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Owning rental property can be a rewarding investment, but it also comes with its fair share of responsibilities. One of the critical decisions you’ll face as a homeowner or landlord is whether to hire an individual property manager or opt for the services of a property management company. Before you choose, check out the pros and cons of each option so you can determine the best fit for your unique needs.


The Personal Touch: Hiring an Individual Property Manager

When considering an individual property manager, you’re opting for a more personalized approach to property management. Here’s what you need to know:


  • Personalized Attention: An individual property manager can provide dedicated, one-on-one attention to your property.
  • Local Expertise: They often have an in-depth understanding of the local rental market and can tailor their services accordingly.
  • Direct Communication: You’ll have a direct line of communication with your property manager, fostering a close working relationship.


  • Limited Resources: Individual property managers may have limited resources and staff, making it challenging to handle larger or multiple properties.
  • Availability: Their availability may be limited, which can be a concern during emergencies or after-hours.
  • Expertise Variability: The quality of service can vary depending on the individual’s experience and expertise.


Property Management Companies: A Comprehensive Solution

Property management companies offer a comprehensive approach to managing your properties. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons:


  • Resources Galore: Property management companies often have a team of professionals, resources, and technology to manage properties of all sizes efficiently.
  • 24/7 Availability: Many companies offer round-the-clock support and emergency services, ensuring your property is always covered.
  • Streamlined Processes: They have established procedures and systems for everything from tenant screening to maintenance requests.


  • Higher Costs: Property management companies typically charge fees for their comprehensive services, which can affect your rental income.
  • Less Personalized: You may have less direct contact with the individuals managing your property, which can feel less personal.
  • Company Reputation: The quality of service can vary among property management companies, so thorough research is crucial.


Tenant Relations: Individual vs. Company Approach

Tenant relations play a significant role in property management. Here’s how both options handle them:

What to Expect From an Individual Property Manager

  • Personal Connection: Tenants may feel a more personal connection with an individual property manager, leading to better tenant-landlord relationships.
  • Flexibility: Individual managers may be more flexible in addressing unique tenant needs or concerns.

What to Expect From a Property Management Company

  • Structured Policies: Property management companies often have established policies and procedures for tenant interactions, ensuring consistency.
  • Efficiency: They can efficiently handle tenant inquiries, lease renewals, and maintenance requests through streamlined systems.


Costs & Fees: Comparing the Bottom Line

Property management costs and fees can vary, impacting your bottom line. Here’s what to expect:

Individual Property Manager

  • Fees typically range from 5% to 10% of monthly rental income.
  • May charge additional fees for specific services, such as tenant placement or maintenance coordination.

Property Management Company

  • Fees are typically structured as a percentage of monthly rent, ranging from 8% to 12%.
  • Additional fees may apply for tenant placement, lease renewals, and maintenance services.


Approach to Tenant Screening & Placement

Tenant selection is a critical aspect of property management. Here’s how both options handle tenant screening and placement:

Individual Property Manager

  • May conduct tenant screening independently or with limited resources.
  • Tenant selection may rely more on personal judgment and experience.

Property Management Company

  • Often employs comprehensive tenant screening processes, including credit checks, background checks, and rental history verification.
  • Can tap into databases and resources for thorough tenant placement.


How Each Handle Maintenance & Repairs

Property maintenance and repairs are vital for property upkeep. Here’s how both options handle them:

Individual Property Manager

  • May coordinate maintenance and repairs directly, potentially saving costs.
  • Response time and availability may vary.

Property Management Company

  • Typically, they have a network of trusted contractors and vendors for timely maintenance.
  • Can efficiently handle emergencies and coordinate repairs.


How Well Each Handle Legal & Compliance Matters

Navigating legal and compliance matters is crucial for landlords. Here’s how both options address them:

Individual Property Manager

  • Knowledge of local laws and regulations may vary.
  • It may require more personal oversight to ensure legal compliance.

Property Management Company

  • Often employs legal experts who stay up-to-date on local laws and regulations.
  • Can provide comprehensive legal support and guidance.


Comparing Scalability & Portfolio Management

The size of your property portfolio can influence your choice. Here’s how each option caters to different portfolio sizes:

Individual Property Manager

  • Suited for smaller portfolios or individual properties.
  • May struggle to manage multiple properties efficiently.

Property Management Company

  • Ideal for landlords with larger portfolios or multiple properties.
  • They offer scalability and streamlined management across various assets.


Making the Decision: What’s Right for You?

The choice between hiring an individual property manager and opting for a property management company ultimately depends on your needs, property portfolio, and personal preferences. Consider the following factors:

  • Property Size: If you own multiple properties or larger complexes, a property management company’s resources and scalability may be advantageous.
  • Personal Involvement: Assess how much hands-on involvement you desire in property management. If you prefer a more personal touch, an individual property manager might be your choice.
  • Budget: Compare the costs and fees associated with both options and determine which aligns with your budget.
  • Local Market: Consider the complexity and demands of your local rental market. A property management company’s expertise can be invaluable in competitive markets.


Choosing between an individual property manager and a property management company is a significant decision that can impact the success of your rental property endeavours. Weigh the pros and cons carefully, consider your specific needs, and conduct thorough research to make an informed choice that best suits your goals as a homeowner or landlord. Whether you opt for personalized attention or comprehensive services, the key is ensuring that your property is well-maintained and your tenants are satisfied, ultimately leading to a thriving rental business.