If you are in the property management business, you already know that there are so many things that can make your job more difficult than it has to be. One of the easiest ways to avoid unpleasant situations and serious problems in the future is to turn to tenant screening.
With Buildium, a property management solution, you can easily perform a comprehensive background check of potential tenants and obtain information that will enable you to make the right decision. Besides tenant screening services, you can use Buildium for almost every other property management requirement, including managing your business, staying competitive on the market or growing your portfolio.
Keep reading our honest Buildium review to learn more about the company and its services and benefits.
How Does Buildium Work?
Buildium is a property management software that allows for an easy and efficient way to perform everyday tasks whether you are sitting in your office or doing business on the go. With Buildium, you can focus on improving every aspect of your business, like expanding your portfolio, building stronger connections, keeping up with current trends, and more.
The company was established back in 2004 by Michael Monteiro and Dimitris Georgakopoulos with the idea of making property managing easy. Buildium has significantly grown since then, expanding with the likes of All Property Management, a company that owns the largest network of property management services on the Internet, and partnering up with HappyCo and Adobe Document Cloud eSign Services.
As a property management platform, Buildium offers a variety of services like accounting, business management, and leasing, which includes tenant screening. Other products include owner portal, document storage, maintenance request tracking, property inspections, and rental insurance.
This software is specifically designed to cater to the needs of property managers, from communicating with homeowners and board members and keeping track of budgets and payments to collecting rents and storing documents.
There are 2 types of monthly plans you can choose from, depending on the number of units you manage. Additional services like community association, renters insurance or showings coordinator can be bought separately.
In addition to offering a wide range of services, it is important to note that Buildium focuses on customer safety and satisfaction by offering benefits like onboarding, customer support, and data security. Understanding and operating new software can be challenging, so Buildium implemented an onboarding process for first-time users, making the transition to its platform easy.
Buildium also prides itself on its award-winning customer support team that offers personalized treatment for every new user and is available 24/7 to answer any of the questions you might have.
Finally, Buildium uses state-of-the-art security mechanisms to ensure the protection of your data. Your visits are encrypted and your information is secured and monitored at a physical data center by Amazon Web Services (AWS). In case of any irregularities, Buildium gets immediately alerted by its web application firewall (WAF).
When you enter the site, fill out forms or use its web-based products, Buildium collects information like
- Contact details, including name, title, company name, email address, phone number, mailing address
- Taxpayer ID and SSN numbers
- Credit card information processed by its payment processor
- Details about your interest in its products and services
- Responses to surveys, polls or assessments
- Information collected automatically like your IP address, web browser, language, operating system, the date and time you accessed the website, and the link from which you accessed the website
Buildium uses this information to deliver services, products or transactions that you have requested, improve its website, including upgrading security measures, send you promotional materials, evaluate and improve the products and services that it offers, for educational purposes, and to conduct general research on topics that are of interest to its customers.
Like we already mentioned in this Buildium review, this property management software features accounting, business operations, and leasing products, as well as additional services that include software for community associations, student housing, affordable housing, and residential properties.
For accounting purposes, Buildium offers:
- Property accounting, which enables you to record and view every fee, payment, deposit, and refund. With built-in-calculators, you can see how much you owe to your company and vendors, transform work orders into bills and pay them online, adjust automatic payments for repeat fees, reconcile your bank accounts automatically, and generate financial reports like balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, budget vs. actual, general ledger, rental owner ending balances, rental owner statement, and more.
- Company financials, helping you keep track of incoming rents and security deposits, automating fees, and paying bills online. You can use this product to enter your company’s financial transactions through a simple form, view monthly profits, upcoming bills, and cash in the bank, balance sheets, income statements, cash flows, bank reconciliations, and transaction reports.
- Online payments, which save time needed to perform payments by 70%. Residents can authorize their bank accounts and credit cards through the resident center option and set up a recurring payment plan.
- Retail cash payments, which work in association with PayNearMe, a payment platform that lets customers choose how, when, and where they want to pay using multiple platforms. With this option, users can perform payments without using a bank account, credit card or a photo/government-issued ID. Money from any PayNearMe transaction is guaranteed to be deposited into your account within 5 business days, after which it will be automatically deposited into your Buildium account.
