How many properties should a property manager manage?
Okay I’m going to answer this once and for all….
There’s a question I get asked a lot…
How many properties can a property manager manage?
As a property management coach and trainer this is one of the number one questions I get asked for my opinion on.
And sure, there are some numbers thrown around what is deemed to be the “norm” in the industry based on some statistics and experience.
But my truth bomb is….. that I don’t think there is ONE answer that fits all property management businesses!
And this is because there really are too many variables to have just one answer… to name a few:
- Experience of the property manager
- Time on the portfolio
- Strength of relationships with clients
- Types of homes vs apartments
- Age of properties – older vs newer
- Volume of new properties being onboarded
- Level of repairs – normal vs extreme weather conditions
- Time of year – high leasing volumes vs low
- Support of other team members (leasing, assistant, accounts, VA)
- Other hats being worn (business owner, team leader, new business, accounts)
- Demographics of clients
- Distance of the properties to the office
- Systems and processes in use
- Service levels desired for clientele
- Goals of the business
- Happiness and satisfaction of the individual
- Productivity and organisation of the individual……
So when someone asks me this question, here is what I like to ask them back….
Instead of giving a number – I firstly like to know “WHY is it that they want to know the answer to this question?” … And when I dig deeper its usually along the lines of..
- Sometimes it’s the boss or leader asking me – to know how much their team members should be able to handle, so they know if their team is performing at capacity so they can know how to level up and grow their business.
- Sometimes it’s the tired and exhausted property manager asking me – hoping to know that the stress and pressure they’re feeling is due to too much being on their plate, and needing support to manage the workload.
- Sometimes it’s the solo owner/operator property manager struggling to wear ALL the hats, drowning on their own and needing support to know where to go next.
So then, instead of giving a generic number I try to help them to look at what will work for them and their business to get them the results THEY are looking for.
What is normal for one property management business might feel completely out of control for another. What feels like a good level for one property manager might feel completely unmanageable for another, because we are not all the same!
Two real estate businesses may have completely different goals for the level of service they want to provide or may have completely different reasons for why they even have their businesses in the first place. One may be simply looking to have a portfolio to sell from and not care so much about the service levels, whereas another wants a high quality asset with premium service so keeps portfolio numbers down.
So what is my point?
It is SO easy to get stuck in “comparison” and “should” or what is “normal for others. And sure we can and do look to others for inspiration and guidance but at the end of the day, they’re not living in our lives, sitting in our seats or working towards the exact same goals. We need to find what is "normal" for us, and even that may change depending what phase of business you're in.
At the end of the day stop to look at what works for us, what we are trying to achieve and make a plan that is customised to our business, people and systems and that FEELS like a comfortable portfolio number taking into consideration all of those elements I mentioned earlier.
If you need help with creating your plan to reach your goals, please get in touch to learn more about a Strategy Power Hour or my coaching/training programs. Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.