Finance & Accounting Articles

3 Top-Rated Accounting Apps for Real Estate Agents – 2017

by Abhishek Singh and Karan Dhingra
Published on 21 December 2017

If you're running a small real estate agency, you have a lot to manage. So, it might be easy to overlook the less glamorous tasks-such as those related to accounting.

But, the bottom line is, you must pay out commissions to your agents in a timely manner, and you may also need to collect rent from tenants, manage lease payments, and handle incidental expenses for the upkeep of rental units.

So, how do you manage your real estate accounts efficiently and without error?

Software can help you automate financial management tasks and keep your accounts in order, so you can focus on the most important part of your business-your clients.

In this article, we're looking at the top-rated apps your real estate agency can use to streamline accounting tasks. These apps were chosen based on GetApp accounting software reviews written by users in the real estate industry.

While Buildium and Property Matrix are not dedicated accounting software, based on our analysis of user reviews data, a majority of reviewers from the real estate industry have rated these two platforms highest for managing accounting tasks. Buildium and Property Matrix each offer either an accounting module or features that specifically cater to accounting and financial management in the real estate industry.

Please note: The feedback given in each of the "Common user feedback trends" sections are the opinions of GetApp's reviewers, and do not represent the opinion of GetApp. Read more about our methodology at the bottom of this article.

1. QuickBooks: Streamline payment tracking

QuickBooks helps you track and manage payments through its income and expenses dashboard. Sync all your accounts with the platform to automatically import transactions from your bank, credit cards, PayPal, and more, to view monthly property maintenance expenses reports, and rent collection all in one place.

Real estate agents don't typically spend their days in the office, but with accounting software such as QuickBooks, you can enter your agents' bank account details for direct deposit to pay them more quickly and efficiently.

QuickBooks also helps you collect and track rent payments with the invoicing feature. Create a customized invoice, which allows tenants to pay online via credit card or their bank account. You can also set up recurring invoices to go out automatically. QuickBooks' transactions tab helps real estate agencies track sales, accounts, expenses, and more (Source: GetApp.com)

Common user feedback trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on GetApp from accounting software users in the real estate industry, here's an overview of the areas of QuickBooks they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like

  • Intuitive billing entry: GetApp reviewers indicate that billing information related to lease, property maintenance expenses, rent, and utility bills are easy to enter into QuickBooks, since it stores historical billing entries. They like that they don't have to create a billing entry from scratch and can use existing details to complete billing transactions.
  • Centralized accounts dashboard: Whether paying bills, receiving payments, or managing invoices, QuickBooks' centralized accounts dashboard lets users view important updates in a single location. GetApp reviewers appreciate this feature, which provides an overall summary of their real estate accounts without making them switch between tabs.
  • Streamlined user interface (UI): GetApp reviewers remark that it's easy to add vendors and customers for receiving and sending payments, and that the user interface enables them to easily attach invoices.

User recommended improvements

  • Make reports less complex: GetApp reviewers indicate that the financial reports provided are too complex to read, and say they'd like to see a summary of key parameters highlighted, or have the option of receiving a quick snapshot of rental accounting reports, instead such a drilled down approach.
  • Give the online and desktop versions a similar UI: According to GetApp reviewers, the UI of the online version differs from the desktop version, so it can take extra time to generate invoices and perform bookkeeping and online banking tasks.

Who should consider QuickBooks Online?

Real estate business that have an extensive database of property listings should consider QuickBooks. It can help you improve your process for paying real estate agents as well as for collecting rent payments from tenants. It also lets you monitor expenses and sales, all in one place.

You can also use QuickBooks to maintain a database of sales transactions. Shortlist the properties that are most profitable and develop new sales and marketing plans with the help of your agents to improve upon weaker listings.

2. Buildium: Property management with powerful financial reporting

Buildium is a property management system that offers real estate-specific accounting features such as property accounting, online payments, and 1099 e-filing. With Buildium, you can generate financial reports, such as income versus upcoming expenses, cash flows, transaction reports, and more.

It also streamlines the process of making payments through a dedicated online payment portal, where property management companies can disburse rental payments to property owners and manage any association fees or maintenance expenses that arise.

