Accounting & Profitability

Property Management Fees: Roadmap to Financial Success

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8 MINS
Published
February 6, 2024
Average property management fee

Do you ever feel like you're in a constant struggle with structuring property management fees for your business? You're not alone. According to the Buildium’s 2024 State of the Property Management Industry Report, rent and fee collection constitute a whopping 76% of PM companies' revenues. That's a significant chunk and it's clear these fees play a huge role in your bottom line. Yet, the question remains: why is it that so many property managers grapple with this aspect of their operations?

property management industry report

Managing the complexities of property management fees, amidst the hustle of daily tasks, can detract from your business's core focus. However, the integration of workflow automation transforms this challenge into opportunity. By automating rent and fee collection processes, for example, sending out timely notifications for due fees, your team is liberated from manual drudgery, allowing you to concentrate on expanding and refining your portfolio.  

The Factors that Influence Property Management Fees

The fees you charge should reflect your operational reality, and can vary depending on a range of factors:

  • Type and Size of Property: Fees can vary based on whether the property is residential or commercial, its size, and the number of units.
  • Property Condition: Older properties may require more maintenance, affecting management costs.
  • Neighborhood and Market Competition: Location and local market competition can influence management fees.
  • Services Provided: Full-service management will cost more than limited services, affecting the overall fee structure.

Service Range Impact on Fees: The breadth of offers from a property management company directly influences the fees incurred. Simple tasks such as collecting rent might attract modest fees, but a full suite of services, including rent collection, filling vacancies, handling repairs, managing evictions, and maintaining financial records for tax purposes, justifies higher charges.

Comprehensive Breakdown of 18 Types of Property Management Fees

Navigating the intricate landscape of property management fees can often feel like deciphering an ancient code, where each symbol represents a revenue stream impacting your company’s profitability. Beyond the basic management fee lies a spectrum of charges, each with its justification and how it ties in your ROI calculations.

Let's demystify the key types of fees in property management explained below:

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1) Setup or Onboarding Fee

Average Fees Charged

$100 to $300

What Does It Entail?

This fee facilitates the initial setup and onboarding of your property into the management company's system, laying the groundwork for a professional relationship.

Frequency of Charge

One-time

2) Leasing Fee or Tenant Placement Fee

Average Fees Charged

50% to 100% of one month's rent

What Does It Entail?

Compensates for the marketing, showing, applicant screening, and lease finalization efforts, ensuring only the most qualified tenants are placed.

Frequency of Charge

Per tenant placement

standard management fee

3) Monthly Management Fee

Average Fees Charged

8% to 14%

What Does It Entail?

It covers comprehensive management tasks including maintenance coordination, tenant communications, and rent collection, pivotal for maintaining and enhancing property value.

Frequency of Charge

Monthly

4) Maintenance Mark-up Fees

Average Fees Charged

Approximately 10%

What Does It Entail?

Covers the coordination of repairs and maintenance, leveraging the property manager's network of contractors to ensure quality work at a fair price. This could also include a non-refundable pet fee if a tenant owns a pet. This fee ensures to cover any damages by the pet to the property.

Frequency of Charge

As incurred for maintenance/repairs

5) Routine Inspections

Average Fees Charged

$50 to $100 per inspection (if not included in the standard fee)

What Does It Entail?

Ensures the property is maintained properly, identifying potential issues early to avoid costly repairs down the line.

Frequency of Charge

Every 3 to 6 months

6) Vacancy Fees

Average Fees Charged

$50 to $200 monthly

What Does It Entail?

Covers the cost of keeping a vacant unit in prime condition for prospective tenants, including periodic inspections and maintenance.

Frequency of Charge

Monthly, for as long as the unit remains vacant

7) Bill Pay Service

Average Fees Charged

$50 to $300 monthly

What Does It Entail?

This service involves the property management handling all bill payments for the property, ensuring timely and accurate financial management.

Frequency of Charge

Monthly

8) Utility Handling Fee

Average Fees Charged

$3 per Billing Cycle

What Does It Entail?

This fee is applied to manage and process utility bills, ensuring timely and accurate billing regardless of the billing cycle.

Frequency of Charge

Per utility billing cycle (monthly, quarterly, semiannually, etc.)

9) Unpaid Invoice Fee

Average Fees Charged

1% to 2% of the bill

What Does It Entail?

Charged on any unpaid invoices to cover additional administrative efforts and to incentivize timely payments.

Frequency of Charge

Occasional, as incurred on unpaid invoices

10) Late Payment Fee

Average Fees Charged

25% to 50% of the late fee collected

What Does It Entail?

