What is a property manager and what do they do?

Published Date: October 27, 2023

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A property manager is hired to handle the day-to-day operations of a property. This includes responsibilities like collecting rent from tenants, setting rent prices to fit the market, seeking out and approving new tenants, coordinating leases and following up on maintenance requests. 

Understanding property managers

Owners typically hire a property manager to help them achieve their goal of building a steady investment income while reducing the burden of daily property operations. Property managers specialize in all operational aspects of ownership – things like handling security deposits and maintaining building safety standards. The property manager deals with tasks that keep the property running smoothly: managing rent, tenants, documentation, taxes, budgets, maintenance and providing records to the city and state. Property managers interact directly with tenants, especially when it comes to leasing and maintenance, so they’re often seen as the “face” of the property.Every property will come with unique needs, and the property manager’s responsibilities are outlined in their contract with the owner. Owners with multiple properties might seek out a property management firm to coordinate all operations and oversight. Because property management involves adherence to housing laws, some states require a license to manage a property, either as a real estate broker or as a licensed property manager. Property managers enforce federal, state and local requirements dealing with screening tenants, evictions, lease terminations and handling deposits. Example: Sadie lives in New York City but inherited her childhood home in Philadelphia several years ago. She keeps the house in Pennsylvania as a source of rental income, and she contracts out property management through a local firm. She likes this firm because they know the Philly market, keep her tenants happy and safe, and notify her of any issues with the home. Their partnership allows her to enjoy rental income without having to spend a lot of time interacting with tenants. 


Property managers share these characteristics:
  • Hired by a property owner to take over day-to-day operations
  • Work with tenants as the “face” of the property
  • Understand and adhere to regulations for leasing and tenancy

In more detail:

What kinds of property managers are there?There are three primary kinds of property managers: commercial, multi-family and single-family. Some property management firms work with a blend of property types.Commercial property management focuses on office buildings and industrial spaces. Multi-family property managers specialize in spaces with many units, most commonly apartment complexes. Similarly, single-family property managers work in residential housing, but they focus on renting out single-family homes versus large-scale complexes. What are the responsibilities of a property manager?Every property has different needs, but generally, property managers:
  • Set competitive rent prices to attract tenants
  • Attract and screen potential tenants
  • Coordinate lease agreements and security deposits
  • Handle maintenance requests and move-in/move-outs
  • Collect monthly rent and follow up on non-payment
  • Maintain the physical condition of the property
  • Hire and manage maintenance contractors, when needed
  • Maintain a budget for the property (for repairs and maintenance)
  • Manage all documentation: maintenance records, leases, requests, insurance, etc.
Does a property manager own the property?No, property managers do not own the property they manage. Property owners outsource the daily operations to a property manager because they specialize in finding new tenants and know the legal specifics of leasing. Who do property managers work for?Most property managers work for a property management firm that coordinates the needs of several individual properties. In turn, the property firm works directly for the property owner. Do Pacaso homes have a property manager?Pacaso partners with experienced, local property management companies to handle the day-to-day needs of each home. Our fixed management fee of $99 per share per month covers a range of services, including:
  • Aggregating and managing the monthly owner expenses and taxes
  • Overseeing the property management company
  • Maintaining the LLC and resolving any disputes between owners or the municipality
  • Continually innovating and improving the Pacaso app and other digital technology
  • Providing dedicated owner support
With Pacaso, you own the home, and we manage everything — it’s that simple.

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Kayla Moses

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