AppFolio Reviews – Property Management Software Review and Bonus



So far in our product reviews we’ve focused on software that’s great for owners who own just a small handful of properties. Their needs are quite a bit different from larger property management companies who own or manage many, many units and the software features and pricing usually reflect those differences.

But I’ve had readers and property managers ask about reviewing and doing a comparison of the more comprehensive property management software so we’re taking on a full series of both web based property management software and computer based software for property managers and larger rental property owners… and Appfolio was one of the most requested reviews… so here we go!

Here’s the structure of the AppFolio review:

  1. Quick look at the software
  2. Video review
  3. The pros and cons of AppFolio
  4. My overall impression of the software
  5. My grade

That’s about it… check out the video below of my AppFolio review below and see if it’s the right property management software for you! By the way, I think this is best for property managers with 200+ units … if you have less than 200 units you might want to look at our reviews for LandlordMax or Tenant File 6.0.

Enjoy!

Quick Look At AppFolio Property Management System

My overall impression is that the software is a good solid software, has a great user interface, has an awesome “dashboard”, looks great, has a ton of time saving features, and does what it’s supposed to do.

Here’s a quick look:

  • Web based property management software
  • Monthly subscription, minimum price $200 ($1 per unit w/ a $200/mo minimum)
  • Financial records are tied to software; no need for QuickBooks
  • Craigslist automatic posting integration
  • Transfer funds between properties/accounts
  • Automate recurring, paperless workorders
  • Email or print owner statements in bulk
  • Online payments to owners/staff
  • Universal search feature
  • Extensive accounting features
  • New features updated monthly
  • Store unlimited number of files or photos
  • Very slick and attractive user interface
  • Here’s their website for a free 30-minute live demo <<

Alrighty…ready for some more details? Let’s dive right in…

(click the video below to start ‘er up. It ran a little longer than I expected but this way you’ll get a full look inside the program so you can see if it’s right for you or not).

AppFolio Property Management Software Video Review

Running Time: about 32 minutes

**If you’re having trouble viewing the video above, follow the link below to watch it directly at the video hosting site:

http://www.viddler.com/explore/REIbrain/videos/26/

Here’s the link to Get a 30-minute Live Demo of AppFolio Property Management Software Free of Charge. <<

“Cliff Notes” Version of My AppFolio Property Management Software Review

Here it is… overall I really, really liked AppFolio. This is one of the strongest programs to date of property management software programs I’ve reviewed… and with their development team producing monthly updates and new features, it will be hard to beat.

The Pros: (what I like a lot!)

  • Web-based program which means no software to download to your computer… and you can login from any computer, even while on vacation.
  • Great clean dashboard graphics make it easy to read and analyze your business.
  • Automate work orders and emails to tenants and owners (really cool feature you’ll have to check out their full demo to see in all it’s glory)
  • Post online advertisements to Craigslist and other outlets just by logging in and clicking a few links.
  • Reconcile bank accounts or add late fees very easily; no need for other financial software.
  • Cool map feature shows you where your properties are located and if any units are available for rent.
  • Great graphics throughout showing if properties have leases expiring, are vacant, or are filled.
  • Can add properties and new tenant names easily.
  • Upload loads of files, including multiple photos for each unit.
  • Color code and sort your properties by vacancies, occupied, or moving out.
  • Can add late fees and mortgage payments so the software can track your loan value.
  • Dozens of preloaded financial and accounting reports that can be customized (all of them can be customized to fit your needs)
  • REALLY easy to find stuff in here w/ the Universal Search feature (will cut your time in 1/2 on searching for the records you need)
  • Can send… with 2 clicks of a mouse… customized owner reports in bulk via email or print w/ the exact info each individual owner wants to see every month (one of the best features in the software)
  • Every new client they give a personal walkthrough of the software to answer all of your questions… really good customer service touch.
  • Can quickly and easily migrate your current data to Appfolio… way better than w/ Yardi
  • Free support and you get an unlimited number of users to the software (aka, you don’t have to buy separate licenses for each user)

The Cons: (what AppFolio can improve)

  • This is ticky tacky… but I like to have a big ol’ fat “Enter Rent” or “Enter Expenses” button on my dashboard to quickly enter these.  To enter rents is easy… but not 100% conspicuous and intuitive the first time you use the software.
  • Some parts of the software aren’t 100% as intuitive as some other software I’ve seen. But, overall… you can jump in and use the software the same day… especially after you get the walkthrough from the Appfolio rep.
  • There is a one-time setup fee to get your account going… it’s less than some others… but is an expense you’ll have to figure into your investment in the software.

