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Which Property Management Rental Market Is Right for You? Consider These 5

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Like most other professions, “property manager” is a broad title that could mean many different things. Of course, it’s a given you’re managing property, but the market you work in can have a huge impact on your day-to-day. So what are a few of the common property management rental markets, what are their variances, and which one might be right for you? 


Likely the market that first comes to mind, multifamily is a large residential sector especially prevalent in densely populated cities like New York and Los Angeles. Just like the name suggests, a multifamily property is any building with more than one unit meant for multiple families to inhabit. Anything from townhouses and duplexes to high-rise apartment buildings are classified as multifamily residential property. 

Real estate investors love this market due to the high potential for earnings with just one investment. When managing a multifamily property, you’ll expect to be dealing with multiple residents that are either families or single renters. Since these people are literally renting their homes from you, it’s bound to be a more personal management experience, combining everything from rent collection and maintenance to concierge services.


From office spaces and coworking buildings to retail properties, the commercial market consists of those properties where business takes place (as opposed to living). These types of renters tend to be busy people with business to get done – so being attuned and attentive to their needs is always a must. When managing a commercial property you’ll likely be most concerned with logistical operations such as rent collection and maintenance, instead of more resident-centric tasks like amenity management (though some commercial spaces do come with this responsibility, depending on the building in question).

Condo, Co-op, & HOA

The main difference between the condo, co-op, & HOA market and the multifamily market is the simple fact that the latter are renters. When managing a condo, co-op, or HOA property, you’re most likely going to be dealing with owners who chose to buy a property in a managed community. In this type of market, you can expect your daily tasks to revolve around the upkeep of common areas – such as a community pool for example – instead of units themselves. Property managers in this market will have a heavier focus on fee collections, amenity management, and community engagement.

Affordable Housing

Another residential class, the affordable housing market will be similar to the multifamily sector. These are the most price-conscious renters, for whom affordability is their main concern. Property managers managing these types of properties need to be more in tune with the local and federal laws around offering affordable housing, specifically making sure they comply with the Fair Housing Act. It’ll benefit you to be more flexible with payment methods, so be sure your systems accept every type – digital payments, cash, checks, and money orders. That way, your residents can pay in the way that’s right for them, and you’ll be more likely to get your dues on time.

Student Housing

A more niche residential market, student housing consists of properties located near colleges and universities. These are naturally younger, first-time renters, so be ready to deal with guarantors on leases. Like the affordable housing class, this is another price-conscious group where affordability will come before luxury amenities every time. (But this doesn’t mean ditching amenities altogether). College-aged renters tend to be community-driven, looking for new friends and growing social circles in this next phase of their lives. With this in mind, consider a robust classes & events plan to bring your residents together. It’s also important to know the generation you’re renting to, so be sure to study up on what this younger demographic seeks.

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