Why Small Property Management Firms Fail to Scale - Property Vista

January 11, 2018

Why Small Property Management Firms Fail to Scale

Every business owner dreams of growing their company – and their profits! The property management business is no different. There are many successful small property management firms who have their eye set on increasing their portfolios in 2018.

However, not all of them will be able to make that leap. Here are some key mistakes that smaller property management firms make when trying to scale their business.


Competing on Price

Yes, property investors (especially the ones with just a handful of properties) often look for a management company with low fees. But when a company –any company– competes on price, there’s no way to get. Low fees mean less profits and inhibits a management firm from hiring the staff and getting the tools they need to expand.


No Process Documentation

To grow, a company needs to have uniform, repeatable processes. This allows your staff to follow a set (and approved!) framework for how it handles move-ins, move-outs, applications, lease renewals, etc. When companies are small there is often a lot of “tribal knowledge” – unwritten, undocumented knowledge known only to the owners or a few key employees. If a company is looking to increase their portfolio, these processes need to be documented and available to all employees so they can perform their duties in a consistent manner.


No Process Optimization

It’s great to document processes, but there also needs to be an eye cast to how to optimize your processes. Are there any manual processes? Review all instances of manual, paper-heavy processes. Automation is critical in order for a company to grow and scale its operations. The smaller property management firm can look at how to automate ILS marketing, how can applications and lease renewals be automated, and how to streamline any labour-intensive practices and procedures.


Not Hiring

Technology is definitely a must, but don’t forget about people-power as well. Many “mom and pop” operations run themselves ragged trying to do it all. They are too busy being “in their business” that they don’t think about “about their business.” Hire the agents, accounting, operations and marketing people needed to grow the business. If the money isn’t there, review the fees you charge to investors, examine rental prices and look to see how technology can cut costs.


No Differentiated or Targeted Marketing

To stand out from the competition, a smaller property management firm can position itself as a helpful authority on the subject, creating blog posts, videos or ebooks on how a property owner can overcome the challenges of renting their units. The goal is to create a line of sight between their pain-points and how a property management firm can help improve their cash flow, investment and tenant retention.

How Property Vista Helps

Property Vista offers online reporting, customer portals and a wide variety of leasing and marketing tools to help you increase revenues across your portfolio – whether you have 10 units or 10,000. We specialize in helping to give property management the tools they need to scale their business.

To learn more, sign up for your free account today or give us a call.


  1. 1 Matt said at 8:38 am on August 26th, 2019:

    I really loved this article! It gave me some new insights I never really thought about before.

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Jack Beaton Sterling Karamar, Property Management
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