Looking to invest in property management software?
There are many options out there, but it’s hard to know which is the right choice.
Is Buildium’s property management software the right pick for you and your properties?
Does it offer all the features you’re looking for?
What pros and cons should you consider?
Below, we’ll break all of that down for you and more; simply and concisely.
- What is Buildium property management software?
- Buildium features
- Buildium Pros and Cons
What is Buildium Property Management Software?
Buildium is one of several software tools, typically referred to as property management software, that allows property managers to manage their entire portfolio from one place.
Having established itself as a reliable option in the space, Buildium offers many of the great features typically found in a property management tool.
With that said, there are pros and cons to Buildium as there are with every software, and it’s important to know what those are before deciding which to choose.
After all, a great piece of software can become a big (and invaluable) part of your business.
So, let’s start by going over Buildium’s feature list to get a better idea of what property management software can do for your business.
Property management software is designed to help you automate much of your property management tasks, including:
- Accounting and rent payments
- Tenant communications
- Owner communications
- Maintenance order management
- Marketing, showings, and screenings
Buildium offers a long list of features to help you manage your entire property management business as well.
However, keep in mind that no property management software tool offers every possible feature. So, you’ll need to have a good idea of what you’re looking for.
Later, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of Buildium as well as offer alternatives in case it’s not quite what you’re looking for, including our own property management solution and rising favorite, DoorLoop.
1. Payment tools
Buildium allows you to accept rent payments using multiple payment methods, including credit card and ACH payments.
They use their own ePay platform to automate payments across the app, whether that’s payments received from tenants or sent to vendors and owners.
Buildium offers basic bookkeeping features such as payment tracking and bank reconciliation.
With bank reconciliation, you can automatically compare your company’s bank records against your records in Buildium to make sure everything stays accurate.
3. Maintenance management
Maintenance management is a popular feature in property management tools, and for good reason.
In Buildium, you can create work orders, attach videos and documents, and send them to vendors, all from your smartphone or desktop. You can also get status updates for those work orders sent to your smartphone.
And when orders are complete, you can pay vendors from right within the Buildium app, allowing you to keep everything in one convenient place.
4. Communication tools
From within the Buildium app, you can send single or bulk emails to tenants and even mail physical letters with the EZMail service.
You can also communicate with tenants and vendors directly through SMS messaging, both individually and in bulk.
5. Tenant portal
From within Buildium’s “resident center,” tenants can pay rent, association and other fees, and view payment history.
Tenants can also submit maintenance requests themselves and even attach photos via their smartphones. Then, they can follow that maintenance request as it’s assigned to a vendor and track it from beginning to completion.
6. Support and training
What does Buildium offer for training and support?
They offer basic ticket-based support for Essential plan subscribers, though you’ll need to pay more for better support options like live customer support over the phone.
Personal one-on-one onboarding is available for users at the Growth plan and higher for an additional fee. Subscribers on the Essential plan are able to use Buildium Academy that offers on-demand learning tutorials.
Buildium’s pricing is primarily feature-based, with certain features gated behind higher pricing tiers.
Every plan includes the basic features for:
- Tenant portal
- And tenant and owner communications
Here are some more details about each plan:
Their basic plan, Essential, starts at $50 per month with a 14-day free trial(No Credit Card).
The Essential plan covers many of the basic features noted above, with a few notable exclusions.
The plan doesn’t include:
- Performance analytics and insights
- Free eLeases ($5 per eLease)
- Live phone support
Due to these missing features, the Essential plan can feel a bit lacking in the way of support.
Unfortunately, while the next plan up offers both of those things in some way, it comes with a significant price increase.
Buildium’s Growth plan starts at a considerably higher $160 per month.
The notable difference between Essential and Growth is:
- Live phone support
- Onboarding (additional fees apply)
- Property inspections
- Unlimited eLeases
Line phone support is welcomed, and free property inspections are a unique feature. Still, the plan is considerably more expensive than many other property management solutions, making it hard to justify the price.
The Premium pricing tier comes in at $460 per month, though besides EFT transactions being waived, the additional features are less-than-compelling.
Additional features include:
- EFT transactions waived
- Priority support
- Dedicated growth consultant
- Open API
The price increase is considerable when going from the Growth to the Premium plan.
There are some savings considering EFT transactions are waived, but depending on your number of transactions, that might not amount to anywhere near the price increase.
Buildium pricing: An overview
Buildium’s pricing model is on the higher end of property management software, and not for obvious reasons.
Features that are standard in other software, like live phone support and onboarding, come at a steep premium.
If you’re looking for a specific feature set, Buildium might come through for you, but at a price that may not make sense long-term.
Buildium Pros and Cons
Now that we’ve scoured Buildium’s list of features, it’s time to get into the weeds and talk about the pros and cons.
Instead of making our own subjective decision, we decided to pull from popular review sites like Capterra and SoftwareAdvice.com for a large base of opinions from real customers using the software.
Here are some of the most commonly cited pros and cons of Buildium’s property management software:
Pro: Large feature set
No surprise there, Buildium users cite being happy with the number of features offered by the software, including everything from custom accounting reports to a work order management system.
Pro: Useful learning tools
One of the most commonly cited pros of Buildium is the excellent knowledge base, which has a combination of articles and videos to help users get started.
Users cite that the video lessons, in particular, really help in getting started, as it can be a bit overwhelming learning how everything works at first.
Pro: Helpful community knowledgebase
Similarly, users also often cite the helpful community knowledgebase that is always there to lend a hand when users are having trouble figuring something out or run into an issue
Con: Communication tools are difficult to use
While Buildium touts amazing communication features, many users say that they aren’t perfect.
You can send emails, but tenants can’t directly respond to those emails, and email communication is anything but streamlined, leading to headaches for some users when trying to use the app as their central communication platform.
Con: Unreliable customer service and support
One of, if not the most commonly mentioned cons of Buildium, is that its support isn’t dependable.
Some users cite that customer support is rarely able to fix issues when they get in contact with someone.
Others say that their list of “known issues” is rarely updated, so users have to go months, or longer, managing problems with the software that should be fixed sooner.
Con: Support (and training) will cost you
Unfortunately, many users also cite frustration with higher levels of support being gated behind higher pricing plans.
At the basic pricing plan level, Essential, you only get access to ticket support. That means you won’t have access to live support conversations if you need or want to explain an issue over the phone.
That can be difficult enough, especially if you have a pressing issue or run into a glitch that inhibits your ability to work.
But when you combine that with the fact that there is no onboarding offered for Essential plan subscribers, and extra onboarding fees even if you do subscribe to a higher-level plan, it can become truly frustrating if you’re just starting out.