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A property management company manages as many aspects of your investment property as you see fit. These companies typically market your vacant units, manage and oversee repairs and maintenance, pay utility bills, and collect rent payments. They may also find and screen prospective tenants, sign leases, copy keys, clean the units, and get them in rent-ready condition.
The duties of a property management company will vary depending on the type and size of the properties you own and how hands-on you want to be. Property management companies typically charge a percentage of the monthly rent, which can range from 7 percent to more than 20 percent, depending on the location and services required. Keep reading to find out which one of these best property management companies is right for your needs.
Best Overall: Greystar
Why We Chose It: Greystar, one of the largest apartment managers, has decades of experience and offices worldwide and provides end-to-end property management services.
Solid industry reputation
Decades of industry experience in numerous markets
Manages different types of properties, including furnished corporate rentals
Has been involved in litigation regarding a tenant’s personal data
Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, Greystar is one of the world’s leading property management companies. It has over $32 billion in gross assets and manages more than 500,000 units in the United States alone. It also has offices in Europe, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific regions. One of its notable buildings is Ascent Uptown in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to property management services, Greystar also invests in real estate and develops properties.
Greystar manages furnished corporate housing, mixed-use properties, apartments, and retail space. Its company mission is to surpass expectations with all of its owners, prospective clients, and tenants. Employees are trained to think like owners and take pride in their residents' satisfaction. Although it’s a global company, Greystar prides itself on knowing the local markets and hiring the best real estate professionals in each one. Its website has an easy-to-use search tool for viewing up-to-date rental listings, 3D floor plans, and neighborhood insights for prospective tenants.
Best for Managing Apartment Buildings: Lincoln Property Company
Why We Chose It: Lincoln Property Company is the second-largest property management company in the U.S. and manages a variety of different types of properties, but focuses on apartment buildings.
More than 50 years of industry experience
Develops military housing across the U.S.
Has regional management teams with local expertise
Large company may not appeal to those looking for a personal touch
Will not manage a small rental portfolio
Headquartered in Dallas, Lincoln Property Company was founded in 1965 as a real estate developer and property management company that focused mainly on high-quality residential communities in Texas. It then expanded into commercial real estate and now manages, develops, and invests in communities across the country. The company specializes in managing apartment buildings such as luxury buildings, affordable buildings, and garden-style apartment communities.
Lincoln Property is one of the nation’s largest operators of military housing and considers itself a company that focuses on the people and building up communities in positive directions. It has an interesting program that recognizes and celebrates excellence within its communities, recognizing them for different attributes such as best move-in experience, best renewal, best website, and more. The website is easy to navigate and prospective tenants can search by community or location and then go to the community website, contact them directly, or add it to a list of saved properties.
Best for Vacation Rental Management: Vacasa
Why We Chose It: Vacasa is the largest vacation rental management company in North America and its website offers a detailed list of benefits of hiring them to manage your property.
Full service vacation management services, including thorough cleaning
Comprehensive details are easy to find on its website
Regular property inspections
Only manages vacation rental properties
Need to call for specific fees
Vacasa was founded in 2009 in Portland, Oregon. In 2018, the company became the largest vacation rental management company in North America after overtaking Wyndham Vacation Rentals, with a valuation of more than $1 billion. It’s different from other vacation rental sites because although it does list some properties on its site, it focuses more on managing the properties and pays employees to clean and maintain them.
Vacasa charges a flat owner management fee, which you will discuss in detail when you contact the company either through email or over the phone. In addition, it charges guests fees for booking, cleaning, and pets.
Some of the services that Vacasa provides include advertising and listing your vacation rental property on its own website in addition to all the major vacation rental sites. It processes payments, is available to guests 24/7, has a mobile app, doesn’t require a contract, screens guests, and provides damage coverage.
Best Property Management Network: All Property Management
Why We Chose It: All Property Management is the largest online network of property management companies and can help you find someone to manage your property. It also allows you to compare quotes from competitors.
Property management resources include blogs and industry stories
Find multiple property managers in one place
Compare quotes and chat with a property manager on the site
You need to spend time searching for property managers and comparing them
Lengthy list of FAQ on the website feels a bit cluttered and overwhelming
Founded in 2004, All Property Management is the largest online network of property management companies and is owned by Buildium. It’s not a property management company like the others on our list but instead is an online hub where property owners and associations can find property managers, compare quotes and services, and even chat with them directly on the website. The site provides some helpful industry information, blogs on hot topics, answers to common real estate questions, and information on property laws.
Property owners can find managers who specialize in their area and their property type, such as apartment complexes, condos, homeowners associations, houses, and commercial buildings. Simply enter your ZIP code and property type to start your search, or you can opt to choose from one of the major cities on the list. You then review the results of top local managers to compare their quotes and, when necessary, chat with them for more information.
The property management companies that we chose all represent different specialties in the industry. Some manage mostly apartment buildings and others focus on vacation rental homes. They all, however, manage properties in several states and have strong industry repetitions. We recommend Greystar as our best overall property management company because it's an industry leader, manages properties nationwide, and has high customer satisfaction rankings.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Property Management Company?
Property management companies manage rental properties for owners. They perform a variety of tasks depending on the type and size of property, its location, and what tasks you hire them to do. Typically, they will be responsible for collecting rent payments and late fees, paying utility bills, and possibly even making payments for your property taxes, mortgage, and insurance. In addition, they will hire and manage contractors and cleaners and address tenant complaints and concerns.
Who Should Use a Property Management Company?
You should use a property manager if:
- You have a full-time job and/or family obligations and don’t have time to manage your properties.
- You live too far from the property to manage it.
- You want to be an anonymous, hands-off owner.
- You own more than one property.
- You’re a first-time real estate investor.
- You’re a real estate developer and want to move onto the next project.
What Does a Property Management Company Not Do?
Typically, a property management company should not engage in any illegal behavior including but not limited to illegal and forceful evictions and utility shut-offs for not paying rent. These actions may be tempting but are not worth the legal consequences in the long run.
A property management company may not collect rent in person if that isn’t part of its agreement with the owner. It may also not be comfortable drafting leases, depending on the state it's located in.
How We Chose the Best Property Management Companies
We researched 11 top-rated property management companies before narrowing down our list to these companies that all manage different types of properties in multiple states. We considered the types of properties managed, the geographic location of the properties, additional services, website features, and company philosophies.