 units.
- Real estate agents that need help with their marketing campaigns: Buildium has a built-in lead generation tool called All Property Management that helps you search for leads based on different elements, such as lead volume, property type, and ZIP code.
Zoho Books: Best for Mobile Accounting
- Excellent mobile app (can track time, capture expense receipts, send invoices, etc.)
- Scalable; integrates with other Zoho apps
- Has a free plan for businesses that make $50,000 or less in annual revenue
- Clients can contact Zoho directly for support
- Has outstanding project management
- No real-estate specific features like tenant management
- Doesn’t integrate with real estate accounting apps
- Can’t set up multiple companies under a single account
- Enables you to create and send invoices and accept payments from tenants
- Lets you store and manage digital documents, like deed forms and sales contracts
- Allows you to record, categorize, and track expenses
- Lets you keep track of time spent on a project
- Helps manage leads and clients with CRM integration
Zoho Books has a fantastic mobile app that helps you stay on top of your bills, receipts, invoices, and tenant payments when you are on the go. For example, the app lets you take a photo of your receipt and record it in Zoho Books with the essential expense details. You can also send invoices and accept tenant payments directly from the app, as well as track mileage without quarterly tax estimates or year-end preparation.
The solution is also great for scalability, as it’s a member of the Zoho suite. Zoho offers additional apps and modules that benefit real estate professionals, including payroll, time tracking, fixed asset accounting, CRM, and project management.
Zoho Books Overview
- Free: $0 for businesses that make $50,000 or less in annual revenue; supports one user
- Standard: $12 per organization, per month; supports up to three users
- Professional: $24 per organization, per month; supports up to five users
- Premium: $36 per organization, per month; supports up to 10 users
- Elite: $129 per organization, per month; supports up to 10 users
- Ultimate: $249 per organization, per month; supports up to 15 users
Additional seats are available for $3 per additional user. You may also purchase add-ons, like:
- Advanced auto-scans: $10 for 50 scans per month in all plans
- Snail mails: $2 per credit in all plans
- Company branches (from Premium): $12 per branch, per month
Independent real estate professionals and teams needing excellent mobile accounting and scalability
14 days for all paid plan
Phone and email support, live chat, self-help guides, like blogs, webinars, and help docs
- Self-employed real estate managers: Independent property managers who are often on the go can easily manage their bills, invoices, and reports from their smartphone.
- Property maintenance contractors: If part of your job is managing building repairs and maintenance contracts, you can use Zoho Books’ time tracking feature to track billable hours spent on each project.
- Real estate teams with in-house web developers: As part of the Zoho suite, the Zoho Developer Console provides a platform where coders can develop customized real-estate apps, which they can easily integrate with Zoho Books.
How We Evaluated Real Estate Accounting Software
Using a unique scoring methodology, our experts evaluated a range of accounting software that could be tailored to real estate companies. We looked at the features that are useful specifically to real estate businesses, such as the ability to track profit and loss by class and location and accept payments online. Our evaluation boils down to five criteria: pricing, ease of use, general features, real estate features, and expert evaluation.
20% of Overall Score
The most important factor in our pricing score is the monthly cost of the program. However, we also considered any limitations on transactions, vendors, or customers. Finally, we scored programs higher that offer a month-to-month option versus an annual license.
20% of Overall Score
Along with a subjective evaluation by our accounting expert, the ease-of-use score includes the availability of customer service by telephone or direct message. Other components include whether online payments require third-party integration and the likelihood of finding third-party accountants familiar with the program who are able to assist.
20% of Overall Score
General features include bookkeeping features typically found in modern bookkeeping software, including online payments, mobile apps, and receipt capture. We also determined whether the software is a double-entry system, which means it tracks both assets and liabilities as well as income and expenses. Double-entry systems are the standard for bookkeeping and provide checks and balances to ensure accuracy.
20% of Overall Score
The most important real estate feature evaluated is the ability to track profit and loss by property. Other features include the ability to track automobile mileage, automatic monthly e-payments, tenant portals, and maintenance management.
20% of Overall Score
Our expert evaluation is a subjective analysis of the software’s features, mobile app, and reports. It also includes the availability of bookkeeping assistance from third parties.
Whether you prefer a standard bookkeeping solution or one that is explicitly made for real estate, you’ll want to invest in software that is intuitive and has the features you need to run your business effectively. Below are our top tips for choosing the best real estate accounting software for your business:
- Decide on the features you need: The important features you need will vary greatly depending on your type of real estate business. For instance, if you are a real estate broker, you have little to no need to send invoices, but tracking income and expenses by listing is vital. If you’re a property manager, you may not need project tracking, but tracking by location can help determine your profitability by building. Assess what particular features support your current and future needs.
- Focus on value versus lowest price: The price of accounting software often depends on its features and increases with the number of users you need. If all you need is simple expense tracking, then perhaps a free software will suffice. However, if you need class and location tracking, payroll, tenant management, invoicing, and bill pay, then a more expensive software with all those features will be the best value.
- Look for software that is easy to use. If you’re a real estate broker needing to track your own expenses, then you want an easy-to-use software. In line with this, it is equally important to choose a provider with reliable customer support. Check if there are many ways to seek support, like telephone, email, live chat, and online guides. If you manage a large company with many employees, then you might have an experienced bookkeeper on staff and will need a more complex bookkeeping system. If you plan to have an independent bookkeeper help with your books, be sure to choose a cloud-based software so that they can easily access your account.
- Consider the reports available: A good accounting software provides a range of accounting reports, like a balance sheet and profit and loss reports. Also, check if it can generate real estate-specific reports, like rental and owner statements and budget vs actual reports.
The tips above are just starting points. There are other factors to consider, such as user reviews, accessibility (desktop or cloud), and the availability of a mobile app and add-on features.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In addition to general bookkeeping features, good real estate accounting software will have real estate-specific features, such as the ability to manage rental applications, collect tenant payments, and perform background checks.
The best real estate accounting software for your business depends on the size of your portfolio and your specific needs. If you’re a property manager seeking free accounting software, then Wave is a great option. Large-scale property managers should consider more sophisticated software, such as Buildium.
Yes, you can, as long as you only need general accounting features, such as invoicing and income and expense tracking.
Ultimately, the best real estate accounting software depends on your budget, the size of your business, and your specific needs and priorities. For instance, if you own a multilocation business and you want to stay on top of your profitability, then you can benefit from QuickBooks Online’s P&L tracking by location feature.
If you’re a property manager or landlord who needs custom features for managing your properties, go with Buildium. If you have a limited budget and you don’t have much time to learn how to use real estate accounting software, there’s Wave or Baselane.