AppFolio Property Manager Review

AppFolio is an industry-leading web-based property management software with excellent user interfaces, streamlined processes, and solid customer service. AppFolio is easy to learn and is a strong selection for small, medium, and large residential property portfolios alike.

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The Good

Streamlined processes

AppFolio utilizes clean interfaces and simple forms to help guide users through various processes. One good example is a tenant move-in. The process is broken down into six steps that can be seen in a small menu in the upper-left corner of your screen. As you complete each step, a check mark appears indicating that the step was performed correctly, and you’re automatically moved to the next step. If information is incomplete, a warning message appears prompting you to make corrections. When the process is complete, a small message appears at the top of the screen indicating that you have completed the task successfully. This intuitive nature equals smoother processes and less time spent tackling the same tasks. If you’re interested to find out exactly how much time Appfolio estimates it can save you, check out its Cost Savings Calculator.

Dynamic global search

AppFolio offers very strong global search functionality. As you enter text or a numeric value into the search box, matching values are quickly identified and displayed even if you only entered partial information. For example, if you only know the first name of a tenant or the area code of a vendor, you can enter that in and view relevant matches. In addition, when you add a new contact to your system, AppFolio enables you to tag the contact with relevant terms, which come in handy when you use the global search function.

Automated bank reconciliation

Using Direct Connect Banking, AppFolio enables you to connect with your bank and automatically match transaction activity. For those who spend hours performing reconciliations manually, this automated process has the potential to save you a lot of time. Not all banks currently offer this service, but AppFolio has the tools in place to work with the banks that do.

Reports hyperlinked with accounting

When you generate a report, any record that deals with revenue and expenses is linked to the original entry in the accounting journal. With one click, you can drill down to view the original entry, review history, and easily correct any problematic data.

Comprehensive support

AppFolio provides user guides, best practices, and dozens of training videos to make your transition as simple as possible. They are also confident in their customer service and demonstrate this by featuring a live feed of comments from recent customer support experiences on their website.

The Bad

High minimum fees

AppFolio recently changed their pricing model from a rigid structure of $1.25 per unit per month across all properties, to a more compliant system that changes the price per unit dependent on your property type (Residential, Commercial, Student Housing, or HOA). However, they still require a comparatively high monthly minimum fee of $250 and a one-time onboarding fee that scales with the size of your portfolio — starting at a $400 minimum. The software is well designed and could be quickly learned by those with minimal experience and utilized by property managers with diverse portfolio sizes. However, if you’re currently managing a smaller portfolio and don’t expect much future growth, comparable products can be found that offer much lower minimum monthly fees.

Lacking custom fields

Many businesses have their own unique processes that are driven by data tracked on each property or lease. When custom fields are available, they are often accompanied by custom reporting capabilities, which significantly improve process efficiency within the business and remove the need for separate spreadsheets. AppFolio currently does not have the capability to track custom data, although this is a feature most typically only requested by the most process-heavy businesses.

The Details

Details

  • Free Trial: Available by request
  • Monthly Minimum Fee: $250
  • Minimum Onboarding Fee: $400
  • Price - Commercial Property: $1.50/unit/month
  • Price - Residential Property: $1.25/unit/month
  • Price - Student Housing Property: $1.25/unit/month
  • Price - HOA Property: $0.80/unit/month
  • Discounts: Available with annual billing

Premium Add-On Services

  • Professional Website: $2,000 One-Time Setup Fee, $50 Monthly Fee
  • Tenant Liability Insurance: $9.50 Per Month Per Enrolled Unit
  • Resident Screening: $10 Per Report (credit + nationwide eviction), $15 Per Report (credit + nationwide eviction + nationwide criminal)
  • Maintenance Contact Center: $1/Unit/Month, $200/Month Minimum Fee Required
  • Premium Leads: $10 Per Verified Lead
  • Tenant Debt Collections: No Fees, Customer Keeps 60 percent of Total Debt Collected
  • Revenue Management: $40 Integration Fee Per Property Per Month

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