Imposed on tenants for late rental payments, this fee incentivizes on-time payments and compensates for the additional management effort.

Frequency of Charge

As incurred (when payments are late)

11) Lease Modification Fees

Average Fees Charged

$200

What Does It Entail?

Facilitates adjustments to the lease terms, such as changing tenants or modifying conditions, typically due to a tenant's early departure or the addition of new housemates.

Frequency of Charge

As incurred, upon lease modification

12) Returned Check Fee

Average Fees Charged

$25 to $50

What Does It Entail?

Imposed when a tenant's payment check is returned due to insufficient funds, covering administrative and bank fees.

Frequency of Charge

Occasional, as incurred per incident

13) Reserve Fund

Average Fees Charged

$100 to $300

What Does It Entail?

A fund maintained for immediate repair needs, ensuring swift action can be taken without delay, preserving property condition and tenant satisfaction.

Frequency of Charge

One-time setup, replenished as needed

14) Renewal Fees

Average Fees Charged

25% to 50% of one month's rent

What Does It Entail?

This fee is for the administrative efforts involved in renewing tenant leases, a vital service to ensure your property remains occupied and income-generating.

Frequency of Charge

At each lease renewal

15) Recurring Management Fees

Average Fees Charged

8% to 12% for residential, 4% to 7% for commercial

What Does It Entail?

Covers ongoing property management services, including tenant relations, maintenance coordination, and rent collection.

Frequency of Charge

Monthly, reflecting continuous property management services

16) Extra Duty Fees

Average Fees Charged

$50+

What Does It Entail?

Charged for services that fall outside the scope of standard property management duties, tailored to specific, unusual property needs.

Frequency of Charge

Occasional, as needed for additional services

17) Eviction Insurance

Average Fees Charged

$50 to $100 monthly

What Does It Entail?

Offers landlords financial protection against the costs associated with evicting tenants, reducing the financial burden of eviction processes.

Frequency of Charge

Monthly

18) Eviction Fees

Average Fees Charged

$250 to $500+, plus legal costs

What Does It Entail?

Encompasses the complex process of legally evicting a tenant or terminating a contract early, including court appearances and documentation.

Frequency of Charge

As incurred, during eviction or early termination

How to Structure Property Management Fees?

The fundamental role of a property manager encompasses a variety of tasks including rent collection, addressing arrears, coordinating maintenance and repairs, and ensuring compliance with legal mandates. This forms the core of property management responsibilities.

Diversifying revenue streams beyond the basic property management fee is essential for the financial health of your business. An effective pricing model suggests that only a portion of your revenue, say 40%, should stem from the standard property management fee. The remaining 60% ought to come from additional services that go beyond the basics. This strategy not only solidifies your revenue base but also enhances the value you offer to your clients.

Industry benchmarks indicate that the average property management firm generates about $170 per month from each unit under management. However, by adopting a more diversified fee structure, it's possible to significantly increase this average revenue per unit. For instance, incorporating additional services can lead to an average revenue of around $320 per unit per month, doubling the standard earning potential.

The key to successful fee structuring lies in market responsiveness. Your base property management fee should be competitive and reflective of the market rates to ensure fairness and transparency. However, it's equally important to fairly compensate for the extra services and value you provide. This could include specialized maintenance, enhanced tenant screening, or other value-added services that distinguish your offering.

Transparency in fee communication is paramount. All fees, including those for additional services, should be clearly outlined and communicated upfront during the onboarding process and lease agreements. This approach fosters trust and clarity, ensuring that fees are perceived as a reflection of value rather than unexpected costs or hidden markups.

In essence, the structure of your property management fees should not only cover the basics but also reward the additional value and expertise you bring to the table. By adopting a strategic and transparent approach to fee structuring, you can create a win-win scenario that enhances your bottom line.

Average Property Management Fees by State

A summary of a report by IPropertyManagement on state-specific average property management fees:

General Overview:

  • The average fee for property management services is 8.71% of collected rent.
  • California and Washington have the highest fees in urban areas.

Average Property Management Fees in Arizona

  • Average management fee: 8.92% or a flat $85.42.
  • Tenant placement only: Average 80.9% fee.
  • Combined tenant placement and management: 53.9% average fee.
  • Flat rate for combined services: Average $466.67.
  • Inspection fees: Average $99.17.
  • Setup fees: Average $174.25.