With Buildium, you can also generate and send 1099s directly from the platform and store everything in one place so it's easily accessible at tax time.

Buildium's accounting tab highlights your agency's income and expenses and provides a picture of your net income (Source: GetApp.com)

Common user feedback trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on GetApp from accounting software users in the real estate industry, here's an overview of the areas of Buildium they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like

  • Easy to learn and use: GetApp reviewers say that Buildium is easy to learn with more advanced, user-friendly features than the outdated property management software they've used previously.
  • Robust automation: GetApp reviewers like the automated accounting features of the software, such as automatic recording of online deposits, e-payments to vendors and tenants, and improved communication with tenants and owners.
  • Easy payment management with the dedicated portal: GetApp reviewers say that managing payments with Buildium is easy because it has a dedicated portal that lets you sync your bank accounts for sending lease payments to owners and commission checks to agents directly from the platform.

User recommended improvements

  • Add more integration options: GetApp reviewers feel that some of the accounting features of Buildium are limited in scope, and would like to see it integrate with more specialized accounting software such as QuickBooks.
  • Streamline bulk payment entry with more automation: GetApp reviewers that manage more than 10 properties would like to see the bulk payment entry process streamlined with more automation, so they can enter payments for all property units at once.

Who should consider Buildium?

Small real estate businesses looking for a dedicated real estate or property management tool that also offers accounting features should opt for Buildium to monitor key financial metrics and streamline the payment process.

Users that want to drill down into their finances can use Buildium to generate detailed reports of payments made and rent payments received based on the month, quarter, or year, as well as other financial reports.

3. Property Matrix: Easy ACH, credit card, and check processing

Like, Buildium, Property Matrix is at its core a property management platform, but it offers several key accounting functions built in. It can help real estate agents automate accounting tasks and streamline payment processing.

The software enables users to enter financial data in a general ledger, manage accounts payable and receivable, and see which property listings are generating the most revenue through the accounts dashboard.

Property Matrix lets users automate recurring payments and accept and process ACH, credit card, and check payments.

Property Matrix's accounting dashboard displaying the transaction journal, assets, liabilities, and more (Source: GetApp.com)

Common User Feedback Trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on GetApp from accounting software users in the real estate industry, here's an overview of the areas of Property Matrix they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like

  • Great customer service: GetApp reviewers speak positively about the customer service offered by Property matrix, saying their queries are resolved with a quick turnaround time through email, chat, and phone.
  • Easily customizable to individual business requirements: GetApp reviewers like that online payment processing via credit card, ACH debit payments, and check scanning can be integrated into their existing real estate websites, and they don't have to change the template or design layout.

User recommended improvements

  • User interface could be further streamlined: GetApp reviewers indicate that some of the basic functions such as filtering tenant data by payment takes too many steps.

Who should consider Property Matrix?

Real estate agencies looking for a property management platform that provides the flexibility to receive and process payments in a variety of ways should consider Property Matrix.

The solution lets you create an online payment portal for accepting and processing payments via ACH debit and credit card payments without charging an additional processing fee. Or, process check payments with instant bank crediting and automatic recognition capabilities, to avoid manual entry.

Additionally, users can process multiple payments received, as well as outgoing bills at the same time.

Next steps

These are just some of the top-rated accounting software tools that can help your real estate agency manage rental payments and maintenance expenses, and streamline your entire financial management process.

For even more help choosing accounting software, check out these additional resources from GetApp:

Methodology

The solutions highlighted in this article are the accounting software or modules for the real estate industry that have the highest average overall user rating at the time of writing this article. We evaluated three accounting software platforms based on approximately 3,791 reviews in 2017 on GetApp's website, exclusively from users in the real estate industry.

  • We analyzed reviews from users in the real estate industry and shortlisted those products that had 4+ out of five stars with a minimum of 20 user reviews.
  • From that list, we considered only those which are listed on GetApp.
  • The "common user feedback" sections include "what users like" and "user recommended improvements" for each product, based on feedback from users who left reviews.
  • The "who should consider this software" section is a summary of analysis conducted on the general comments from software users. This section highlights the most popular features of the software product and recommends who should consider buying that product and why.

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Apps mentioned in this article