Insights and Tips for Starting a Property Management Business (2024)

Written by: Jack Findaro
Last Updated: May 3, 2024
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This article is based on its most recent FDDKeep reading or watch the  video originally recorded on Vetted Biz Youtube Channel

Jack: Hey, Jack Findaro here, co-founder at Vetted Biz and Visa Franchise. Today, I’m very excited to have on the Franchise Developer of Property Management Incorporated, PMI, James Schrader.

The brand was founded in 2008. Just one year later, it opened its first franchise. James has a lot of experience in the property management and entrepreneurship space. So again, Jack Findaro here. Very excited to be interviewing James Schrader who is a mainstay at PMI.

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About PMI by James: Franchise Developer

I’m James from Property Management Inc. I’m one of the franchise developers. It’s my job to educate people who are looking at our franchise in the business. To let them know about the opportunity and what we do to help.

PMI is the largest property management franchise in the nation. We just reached 350 franchises nationwide, we have some international ones Costa Rica, Malta, Puerto Rico.

95% of our franchisees are people who have never done property management. They’ve never done anything in the realm of property management. We are pretty unique in our sphere as a property management franchise.

The Pillar System of PMI

The nice thing about our franchise is that when you start with PMI, you do a pillar approach because we have systems to manage different types of properties.

In the United States, about 36% of the population rents. That’s the highest rental market we’ve had in over 50 years. But most of the property managers here in the States are very small. They get to 50, 75 properties under management and they stay.

PMI has franchises that manage thousands of properties. They can get as big as they want. What makes us unique is the type of management we do.

We manage residential properties, commercial properties, we manage vacation properties like Airbnb, VRBO, short-term rentals, and we manage associations. In the United States, there are about 450,000 associations across the country. And we are the only franchise that even has an association management system.

Experience not necessary: PMI provides Franchisee Support

Most of our franchisees are people that have never done this. We help them with every aspect of the business. Not only learning the industry but also helping them with their websites, their marketing, their operations, their business coach. Where you are a business in the box.

PMI has about 65 people as our franchisee support team. So, you’re not on your own when you start with PMI. You get assigned a dedicated business coach, someone that works with you every week for years that helps you with every aspect of your business from your first contract to hiring your first employee to manage 1,000 properties.

There’s nothing you have to worry about, we’re going to hold your hand through this whole process. This is new to you or new to someone coming in, it’s not new to us. And we have a dedicated system that’s been proven to be successful in this arena.


A Recession-Proof Business

What most people love about the property management arena, the property management industry is the consistency in revenue. They consider it recession-proof. To put that in perspective, if I’m managing 100 rental properties, I know what I’m bringing in the first of the month. It’s very, very, very consistent. And that’s what people love. And having a roof over your head is one of the standards of living.


Making the Difference

PMI’s goal is to make the franchisee’s life easier, the investor’s life easier, and the tenant’s life easier. And we do that. We’re the third-largest property management company in the whole nation.

Property management isn’t anything new. It’s been around a long time. But because most people are very small, they do property management one way. They’re very limited on how they make money. And it’s a very time-consuming business if you’re not set up the right way.

With a PMI franchise, we have about 56 revenue streams, which a typical property manager has three to five. So, we’re very diverse in how we make money. This is great because that allows us to be a lot more competitive in our market. If we have to be competitive on price, we can, if we have to be competitive on services or conveniences, we can.

PMI Focus Heavily on Technology

We have the technology for a reason, we might as well use it. PMI relies heavily on our web presence, on how we collect rent, on how we facilitate all the services that we provide.

When you are part of the PMI team, you’re working with your business coach weekly, you’re working with your marketing department a couple of times a month, you have an in-house books department that helps you with your accounting, you have an in-house compliance department that helps you with all aspects of your business and an operations department.


How About the Territory?

When you buy a PMI franchise, you have an assigned territory. Now, a territory for us is a little bit different than most businesses. Most businesses are destination-focused. People go to you.

As a service-based industry, we can service all over. We define a territory as a marketing location. I’ll give you an example. Miami is in the county of Miami Dade County, has about 2 million people in it. If someone is in the Miami Dade County territory, they can market and advertise anywhere within the Miami Dade area. They can manage anywhere in Florida.

We don’t limit where they manage, and there’s a reason for that. When we work with investors, they want us to generally manage their whole portfolio. And so that’s why we don’t limit where you can manage.

About the E-2 Visa Program at PMI

We have been lucky when it comes to our E-2 visa program. We have a 100% success rate. We’ve never had anyone be turned down for an E-2 visa.

When we look at the market as a whole, in most of the states, part of the process will be obtaining a real estate license, which you end up becoming a pretty busy real estate agent as well.

As a PMI franchise, you can help someone find and purchase a property, you can help have contractors get in there and rehab it and fix it up. Also, you can put a tenant in there and manage it, and then you can sell it when they’re ready.

A lot of our E-2 visa candidates, they’ll work with people in their home country, and they’ll go into short-term rental or vacation. That way, that person that owns that vacation property, when they come to the States can stay in their property for a month. But 11 months out of the year, they’re making money or any combination of time. It’s great because not only do you get to work with your local market, but you get to work with people in your home country as well.

PMI: A business that survived COVID

I know most of the world was pretty affected by COVID. Most industries were affected by COVID. We were really lucky. 2020 was the best growth year we ever had in our business. We added more residential contracts to our franchisees every month than any year previous.

We sold more franchises in 2020 than we ever did. Why? Because of our industry, because of the demand. Most of the stuff that we do is electronic. Most of the stuff that we do is set up to the social distance, and that’s what was needed in 2020. So, the growth was phenomenal.

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