Average Property Management Fees in California

  • Average management fee: 7.44% or a flat $111.61.
  • Tenant placement only: 74.0% average fee or flat $770.12.
  • Combined services average fee: 57.8%.
  • Flat rate for combined services: Average $604.59.
  • Lease renewal: Average flat rate $206.75.
  • Inspection fees: Average $99.65.
  • Setup fees: Average $227.71.

Average Property Management Fees in Florida

  • Management fee: 9.04% average.
  • Flat fee for management: Average $107.53.
  • Tenant placement only: 88.9% average fee.
  • Combined services: 74.5% average fee.
  • Lease renewal: $270.57 average flat rate or 33.3% of first month's rent.
  • Inspection fees: Average $120.50.
  • Setup fees: Average $148.86.

Average Property Management Fees in Georgia  

  • Management fee: 8.03% average.
  • Flat fee option: Average $101.14.
  • Tenant placement only: 93.1% average fee.
  • Combined services: 86.5% average fee.
  • Lease renewal varies with options for flat rates.
  • Inspection fees: Average $130.00.
  • Setup fees: Average $129.80.

Average Property Management Fees in Idaho

  • Management fee: 7.71% average.
  • Tenant placement rates and combined service fees vary.
  • Lease renewal: Average flat fee $75.00.
  • Inspection fees: Average $83.33.
  • Setup fees: Average $296.33.

Average Property Management Fees in Michigan

  • Average management fee: 8.92% of collected rent.
  • Flat fee options: $99.00 and $100.00 for management services.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 74.1%.
  • Combined tenant placement and management: Average rate of 70.3%.
  • Lease renewal fees: Average flat rate of $217.86 and 20.0% of the first month's rent.
  • Inspection fees: Average cost of $92.80 each.
  • Setup fees: Average of $200.00.

Average Property Management Fees in Nevada

  • Average management fee: 8.57% of collected rent.
  • Flat fee for management: Average monthly rate of $85.67.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 77.1%.
  • Combined tenant placement and management: Average rate of 64.6%.
  • Flat fee for tenant placement only: Average of $409.00.
  • Lease renewal fees: Average cost of $200.58 each.
  • Setup fees: Average of $189.80.

Average Property Management Fees in New Mexico

  • Average management fee: 9.79% of collected rent.
  • Flat fee for management: $49.00 per month from one company.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 54.17%.
  • Combined tenant placement and management: Average rate of 60.00%.
  • Lease renewal fees: Average flat rate of $62.33.
  • Inspection fees: Charges of $50.00 and $130.00.
  • Setup fee: $250.00.

Average Property Management Fees in North Carolina

  • Average management fee: 8.89% of collected rent.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 69.6%.
  • Combined tenant placement and management: Average rate of 54.5%.
  • Lease renewal fee: Average of $153.00 each.
  • Inspection fees: Average cost of $112.00 each.
  • Setup services: Average fee of $293.00 each.

Average Property Management Fees in Oregon

  • Average management fee: 8.43% of collected rent.
  • Flat fee for management: $50.00 and $99.00.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 62.5%.
  • Cost of tenant placement only and with management: $300.00 and $580.00 for the former, $300.00 and $1,160.00 for the latter.
  • Lease renewal fees: Average flat rate of $158.00.
  • Inspection fees: $75.00 and $150.00.
  • Setup fees: $150.00 each.

Average Property Management Fees in South Carolina

  • Average management fee: 9.08% of collected rent.
  • Flat fee for management: Monthly average of $88.60.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 86.9%.
  • Combined tenant placement and management: Average rate of 67.7%.
  • Lease renewal fee: Average flat rate of $231.80, or 10.0% of the unit's rent.
  • Inspection fees: Average cost of $76.33 each.

Average Property Management Fees in Tennessee  

  • Average management fee: 8.86% of collected rent.
  • Flat fee management service: $83.00 per month.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 75.0%.
  • Combined tenant placement and management: Average rate of 65.9%.
  • Lease renewal fees: Average flat rate of $189.29.
  • Inspection fees: Range from $75.00 to $198.00 each.
  • Setup fees: Range from $150.00 to $495.00.

Average Property Management Fees in Texas

  • Average management fee: 8.87% of collected rent or flat fee of $100.80.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 83.9%.
  • Combined tenant placement and management: Average rate of 76.6%.
  • Flat fee for tenant placement only: Range from $600.00 to $999.00.
  • Lease renewal fees: Flat rate of $246.93 or 21.4% of the first month's rent.
  • Inspection fees: Average cost of $117.25 each.
  • Setup fees: Range from $99.00 to $350.00.

