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A comprehensive guide to the different types of residential property management

Property management tips
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A comprehensive guide to the different types of residential property management
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Residential property management is the practice of managing residential property, such as a single-family home or apartment complex. We have a full guide to residential property management here. This blog post will discuss different types of residential property management and how they can benefit your goals as a first-time or experienced rental property homeowner. We will also provide tips on choosing the right company for your needs!

What do residential property managers do?

Residential property managers specialize in residential units, like single-family houses, apartments, or condos. They have the knowledge and experience to effectively manage tenants, rent payments, and all the legal elements involved with renting a unit. Property management companies come in all shapes and sizes. Some are large, national firms with hundreds of employees. Others are small, regional businesses with fewer than ten employees. There are also many single-person operations.


Self-management is usually the most popular choice for those who are looking to generate passive income through their owned properties. This approach allows you to have complete control over every aspect of the property and process. Self-management involves taking on some or all the tasks of managing a rental property on your own, from advertising and finding tenants to collecting rent payments and making repairs. 

The main advantage of self-management is keeping all the profits generated from the property.

Self-management is a good option for individuals who manage real estate full-time, have experience working in rental properties, and understand the rent and historical real estate market and rental trends. 

In addition, this option is ideal for you if you live near the properties under your management, as many property management processes require in-person engagement and troubleshooting.

Self-management can be challenging for homeowners who need to gain experience in property management. Still, it can also be rewarding if you have the right skills and dedication to learn the skills. To be successful, you will need to be very organized, have a growth mindset, and have a good handle on all of the day-to-day tasks involved in property management.

The laws that oversee property management depend on your location. For example, in some states, real estate agents can be property managers only with a broker's license. But, in others, property managers don't need any qualifications spot-on. Buildium has a simplified resource list of property management requirements by state.

Individual Property Managers

Individual property managers are often private individuals or small companies specializing in property management. Individual property managers typically have their businesses and work full-time. They tend to be knowledgeable and experienced in local markets. 

Individual property managers focus on their client's specific needs and offer personalized service.

Hiring an individual property manager allows you to have more direct contact with the person managing your properties and enables you to be more hands-on in overseeing the operations. 

If you're looking for a more personal touch, individual property managers will often tailor their services to serve you better and find creative solutions that save you money.

These kinds of managers are usually excellent but may cost more than others. However, the skill level and attention are often worth it, as these benefits can create or preserve more value than their fee.

The drawbacks to individual property managers are that they're usually unavailable during non-work hours, and it may be hard to get a hold of them. Individuals can become overwhelmed if they get sick or go on vacation, and they typically have less leverage with vendors for quicker repairs or more favorable pricing.

Individual property managers usually manage between 30-100 properties.

Small to Medium Portfolio Property Management Company

Small to medium portfolio property management companies are ideal for managing between 100-500 properties. They typically have a more extensive staff and employ multiple property managers to manage the portfolio.

A mid-size company allows for better coverage than a single property manager can provide, as there are more eyes on the properties at any time. These companies manage multiple properties and may have more than one property manager. 

Larger teams allow them to split their attention between different properties, ensuring efficient management of each company.

These companies are typically more experienced in the intricacies of local law and regulations and are more likely to provide better customer service. 

Small to medium size companies also benefit from increased efficiency due to their size – they have access to economies of scale that individual property managers cannot match.

However, since they are focused on managing a more extensive portfolio of properties, they may not be as flexible or responsive to clients' needs as an individual manager can be. 

Working with a small to medium portfolio property management company is an excellent option for those who want to receive the highest quality of service and expertise while leveraging the experience and knowledge of a professional property manager. 

In addition, these companies typically offer proactive market-tested solutions that can save money, increase value, and provide clear accountability.

With the advantage of shared experience between managers and access to cutting-edge management tools, property owners can benefit from great pricing and quality services - all while managing between 100-500+ homes as a company.

Large portfolio property management company

Large property management companies generally oversee thousands of homes and have a comprehensive team to handle day-to-day operations.

The benefit of working with large management companies is that you'll have access to a wide range of services and resources.

Their size also grants them access to greater efficiencies, allowing them to offer a competitive pricing structure. 

However, your property manager's experience and knowledge may be more limited, and you may have less control over decision-making. Large property management companies typically have a single point of contact for owners to ensure accessible communication and quick resolution of any issues that may arise. This approach can also give you peace of mind of knowing that your investments are in capable hands, even if you do not have as much control over decision-making. 

Working with a large portfolio property management company can provide excellent investment scalability if you have multiple investment homes. 

Ultimately, this type of property management could be an excellent solution for those who want to maximize their investments with reliability and lower active efforts.

These companies can manage 500 to over 1000 properties and offer various services and departments that provide the best possible service. 

Full-Service Property Management Company

Full-service property management is a property management method that property management teams of any size can incorporate.

Full-service property management companies offer comprehensive services such as tenant screening, lease enforcement, rental collection, maintenance, and legal representation if needed. They also provide marketing services to maximize their clients' occupancy and rental income.

Doorstead is one example of a full-service property management company. Learn about how Doorstead works and see what some of our customers have to say about their experience.

Full-service property management companies handle all the day-to-day tasks involved in managing a property, from finding and screening tenants to maintaining the property and collecting rent. 

Homeowners often use full-service property management companies with limited time and resources or for those who want to ensure their investments are in good hands.

These can be great options for those who want to earn passive income but don't have the time or energy to commit to self-management. However, it is helpful to keep in mind that working with full-service property management companies can be more expensive, so you'll need to decide if fees are worth it in terms of the complete peace of mind and free time they provide.

Landlords should have a clear plan for managing their property before hiring a company or individual. Finding the right balance that works for you and your property is essential. 

We have a guide on choosing the right property manager for your rental property to help further guide your decision.

Did you find this article on different types of residential property management helpful? If so, please share it with your friends, family, or anyone who might find it useful. And if you're looking for more helpful tips and resources on property management and renting, visit our blog.

Ally Gong
Ally Gong
Content Specialist

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