Starting a Property Management Company

11 Replies

I'm in the process of starting my own property management company in our small town after managing our own properties for the past 5 years. I just passed my state licensing exam and am now looking for some advice/resources anyone that has been in the business a while would recommend. Advice/samples of accounting records/software/excel templates, policies & procedure manuals, ect. are what I am needing most... or even a PM start up checklist would be WONDERFUL.  

After 10 years in Resort Management and managing our own properties, we are seeing a great need in the area for a PM that is NOT a slumlord, has ethical practises and does not manage properties that are falling apart. My primary goal is to not have a giant empire but to grow a quality, ethical business the right way while of course earning an income/profit in the process. Any advice is greatly appreciated. 

@Tammy Donivan

I think you are on to the right thing. Property managers are ground-zero for terrible problems in almost every metro. It's a low bar to beat, and your focus on ethics will push it forward.

Although I am not a property manager. One thing I have definitely noticed is how property management is a great piece for developing trust with investors and tenants alike. Given that reputation, you may want to get into investor sales (like a Turnkey operation). This is typically better on your bottom line than the PM side of the business. Granted, I think you should focus on doing one thing correctly, first.

@Tammy Donivan

Check out landlordsource.com. They have some great materials to get a property management company off the ground. I have no affiliation besides being a satisfied customer.

I agree with @Trevor Ewen that there is a terrific need for hard-working, ethical property managers. The barriers to entry in the field are fairly low, so if you run a good business you will likely exceed your expectations (and your clients too!). However, IMHO I believe adding another business line such as investor sales right away would not be wise. Property management can be a very profitable business if done correctly, just like any other field. I would recommend you focus solely on the PM business. Small operations that try to focus on several different lines of business try to be the jack of all trades and end up the master of none.

For great resources I would suggest joining NARPM.. Great organization and if you wanted help creating manuals look up Jean Storm she has a great manual set up you can purchase. It's not state specific and you would need to change and adjust something's but great for creating the right documents one time.

That and joining NARPM will be huge boost

Great! Thank you all. I will check all of these resources out. 

I have a few owners already lined up, so my goal is to remain small for several years to fully understand the industry and my market before aggressively growing the business. I would really like to be known in the area as the "go to" PM company for quality properties with high standards of service. I'm sure I will have many more questions to ask along the way. 

What is one piece of advice you could offer from your experience in the industry?

Any books you have found helpful and would recommend?

Tammy, drop me an email at [email protected] I'm in my second year and have some great resources and people I can put you in contact with to learn from!

@Tammy Donivan - how has the PM company been going?  Did you get started?  I am also thinking of starting one in a small town - as it needs it.!   

I'd love to hear more about your experience!

I would  be willing to help if you send me a message.  I have found it most beneficial and valuable to my clients to get involved with local real estate investment associations that focus on networking, and education.  We are a small company but involved with over 6 local associations in addition to the national groups.  We physically attend a minimum of 4 meetings per month.  That keeps us relevant and updated on local issues that impact our clients from changes to licensing laws that vary by municipality to meeting with the Sheriff's office on eviction updates.  The networking is beneficial as you grow and meet quality reliable vendors you can refer.

Good Luck and let us know how it goes.

Paul MacInnis,  Yes we are up and going now for just about 9 months now. We've been doing well with only 9 properties at the moment. We have been getting our name out there slowly as the Management company with well maintained  and upscale rental properties with personal & professional management services. Our goal is to add another rental unit to our inventory this year, but again we only take certain properties... this niche is working well for us. 

@Tammy Donivan , congrats on the success. Can you share what resources you used to help you setup up your PM company? Did you find any books that are good? Did you end up joining NARPM or using landlordsource.com? 

@Tammy Donivan are you using a property management software? I think that's the best thing you can do - starting off a new PM business using old school reporting will prove problematic quickly. I use Rentigo now that I manage independently but used buildium in the past when I was working in a large company. I think it just depends on your actual needs. 

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