Seven Reasons to Run from a Property Manager

  1. They refuse to place rental listings into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), or offer cooperating brokerage firms $1.00 or a minimal fee in order to discourage them from showing your property. These agents want 100% of the leasing commission even at the expense of their clients. Don’t let this happen to you.
  2. They don’t have a professional website which is a sign they are not a legitimate business. Today, every small business has an informative website that explains who they are and what they do.
  3. Their prices are far above the industry average. For example, most management companies charge $150 to $250 per month to manage a rental home. Companies that charge more are seeking to take advantage of clients who are not well informed about the market. They don't advertise their prices on their website or advertising materials.
  4. Instead of selling the benefits of their management and leasing services, they focus on attacking their competitors.
  5. They are not members of one of the statewide California apartment associations which means they are not receiving legal updates designed to protect owners of rental properties of all sizes. Ask about their memberships.
  6. They falsely represent in their advertising that they are affiliated with one of the premier management companies when that is not true.
  7. They don’t use the industry accepted listing and lease forms published by the California Association of Realtors (CAR) or the Apartment Owners Association of California (AOA). Sometimes their own forms include provisions that work greatly to their own advantage such as forcing their clients to list and sell the managed property through their office if the owners decide to sell within a certain period of time, or automatic renewal provisions that lock the owners into a long-term agreement.



Using the Multiple Listing Service to Lease Rental Homes


Does utilize the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) when leasing rental homes?



Why do you use the MLS?

Using the MLS exposes a lease listing to hundreds of real estate agents who represent prospective tenants, ensuring the owner of the listed property that it will be leased for the highest rent, in the shortest time, to a qualified tenant.


Are there any disadvantages to using the MLS for the owners of rental properties?

No. It is clearly to the advantage of the owner to have the listing agent use the MLS.

Are there any disadvantages to using the MLS for the listing agent?

Yes and No.

The disadvantage to the listing agent is that he or she must agree to pay another agent’s office 50% of the lease commission in order to get the hundreds of MLS member agents to show the listing and property to their clients. In short, the listing agent earns a smaller commission. The advantage is that using the MLS is consistent with a real estate agent’s duty to do what is in the best interest of his or her client.


Why do some real estate brokerage firms avoid using the MLS to advertise their lease listings?

In most cases, they don’t want to divide the lease commission with another brokerage office. They want all of the commission, not part of it.


Why do some real estate brokerage firms place their lease listings the MLS, but offer other agents far less than 50% of the commission, including in many cases, only one dollar?

They do it so they can tell their clients “we work with other brokers and use the MLS to lease our client’s rental properties. It’s a half-truth”.


What usually happens when a broker places its lease listings into the MLS but offers other agents one dollar or a very small percentage of the commission?

While every real estate agent and broker has a duty to do what is in the best interest of their clients, many consider those that refuse to share commissions out of greed, to be real estate pariahs who should be avoided. As a result, one dollar MLS listings are usually ignored by the majority of agents who use the MLS to the benefit their clients.


How can the owner of a rental home protect himself or herself against unethical agents?

One important thing you can do is determine whether a broker uses the MLS for lease listings and divides commissions 50%/50% with other agents. The answer will tell you a great deal.