Skip to Content

Landlord vs. Property Manager: The Major Differences

Two women sitting across from each other at a table each with a laptop and talking to each other

Real estate ownership is the main distinction between a property manager and a landlord. The rental property is owned by the landlord, who hires the property manager to handle it on their behalf.

Beyond this fundamental distinction, you might wonder what the main contrasts are between maintaining your rental property on your own versus hiring a property manager. What are the effects of each choice on your ability to succeed as an investor?

Here are just a few instances where landlords and property managers differ from one another.


Marketing and advertising

The places where landlords can advertise a rental property are limited, and landlords frequently have to pay a higher cost than a property management company, even when they can advertise on the same platforms.

Person on at a desk and on a laptop view from aboveProperty managers have a sizable social media following with a focus on real estate. On the other hand, landlords often do not have a large social media following because they only sporadically advertise and manage fewer properties.

Additionally, property managers have access to online real estate platforms and networks of real estate experts. When all of these factors are considered, property managers can market more successfully than landlords, leading to lower vacancy rates and higher rents.

Repairs and maintenance

When a property manager looks after the rental, issues around maintenance are less challenging. That’s because there is much more objectivity in a property manager handling difficult conversations with tenants. The property manager has likely seen it all, and there is very little chance of disagreements (regarding managing a rental property).

On the other hand, the landlord is frequently still learning how things operate. Additionally, property managers have set routines for maintaining the property’s systems and structures in good condition. They also perform routine inspections to find little problems before they grow into big fixes. Generally, when a property manager is in charge, it is simpler to maintain a property without problems with tenants.

Teams of professionals

Four people around a table looking at documents

Managing a property requires the collaboration of a team of experts. Because they frequently have their pick of the greatest hands and minds, property managers may put together a better team than landlords. This is so that the tradespeople, handymen, and other professionals that collaborate with property managers have more work to offer.

Most of their time is devoted to the property management company because these professionals know they will probably earn more money working for the manager. However, landlords have to wait a bit longer to get the expert’s services. If they can’t wait, they’ll have to make do with subpar employees.

Costs of operation

Property managers benefit from economies of scale when purchasing goods and services, which allows them to bargain for lower costs than landlords. No matter whether the property manager works with lawyers, accountants, insurance, handymen, or manufacturers, this is true. Since they are in charge of many properties, they can take advantage of discounts for large orders of goods and services.

As a result, vendors will offer discounts that landlords are not eligible for to entice property managers to buy their products, thus lowering the property manager’s expense. They may generate more revenue for the owner than a landlord could if they handled rental property management themselves.

Access to systems and resources

Close up of person's hands holding a smartphone

Managing a rental property is a multifaceted endeavor requiring property investors to wear multiple hats daily. Real estate investors and property managers have access to a wealth of information to help them handle their many responsibilities. All of these resources demand some level of expertise, and the majority of them are expensive to utilize.

The art of deploying systems and resources for the cost-effective administration of the rents under their supervision has been perfected by property managers. Due to the high expense and lack of knowledge associated with these systems and resources, landlords frequently do not employ them. As a result, property managers frequently have the ability to make judgments faster than landlords.

Impact on investors’ success

The impact of property managers and landlords on an investor’s success and the growth of their investment is the final significant distinction between the two. Investors benefit from a property manager’s ability to devote their time and effort to pursue other interests. However, a self-managing landlord is married to their property; they spend all of their time and effort managing it.

Investors that decide to work with a property manager can experience faster growth over time. This is so that the investor has no restrictions on the number of properties they can own or the locations where they can acquire them because they can always hire a property manager to handle the property.


For a successful rental, take into account these five key distinctions between a self-managed home and one that is professionally managed by a property manager.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details