Revised and updated June 3, 2020.
Lots of people own properties they want to rent out, whether they be standalone homes, condos, apartments, and so on. But they don’t necessarily want to handle all the details of managing the property in terms of maintenance, advertising vacancies, screening potential tenants, and collecting rent on a monthly basis. This is when the services of a property management company comes in handy. Entrepreneurs who want to be in this industry can take a closer look at the top 4 property management franchises of 2020.
The property management market is worth over $88 billion, which represents a more than $10 billion increase from the previous year’s total, according to IBISWorld.
Whenever there is an economic downturn that results in declining (or slower growth in) home ownership, it means more people need to rent instead of own, which in turn causes the property management industry to grow as it is focused on rental properties. For 2020, the share of US housing occupied by renters stands at 36.6% (up from the previous year’s 34%), which represents a 50-year high.
How the COVID-19 outbreak affects this industry remains to be seen, depending on how serious the pandemic-induced recession turns out to be. Many people are out of work and unable to make their rent payments. While most have been granted some leniency to avoid being evicted, that leniency can only go on for so long.
There are more than 43 million rental housing units in the US occupied by more than 73.5 million renters, and in the first quarter of 2020 the vacancy rate in rentals was only 6.6%. In other words, there are plenty of rental properties to manage. Here are the 4 best property management franchises of 2020:
1. Real Property Management
Real Property Management realized early on that the biggest problem with property management is when rental properties sit vacant because maintaining and managing the property has to continue even when no rental income is coming in. Its business model is based on doing what it takes to fill vacancies with comprehensive marketing and advertising on behalf of owners.
It prides itself on communication, tenant screening, full-service leasing, rent collection, regular inspections, reliable maintenance, evictions when needed, comprehensive accounting, and regular adjustments to rental rates based on a full range of factors to reflect current market conditions. Property types handled include single-family homes, apartment complexes, Home Owner Associations (HOAs), vacation rentals, and commercial properties.
Founded by Kirk McGary and two friends in 1986 and franchising since 2004, the number of locations has been on the rise in recent years from 95 in 2009 to the current total of 325 (up by 15 from the previous year’s total), none one of which are company-owned and 27 of which are located outside the US.
2. Property Management, Inc. (PMI)
Property Management, Inc. (PMI) helps manage residential and commercial properties, vacation rentals, and association/HOA properties. A primary focus for residential homes is maintaining property values as a long-term investment. It’s also worth noting that the property management industry tends to be stable regardless of whatever may be happening in the housing market (both real estate and construction).
Offering a wide variety of services, each of which carries its own fee, results in dozens of income streams beyond the base monthly rental income. Franchisees benefit from ongoing marketing support, including traditional, online, and referral marketing.
Founded by Steve Hart in 2008 and franchising since then, the number of locations has been steadily climbing from just seven in 2009 to the current total of 248 (up by 38 from the previous year’s total), only one of which is company-owned and two of which are located outside the US.
3. All County Property Management
All County Property Management supports residential landlords with a robust menu of services such as rental property evaluation, marketing rental properties, tenant screening, lease execution and enforcement, rent collection, lease renewals, evictions, security deposit administration, property maintenance, property inspections, accounting, and reporting.
New franchisees receive four days of intensive training at corporate headquarters in Saint Petersburg, Florida, and two more on-site days of training when opening. Each location has its own customized interactive website and comprehensive web-based software package to manage the business.
Founded by Scott McPherson and Sandy Fererra in 1990 and franchising since 2008, the number of locations has expanded in recent years from 13 in 2011 to the current total of 52 (up by two from the previous year’s total), only one of which is company-owned and all of which are located in the US.
4. Keyrenter Property Management
Keyrenter Property Management keeps rental properties occupied with good tenants by using its 13-point screening process to ensure Keyrenter’s tried-and-true lease agreement can be met. The company credits its extremely low eviction rate (less than 1%) to its superior tenant screening process.
Vacancies are advertised on more than a hundred syndicated sites online and its comprehensive property analysis service ensures setting the highest possible rent while controlling and reducing maintenance costs. Email notices and an online owner portal keep customers in the loop about what’s happening.
Founded by Aaron Marshall in 2007 and franchising since 2014, the number of locations currently stands at 37 (up by six from the previous year’s total), three of which are company-owned and all of which are located in the US.
An Important Note About Our Methodology
The franchises on this list were ranked according to the number of units in the franchise system. If you are a prospective franchisee searching for franchise opportunities that meet or exceed certain performance benchmarks for sales, profits, and return on investment, please check out this list of America’s Most Lucrative Franchises.