Buildium versus LandlordMax
At first glance, these two applications are quite similar but when you take an in depth look, there are some very definite differences between the two. We evaluated them in twelve categories: free trial look and feel, target market, learning curve, long term outlook, limitations, technical support, pricing structure, cost, value main differences and best feature. After comparing the differences, it was clear to us which one we would pick. We share this choice at the bottom of the page. First, take a look at our comparison by category:
Both companies offer completely free trials of their respective products. The Buildium trial period is 15 days while the LandlordMAX trial lasts up to 30 days. Plus, the LandlordMAX trial allows you to see all that the software can do while, due to extra costs, Buildium does not let you trial the extra features like tenant screening and online payments. Even though LandlordMAX does not offer these features, they still win in the free trial category.
Look and Feel
In this category, we evaluated the aesthetic of each application. This is over all attractiveness of the software. This is a very personal and subjective area but we think that you will agree that the Buildium software is just more attractive. The choice of colors, fonts and layouts is just more pleasing to the eye. LandlordMAX is not unattractive - it is just less polished than Buildium.
Although both of these tools are geared towards single or multibuilding property management, Buildium definitely has more to offer if you need scalability to an enterprise sized operations where you have multiple property owners and units. They not only provide tools to manage your rental units but they have better tools for running the company behind the rental operation.
To be honest, both of these softwares have a little bit of a learning curve. Neither do a very good job of gently guiding you through the initial setup. So, there is no clear winner here. We'd recommend that you take time to read the information provided by the two companies before you do anything else. LandlordMAX has various configurations and you can take on as little or as much of the back-end technical operations as you feel comfortable with. Most of this is related to database management. Buildium does not offer anything like this - they do all the heavy lifting for you.
Long Term Outlook
It is important be sure that, which ever company you choose to give your business to, they will still be in business this time next year. Both companies seem to be stable. They have both been around for over 10 years. Buildium routinely updates their blog, LandlordMAX is quick to respond to forum posts on their website and they both responded very quickly to support requests. There is reason to question either company's future existence.
Both of these applications are built to be expandable in terms of the number of properties that you can manage. With all of the extra features available, Buildium feels like it has fewer limitations. Any limitations are more of a pricing scheme than actual functionality limits. (See the Pricing Structure category)
Both companies offer unlimited free "help desk" type support. Buildium has an online "tips and tricks" page and a very up-to-date and active blog that is very helpful. LandlordMAX has published a 129 page user manual and an complimentary online user forum. We are happy to report that both companies seem very active in supporting their clients.
Unfortunately, LandlordMAX does not offer any add-ons. Buildium really shines in this category . They offer some great pay-per-use features like tenant screening, electronic 1099 filing, online payments and printing services. In this category, Buildium wins hands-down.
This is where the two products differ the most. Buildium charges a sliding monthly scale based upon the number of units that you will be managing. This is probably intended to compensate for the extra database size and bandwidth that you will be using. LandlordMAX has a slightly more complex pricing structure. They offer a desktop (Mac and Windows O/S) version with a single user account or an online version with three categories based on the number of user accounts you will require.
Buildium's basic cost of 1 to 40 units is US$40 per month ($480 per year). It maxes-out at $1,800 per month for up to 5,000 units. After that, you can contact them directly for pricing. LandlordMAX's cost ranges from US$199 for the desktop version right up to $2,999 for the enterprise version. But, this is a one time cost. And they provide free upgrades. So, in this category, LandlordMAX is the clear winner.
In this category, we wanted to evaluate what you get for your money. We are torn between the two products. LandlordMAX is relatively inexpensive and a one time expense but Buildium offers so many more features. So, in their own ways, they are both excellent values - you just need to decide which is best for your application.
LandlordMAX feels more like an off the shelf software product. Even their technical support feels very traditional with user manuals and proper release notes. Buildium gives you a sense that it is more of a cloud based application complete with blog-based support. LandlordMAX does what it does very well and little more - but at a great price. Buildium offers many neat features that many property managers will appreciate but at a price.
Buildium: Do we have to choose just one feature? It is our article so no, we don't. We loved the idea of the online tenant screening, tenant and owner portals, low maintenance and fully backed-up data.
LandlordMAX: The reporting tools available are very impressive.
The Winner Is...
This property management software just has so much to offer. It is very apparent that this company is constantly moving forward and looking for ways to improve their product. This is clearly illustrated by the array of features presently found in the product. They have done a wonderful job of developing a suite of management tools that is relevant, accessible and affordable to every property management professional whether you are renting out your basement apartment or managing hundreds of units located in multiple buildings and owned by multiple property owners.