RealPage merges big data with real estate in an effort to get a leg up on the competition. But does this software really make your job easier? Read on to find out.
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What Is RealPage?
RealPage is a company that offers a group of products and services for real estate industry professionals and property managers. This global provider of software specializes in collecting and organizing real-time data on renters, properties, and prospects.
They use this data to develop insights and property management services for real estate investors who want to increase their ROI and overall property value.
RealPage also offers real estate websites for investors, business intelligence data, revenue and asset optimization services, and a range of services for landlords and tenants.
There are 4 basic categories of products and solutions offered on the RealPage platform, which can be used by third-party applications through the RealPage Exchange:
- Property Management
- Lease Management
- Resident Services
- Asset Optimization and Management
This all sounds good, but how will it help you become more efficient? Keep reading to find out.
RealPage’s Best Features
Learn more about what RealPage does by reading about its features. These range from analytics and intelligence to property management solutions and renter’s insurance.
We’ll look at each product in these categories on the platform and talk about the functions and features that go along with them.
RealPage collects and organizes tons of data on properties and renters across the globe. This positions them to develop useful software and services using that data to help property managers and owners make the best decisions for their properties.
Automation and Management
RealPage users can delegate the accounting, management, tenant screening, and leasing to the RealPage platform to save time, boost productivity, and reduce errors.
Every property type can be managed and tracked by the system, including:
- Single-family homes
- Commercial property
- Multi-family homes
- Vacation homes
- Student or senior living
- Military housing
Some of the full range of services offered by RealPage include a secure online payments platform, renter’s insurance, accounting outsourcing, and AI tenant screening.
The electronic payments platform provides a simple, fast way for tenants and residents to pay monthly rent and fees on time. Payments are tracked in real-time, so money doesn’t hang around before it hits the proper account.
All major payment options and credit cards are supported by the platform, so every tenant will be able to use this payment portal.
No more checks lost in the mail or delivered late – you’ll be able to see when each tenant pays and have a clear, digital record of all payments made through the system.
Offer your tenants peace of mind and protect your assets with RealPage renter’s insurance. This service can be bundled with other property management solutions to completely cover your property management process and make things easier for you and your renters.
- eRenterPlan offers comprehensive coverage for renters
- RenterProtection provides gap coverage for uninsured renters or vacant units
Artificial Intelligence Screening
This one is pretty cool! RealPage is the creator of the real estate industry’s only artificial intelligence tenant screening software for apartment and condo properties.
The company says using this feature can save $31 per unit every year. The AI screening tool can link up to any property management system for ease of use and faster screening.
The AI screening tool scans massive amounts of rental data against a renter’s background check and credit screen to look for tenants that are likely to make payments on time, keep the property well, and stay for a particular time.
One issue we came across in our research was a 2018 settlement RealPage made with the Federal Trade Commission due to some problems with this artificial intelligence feature:
Those faulty tenant screenings associated tenants with no criminal history or background with others who shared a similar name and did have criminal backgrounds.
This resulted in some tenants being denied an apartment or condominium without reason. RealPage did pay the $3 million settlement but denied that they were at fault for the problems that occurred.
Their response said they would pay the settlement to avoid the distraction and cost associated with taking the charges to court. You may want to keep this in mind as you consider the RealPage platform.
Property management doesn’t leave a lot of extra time to handle the books, so RealPage offers an accounting service that you can outsource tasks to. There’s a lot you can use this for:
- Complete, data-rich dashboard showing you an overview of financials
- In-depth monthly reports
- Less overhead and equipment required
- No staff holidays or turnover
- Increased accuracy
- Experienced accountants
- Scale up or down as your company needs it
Asset and Investment Management
The Asset and Investment Management arm of RealPage organizes and tracks your revenue and investments so you can focus on increasing ROI and make more secure investments.
Easily view data analytics and track your investments from beginning to end to see new information and patterns you may not have noticed before.
- Compile and make sense of your investment and asset data
- View your real estate and alternative investments to compare and contrast
- Get real-time reports and scheduled reports to keep tabs on changing patterns and data
Real Estate and Apartment Websites
Your potential renters need somewhere to go online in search of information, photos, and ways to connect with your company. You can create a fully-branded website for your apartment building or condominiums using RealPage’s GoDirect Marketing tools.
Your site will be based on WordPress, where you can choose from modern themes that stand out and mobile-responsive designs. This website can speak for your brand when you’re not there to do it and bring in new leads every day.
Plans and Pricing
RealPage offers highly customized products and services, so pricing information varies widely and is not shared online. However, they do list some commercial pricing, which ranges from just under $6/month to $10/month per 10,000 sq ft.
For everything else, reports from current and past users say that pricing starts very low – from $10 – for the most basic products, add-ons, and services.
Some of the more robust features cost around $50-$100 per month. Others, like the property websites, can be close to $1,000 with advanced features and support.
Keep in mind that prices may apply per unit to multi-family properties and may not be as low as they seem at first.
Pros and Cons
As with any balanced review, it’s important to highlight both the pros and cons. Don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you.
Top Alternatives to RealPage
Don’t think that you have to use RealPage. While it’s a good platform, there are other options. We’ve found the top two alternatives and highlighted their best features to help you make an informed decision.
- What it does: ResMan offers property management software that is catered to vacation rentals, serviced apartments, and hotels. Along with day-to-day property management, it provides analytics and data reports, sales trackers, and marketing tools on the platform. There is a great feature that allows you to text tenants about property-related matters.
- What it doesn’t do: You can’t set recurring payments for specific tenants – if you set it up for one, it applies to all. You also can’t include branding colors and designs in the tenant interface, which can be a big drawback for companies who want to present a cohesive brand to their residents.
- Pricing: Not available on the website; you have to contact the company to request a demo
- What it does: Buildium is highly-rated property management software that centers on residential properties, not vacation properties. All property listings can be tracked, organized, and managed through the platform. Cool features include custom, automated monthly data reports and automated monthly rent charges for tenants.
- What it doesn’t do: Buildium doesn’t have great reviews concerning its customer service and support. Buildium Academy, an online library of helpful tips and instructions, seems to be their best attempt at offering customer support. Some reviews talked about the lack of features surrounding scheduled tasks.
- Pricing: There are 2 pricing plans available for Buildium. The Core plan is $47/month for one unit ($234/month for 150 units). The Pro plan is $583/month for 500 units and $5,200/month for 5,000 units.
RealPage seems complex at first because of its wide range of diverse features. Upon further inspection, it’s really a group of 4 core offerings that are packed with features.
From the ability to track daily management tasks to outsourcing accounting and handling tenant’s rent payments, this is a platform that genuinely seems to do it all.
We really liked that you can decide which features you want because they’re all offered in “separate” products. We didn’t like the lack of pricing transparency or reviews that state customizing the dashboard is not possible.
The issues with the faulty tenant background check results through their Artificial Intelligence screening tool (though it’s worth noting that the software’s programming has changed since then, and the charges were filed in 2018).
Should You Use RealPage?
So, is RealPage the best property management software and platform out there? It’s definitely one of the top-rated, and while the pricing information is not available on the website, users of the platform seem to be satisfied with what they’re paying.