- 1099 e-Filing, enabling you to file your 1099 report automatically. You can access the e-Filing tool a month before the IRS officially opens and check the accuracy of your data.
Business operations include:
- Resident center, which enables residents to pay fees and rent online, submit maintenance requests, upload photos directly from their devices, check status updates, and assign default staff members to receive incoming requests and inquires. You can also share updates with residents by sending emails and text messages to individuals or groups.
- Owner portal, which is a mobile portal that provides data and reports to property owners. You can give owners access to profit and loss statements, contributions and draws, and specific transactions that you made for the property, and you get to balance sheets, income statements, and financial reports. There is also an option to upload receipts, leases, and other important info to the built-in document sharing system accessible to property owners.
- Document storage, which enables you to upload an unlimited number of leases, policies, addenda, receipts, meeting minutes, inspection reports, floor plans, and maps you can access anytime and anywhere. You can send out notices and reminders and create letters and emails with provided templates.
- Maintenance request tracking, allowing residents, owners or employees to submit work orders and attach videos, documents, and images.
- Property inspections, which work together with the Happy Inspector mobile app to provide you with automatically synced information available at all times and on multiple devices.
- Renters insurance, provided in collaboration with Millenial Speciality Insurance (MSI) and enforcing a resident liability insurance requirement for your portfolio. Renters insurance covers up to $100,000 in liability insurance and you can choose $10,000, $15,000 or $30,000 personal property coverage. The insurance policy also includes resident protection from guest medical expenses and emergency living expenses.
Buildium offers the following leasing services:
- Rental listings, which share your property listings on the websites of Buildium’s major partners, including Lovely, Apartment List, and the entire Zillow Rental Network that can help advertise your vacancies on Zillow.com, Trulia, Yahoo!, HotPads, and MyNewPlace. You get to customize your unit description by stating property-specific information and including photos or videos. With rental listings, you can keep track of future vacancies and view all units listed and unlisted.
- Rental applications, which is a free online rental application you can use to customize a standard application form by adding or removing certain question fields. It is integrated with your marketing site, enabling users to apply on the spot and pay fees online. This option also allows you to create custom checklists for the tenant reviewing process and choose between two integrated, thorough tenant screening options to make sure you have picked the best candidate.
- Showings coordinator, which is a product of collaboration between Buildium and Tenant Turner, a scheduling software, used for automating pre-qualification, scheduling, follow-ups, and prospective tenant management. Potential tenants can schedule showings via email or a text message and you can sync your calendar so that appointments are booked during your free time. Showings coordinator helps you save time by sending automatic email or text responses to potential tenants and keeping all important information like the status of all your listings, showings, and prospects in one place.
- Tenant screening, which lets you perform a comprehensive background check of all applicants, making sure you pick the right tenants and avoid evictions in the future. It enables you to access full credit, criminal, and eviction data. The screening results will be sent to your account in the form of a clear and easy-to-read report. You can also set custom credit score requirements depending on each listing and receive recommendations according to the information you obtained from all interested candidates. All prospective applicants will be automatically notified after being accepted and added to the tenant management system to start accepting payments. This background check option is one of the most important features of Buildium’s property management software since it helps you avoid all tenant-related issues that come after choosing an unreliable applicant.
- Professional website, which enables you to create a free, fully-integrated website on the Buildium platform. You get to choose a theme and attach your logo along with important documents needed for potential residents and clients. Your website can feature information about available units and host customized rental applications for applicants to automatically apply and pay fees online. You can also add portal logins so your users can communicate and access all data in one place. Together with Property Manager Websites, a company that creates customized websites for property managers, this feature focuses on higher-quality mobile responsive website development.
- eLease, which is a product of Buildium’s collaboration with Adobe Document Cloud that enables collecting eSignatures for leases and addendum rights and stores all lease documents within Buildium. eLease offers reusable templates with auto-fill fields and enables you to add your own custom fields and keep track of who has signed lease documents.
