Small multi family: What is your property management model

6 Replies

How do you manage an apartment complex with less that 70 units? Do you have an onsite property manager and/or onsite maintenance tech?. Do you directly employ people or pay a property management company that employs onsite staff? (similar to large apartment complex model).

I own 75 units, 50 of them in same subdivision (own most of 2 streets). I let my maintenance guy stay for free in one of the units, pay him when there is work, let him find work when I can't employ him. I manage everything else myself. So far working good but not a perfect or scaleble solution. 

I am co-founder of a startup developing Artificial intelligence based monitoring tech to constantly watch out for any issues either with tenants or maintenance issues.  We are in engineering phase and seeking feedback from bigger pockets community about the pain points in managing small multifamily properties.

If you are in the 55-60+ range, you could have an on-site manager who also usually brings along their own maintenance guy and/ or leasing agent.

If it’s smaller than that, you’re probably best off if you have a part-time property manger. In one of my properties, I have a part-time manager that works full time at a larger property and works with mine as needed. She also uses the maintenance guy from the larger property to do necessary repairs at mine. 

I pay her hourly as needed. 

Could be an option for you. 

@Juan Vargas thanks for the tip about hiring someone from bigger apartment complex who could bring in their crew. I presume you don't get same hourly rate or response time as someone on-site, but better than completely outsourcing maiantance to a general contractor. What is the typical percentage you pay for a part-time property manager? Is it typical 8-10% range. How often do they visit the properties and visit the tenants?

wow, that's a great deal. Most property managers don't work for $15 an hour for good reason. Can't build a business with that. Understand that's extra income for her and you happened to have found that person.

@Krishna Chava I have 4 properties in the 10-30 unit range and many smaller properties all adding up to more than 200 units. I think when you're in this awkward middle stage you have two viable options. 

1) Find  a good property manager that can handle that kind of portfolio. Mine is really good, charges me 6% of gross rents and has grown right along with me. 

2) Start your own property management company, work to hire the right people, take on some rentals from other people.

I think both approaches are valid. Option 1 is better and less headache if you can find it. Option 2 is better if you're looking to save money and be more actively involved.

Pick the best for you in your area but think about the other as a backup plan.

Also keep in mind that hiring any onsite personnel is going to add a lot of cost so immediately think about how you can scale them up. 

@Jeff Kehl Agree, If I can find someone small who would grow with me as I expand, that would be ideal. 6% is very good rate.

I thought starting a property management company, but, instead, I am working on a tech solution with a silicon valley partner to help with most of tasks. It's basically a network of cameras that would work like video door bell for the tenant, but at the same time collect data for landlord as to how many people are living in each unit, any break-in attempts, any issues with common area etc.,