Accounting & Profitability

10 Ancillary Income Strategies for Property Managers

Read time
February 7, 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of residential real estate, ancillary income in property management emerges as a potent strategy for business growth. The objective is to devise programs that not only generate direct revenue but also significantly enhance the value proposition for tenants. While some ancillary services may yield greater success than others, the primary goal remains to develop valuable, sustainable, and profitable offerings that resonate with the needs of both tenants and property owners.

What is Ancillary (supplementary) income in property management?

Ancillary revenue is the secret sauce for property management companies looking to elevate their profit margins without solely relying on rent. This revenue type encompasses all income derived from services beyond basic rental agreements. For property managers (PMs), tapping into ancillary income is not just about boosting profits; it's an opportunity to enhance tenant satisfaction and business growth. Surprisingly, many in the industry overlook these lucrative avenues. Yet, by offering valued ancillary services, property managers can create a win-win situation: increasing both tenant satisfaction and their bottom line.  

Ancillary income doesn't mean nickel-and-diming your renters

Ancillary income requires innovative offerings that residents perceive as genuine enhancements to their living experience, thereby avoiding the pitfalls of being seen as mere "nickel-and-diming." The essence of generating sustainable ancillary income lies in identifying and monetizing services that your tenants and investors value. This approach involves understanding the preferences of your residents and clients and finding innovative ways to fulfill these needs at a premium.

In a market where differentiation is key to attracting and retaining tenants, AI-driven capabilities offer a solid competitive advantage. AI-powered communication tools provide prospective tenants with instant responses to inquiries, scheduling showings, and personalized service, enhancing the overall tenant experience. Properties utilizing intelligent assistants are perceived 5 times more forward-thinking and tenant-centric, attributes that resonate well with today's tech-savvy renters.

From resident benefits packages to pet services, the opportunities for ancillary revenue are vast. Each initiative should benefit tenants, property managers, and property owners alike.

10 Examples to Generate Ancillary Income in Property Management

Ancillary income in property management can broadly be categorized into fees and special programs. Fee-based ancillary income might include charges for security deposit processing, lease amendments, and late payments, alongside investor-centric fees like monthly inspection and maintenance charges. Conversely, special programs aim to elevate the tenant experience through offerings such as credit reporting services, concierge assistance, and inclusive maintenance support. These diverse income streams emphasize the critical role of value addition in enhancing both tenant and owner experiences, thereby securing additional revenue for property management operations.

Our guide aims to empower property managers with the knowledge to enhance their service offerings, improve tenant satisfaction, and ultimately drive higher revenue streams.

1) Security Deposit and Lease Management Fees

Implementation: Alternative to traditional security deposits, some buildings offer "no deposit programs," allowing residents to pay a monthly fee around $30 a month instead of a large upfront deposit. These programs often do not return money at the end of the lease but offer a lower initial cost for residents. Utilize digital platforms for streamlined lease management and deposit processing.

Persuasion: Emphasize the efficiency and security enhancements that these digital tools provide, highlighting time and cost savings for both tenants and owners.

Challenges & Mitigation: Overcome regulatory and tenant rights concerns by ensuring all fees and services are clearly outlined in lease agreements and comply with local laws. Maintain transparency and engage in open communication to justify these fees.

2) Utility and Service-Related Income Streams

Implementation: Partner with third-party utility billing companies to manage the complex task of utility billing and charge around $100-200 depending upon the utility costs. These companies can handle submetering, billing, and customer service, and you can add a service fee for managing this process, creating an additional revenue stream.

Persuasion: Showcase the convenience and fairness of direct utility billing, using case studies to demonstrate cost savings and efficiency.

Challenges & Mitigation: Address tenant satisfaction by providing clear, itemized bills and ensure regulatory compliance. Educate tenants on the value of these services to mitigate overcharging concerns.

3) Lifestyle and Concierge Services

Implementation: Lifestyle and concierge services are increasingly popular, offering convenience and community engagement. These services, ranging from housekeeping to dog walking, are often charged separately, typically around $25 to $40 a month. The approach aims to simplify residents' lives and foster community, with fees varying based on the service and building type.

Persuasion: Use surveys and market data to highlight the demand and satisfaction derived from premium amenities and community projects.

Challenges & Mitigation: To address the financial feasibility and upfront costs, present clear ROI projections and engage tenants in funding community improvements, demonstrating tangible enhancements to their living environment.

4) Smart Home Upgrades and Digital Amenities

Implementation: Offer smart home technology as an opt-in monthly subscription service. As remote work becomes more common, residents expect high-quality connectivity. Buildings offer technology packages, including services like internet and smart home features, charging around $60 to $70 a month. This fee is separate from amenity or lifestyle fees, addressing the demand for better home office setups.

Persuasion: Present data on energy savings, security improvements, and the convenience of smart home features to justify the subscription cost.

Challenges & Mitigation: Mitigate upfront costs and operational complexity by partnering with tech providers for installation and maintenance deals. Address technology adoption through tenant education and support.

