There was a time when you could not even pay a real estate professional to go into the property management business. It was considered the "ugly" profession that only the toughest could endure. Lately, however, many of those once reluctant professionals have needed to toughen up and join the growing ranks of rental home property managers.
Homes that once would have sold almost immediately after being placed on the market are now in danger of being left to sit for months, even years without buyers. On the other hand, if those same homes are made available for rentals, there will be a line at the door. As a result, the membership in the National Association of Residential Property Managers has nearly doubled in the last five years, up to 3,400.
When the real estate market is good, agents might bring in $10,000 for a single home sale. As property managers, they may only make $1,800 per property per year, but with more homes foreclosing and mortgage companies tightening requirements for loan qualification, property management is the only viable choice for many real estate agents.
A property manager serves as a representative of the homeowner, screening rental applicants, helping them set appropriate rent prices, and resolving disputes. For their service, homeowners typically pay property managers between 8 and 14 percent of the monthly rent.
Apartment vacancies are at a five-year low, which means even more renters who cannot buy homes will be looking to the growing number of rental homes available on the market. Websites like Zillow are no longer just great places to find homes for purchase. They now feature thousands of homes available for rent as well. Renting out a property is a headache most homeowners do not want to deal with, and that is where property managers step in and save the day.