What It Takes to Get into the Property Management Business

Starting a business can be a daunting, thrilling and challenging task! But if you are looking at starting your own PM business, there can be some specific property management requirements.

Skill Set Check

To start, property management is an industry that involves managing many different types of people and properties. The people you will interact with most frequently will be tenants, landlords and contractors.

To be in the business you will need a specific set of skills:

  • Excellent communication skills – you will need to relay information to owners, defuse any disagreements with tenants, laisse with maintenance people. You will, no doubt, deal with a variety of situations that require professional, clear and polite interactions.
  • Time management skills – this industry is busy! You will need to manage your time well.
  • Attention to detail – one of the things that attracts people to the industry is that it is very dynamic. No two days are alike. However, there are a lot of juggling tasks: making sure maintenance is done, conducting move-in and move-out inspections, attracting new renters, following up on any late rent payments, and the list goes on. Property managers must be able to keep a sharp on all the details of their job.

Experience& Connections

As in any business, a major property management requirement is experience. You need to know what you are doing. Especially, in an industry that is bound by many local laws and bylaws. You should have several years of experience in the industry. You will need to check your provincial laws as there may be requirements relating to licensing. Organizations like the Real Estate Institute of Canada offer comprehensive training, for example, the Certified Property Manager designation.

To build connections and network to find clients, property management owners may want to network and join property associations in their area. A few examples would be organizations like:

  • The Real Estate Institute of Canada
  • The Building Owners and Managers Association BC
  • The Real Estate Council of Alberta
  • The Association of Condominium Managers Ontario
  • The Professional Association of Managing Agents


Property managers need to be covered for a variety of risks. In general, owners and property managers need to carry property management insurance as well as several forms of business insurance.  Talk to your insurance agent or lawyer, but typically, this is what property professionals need to keep them safe from risk:

  • General Liability Insurance
  • Commercial Property Insurance
  • Errors and Omissions Insurance
  • Tenant Discrimination Insurance
  • Cyber Liability Insurance


Establish what you need to get started. This depends on the type of business you envision – are you doing everything yourself, or will you have a large team of professionals? Decide upon a company name and register your business.

If you don’t have clients at the ready, you may opt to work from a home office with little investment. However, if you are an established industry professional and are launching a new company with a roster of clients, you will probably invest in an office location, paid employees and maintenance equipment.

If you have over a handful of clients, a property management business will require the right tools of the trade: technology. Property management software ensure that a property management company has a competitive advantage. This type of software makes running the business far more efficient and scalable, and it helps property professionals deliver better service to the tenants. And, tenants love it because it makes their lives easier too! Be sure to check out our pricing and arrange for a demo.


How are you going to charge your fees? As a flat rate or as a percentage? What will you charge for your services? Lock this down. Make sure it is fair and profitable.


Have a plan for attracting both property owners as well as marketing to tenants. Your property management software will have marketing tools which will help you create a website, and set up automated marketing to ILS.  

For attracting new business, make sure you have a compelling pitch and a solid follow up process in place. You should easily and persuasively be able to explain how you stand out, and how you comprehend the needs of your potential clients. 

Develop an online ad campaign aimed at real estate investors and landlords. Consider networking with real estate professionals and providing referral fees.

Luck Favours the Prepared

To give your property management business every chance of success, prepare! Have a business plan. Define your goals. Do your research on the market and your competition. Know how much you need in the bank to keep you going until you are able to build your client base. (And, once you know that number, add a little more for any unexpected surprises!) Surround yourself with mentors and experts. Give yourself every opportunity to succeed.