What do small-business property management companies look like? [The Lookout]

Robin Young
Robin Young | 2 min. read

Published on February 6, 2023

In the previous post from our new content series, The Lookout, we shared 4 of the attributes that define a property management company as a small business. Today, we’re going to cover what a small-business property management company looks like from the perspective of their team—from how distributed they are throughout their region, to the roles fulfilled by their staff.

#1: They Have One Office in One Metro Area

We found that a majority of small-business property management companies manage properties within a single metro area, though a little less than half are more spread out geographically.

The Number of Metro Areas Where Small-Business Property Management Companies Operate | Buildium

Most small-business property management companies tend to operate out of a single office location. However, 1 in 5 are fully virtual, thanks to the technological advances many companies made during the pandemic.

How Many Office Locations Small-Business Property Management Companies Have | Buildium

#2: They Have 5 or Fewer Full-Time Employees

A majority of small property management companies have teams with 3 to 5 full-time employees. It’s common for businesses with a single office to have up to 5 full-time team members, while fully virtual businesses often have just 1 or 2.

This is in contrast with mid-sized companies, who may have 10 to 20 full-time employees, particularly if they’re scattered across multiple offices throughout their region.

When it comes to staff members’ roles within small-business property management companies, the smallest teams have a property manager, accountant or bookkeeper, and maintenance worker, with a limited number of people wearing multiple hats. As teams start to get a little bigger, we see roles like a company owner or CEO, office manager, and leasing agent added to the list.

Most Common Roles on Small-Business Property Management Teams | Buildium

#3: Personalized Customer Service is Their Main Focus

Most property management companies’ top priorities for this year are portfolio growth, efficiency, and profitability, as we talk about in our 2023 Property Management Industry Report. But what differentiates small-business property management companies from their larger counterparts is their unwavering focus on personalized customer service.

Small-Business Property Management Companies' Top 5 Priorities for 2023 | Buildium

Small-business property management companies know that providing an unparalleled customer experience is an essential component of their value—and it requires staying in touch with the changing preferences of their owners and renters over time.

Here at Buildium, we aim to help busy property management professionals to do just that. That’s why we ask thousands of renters and rental owners each year about their expectations when it comes to interacting with their property manager.

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Robin Young

As Buildium’s Senior Researcher, Robin leverages her background in social science research and interest in real estate economics to identify trends in the rental market. She combines intensive market research with insights gleaned from surveys of property managers, renters, and rental owners to examine topics like shifting renter demographics, the housing affordability crisis, and the transformation of property management during the pandemic. She's best known as the author of the annual State of the Property Management Industry Report.

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