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How to Hire a Property Manager: A Comprehensive Guide

Hiring a property manager or a property management company for your rental property is a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. You're entrusting your property to a professional, and it's crucial to ensure that you've...

Property manager showing young family a new apartment

Hiring a property manager or a property management company for your rental property is a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. You're entrusting your property to a professional, and it's crucial to ensure that you've made the right choice. In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about hiring a property manager, including the differences between management companies and sole proprietors, important questions to ask, pricing considerations, and what to expect from the entire process.

What Do Property Managers Do?

A property manager is responsible for handling all aspects of managing your rental property. From marketing and tenant interviews to rent collection and maintenance oversight, they take care of everything. They provide a layer of legal protection, save you time and hassle, and ensure that your property is well-maintained.

Property Manager vs. Property Management Company

When it comes to choosing between a property manager and a property management company, there are a few key differences to consider:

  • A property manager is usually an individual or a small team that works directly with the property and tenants. They offer personalized attention and are connected to the local community.
  • A property management company, on the other hand, consists of a team of professionals who handle multiple properties. They have better marketing capabilities, more efficient processes, and often offer competitive rates.

Hiring a Property Manager

When dealing with an individual or a small team, hiring a property manager often feels more like a job interview than obtaining a service quote. It's important to get to know them personally and ensure that they have the necessary experience, licensing, and insurance. Look for qualifications such as a background in property management, experience in maintaining properties, and professionalism.

Before inviting a property manager for a site visit, make sure your property is clean and any necessary repairs or renovations are done to prepare it for renting.

How to Find a Property Manager

To find a property manager near you, compile a list of 3 to 5 candidates and check their reviews and ratings. If their reputation meets your expectations, reach out to them and conduct an interview. Here are some questions you can ask to find a good property manager:

  • What are your fees? Property managers usually charge between 5% and 10% of the monthly rent.
  • Can you show me a sample of the owner contract and lease agreement? It's important to review these documents before making a decision.
  • What services do you offer? Most property managers provide complete property management services, including marketing, administrative work, rental collection, and maintenance oversight.
  • How do you market my home? Marketing techniques may vary, so it's essential to understand their approach.
  • How do you decide on a rental rate? Property managers typically use regional market rates to determine a fair rental price.
  • How do you screen tenants and what qualifications do you require? It's crucial to ensure that your property will be rented to reliable tenants. Ask about their tenant screening process, including credit checks, employment verification, and rental history checks.
  • How many properties do you oversee? The fewer properties they manage, the more attention they can give to each property.
  • Can I cancel my contract with you, and if so, is there a penalty? Make sure you are aware of the terms and conditions before signing any contracts.
  • Can you provide me with any references? Reputable property managers should be able to provide references from satisfied clients.
  • Who do you have as a support team? Property managers often have a small support team consisting of accountants, marketers, and clerical staff, as well as a handyman for maintenance issues.

Hiring a Rental Management Company

Hiring a rental management company involves entrusting your property to a team of professionals rather than an individual. There are several advantages to this approach:

  • Better marketing programs: Large companies often have more effective marketing strategies, ensuring less unoccupied time for your property.
  • More efficient processes: Companies can afford automated systems of payment and other administrative tasks.
  • Competitive rates: As companies grow and scale, they can usually offer more competitive pricing than individual property managers.

In addition to the questions mentioned earlier, here are a few more to ask when dealing with a rental management company:

  • Do you assign property managers to specific properties, or are they pooled? This will determine how easily you can obtain information about your rental.
  • Do you have real estate agents involved with rentals or working for the company? Real estate brokers have valuable expertise in housing and can better judge the market value of your rental property.
  • How many properties does each property manager oversee? This will give you an idea of the level of attention your property will receive.

Hiring a Property Manager for Your Vacation Rental

Short-term rental properties, such as those listed on Airbnb and Vrbo, require more specialized attention. Some property managers specialize in this area, but their rates may be higher due to the additional care and support needed. If you're considering hiring a property manager for your vacation rental, here are some questions to ask:

  • How many properties do you list on Airbnb?
  • What's your occupancy rate?
  • What are your fees?
  • How large is your support team?
  • What cleaning and sanitation procedures do you use?
  • What's your criteria for accepting a reservation?
  • Are you insured?


How do property managers get clients? Property managers often acquire clients through real estate agent referrals, online searches, digital advertising, and word-of-mouth recommendations.

Remember, finding the right property manager is crucial for the success of your rental property. Take the time to thoroughly evaluate your options, ask the right questions, and make an informed decision. With the right property manager by your side, you can ensure your property is well-managed, and you can enjoy a hassle-free rental experience.

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