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What does a property manager do?

minute read

    You may have invested in a property — or are researching your options — and are considering what to do about managing your investment. Property management can be a full-time job in and of itself, but hiring a property manager may help alleviate this issue. Whether you’ve invested in a single, multi-family or commercial property, a property manager can help take some of the weight off your shoulders when it comes to maintaining your investment.

    What is a property manager?

    A property manager is an individual or company responsible for managing one or more properties on behalf of the property owner. Some owners hire property managers because they don’t live near their investment, or because they don’t have the bandwidth for the day-to-day responsibilities of managing their properties.

    While some owners hire an individual property manager, others might go the route of a property management company.

    Individual property manager

    An individual property manager is hired by an owner to manage their investment. Individual property managers will typically deal with one or just a few properties. Some individual property managers may be hired to simply maintain a unit, while others are hired to manage a unit and communicate with tenants.

    Property management company

    A property management company is a third-party company, generally hired to be the property manager for multiple (typically larger) properties, though they may take on smaller, individual properties as well. Property management companies often have a network of employees that help manage multiple owners and multiple properties. You’ll often find commercial real estate, large apartment buildings or housing communities being run by a property management company as opposed to an individual property manager due to the scale of the property being managed.

    What do property managers do?

    Although the responsibilities of a property manager may vary depending on the owner, here are some common expectations:

    • Filling vacancies
    • Screening tenants
    • Collecting rent
    • Day-to-day building maintenance
    • Communicating between the tenants and the owner
    • Staffing the property (typically for commercial properties)
    • Setting operational budgets
    • Generally responding to and troubleshooting tenant inquiries

    Should I hire a property manager?

    Many people gravitate toward real estate investing because it can be relatively lucrative for relatively low effort. Property managers can make your investment effortless, although some owners do manage their properties alone.

    Extra help may be needed if you’re growing your real estate portfolio. Eventually, it may be too difficult to manage the properties all on your own. If you’re considering hiring a property manager or property management company, here are a few things to keep in mind:

    • The number of properties you own.
    • How close you live to your properties.
    • If you can afford a property manager.
    • If you intend to grow your real estate investment portfolio.
    • If you can handle acting as the owner and property manager alone.
    • Whether you’ll need an individual property manager or a property management company.

    Pros and cons of working with a property manager

    If you’re still on the fence about hiring a property manager, here are some additional points you may consider:


    • As the owner, you still set the rules and standards for how your property will be managed.
    • You can potentially offload as many responsibilities as you’d like.
    • Property managers may make owning multiple properties easier.
    • You can invest in remote properties and have someone else manage them.


    • It may be expensive to hire a property manager or management company. Typically, the property manager takes a percentage of your property’s income.
    • Even though you set the rules and standards for how your property is managed, you’re still a step removed from what’s going on. Therefore, you have a bit less control over the property, who’s living there and the overall day-to-day happenings.
    • Finding a property manager you trust may take time.

    In summary

    Hiring a property manager for your investment property can potentially be quite helpful. Whether you don’t have the time to devote to your property, are looking to scale your investments or simply don’t live near your property, having someone to help may be worth considering. Do note that property managers may be expensive and you’re giving up some control over your property. Research is your friend when determining whether hiring a property manager is best for you and of course, it may be helpful to consult with a real estate professional first.

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