Really… that’s about all that I could personally tell from working in the software for a few hours on the big drawbacks for me.

But, as you know… software is as individual as jeans… what I like you may not… what you like… I may not. So, we always suggest that you narrow your property management software search down to 2-3 software programs… then get the free trial or demos of them and try them all to see which one you like the best.



My Overall Impression Of AppFolio Property Management Software

My overall impression of AppFolio is that it is a good solid web based property management software that at the moment is the best I’ve seen. There is an amazing number of features that far surpass other software on the market and will make larger property management companies jobs much easier with the ease of automating so many features.

So, I would 100% suggest you check out their live demo . If you have less than 200 units check out our reviews on LandlordMax and Tenant File softare… or even our review on Quicken Rental Manager 2009.   Over the next couple months we’ll be reviewing other larger software like Yardi and others… so be sure to join our newsletter so you’ll get updates on our new reviews as they come out.

How Do I Grade It?? (out of 5)

Design: quicken rental property manager (5/5)
Affordability : and 1/2 (4.5/5)
Features:
and 3/4 (4.75/5)
Ease of Use : (5/5)
Overall (200+ Units): .81   (4.81/5)

Here’s the link to grab AppFolio and Get $67 Worth of Free Property Management & Landlord Forms <<

Is This Property Management Software Program Right For You?

My purpose in posting these product reviews is to give you an objective look at the program… tell you the pros and cons… and let you make the decision for yourself. For full disclosure… our company does make a small commission if you buy any program from our website; however, we keep it unbiased because we try to do comprehensive and honest reviews of all of the products in each category so you have a full look at your options.  And, if we have helped you in your search for property management software at all… we’d appreciate if you do feel we’ve given you value to purchase the software through the links on our website so we can continue to provide great free resources to real estate investors around the U.S.

$67 Bonus Package with Purchase of AppFolio Property Management Software

So, here’s the deal on how you can get a your bonus package worth $67.

  1. If the program is right for you, and you purchase the program using the links on our website… you qualify
  2. After you buy, email your receipt to ” admin [at] thereibrain [dot] com ” and say “Here’s my receipt for the AppFolio Bonus Package
  3. We’ll immediatley email you our full package of property management forms that we use in our own business that are valued at $67 as our bonus and thank you for being a valued REIbrain subscriber and member.
  4. :-) Win Win.

>> Here’s the link to grab your free trial of AppFolio Property
Management Software Program and Get $67 Bonus <<

Enjoy your week :-)

– Trevor

Note: Here at The REI Brain dot com we are dedicated to providing you with great free content, resources, training, and product reviews. All of this is not cheap for us to do and we’ve got to pay the bills… so, if you find a product or recommendation or review of a product on our website or in our emails we likely do earn a revenue when our visitors purchase the product/service/program through the links on our website. That is a great way that we’ve found to help pay for our expenses and to continue providing you with great content for free. However, with that said… we are *never* going to sell out to make a quick buck and feel very strongly that every product we introduce you to or that we recommend in a review is truly a great product, at a great value, that we have personally reviewed prior to any recommendation or review. Out of every product we do recommend, there are over 20 that we look at that we feel are not worthy of our recommendation to our valued readers.

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About reibrain

Hey, my name is Trevor and I'm the founder of The REI Brain and editor/contributor. I started investing in real es.tate when I was 21... and love entrepreneurship, the internet, and real estate. My main focus today is growing my companies, systemizing my businesses so I can work less and make more, and spend more time with my family. Learn more about me at trevormauch.com.

