How Much Do Property Managers Charge: A Breakdown

Apr 18, 2024 | By ES Property Management
A calculator that says fees on top of money

When it comes to owning rental property, many landlords quickly discover that managing their investment can be a time-consuming and complex task. This is where a property manager steps in, providing expertise and services that can make your life easier.

However, of course, this comes at a cost. In this blog, we aim to break down the various expenses associated with hiring a property manager, so you can make an informed decision about the best option for managing your rental property.

So keep reading to learn from our team here at ES Property Management, "How much do property management companies charge?"

Understanding Property Management Fees

Property management fees may appear to be an added strain, yet they are in reality the expense of conducting business. They are what you pay for expert help in managing your residential properties. So let's break down these costs.

The Basics of Property Management Fees

Fees typically come in two forms: a flat rate or a percentage of the monthly rent income from each property. The latter is more common and usually falls between 8% to 12% of the rental revenue.

Apart from this, some companies also charge setup fees per new tenant or units managed. This covers administrative work such as lease preparation and coordinating move-ins.

Maintenance And Repair Costs

Beyond standard charges, there may be additional costs for maintenance and repairs. These can include everything from minor fixes to major renovations that keep your property in top shape (iPropertyManagement Research).

You should expect these expenses since it's part of keeping tenants happy and ensuring longevity for your investment property.

The Value Of Professional Property Managers

Surely by now, you're asking - "Why do I need a professional manager? Can't I handle this myself?" Well, yes and no.

Hiring professionals like us at ES Property Management takes away all the stress associated with being a landlord. From screening potential renters to handling late-night repair calls, we've got you covered.

Each property management company is unique, and so are their fees. So before you sign on the dotted line, make sure to ask questions about all potential costs.

Types of Property Management Fees

You may be asking yourself, "What am I getting for my money when employing a property manager?" The answer is not just one lump sum; rather, the charges can be divided into numerous distinct fees that address different facets of managing your real estate.

The costs can be broken down into several specific fees that cover different aspects of managing your property.

Management Fee

This is the main fee you'll see and typically ranges from 7-10% of the monthly rental income. This covers the day-to-day tasks like collecting rent and handling tenant issues. It’s essentially what you pay for peace of mind knowing someone else is taking care of all these duties.

Setup Fee

A setup fee could range anywhere from $0 to $300 per unit managed, but this varies depending on location and company policy. This helps cover initial costs associated with getting your properties in their system and ready to go.

Vacancy Fee

Sometimes if a property goes vacant, managers will still charge a reduced rate or vacancy fee until they find another tenant. Think about it as an incentive – empty units don’t make money so there’s extra motivation to get them filled quickly.

Maintenance Reserve Fund

The maintenance reserve fund isn't necessarily a 'fee' but more like security savings. Managers often require landlords to set aside some cash for unexpected repairs — usually around $200-$500 per unit.

With these key types of fees in mind, you can better anticipate the costs associated with hiring a property manager. While it might seem like a lot upfront, the right property management company will save you time and stress in the long run.

Two people shaking hands-1Factors Influencing Property Management Costs

Understanding the costs of property management is like untangling a ball of yarn; there are many threads to pull. Let's take a look at the elements that shape these costs.

The Scope of Services

The scope and complexity of services you need will impact how much you pay. Basic services might include tenant placement, rent collection, and maintenance coordination. However, if you're after more comprehensive help—like renovations oversight or legal support—the cost can increase.

Type and Number of Properties

The type and number of properties you own also play a role in determining fees. Managing single-family homes usually requires more work per unit than multifamily properties because they have separate locations and needs.

Your Property’s Location

If your rental property is located in an area with high demand for rentals, this could mean higher management fees due to increased workload from faster tenant turnover rates.

Conversely, less desirable areas may lead to longer vacancies which also require extra effort to market effectively.

Fee Structure: Percentage vs Flat Fee

Different fee structures will affect overall costs as well. Some managers charge a percentage fee based on collected rent, while others use flat rate billing regardless of income fluctuations making budgeting easier but potentially pricier during low occupancy periods.

Taking all these into account, costs can vary greatly depending on individual circumstances — so understanding what drives them helps ensure fair pricing.

Average Cost of Property Managers

Knowing the cost of property managers is crucial when budgeting for your investment. These costs can be broken down into monthly management fees and leasing fees.

The National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) reports that most companies charge a monthly management fee ranging from 8% to 12% of the rental income. So, if you're raking in $1,500 per month on rent, expect to pay between $120 and $180 each month for professional help.

Leasing fees are another story. They cover the cost of finding and securing tenants — it's like paying someone else to roll out the welcome mat. Typically these charges hover around one month’s rent,  but they can vary based on market conditions.

