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 if you have basic needs.
We evaluated a range of real estate accounting software. Here are our top seven:
- QuickBooks Online: Best overall accounting software for real estate companies and property managers
- Stratafolio: Best commercial property management software that integrates with QuickBooks
- Baselane: Best free rental property 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
The Fit Small Business mission is to provide the best answers to small business owners’ questions. Whenever possible, we evaluate all of the software we recommend by conducting an in-depth internal case study where our experts determine the strengths and weaknesses of each software by recreating real-life bookkeeping scenarios.
There are only two scenarios where we may recommend software that has not been subjected to our case study—the software is not a complete bookkeeping system or we don’t have access to evaluate the software. We rate all solutions on the same set of criteria, regardless of whether they are a partner company.
Best Real Estate Accounting Software: Quick Comparison
QuickBooks Online: Best Overall Real Estate Accounting Software
- Can’t initiate a call to a customer support agent
- Lacks integrated property management features
- Is expensive for self-employed and independent agents
- Lacks rental property management features
Plans & Pricing
- Simple Start: $30 per month for one user
- Essentials: $60 per month for three users
- Plus: $90 per month for five users
- Advanced: $200 per month for 25 users
New subscribers can get 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 comparison of QuickBooks Online plans.
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 for real estate is the platform’s ability to track activity by class and location. This is particularly useful for companies managing many large buildings with multiple tenants within each.
Though QuickBooks Online is our best small business accounting software, it lacks rental property management features, such as managing lessee information and contracts. Our best recommendation is QuickBooks Online with Stratafolio. The two software can integrate seamlessly, wherein QBO will handle the accounting aspect, while Stratafolio will handle rental property management.
Stratafolio: Best Commercial Property Management Software That Integrates With QuickBooks
- Lacks annual plans
- Cannot integrate with other accounting software
- Relies heavily on QuickBooks for accounting
Plans & Pricing
- Essential: $150 per month for 10 units plus $2 per additional unit in excess of 10
- Professional: $175 per month for 10 units plus $4 per additional unit in excess of 10
- Enterprise: $210 per month for 10 units plus $6 per additional unit in excess of 10
These prices exclude a QuickBooks subscription, which you’ll need to purchase separately if you plan to use the integration. Unsure what QuickBooks product to pick? Read our QuickBooks Online vs Desktop guide to know which QuickBooks version suits your needs.
Stratafolio offers a diverse set of features in the areas of financial management, operations management, asset management, and investor management. These features help in rental property management since they allow users to organize loans and cash flow and manage rental property assets, invoicing and lease agreements, and investments.
However, the platform lacks the accounting features needed for financial reporting and tax compliance. That’s why we recommend that you integrate Stratafolio with QuickBooks for a more complete experience. Alternative, Buildium is a suitable Stratafolio alternative because it’s more affordable and doesn’t charge per additional unit. We recommend picking Buildium if you’re on a tight budget.
Baselane: Best Free Rental Property Accounting Software for Independent Landlords
- Lacks a mobile app
- Lacks access for accountants
- Lacks tenant screening and applicant tracking systems
- Is not a full bookkeeping system; only tracks income and expenses
Plans & Pricing
Baselane’s service is completely free to use for both tenants and landlords. Each subscription comes with one user. 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.
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. 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, a business card that allows you to earn up to 5% cash back on purchases, and a business checking account. Read our Baselane business checking review to learn more about the account and cash back rewards.
Though free and has minimal charges, Baselane may not be the best choice for managing workflows and leases—plus it can only accept online payments and capture receipts. We recommend Stratafolio because of its advanced real estate management features and investor management capabilities in its Enterprise plan. Besides the real estate features, its integration with QuickBooks Online fills the gap in the accounting aspect of real estate management.
Wave: Best Free Accounting Software for Property Managers
- Cannot track P&L by property
- Lacks property management features
- Cannot track automobile mileage
Plans & Pricing
- Free for accounting and invoicing with unlimited users
- 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)
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.
Since Wave is free, it is expected that its accounting features are basic and has no real estate accounting features except for accepting online payments. Users looking for advanced accounting features should choose QuickBooks Online instead. It is accounting software like Wave but can be configured for real estate accounting through its class and location features.
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
- Doesn’t let you 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
Plans & Pricing
Realtyzam is $14 per month when billed monthly or $11.58 per month when billed annually. Each subscription comes with one user. You can try it for free for 30 days—no credit card required. After 30 days, it will still be free until you sell two properties or generate a $3,000 income and expenses.
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 it especially useful for real estate agents without 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.
If you think Realtyzam is not fit for your needs, we recommend Buildium, especially for real estate companies. It offers features such as property maintenance and tenant management, which aids real estate companies in managing its day-to-day operations.
Buildium: Best for Running Day-to-Day Property Management Operations
- Has a mobile app without accounting functions
- Lacks common accounting features like mileage tracking and receipt capture
- Can be difficult to use for new users
Plans & Pricing
- 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 show you how Buildium works.
We recommend Buildium for daily 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.
However, since Buildium’s pricing depends on the number of units, landlords with few rental properties might want to try Baselane instead. Its platform is free and only charges for card payments.
Zoho Books: Best for Mobile Accounting
- Lacks real-estate specific features like tenant management
- Doesn’t integrate with real estate accounting apps
- Doesn’t let users set up multiple companies under a single account
Plans & Pricing
- Free: $0 for businesses that make $50,000 or less in annual revenue; supports one user
- Standard: $20 per organization, per month; supports up to three users
- Professional: $50 per organization, per month; supports up to five users
- Premium: $70 per organization, per month; supports up to 10 users
- Elite: $150 per organization, per month; supports up to 10 users
- Ultimate: $275 per organization, per month; supports up to 15 users
- Seats: $3 per additional user, per month
- Advanced auto-scans: $10 for 50 scans per month in all plans
- Snail mails: $2 per credit in all plans
- Additional users: $3 per user per month
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 provider 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.
Though we said that Zoho Books doesn’t integrate with real estate accounting apps, we recommend that you get Zoho Creator to create a custom real property management app. Zoho Creator is a low-code application development platform that lets you customize apps for your business by combining smaller app functions available in its app library.
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.
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 don’t have much time to learn how to use real estate accounting software, consider Wave or Baselane.