The problem with property management software is there seems to be two extremes.
On one side is a product that has just about every feature you could dream of and is designed for professional property management companies with hundreds or even thousands of units.
On the other side, is a bare bones product with few features beyond rent collection and tenant screening. Sure, it's nearly free, but what good is it?
Enter, Avail.co. It's definitely something in between. It's designed for the smaller landlord that has anywhere from 1 to 20 rental units.
It has features you'd want as you become a more professional landlord, but is inexpensive enough that you can afford it.
In the rest of this review of Avail.co, we're going to run through the features, their functionality, and then at the end give our overall rating of this service. Click on any of the links below to jump straight to that section.
Overall avail.co is really simple to use, has all the core features you want/need, and is very affordable for big and small landlords alike. One of the coolest feature they have is the fastest rent deposit available on the web (coming out early 2019).
Other companies will hold your deposit for upwards of a week. Avail.co can have that money to you in 1-2 days. There's nothing worse than needing to pay your mortgage or some other vendor while waiting on the rent to hit your account!
Some of the drawbacks are that some features cost extra (like the rent analysis), and the company page you get could be more customization with its appearance or URL.
Ease of Use
Avail.co is far easier to use than some other software out there. It's natural and intuitive to get everything done on the system, and I mean everything.
Some of my biggest gripes with other software is how difficult it can be to use customizable leases, create new properties or tenants, or set up auto-draft etc. Avail makes it all very simple.
For the Avail Review account, I created a sample property in my home city just to test it out. Here is the dashboard.
As you can see, everything is front and center in a way that you'd want it to be.
Normally the ease of use of the software doesn't take the center stage, but it will follow through with every aspect of the review of Avail, that's why I put it first.
Now we can leave this here and move on to it's features, but keep this in mind in future sections.
Rental Listings & Vacancies
This is a fairly standard product for property management software, but Avail does have their own unique twist on it that makes it a little bit better than the competition.
One of the most annoying things for me is that I get phone calls sometimes MONTHS after leasing a unit. Even though I've removed my listing from the software, it still finds itself published on some sites out there.
Avail tracks that for you and you'll know if you're listing is still live or not. If you're getting a lot of calls from it, you can hunt it down and make sure it's taken down.
Maybe more importantly, you'll have positive verification as it goes live across the various rental listing websites (including all the big name ones).
Putting Together Your Listing
This is fairly simple and requires an address, descriptions, some pictures, and details about amenities and what's included or not. These are the standard things any listing requires and the software just walks you through the process.
It's really nice that it takes you through all of the requirements so you don't miss anything.
One cool thing is that it automatically pulled some recent pictures from a previous Zillow listing for the property. Not sure how it does that, but I didn't have to upload any new photos for it.
As simple as it may be, I really liked that.
Before you're done, you get to preview the listing.
I didn't put much effort into creating the listing because it's for test purposes, but a few things stand out. I really liked how the core amenities are just clickable buttons with little icons. The same is true with utilities, you just click a button and it populates the fields.
It's all designed to be quick and easy.
The reports it provides is a mixed bag. It has a lot of core reports you might want, but it's lacking reports you might want in a more advanced property management solution.
Here's what you get:
But it's missing anything related to accounting. Obviously, they don't provide accounting so reports related to it should be lacking. But, it highlights the issue of its lack of accounting.
In some way it's lack of accounting reports is due to its lack of accounting features, I'm still going to ding it one star here.
Also, I'm not going to put up pictures for these. They are fairly standard, have the information you want/need and all look alike anyhow. So, it will just take up space.
Just know that the reports they offer are great, I'm dinging it because of lack of accounting reports. (But, whatever accounting software you use should have these reports anyhow.)
This is a cool feature I haven't seen anywhere else. It is an upsell, but it might be worth it if you're newer as a landlord and want to know what your rentals are truly worth on the market.
While you can do your own comparative market analysis, it is very time consuming.
This is just the first page of a several page analysis, but it gets the general idea across of what you'll be getting.
Here, you'll be able to see a number of factors that will help you determine if your property is priced properly and moving quickly enough. The 3 important data points are:
Vacancy Rates - you'll get the average vacancy rates in your area so when you run pro forma rents, you can deduct the proper amount of vacancy from your income.
Days on Market - It's been 10 days and it's not rented yet. Has it been on for too long or not long enough? Knowing the average days on market will help you answer that question.
Rent Comparables - And obviously, what report would be good without knowing your rent comparables? You'll know what your competition is renting for and get a high and low range where you rental should be as well.
A cool feature that will set you apart from your competition is your company website.
This is becoming fairly common for landlord software, but it's still pretty cool to have. With this, prospective tenants can see what you have for rent and apply online.
Current tenants can login to pay their rent or submit work orders as well.
Here's the website I threw together in about 2 minutes for this review of avail.co
Obviously, you'd want to spend some time filling in the details near the bottom, fleshing out the FAQ, etc.
But, overall, it's a good looking website with all the functions you need.
Reasons Not to Get Avail.co
There are two key reasons why you'd want to skip avail.co as your property management software.
- 1You are a property manager for people other than yourself
- 2You want to use the PM software for accounting as well
If you fall into either category, avail.co is probably not the solution for you.
Some people want to use their PM software to also record expenses, track receipts, pay vendors, do year end 1099's, etc.
I personally use QuickBooks, but others use a variety of options out there.
If you really want your property management software to have a full suite of accounting options, you'll want a higher end option.
Avail is really geared toward the individual landlord who just wants to manage the units. You'll have to find your accounting options elsewhere.
If you are trying to grow and build a business as a property manager, Avail is probably not for you as well.
As a PM, you'll want to be able to set up property owner accounts who can have access to just their units, income, expenses, and reports. Avail does not have this feature.
This is lacking due to their focus - they are focused on individual landlords and owners. An owner that also managers their own properties just needs a solution for themselves, not for other people.