This annual list of the best property management franchises was revised and updated on April 28, 2021.
It’s increasingly common for ordinary people to own property as an investment. Whether it’s an apartment they’ve held onto after moving in with a partner or a house they’ve bought specifically for its long-term value, it’s one of the most secure and reliable financial investments.
But while they’re keen to benefit from the value of property, many don’t want to handle all the details of managing the property, such as maintenance, advertising vacancies, screening potential tenants, and collecting rent on a monthly basis. This is where the services of a property management company come in, and where property management franchises make their money.
The US property management market is worth $96 billion, which represents a more than $10 billion increase from the previous year’s total, according to IBISWorld. The industry employs over 840,000 people in over 300,000 businesses. The companies in this market range from those overseeing individual rentals for solo investors through to the management of entire office blocks in bustling cities. It’s an industry with a range of different niches, in which someone with skills in administration and management can shine. Property is the foundation stone of the economy, and provides secure work for those involved with it.
COVID-19 had a negative effect on the property management industry, whose revenues declined by 0.9% in 2020. The economic difficulties caused by COVID led to some residential tenants moving out or failing to pay rent, while some businesses didn’t renew their lease agreements, as they cut costs or went under. Leniency on rental payments helped to keep rental businesses alive in the long run but cut profits in the short term.
Longer term, prospects for the industry are far more promising. Whenever there is an economic downturn that results in declining home ownership, or even just slower growth, it means more people need to rent instead of own, which in turn causes the property management industry to grow. In 2020, home ownership rates peaked in the first quarter of the year, then went sharply into decline. The asking price for rents rose, as people shifted toward rentals, increasing potential profits for property managers.
But even before the COVID crisis, the market was shifting due to a growing number of high-income renters. With over 43 million houses being rented in the US, the rental market has spent five years in its healthiest state for decades, and that health is expected to be maintained during the economic recovery.
The property management industry is a relatively easy one to get started in. The barriers to entry are low and there are no market-dominating competitors with a share of the industry above 5%, meaning that smaller companies can compete on a near-equal footing in terms of customer awareness. It’s a chance for a franchisee to get involved in one of the foundations of the economy, the enduring value of property.
The Top Property Management Franchises of 2021
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 160 in 2011 to the current total of 337 (up from the previously reported total of 325), none of which are company-owned and 22 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 20 in 2011 to the current total of 257 (up from the previously reported total of 248), of which one is company-owned and two 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 58 (up from the previously reported total of 52), of which two are company-owned and all 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 42 (up from the previously reported total of 37), of which four are company-owned and all 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.