If you're a small landlord, managing your rental(s) can seem tedious. There's not a lot of tools available to help, and the ones that are available are usually build for large apartment complexes and firms and cost a lot of money.
And, as a small landlord, the more fees you pay, the more it can eat into your profits.
That's where Avail comes in. They offer small landlords great software to help them manage their rentals for affordable pricing. Check out our Avail review and let us know what you think!
- Allows solo landlords to scale into the software
- Affordable pricing for the number of features
- Lacks in accounting capabilities
Who Is Avail?
Avail is a feature-rich, property management software application. They were formerly known as Rentalutions but changed their name in 2018 to Avail. Their mission is to make property management for do-it-yourself (DIY) landlords simple.
Avail’s CEO is Ryan Coon. Avail is based in Chicago. You can find them at avail.co.
What Do They Offer?
Some landlords are old-school and don’t mind going to each tenant to collect rent, handling manually screening them, and putting up listings on various websites themselves.
Other landlords have full-time jobs and being a landlord is their side hustle. These landlords can’t afford to put a team in place to manage all the administration that goes along with property management. This is the market Avail is targeting.
Avail offers several plans that allow landlords to scale their business:
- Basic: $0/month. Includes one unit and $6 for each additional unit. $2 bank payment fee.
- Landlord: $10/month. Everything in Basic but $0 bank payment fee, full customization, FastPay, and marketing website.
- Landlord Plus: $25/month. Everything in Landlord and includes five units, $0 bank payment fee, $4 per additional unit, priority support, unlimited messages, and photos.
- Professional: $50/month. Everything in Plus and multi-deposit functions, $2 per unit above 15 units.
The paid plans come with 30-day trials. FastPay allows funds to become available on the same day they are withdrawn. This is unlike ACH, which often takes three days.
Avail’s pricing structure lets landlords with a single unit scale up as their real estate empire grows. This is done easily and the subscription cost is kept low. When you think about the 1-unit $10/month plan, it only costs another $40/month to add 14 units. That drops the per-unit rate from $10/month to $2.67/month.
To help landlords better manage their property, Avail offers the following features:
- Rental listings
- Rental applications
- Tenant screening
- Credit, criminal, and eviction reports
- Digital leases
- Online rent collection
- Maintenance tracking
- Rent price analysis
When a landlord uses Avail to list their property, inquiries go to a central location. This allows the landlord to manage all potential tenant inquiries in one place. Landlords can respond to each tenant inquiry.
Tenant screening can be a tedious process. There are many websites that offer various levels of screening that you can cobble together to get an overall view of potential tenants. Avail’s tenant screening offers a renter profile report at no cost. This report includes:
- Job history
- Rental history
- Income verification
You can also request a credit report for an additional $25. It includes a credit score, adverse items, and credit history. As well, there is the full screening option for $45. It includes the renter profile and credit reports plus the following:
- Nationwide criminal
- Terror list
- Sex offender
These reports are done through TransUnion, which may not include as much information as other sources. A tenant’s credit score is not affected by pulling these reports. It’s up to the landlord for who will pay the report fee. It isn’t uncommon that the applicant pays.
Leases can be complex. There are many clauses to consider and they are state-specific. Avail simplifies this task through its digital leases offering. As the landlord, you’re able to configure what you need including:
- Rent amount
- Options such as allowing pets, smoking, etc.
Once you’ve configured your lease, tenants can sign it using a digital signature, which keeps everything online. Besides the obvious conveniences, digital applications and leases are more secure than paper, which can be lost, thrown away accidentally, or stolen.
“If you go and apply for an apartment in Chicago, for example, you just walk up to someone’s unit or office, write down all your information on a piece of paper and hand it over to them,” Coon told to PYMNTS.com. “That certainly isn’t secure.”
One area Avail is lacking in is accounting. Running NOI, vacancy cost projections, maintenance cost, tax prep, and other related reports would be helpful. But for that, you’ll have to use a different program. Still, Avail provides lots of functionality.
A new feature that Avail just launched is CreditBoost. This feature allows tenants to directly report on-time payments to the credit bureaus to potentially help them boost their credit score.
To enable this, landlords need to be using Premium Avail, and also enable it for their tenants.
Currently, payments are reported to Transunion only.
This is a similar tool to RentTrack.
Is It a Good Deal?
Being a solo landlord means you have to wear all hats. It’s time-consuming enough to keep up buildings, evict tenants, chase down payments, and get a unit ready for move-in.
With Avail, much of the administration is automated. If you want to become a more efficient landlord, reducing time spent on administration is a great place to start.
One area Avail could improve on is having more accounting features. If it wants to dominate this market, accounting will need to be added before its competitors add it as part of their offering.
Because Avail offers so many features at a very reasonable price, we believe it is a good deal.