Average Property Management Fees in Utah  

  • Average management fee: 8.55% of collected rent.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 82.1%.
  • Combined tenant placement and management: Average rate of 39.8%.
  • Lease renewal fees: Average flat rate of $177.14.
  • Inspection fees: Average cost of $78.67 each.
  • Setup fees: Start at $45.00, averaging $153.75.

Average Property Management Fees in Washington

  • Average management fee: 9.40% of collected rent.
  • Flat fee for management: Starts at $99.00, averaging $155.75.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 80.7%.
  • Combined tenant placement and management: Average rate of 70.4%.
  • Lease renewal services: Average fee $199.50 or 33.3% of the first month's rent.

Average Property Management Fees in Wisconsin  

  • Average management fee: 7.10% of collected rent.
  • Flat fee for management: Monthly average of $104.33.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 75.0%.
  • Combined tenant placement and management: Rates of 60.0% and 100.0%.
  • Flat rate for tenant placement only: $500.00.
  • Lease renewal fees: Flat rates of $199.00 and $250.00.
  • Inspection fees: $99.00 each.
  • Setup fees: $99.00 each

Average Property Management Fees in New Mexico

  • Average management fee: 9.79% of collected rent.
  • Flat fee for management: $49.00 per month from one company.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 54.17%.
  • Combined tenant placement and management: Average rate of 60.00%.
  • Lease renewal fees: Average flat rate of $62.33.
  • Inspection fees: Charges of $50.00 and $130.00.
  • Setup fee: $250.00.

Average Property Management Fees in North Carolina

  • Average management fee: 8.89% of collected rent.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 69.6%.
  • Combined tenant placement and management: Average rate of 54.5%.
  • Lease renewal fee: Average of $153.00 each.
  • Inspection fees: Average cost of $112.00 each.
  • Setup services: Average fee of $293.00 each.

Average Property Management Fees in Oregon

  • Average management fee: 8.43% of collected rent.
  • Flat fee for management: $50.00 and $99.00.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 62.5%.
  • Cost of tenant placement only and with management: $300.00 and $580.00 for the former, $300.00 and $1,160.00 for the latter.
  • Lease renewal fees: Average flat rate of $158.00.
  • Inspection fees: $75.00 and $150.00.
  • Setup fees: $150.00 each.

Average Property Management Fees in South Carolina

  • Average management fee: 9.08% of collected rent.
  • Flat fee for management: Monthly average of $88.60.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 86.9%.
  • Combined tenant placement and management: Average rate of 67.7%.
  • Lease renewal fee: Average flat rate of $231.80, or 10.0% of the unit's rent.
  • Inspection fees: Average cost of $76.33 each.

Average Property Management Fees in Tennessee  

  • Average management fee: 8.86% of collected rent.
  • Flat fee management service: $83.00 per month.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 75.0%.
  • Combined tenant placement and management: Average rate of 65.9%.
  • Lease renewal fees: Average flat rate of $189.29.
  • Inspection fees: Range from $75.00 to $198.00 each.
  • Setup fees: Range from $150.00 to $495.00.

Average Property Management Fees in Texas

  • Average management fee: 8.87% of collected rent or flat fee of $100.80.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 83.9%.
  • Combined tenant placement and management: Average rate of 76.6%.
  • Flat fee for tenant placement only: Range from $600.00 to $999.00.
  • Lease renewal fees: Flat rate of $246.93 or 21.4% of the first month's rent.
  • Inspection fees: Average cost of $117.25 each.
  • Setup fees: Range from $99.00 to $350.00.

Average Property Management Fees in Utah  

  • Average management fee: 8.55% of collected rent.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 82.1%.
  • Combined tenant placement and management: Average rate of 39.8%.
  • Lease renewal fees: Average flat rate of $177.14.
  • Inspection fees: Average cost of $78.67 each.
  • Setup fees: Start at $45.00, averaging $153.75.

Average Property Management Fees in Washington

  • Average management fee: 9.40% of collected rent.
  • Flat fee for management: Starts at $99.00, averaging $155.75.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 80.7%.
  • Combined tenant placement and management: Average rate of 70.4%.
  • Lease renewal services: Average fee $199.50 or 33.3% of the first month's rent.

Average Property Management Fees in Wisconsin  

  • Average management fee: 7.10% of collected rent.
  • Flat fee for management: Monthly average of $104.33.
  • Tenant placement only: Average fee of 75.0%.
  • Combined tenant placement and management: Rates of 60.0% and 100.0%.
  • Flat rate for tenant placement only: $500.00.
  • Lease renewal fees: Flat rates of $199.00 and $250.00.
  • Inspection fees: $99.00 each.
  • Setup fees: $99.00 each

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