Property Management

Do You Really Need a Property Manager For Your Rental Home?

Written By

Sparsh on Feb 7, 2023

A property manager places a 'house for rent' sign in the yard of a single-family rental property. Find out if you really need a property manager for your rental home.

You own a home.
We have someone to love it.

Learn More

Share this article

Managing a rental home yourself is no picnic. While there are plenty of people who can and do self-manage their homes on the rental market, it’s a challenging and time consuming job that many would prefer to outsource to a professional. 

So when should you look at getting a property manager — and what are the alternatives?

4 considerations for hiring a property manager

If you don’t like the idea of self-screening tenants or chasing down rent, hiring a professional property management company is a good idea. Here are five key considerations for homeowners who may need help managing their home on the rental market:

1. The location of your home

Self-managing a property from a distance is harder than if you live locally. A property manager can handle the day-to-day responsibilities on your behalf and provide regular updates and reports. 

2. Your time constraints

If you have a busy schedule and don't have the time to devote to managing your rental property, a property manager can take on the responsibilities and free up your time. If your portfolio grows and you own more than one home on the rental market, the workload will grow too. A property manager can help you streamline the process and manage one or more properties efficiently.

3. Your level of experience

If you are new to being a ‘landlord’ and are unsure about the responsibilities and regulations involved, a property manager can provide the expertise and experience to ensure everything is done properly.

4. Your vacancy rates and turnover

High tenant turnover can be a sign that your property is not being managed effectively. A property manager can help you reduce turnover by finding and retaining high-quality tenants.

In theory, hiring a property management company can bring peace of mind to homeowners, knowing that everything is taken care of. From advertising and marketing the property, screening potential tenants, negotiating lease agreements, collecting rent, and handling maintenance and repair issues — they have it covered. 

But having a property management company on the books is no guarantee that any of these things will take place either. 

5 common complaints about traditional property management companies

The property management industry is extremely large and fractured — the quality of businesses and professionals you can work with varies wildly. Common complaints of traditional property management companies include:

1. Poor communication

You can only get hold of property managers during business hours and phone calls and emails go unanswered for lengthy periods. 

2. Extra fees

You sign up to pay a percentage of your monthly rental income, but find that your actual income check is considerably lower once all the additional fees come out for things like tenant communication, inspections, marketing, renewing leases and more.

3. High property vacancy

Some traditional property management companies will suggest high rental prices to get homeowners excited about potential earnings, only to price renters out of the market and have high vacancy rates. Some will also continue to charge fees even when the home is empty, further eroding your investment earnings. 

4. Poor service to residents

Keeping high quality residents in your home is a priority for keeping your home profitable and well-maintained, but for some reason it’s commonplace for PMCs to treat requests as a nuisance. 

5. Costly rental recuperation and evictions

If the worst happens and the residents stop paying rent or breach their lease conditions and need to be evicted, a good property management company would step in and assist. The reality is, many continue to charge fees even when rent isn’t being paid and charge for the extra communication to serve notices about breaches. Even PMCs that offer eviction protection will typically only cover the issuing of the legal notice, capped around $500.   

What’s the alternative to a traditional property management company for rental homes?

If you’ve been burned by a bad property management company or are reconsidering your options, there are three alternatives for your home:

  1. Self-manage your property
  2. Hire your own staff or person to manage the home on your behalf
  3. Opt for a modern-day alternative like Belong

If you’ve determined that you need property management, but aren’t sold on hiring a property management company there are options. You can build your own team, or you can opt for an alternative such as Belong — who is ditching the broken property management model to offer a better rental experience for both homeowners and their residents. 

6 ways Belong is different to a traditional property management company

Those common complaints that homeowners have about their property managers? Not an issue with Belong. As the world’s first residential network, we make renting lovable, by fixing what’s broken with:

1. We’re available any time of day or night

Belong homeowners and residents both get access to 24/7 support, with a dedicated concierge service available through the Belong app. 

2. We don’t hide fees or upcharge for essentials

No hidden costs for the essentials such as marketing and tenant communication, just transparent and reliable billing.  

3. We provide outstanding service to residents

Belong residents are considered to be members of our community, like homeowners. We reward them for paying rent on time and help them feel at home, so they stay for longer. We can even assist with rental insurance products, protecting both them and your home. 

4. More of our residents renew their lease

71% of our happy residents renew their 12-month lease, reducing the time between tenants in your home. With low vacancy rates and long-term residents, there’s less disruption to your rental income (and we don’t charge during vacancies, either). 

5. We guarantee rent and provide eviction coverage

Never get caught short, with guaranteed rent paid to you every month — regardless of when your residents pay. And with up to $15,000 coverage on evictions, you won’t be caught off guard in the event that we place a resident that breaches the terms of their lease. 

6. We have innovative finance options and perks for homeowners

Spread the cost of maintenance and repair work over the term of your lease with our exclusive finance options for homeowners. It’s just one of the many flexible financing options and innovative services on offer, from complementary asset management services to earning credit toward brokerage fees if you ever choose to sell your home. 

You don’t need a property manager, you need Belong

Whether you’re new to the investment property game, dealing with a problematic property management company, or burnt out on self-managing your rental homes, Belong can help. 

Find out if your home is eligible and learn more about how Belong can provide an outstanding rental experience for both you and your residents, here. 

About the author

Sparsh Mehta

GM of Seattle

General Manager at Belong; I grow new markets and bring our industry changing experience to homeowners and residents around the country, starting with Seattle! Lover of the Outdoors, Scuba Diving, Skiing, Hiking, Live Music, and all things Technology.