20 Responses to “AppFolio Reviews – Property Management Software Review and Bonus”

  1. Matt January 27, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    What’s the best web based software for 50-100 units? Buildium, Appfolio or something else, in your opinion?

  2. Al March 23, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    Appfolio software looks really impressive in the demo, but for my 120 unit apt. complex, a $400 set up + $200 every month is quite high. I think im gonna give tenant file a try.

  3. Ryan Crozier - Indianapolis Realtor September 16, 2010 at 10:14 pm #

    I do some web work for a property management group in Indianapolis… I have already emailed them the link to see if they have heard of this product. It looks really nice and practical for most property management firms.

    Thanks for the review.

  4. Jordan Braunstein December 30, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    I took a look at Appfolio last week and was very impressed with the layout and ease of use. One crucial missing feature took this out of the running for our company: lack of accrual accounting. Cash basis accounting doesn’t give me an accurate monthly snapshot of my income as the spike in expenses is huge when real estate taxes and insurance are due. The sales rep told me that accrual basis is in the works but wouldn’t commit to a delivery date.

    Is this an important issue for other investors out there?

    Great website, Trevor! Would love to see reviews on Propertyware, RealPage’s Onesite, and Yardi Voyager.

  5. Dave Poletti January 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

    We just switched from Yardi Genesis to Appfolio. Yardi was great for many years but their focus is on the larger clientele. Ive been watching Appfolio for two years and have talked to many property managers who are using this software. For the most part, the consensus was it was a good as advertised. I have to agree. So far, so good. I like the look and feel of Appfolio. Their customer support is over the top great. Pricing is comparable to Yardi and others I interviewed.
    Propertyware was another nice program that you might consider as well.
    I hope this helps.

    Dave Poletti & Associates
    Seattle Property Management

  6. Justin Cochrane February 14, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    We are switching over to Appfolio this month. So far, I am indifferent. The rental market software from Appfolio seems to be be far worse than what we were getting for free from Postlets.com or Vflyer.com. Appfolio promises they put your ads on Hotpads.com (a great up and coming real estate map based search engine website), yet when I checked hotpads…none of appfolio ads were on it. Only our free postlets ads were on there. Appfolio had many different excuses:1. 1st they said they thought because ours ads were sent to oodle, that oodle would automatically send them to hotpads 2. Appfolio then said they were concerned about “fraud” in hotpads. If that was the case…then they should also drop out of craigslist.com too. Anyways, 1 month has gone by and no progress. Seems like appfolio may be filled with mostly salesman (similar to citrix online) as opposed to incredible software. We shall see.

    Justin Cochrane
    Cochrane Property Management

  7. Roger Cornette April 14, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    After an exhaustive search lasting almost 2 years and speaking to many, many property managers we made the switch to Appfolio over one year ago. It has been the best decision we have made in a very long time. We currenly manage about 1000 single family homes, duplexes and condominiums and were using Tenant Pro and after the switch to Appfolio the value of their program was very noticeable, we have added over 300 units since making the change and have needed to add more personal. In the past we would need to add another employee at around 100-150 units but this one program has saved us from doing that. As our growth is continuing we are currently planning to add to our staff but are now looking to add personel every 150-200 unit, and that is a huge savings for our company.

  8. reibrain April 14, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

    Thanks for the comment Roger! Ya, I really like Appfolio too. Really clean, good service, and great features. Glad to hear its working out well for ya! – Trevor

  9. Erin October 24, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Is appfolio appropriate to use for commercial real estate? it seems pretty much focused on residential properties?

  10. reibrain November 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    Hey Erin, thanks for the comment!

    Ya, Appfolio is mainly geared toward residential real estate, apartments, etc. Truthfully, I’m not 100% positive though… so you may go to their site through the links on this page and give them a call to make sure.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    – Trevor

  11. Alvin December 13, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    I work in accounts payable in a company that is looking into Appfolio. Current we are using Dataflow; it’s not pretty but it is powerful. One of my major concerns is that Appfolio doesn’t have anything included to run court papers or writs of eviction where as our current system does. So I was wondering; how do other companies handle court papers?

