3 Things to Know About Property Management Companies

A property management company is a firm tasked with the management and day-to-day operation of a rental property, though the firm itself does not own the property.

Property management companies typically range in size from one to two employees to dozens of staff members. Though property management companies offer more experience in customer service, they also may have a less vested interest in the success of the property than the owner does.

1. Not all rentals have an overseeing property management company

What you should first understand about property management companies is that not every rental is overseen by one. While many rentals do have a property management company in place, some are managed directly by the owner. Property management companies are usually contracted by the owner of the property in instances where they don't have the time or resources to manage it themselves. This is why properties with more rental units are those typically overseen by a property management company.

2. There are some differences between a property management company and a landlord

Beyond the logistics of what defines a property management company and what defines a landlord, you're probably interested in the differences you as a renter would see between the two. First of all, property managers may come off as more "corporate" than a landlord, as they don't have a personal connection with the success of the property. However, in the same vein, property management companies backed by large staffs and many resources may be better equipped when it comes to customer service. Plus, many times, property managers maintain office hours on-site where problems can be addressed in-person during business hours.

3. Think about your communication style

When deciding whether or not you should rent a unit offered by a property management company, one important factor to consider is your preferred style of communication. While you may be able to reach an individual landlord directly to negotiate issues, with property management companies you have a more formalized process. Plus, property management companies may require that requests pass through several levels on the chain of command before anything can be done. Both have benefits and drawbacks, so you need to think about which you prefer.

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It's important to know the difference

There are some specific distinctions that define a property management company. For many renters, renting a unit offered by a property management company is a great option. For others, other rental options are preferable. Regardless, you need to know the 411 on property management companies in order to make the right choice for you.

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Timothy HarrisTimothy Harris is a freelance writer based in Albuquerque. He brings a professional background in event marketing, residential real estate and journalism to the table to provide useful and relevant content for the modern renter. Timothy has previously written content for Karsten & Associates in New Mexico and Up 'til Dawn, a philanthropic fundraiser that benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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