5) Innovative Community Engagement and Experience Boosters

Implementation: Launch AI & tech-enabled platforms for virtual community engagement and events. Offering food services has gained popularity, with communities hosting food trucks or partnering with local businesses to provide residents with dining options. This service can include flat fees paid by vendors or discounts for residents, enhancing the community feel. It could potentially generate anywhere from $50 to $500 per event, depending on participation and sponsorship.

Persuasion: Demonstrate increased tenant satisfaction and retention rates through active community participation.

Challenges & Mitigation: Overcome technology adoption hurdles with user-friendly platforms and support. Continuously innovate to keep services attractive and relevant, ensuring they align with tenant preferences and sustainability goals.

6) Insurance Products and Risk Management Services

Implementation: Collaborate with insurance providers to offer tailored insurance packages directly to tenants.

Persuasion: Utilize statistics and case studies showing the financial benefits and added security of customized insurance options.

Challenges & Mitigation: Address perceived value and overcharging concerns by offering competitive pricing and clear, transparent communication about the benefits and coverage details.

7) Pets

Implementation: Pets represent a significant source of income for many properties, which charge fees based on breed and size. Accepting pets attracts a larger pool of potential renters, with fees often including an upfront cost plus a monthly charge. In northern New Jersey, properties typically charge $500 upfront, plus $50 per month for pets.

Persuasion: Highlight the benefits of a pet-friendly community for tenants' mental and physical well-being. Stress the inclusive nature of your pet policy by allowing various breeds and sizes, which can appeal to a broader range of potential and current residents.

Challenges & Mitigation: Address potential concerns about pet-related damage to the property by explaining the role of pet fees and deposits in covering maintenance and repairs. This can reassure residents that the fees are not just an additional cost but a necessary measure to maintain the property's quality and comfort for everyone. Mitigate concerns about noise or disturbances from pets by implementing clear pet policies, including rules about barking and leashing.

8) Key Fobs

Implementation: Extra key fobs are often available for purchase, catering to residents' needs for convenience and access for service providers. The approach to charging and managing access varies, with some buildings limiting extra fobs to maintain security. Some properties give one or two keys to a renter and charge extra for others, around $50 to $100 each.

Persuasion: Highlight the convenience of having extra fobs for family members, service providers, or guests, which simplifies their daily routines and enhances their living experience.

Challenges & Mitigation: Address any worries about security breaches due to additional fobs by implementing strict policies on fob issuance, tracking, and deactivation. For residents who may be less comfortable with technology, offer tutorials or assistance for using and managing key fobs. This support can help overcome reluctance to adopt the system, ensuring all residents feel confident and secure in using their key fobs.

9) Event Hosting and Advertising Opportunities

Implementation: Utilize community spaces for events and partner with local businesses for advertising. For private or community events, fees could range from $100 to several thousand dollars, based on the venue size and event scale.

Persuasion: Showcase past event successes and advertising reach to attract more sponsors and enhance tenant engagement.

Challenges & Mitigation: Address operational complexity by creating a detailed event calendar and marketing strategy. Use digital platforms for efficient promotion and feedback collection.

10) Green Energy Initiatives and EVs

Implementation: Facilitate solar panel installations and energy-efficient upgrades with cost-sharing models. Installing EV charging stations and charging a fee for their use can attract eco-conscious tenants and provide an additional income source. A basic Level 2 charging station installation might range from $2,000 to $6,000, while DC Fast Charging stations can cost significantly more

Persuasion: Highlight long-term savings on utility bills and environmental benefits to persuade tenants and owners of the value.

Challenges & Mitigation: Demonstrate tangible benefits in terms of energy efficiency and cost savings to attract tenant and owner buy-in. Seek government incentives or grants to reduce initial investment barriers.

Successfully leveraging ancillary income in property management requires a balanced approach that equally prioritizes profit generation and value creation. By carefully selecting services that fulfill tenant needs and enhance the overall property management experience, companies can achieve sustainable growth and foster a positive living environment. Ancillary income, when thoughtfully implemented, stands as a formidable tool for property managers aiming to expand their operations while maintaining high levels of tenant satisfaction and loyalty.

Keep your leasing team happy and organised

Learn how LetHub can cut down vacancy while maintaining a human touch.
Demo Now
Hibah Khan

Check out related blogs and PM stories

Subscribe to get free access to all content.


How Can Property Managers Prevent Squatters

Discover how property managers can effectively prevent squatters using lockboxes. Learn the differences between squatters and trespassers, explore preventive tips, and understand the legal challenges of evicting squatters.

Read more

9 Must-Have Property Management Email Templates

Use these essential and new property management email templates for all scenarios including owner communications, tenant interactions, and vendor coordination.

Read more

7 Ways to Manage Property Management Business Remotely Post COVID-19

Do you know that 157 US companies with $50M liabilities filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy due to COVID-19? If you don’t want to be on that list, keep reading our article, and learn the best ways to manage your property management business remotely.

Read more