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Buildium vs. Appfolio: Which is Best for Tenant Verification?

You're a seasoned property manager juggling multiple rental properties, and you have a stack of tenant applications waiting for verification and review. And, every second you delay, you’re losing money hanging onto a vacant property. 

You need a tenant verification tool that streamlines the process, ensures you have the information you need to make the right choices, and ultimately keeps your rental business thriving. 

Two giants stand out in the property management software industry, leaving many property managers asking one question: Buildium vs. Appfolio? Which solution is best for your business? And, perhaps a more essential question: does either solution offer the features and functionality you need for the strongest possible tenant verification and screening processes?

This post will cover the basics for Buildium vs. Appfolio! We will cover features, pros, cons, pricing, and more. 

Buildium vs. Appfolio: Why You Need a Tenant Verification Solution 

Implementing an effective tenant verification solution provides several key benefits for property managers. Screening tools offer increased efficiency and cost-savings by automating screening tasks you used to handle manually. They can also support legal compliance by automatically incorporating fair housing regulations into decisions. 

One key advantage of using an advanced verification service is that it makes it easier to run comprehensive, accurate checks on your applicants’ criminal background, credit history, and rental records. This can protect your properties by flagging applicants with damage histories or illegal behavior. However, not all verification systems are equal. 

Buildium and Appfolio, for example, take different approaches to screening. Comparing their features, integrations, and capabilities highlights the pros and cons of each platform. With this context, you can better determine if Buildium, Appfolio, or another software, like Intellirent, best fits your tenant verification needs.

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Buildium: Pros and Cons

Buildium is a property technology company that develops software to help property managers run their businesses more efficiently. It’s an ideal solution for landlords and property managers who manage more than 50+ units, like multi-family, student housing, or other large communities. 

Key Features of Buildium

The software offers many features, including: 

  • Property management website
  • Online leasing tools
  • Maintenance integrations
  • Online rent payments
  • Resident center for community building
  • Tenant verification features (including background checks)

Pros and Cons

One of Buildium’s key advantages is that you pay a flat monthly fee no matter how many units you manage — so as your portfolio grows, your costs don't keep rising. It also has a free, no-obligation trial period, so you can gauge its fit for your business. Users also seem to like the document management and financial reporting features too.

However, that flat monthly rate mentioned above? It's actually more expensive than some other options out there. Some customers have also complained about seemingly clunky email and communication features, long wait times, and frustrating customer service. 

Pricing and Reviews

Buildium requires a $99 setup fee, with an additional $40 to $95 monthly fee, depending on your level of service. You can run credit and criminal background checks for $15 a report. More advanced reporting, like credit, criminal background, and eviction checks are an additional $3 per report ($18 total). 

G2, a popular software review site, offers both positive and negative insights on tools from real users. When it comes to Buildium reviews, One happy reviewer says:

“Buildium is great because everything is so streamlined. The entire leasing process, from start to finish, can be managed in one place. For property mangers like myself, who manage 400+ properties, efficiency is key. Buildium is the most efficient platform I have ever used.”

On the other hand, another review shares some of the software’s weaknesses. They say:

“One of the main complaints we get from rental owners is their lack of visibility into certain tasks. For example, when a resident submits a Resident request, the owners cannot see this, even if we share a message with them from that task. It would be very helpful if we could open up the owners' visibility to certain requests on a case-by-case basis.”

Appfolio: Pros and Cons

Another major player in the tenant verification space, AppFolio, is a technology company that provides cloud-based business software solutions for leasing agents and landlords. Their solution is best for large companies–like investor groups–that manage 100+ units, like commercial spaces.

Key Features of Appfolio

The software offers many features, including: 

  • AI-integrated maintenance management
  • Mobile application access
  • Automated invoicing and billing features
  • Virtual showings
  • Communications hub for tenants
  • Online tenant verification

Pros and Cons

AppFolio is a reliable, established player in the industry and can easily integrate with other systems and tools property managers frequently use. And while it’s used largely by big companies, the pricing is also competitive for managers with fewer properties or units. 

One downside of the software is that it needs to improve user-friendliness. Some customers have found the interface and templates challenging to use efficiently. And like Buildium, others have been frustrated by long waits and difficult access when seeking customer support. 

Pricing and Reviews

AppFolio is free to set up but charges a $250 user fee per month and a charge for each managed unit. Community associations cost $0.80, residential units and student housing costs are $1.25, and commercial costs $1.50, making the tool more expensive as your business grows.

One positive G2 reviewer says this about AppFolio:

“Appfolio equips plenty of tools that help streamline our processes. The ability to automate tasks, accept payments online, and the Smart Maintenance system have been invaluable to us. We also appreciate the ability to add notes and write detailed information.”

However, AppFolio isn’t perfect. Another G2 review says: 

“The system is great, but sometimes my clients have problems navigating it. They don't have the day-to-day experiences our employees have, and when they need to do something, they get easily intimidated. Maybe making the tenant/owner portals a bit more user-friendly.”

Beyond Buildium vs. Appfolio: The Best Choice For Your Properties

When comparing Buildium vs. AppFolio as potential property management solutions, it's clear each platform has advantages and disadvantages. And while these tools have broader property management capabilities, you need a dedicated tenant verification tool to optimize this aspect of your leasing and screening process. 

Intellirent is purpose-built to enhance and accelerate tenant verification, supporting robust tenant screening with information including comprehensive background checks, credit reports via TransUnion, and customizable application forms. 

Our innovative Renter Resumes feature simplifies applicant evaluation and comparison, making it easy to identify your ideal renters. By streamlining screening with features like Renter Resumes, Intellirent’s dedicated tool goes beyond generalized platforms to provide the most reliable and efficient tenant verification, reducing risk and saving you time and money. 

Request a free product tour to see if Intellirent might be the right fit for your business.

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