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The Difference Between Flat-Fee & Full-Service Property Management

When it comes to real estate investing, partnering with a property management company is essential to the success of your properties. Contrary to popular belief, property management companies do more than just collect rent checks and fix leaky pipes. Hiring a property management company to look after your investments can provide you with useful services, such as monitoring state and federal real estate regulations, helping you invest outside of your current geographical location, and responding to renters’ maintenance requests. 

However, not all property management companies are created equal. In your search for a trusted partnership, you’ll often come across either flat-fee or full-service property managers. While flat-fee services might seem like a logical option because of their convenience price point, they may not necessarily be the best option. Below, we’re breaking down the differences between flat-fee and full-service property management companies. 


Flat-Fee Property Management

Flat-fee property managers are pretty much exactly what it sounds like. They will charge you a steady monthly fee for their services, but be cautious of this option. Unfortunately, these kinds of companies can be deceiving and end up actually charging you more than you originally expected through various hidden fees. This ends up costing you more money for lower-quality management. 

Additionally, many flat-fee companies that advertise a low fee or “budget” price are not actually providing the services needed to satisfy both investors and renters. If you’re a property owner or investor, it’s important to find a property management company that can do both. “If you have a poor management solution in place, the property is not going to perform,” says American Real PM’s Chief Visionary Officer John Larson. 


Full-Service Property Management

On the other hand, when you opt for a full-service property management company, you can trust that they have your best interest at heart and will be with you for every step of the investment process. Look for companies that can provide you with individualized treatment for all of your investment needs, whether that be experience in your area of interest, billing transparency, or overall trustworthiness.

When it comes down to it, finding a company that consistently does the right thing by their owners, places qualified tenants in each property, and stays on top of everything else that goes into a successful property investment is always 100% worth it. Let us help keep you from learning the hard way! 


Ask The Right Questions

It’s important to do your research and ask the right questions when searching for a high-quality property management company. Not sure where to start? Here are a few essential questions to ask potential property management partners: 

  1. What are your tenant application standards? 
  2. What are your processes when it comes to maintenance calls?
  3. What is your turnover rate and cost of vacancy?

These kinds of inquiries will help you determine the value of what potential property management companies can provide. “At American Real PM, we pride ourselves on providing professional services to our investors because we’re investors ourselves,” says Larson. “Don’t go for the company that’s just advertising the lowest fee because you’re probably going to get the least amount of service as well. 

Have questions about property management or real estate investing? Contact our team today.

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