Beware The Extra Fees

Sometimes additional expenses pop up. From setup fees to maintenance markups or eviction costs; all should be laid out in your contract with your chosen manager.

To give some numbers: Setup could set you back anywhere from $0-$300 while an eviction might drain anything between $200-$500 plus legal costs.

Ways to Save on Property Management Costs

Saving money on property management isn't just about cutting corners. It's about making smart, strategic decisions that give you more bang for your buck.

Negotiate the Management Fee

Don't be afraid to negotiate the fee with potential managers. Remember, this is a business transaction and both parties need to feel satisfied. Some negotiation tactics can help lower costs without sacrificing service quality.

Leverage Long-Term Contracts

If you trust your selection of manager, consider signing a long-term agreement for possible cost savings as it provides stability in income. This move often results in discounted rates because it guarantees a steady income for the manager.

Avoid Unnecessary Maintenance Work

Maintenance can eat up a lot of your budget if not handled wisely. Make sure maintenance requests are legitimate and necessary before approval. Implementing preventative measures can also save you from costly repairs down the line.

Hiring Independent vs. Company Property Managers

When it comes to property management, you have two main choices: independent managers or professional companies. Both solutions present their advantages and drawbacks, impacting the general expenditure.

Independent Property Managers

An independent property manager, usually a single individual or small team, might offer lower rates. However, remember that they also juggle multiple properties like yours.

Their services can be more personalized because of fewer clients, but managing many tasks alone could mean less attention for your property.

Property Management Companies

Property management companies, on the other hand, are often larger organizations with a broad range of resources at their disposal.

This scale allows them to handle multiple issues simultaneously but may lack a personal touch due to high client volume.

Pricing Comparison Between The Two

Here are the average cost ranges for property managers:

  • Independent Manager: Typically charges 7-10% of rental income per month.
  • Company Manager: Generally charges 8-12% of rental income per month.

Please note that these ranges are averages and can vary significantly depending on factors such as location, services provided, and the number of properties managed.

Making the Decision to Hire a Property Manager

So, you're on the fence about hiring a property manager. It's normal. This decision is not just about money; it involves time, stress, and peace of mind.

Weighing Costs vs Benefits

In weighing the costs versus benefits of hiring a property manager, consider the value of your time and peace of mind. Yes, hiring a property manager will cost money, but it also frees up time that you can devote to other pursuits.

You'll no longer have to worry about midnight maintenance calls, rent collection, or tenant disputes — those will be handled by professionals. Plus, efficient property management can lead to happier tenants and fewer vacancies.

Ultimately, it's a question of what you value more: the money saved by managing properties yourself, or the time and energy you could save by delegating these tasks to a professional.

Your Time is Money

If you find yourself overwhelmed with a never-ending list of tasks that exceeds the available hours in your day, outsourcing could be a game-changer. By delegating certain responsibilities, you can free up valuable time to concentrate on expanding your portfolio, exploring new opportunities, or simply enjoying quality moments with your loved ones.

Imagine the peace of mind that comes with knowing that tenant issues are expertly handled, allowing you to focus on what truly matters to you.

Navigating Legal Waters

Managing rental properties isn't just about collecting rent and scheduling maintenance. It also involves adhering to local, state, and federal laws that govern landlord-tenant relationships. These laws cover a wide array of areas including discrimination, safety, evictions, and more.

Violation of these laws, whether intentional or not, can result in hefty fines or legal disputes.

By hiring a property manager, you're employing someone with knowledge and experience in these areas. They understand the legalities and implications, ensuring that you remain compliant at all times. Plus, in the event of an eviction or legal dispute, they'll be able to navigate the legal waters on your behalf, providing you with essential peace of mind.

A happy business woman sitting at her deskUse Professional Property Management Services for Long-Term Benefits

Hiring a property manager is not a decision to be taken lightly. It's an investment that should be given careful consideration, factoring in your time, stress levels, and the potential returns on your property.

With a clear understanding of the cost structures, the potential benefits, and how to possibly save on management fees, you can make an informed decision. Whether you opt for an independent manager or a property management company, the most important thing is to find a solution that best suits your needs, aligns with your investment goals, and ultimately enables you to make the most out of your properties.

At ES Property Management, we strive to offer personalized solutions tailored to your investment needs. Our proficient team handles a wide range of services, including tenant placement, rent collection, and maintenance coordination. We employ our industry knowledge to navigate complex legalities, and our efficient management methods promote happy tenancies and minimize vacancies.

For more information about property management, download our free resource, The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Property Manager.

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