Property management is the daily oversight of residential, commercial, or industrial real estate by a third-party contractor. Generally, property managers take responsibility for day-to-day repairs and ongoing maintenance, security, and upkeep of properties. They usually work for the owners of investment properties such as apartment and condominium complexes, private home communities, shopping centers, and industrial parks.

Their main roles are to manage routine tasks delegated to them by the owners and to preserve the value of the properties they manage while generating income.

key takeaways

  • Property management is the oversight of real estate by a third party.
  • Property managers can manage various types of property: residential, commercial, industrial, and property for special purposes.
  • Property managers are generally responsible for the day-to-day operations of the real estate, from screening tenants to arranging for repairs and maintenance.
  • Owners pay property managers a fee or a percentage of the rent generated by the property.
  • Every state has its own laws regulating the activities of property managers.

Types of Property Management

Residential Property Management

Residential property managers are typically hired for rental properties, and manage the rental process. They can be hired to manage:

  • Single-family homes
  • Vacation rentals
  • Multi-family homes
  • Townhouses
  • Condominiums
  • Apartments
  • Manufactured homes
  • REO properties

Commercial Property Management

Commercial property owners have different needs from those who own residential property. Commercial property management can apply to:

  • Public accommodations like hotels 
  • Retail properties like malls, restaurants, and gas stations
  • Office properties like real estate brokerages or doctors offices
  • Co-working spaces where professionals rent work space by the day or the hour

Industrial Property Management

Industrial properties that can benefit from management include:

  • Heavy manufacturing facilities such as automotive plants and steel mills
  • Light manufacturing factories such as food packaging
  • Warehouses
  • Distribution facilities

Special-Purpose Property Management

There are also numerous types of property that don't neatly fit into the categories above, but that require management nonetheless. These include:

  • Theaters
  • Sports arenas
  • Resorts
  • Senior care facilities
  • Schools and universities
  • Places of worship