- Community associations, which is an online platform created to cater to all your association management needs like tracking all homeowner, non-owner resident, and board member communications via mail, mail, and text, organizing and sharing unlimited documents like by-laws and community financials, providing a free and customizable portal for online payments, submitting maintenance tickets, and communicating with your staff, having instant access to information about the community association you manage, automating late fees by identifying late payers, creating and maintaining budgets and enabling board members to access reports, resolve issues, and streamline maintenance requests, converting work orders into vendor bills, keeping track of all insurance policies including property, association, vendor, and owner policies, and tracking and managing violation reports.
- Student housing, which is a property management software that provides assistance with everything student housing-related like tracking multi-occupant leases and maintenance and file property inspections. With this option, you can collect eSignatures and addendum rights, receive payments and security deposits from out-of-state students, send maintenance notifications via text messages, and allow students and employees to submit maintenance requests online.
- Affordable housing, which helps you keep track of payments, inspection, and maintenance. It allocates rent payments according to the amount paid by the tenant compared to the amount paid by the government. With the Buildium mobile app, you can keep track of rents collected in person and use mobile property inspections to enter the information obtained from your field. All maintenance requests can be filled through maintenance request management that you can also use to create tasks and assign work orders to vendors.
- Residential property, which is a tool that enables you to manage operations and communication with applicants, vendors, tenants, and owners. You can create a free professional website to post your listings and receive applications, perform tenant screenings, and provide your tenants with an option to fill out online maintenance requests and perform payments from their mobiles. You can use the owner portal to share financial statements, leases, and receipts.
Buildium Plans & Pricing
Buildium offers two monthly plans: Core and Pro. With an easy two-step process, you can determine which plan is better for you according to the number of units you manage. All you need to do is adjust the scale for the number of units and compare the results for the two monthly plans. Both monthly plans cover the following services:
- Accounting, budgeting & reporting
- Online payments
- Common expense allocations
- Leasing management
- Electronic leases
- Tenant screening
- Tenant & owner portals and communication
- Maintenance management
- Mobile inspections
- Board member tracking & permissions
- Event tracking for violations
The availability and pricing of the services vary depending on the number of units you manage. Here is an example for 50 units:
|Accounting, budgeting & reporting||Available||Available|
|Common expense allocations||Available||Available|
|Electronic leases||$5 per document||30 FREE leases per month|
|Tenant screening||Basic – $15 per screening||Premium – $18 per screening|
|Tenant & owner portals and communication||Available||Available|
|Mobile inspections||$40 per month|
$99 setup fee
|Board member tracking & permissions||Available||Available|
|Event tracking for violations||Available||Available|
|Price||$78 per month||$156 per month|
There is a 10% discount for both plans when you prepay for one year.
Other services are available at additional prices, including:
- Renters insurance – $14.50 per tenant per month
- Remote check printing – $30 setup fee and $0.80 per check
- Showings coordinator – starts at $30 per month (varies on unit tier)
- 1099 eFiling – $25 per batch + $3 per form
- EZMail – $0.80 per single-page mailing + $0.15 per additional page
For information on Community Association pricing, call 877-396-7876.
Both monthly plans include a free 15-day trial period, but we could not find any information on the company’s refund policy.
You can also request a demo session along with a time and date that suit you the most and get assigned a company representative who will help you learn more about the services Buildium offers.
Buildium Pros & Cons
In collaboration with other companies that are among the leaders in their fields of business, Buildium provides you with products and services that are designed to offer quality solutions on the go, making a property manager’s everyday tasks less demanding and time-consuming.
With its tenant screening option, Buildium does not only give you an opportunity to obtain the information you require about prospective clients, but it helps you avoid potential problems like evictions, late rents, and overdue fees, saving you both time and money in the long run.
Buildium helped me stay organized and in control when I was overwhelmed with my workload. I didn’t have to worry about paperwork and payments which saved me time I needed to focus on other aspects of my business.
I had trouble with tenants in the past, some still owe me rent money and others left tons of unpaid bills. Now, I do a background check right from the start to see who I’m dealing with before even considering doing business.
It’s great that I get notifications about all transactions, it really helps me stay on top of everything money related which can be a huge mess sometimes.
I’ve never used anything like this before and the onboard training meant a huge difference between me screwing something up and actually finding my way around.
Some services are not available for the number of units I manage in the monthly package I’ve picked but luckily I can buy extra products that do the work instead but it costs more.