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4 Differences Between Rental Property Owners and Property Managers

property owners and property manager talking


Many homeowners may be considering selling their home because they’ve either grown out of it, need to move because of their job, or are just ready to cash in on their appreciation to get something new. Well we have to ask, why not consider leasing that property and becoming a rental owner instead? 

Having reservations about turning your property into passive income is completely normal and is especially common among real estate investing newbies. Which is why we want to give those of you who are interested in learning more, a few need-to-know items to get you started.

In this article, we’re specifically going to be taking a look at four key differences between Rental Property Owners and Property Managers.

Let’s get straight to business.

Property Manager vs Rental Owner


One BIG difference between these two “people” is ownership.

Rental property owners go through the steps of searching and purchasing in order to then own the rental property. On the other hand, the property managers are people (or a professional and licensed company) hired by that rental owner to handle and supervise the property on behalf of the owner.

The rental owner puts the money down while the property manager takes care of the day-to-day operations and necessities to ensure the property is maintained for the long-haul. And let’s not forget that the PM also ensures that your tenant, who signed a contract to live in that property, will also be well taken care of so that they stay happily in contract.

Furthermore, property managers are paid for the services rendered to that rental owner. They either collect a flat fee or take a percentage of the monthly rent; which is determined by that specific company based on a number of factors (the market, services offered, experience, etc). In contrast, a rental owner then is able to enjoy the rental income profit that is made following expenses, without having to manage all the little details that are required to be a landlord. 


Some prospective real estate investors may assume that they just get to own the property, get a tenant in place and then start reeling in the passive income. However, that truly isn’t the case, especially when you consider property maintenance – which is the number one issue that arises when you own a rental property.

Self-managing landlords are oftentimes ineffective when it comes to maintenance. Some of the reasons could be that they don’t have enough time, don’t have the knowledge or don’t want the hassle of dealing with tenants and their maintenance issues. And if that’s true for you or those thoughts have crossed your mind, we can’t urge you enough to let the professionals handle it! It’s time to hire a property manager. Maintenance is simply something – by law – that cannot be overlooked. 

Property managers handle all maintenance inquiries and issues from taking the tenant’s call, to troubleshooting, to getting a licensed and insured vendor out to the property to mitigate and handle the problem/s. Meanwhile, the owner can trust that their property is being well taken care of and that their property manager has their best interest top of mind. 

One big thing to note here is that the property manager takes over the responsibilities of the time spent maintaining the property and also adds an element of professional middle man between the tenant and rental owner.


Another difference between Property Managers and Rental Property Owners are their responsibilities when it comes to getting a tenant in contract and handling finances. Once a property manager is hired, they then essentially take on most of the responsibilities of being that property’s landlord. 

The property manager will handle all the elements of getting a tenant into a leasing contract, while the owner will receive updates yet largely remains hands-off.

When it comes time to go to market, the property manager will take steps to properly and professionally advertise the unit/s as available to rent and show the property to potential tenants. They also take applications from those prospective tenants, screen them with a credit check and background check, and go through the process of signing a contract.

Additionally, while the rental owner receives property updates and investment profit (minus expenses), the property manager will handle all day-to-day financial elements including: 

            • Collecting rent from tenants and handling all issues concerning paying rent on time.
            • Processing payments for maintenance related items (A set maintenance dollar amount is agreed upon by owner and property manager via the management agreement. If the dollar amount required to fix the issue is larger than that initially agreed upon amount then the PM will reach out to the owner at that time). 
            • Monthly loss and profit statements provided to the rental owners via their owner portal.

And we’d like to go ahead and point out that those points are just to name a few. There are even
more responsibilities on the part of the property manager that come into play. 


Once you’ve hired a property manager, it becomes their responsibility to handle all interactions with the tenants. They are the experts in this field and are licensed and equipped with the knowledge to represent rental property owners when dealing with prospective and current tenants.

Through a legal agreement, the property managers understand their duty, authority, and responsibility in managing a rental owner’s property and tenants. However, if an unforeseen situation or issue is presented they should always have a trusted attorney and advisor on hand to manage it. 

We always encourage investors/owners to leave ALL tenant communication to the property manager. They have certain processes and procedures in place to cover all bases in the event that an issue was to ever arise. And you are paying them to do so after all, so leave it to your PM! 

The Bottom Line

Being an efficient and effective landlord can prove challenging, especially if you are a newbie in the real estate investing industry. But that’s why you don’t have to do it alone. Get people on your team that are there to help you reach your financial goals, with less time and less stress on your part.

Choosing the best property manager for you does require some research but there are some certain must-have features of a good property manager that you can look out for.

Do you currently own a rental property in Austin, Texas? Or looking to diversify or start your investing journey in this market? With over 17 years of providing a smooth real estate experience for our clients, we know we’re the best Austin property management service provider out there. We follow a set of principles that allow us to stand out from the rest.

But don’t just take our word for it. See what others are saying about us! 

We look forward to partnering with you! Give us a call today! 512-994-4323


Watch and learn the details here instead! Ft. Matt Leschber, 1836PM Founder



By: Kayla Gonzales, 1836PM Marketing Manager

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