    I typically have about 50 a month to file, and currently I can use Dataflow to print them form feed on an impact printer pretty quickly.

  12. Mike December 20, 2012 at 6:31 am #

    Our company resently switched from Rent Manager to Appfolio. At this time I’m not completely sure we made the right decision. We’ve needed to contact Appfolio’s tech support a few times since we’ve started. Their response time I find to be extremely slow. It’s been averaging around 4 hours for a return call. Their support team seems more interested in fixing the problem and getting off the phone; rather than making sure you understand how to correct the problem for the furture.
    If you need to keep track of inventory appfolio is not for you. Our previous software had a built-in calendar which helped remind us of tenants moving in or important meetings, Appfolio does not. These are items that we didn’t realize how often we used until we couldn’t use them at all.
    We’ve only been using Appfolio for a little over a month. We haven’t had an opportunity to use all Appfolio’s features. We are hoping these other features will keeping us from returning to Rent Manager. We have now put a lot of time and money into Appfolio.

  13. Dave February 3, 2013 at 5:39 am #

    From an accountant’s (CPA) point of view, Appfolio is a joke – a very very bad joke. For example, I now find that my client has to manually write certain types of checks because Appfolio is so severely lacking. I can go on and on. I’m sure for property managers, it’s probably a decent product, but if I were the accountant, I’d run for the hills!!

  14. RPM Select March 10, 2013 at 12:40 am #

    I know this is a old post but I just stumbled upon it and this software really sounds great. I’m wondering more of how it compares to propertyware. Does anyone have experience with both? Which did you end up liking better?

  15. Bob May 10, 2013 at 5:48 am #

    I just started working for a company that uses Appfolio, and with 25 years of property management accounting experience I have to say I have never used a worse program as far as keeping the accounting in line.

    Accounting nightmare:
    There are some many holes in their processes and reports that I end up doing a lot of it outside the program. My client loves the property management functions within the program, but the accounting features are a nightmare to work with.

    Propertyware does a much better job at this, Yardi, is just as frustrating for different reasons, but both of those systems are in use by clients of mine that had with over a thousand units to manage, so not quite comparable.

    In short, Appfolio is excellent for everything you need to do except accounting. It actively gets in the way of effective accounting in nearly every area of the program.

    Lack of support:
    I don’t know where these reviews get their “Comprehensive support” idea from; aside from slogging through online courses that don’t cover half of the accounting practices required for effective property management, Appfolio employs a militant version of phone hell.

    Phone hell support:
    They actually hang up on you if you try to get someone to answer the phone without inputting every piece of information they demand and even if you do follow every prompt and input everything they need, it dumps you to a live person who asks you the exact same questions again and they won’t even talk to you until you have repeated every piece of information because the phone hell they force you through to get to a live person does not give that person any of the information they have already pried out of you by force.

    Email support:
    If you use their email support, nobody gets back to before at least a week has gone by. Their support does not understand the accounting process, and nearly every answer I receive involves “tricking” their program to do what I need it to by bastardizing their process in order to get anywhere close to being able to follow the most fundamental accounting principles.

    In summary:
    Appfolio does a lot of very nice and useful things, but be prepared for your accountant or bookkeeper to be continually pulling their hair out trying to fit this very square peg into the round hole required for good accounting practices.

  16. Doug April 26, 2016 at 10:27 pm #

    We’ve been looking for some time, so it’s been interesting to find this topic while doing a search. We’ve been using Yardi for years with great success but wonder if Appfolio wouldn’t be a better choice. I realize this thread is older, but it’s still very useful. The accountants point of view concerns me and I’d like to see a fresher perspective to see if things have changed.

  17. Ana Molina June 6, 2016 at 10:09 am #

    AppFolio is a great way to improve your business. I have tried it before and find it very practical, I would recommend to try it and see the results.

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