What Is The No.1 Challenge Faced By Property Managers?

6 Findings About Property Managers In New Study

Property managers face many challenges from growing their portfolio, to keeping their business profitable and many more.

This new survey from sheds some light on some specific problems and what property managers have to say.

And by the way, 95% of them love their jobs as property managers.

By John Triplett

Rental Housing Journal

A new survey of property managers shows six major findings in the research from 1,500 property managers around the country.

The survey was done from June 6, 2016 to July 7, 2016 by Buildium.com and the National Association of Property Managers, with property managers across the country responding to the survey called the State of the Property Management Industry.

Among some of the interesting statistics were that 55% of survey takers were women. “In the property management industry our population tends to skew a little older and the older the population the more women we see,” said Gail Phillips, executive director of the National Association of Property Managers.

Half of the survey takers were over 50-years-old, and half said they were owners of the company, while 87 percent had been in business for more than three years.

Finding No. 1

80 percent of property managers manage the property of other investors, with 29 percent managing a mix of their own and other’s portfolios. And, 48% of property managers have portfolios which include property they own. Of those, 19 percent manage only their own real estate.

A focus has been on growth.
Portfolios have grown in the last two years – not necessarily revenue growth – but portfolio growth.
And growth is expected in the next two year. Mixed portfolios performed the best closely followed by third-party portfolios and followed by self-owned portfolios.

Finding No. 2

Property managers are in the middle of a high-growth cycle, with 94% reporting a profitable business, and 89 percent expecting to grow in the next two years.

“There is really good news based out of this survey” about profitability, Phillips, executive director of the National Association of Property Managers who participated in the survey with Buildium.com.

Why have we seen so much growth?

“Our leadership has seen different types of growth. Some of them are acquiring other companies,” Phillips said.  In California there has been a change as they have seen influx of both landlords and renters, especially Millennials. The more of them that have been added to the market, the busier it is becoming. There is no clear “yes” or “no.”  “We still have those investors out there,” she said. And some members are picking up work from investors who have bought.

While growth does not always go hand-in-hand with profitability, she said, 94 percent indicated they are seeing profitability, 50 percent are very profitable, only two percent reported losing money and four percent breaking even “which is incredible for any industry.”

Most are looking to grow their portfolio next year and looking at ways they can find other investors.

What is the most effective way to grow you business?

property managers most effective way to grow business
Chart courtesy of Buildium

What is the no. 1 challenge faced by property managers?

Finding No. 3 – Finding reliable vendors is the top challenge faced by property managers, and good communication is their most important skill set.

Most property managers, 82 percent, said they charge fees as a percentage of rent, and 57 percent say they charge between eight and 10 percent, while 24 percent said they charge between five percent and eight percent.

Those charging flat rates, 35 percent of them,  charge between $100 and $149.

This is just property management fees.

property managers survey on how much do you charge?
Chart courtesy of Buildium.

What is the key to success in your business?

    • Communication is the key to success – 60%
    • Organizational skills and staying in control – 35%
    • Hiring and technology – 30 percent

Finding No. 4

43 percent of property managers prefer working with intention investors and 41 percent find inexperience the top challenge in working with owners.

44 percent say they prefer working with owners who intentionally acquire larger portfolios.

What is your biggest owner challenge?

41 percent say inexperience and lack of understanding how the process works.

Finding No. 5

88 percent of property managers use dedicated, cloud-based property management software.

Buildium.com who did the survey is a technology company, and said there is a growing importance of technology in property management.

Tenant screening is the most popular service they use.

property managers love their jobs
Chart courtesy of Buildium

Finding No. 6

95 percent of property managers say they love property management, and nearly a third are motivated by being more efficient at work.

On the question of what motivates property managers:

    • Being more efficient – 31 percent
    • Make more money – 23 percent
    • Helping people – 21 percent
    • Having more free time – 13 percent
    • Pleasing the boss – 6 percent
    • Advancing career – 5 percent

Get the full report here from Buildium.com

Properties, Property Managers Must Adapt to Renter Needs, Changes

property managers survey in report

Sign Up For Our Newsletter And Get Apartment News And Helpful, Useful Content Each Week.

* indicates required