4 min read

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Property Manager in Washington?

If you're considering hiring a property manager to ease the challenges of being a real estate investor or property owner, you're likely pondering several key questions: What is a typical manager's fee? Do property managers need a license in Washington? How much does a property manager charge in Seattle, and how does this compare to the average cost in the US?

The answers to these questions are not always straightforward—the average cost of property management services varies, particularly based on whether your real estate investment is residential or commercial. Most property management companies have set rates, typically allocating a percentage of your property's monthly rent for their services.


How Much Does it Cost for Property Management Near Seattle?

Determining the cost of property management in Seattle, especially for those interested in investment property in Seattle, involves understanding the base monthly management fee. This fee typically covers essential services like rent collection, maintenance requests, and tenant communications.

On average, Seattle property management fees for residential properties hover around 10% of the monthly rent. This rate is squarely within the national industry averages, which range from 8% to 12%. For commercial properties, the management fee for rental property can vary more widely, generally between 4% and 12%.

Factors influencing your commercial property management fee include the property's size, location, condition, usage, and the number and quality of tenants. These percentages may also fluctuate based on the property's overall value. To get a tailored estimate for your real estate investment property in Seattle, it's advisable to discuss specifics with a property management expert.

In addition to percentage-based fees, some companies might offer a flat-rate property management option. While this can sometimes present good value, be cautious of low monthly rates that might mask a slew of hidden fees, leading to higher overall property management prices. The ultimate cost will depend on the property manager you select and the scope of services included in their flat rate.


Get Management Quote »


What Do Residential and Commercial Property Management Fees Cover?

Your property manager plays a crucial role in ensuring your Seattle property, whether commercial or residential, remains rented and well-maintained. This includes evicting disruptive or non-paying tenants. However, the specific services offered can vary significantly between different property management companies and depend on the unique property management needs of each client.

For instance, Powell Property Management, known for its comprehensive approach, offers full-service property management for both residential and commercial properties. This includes handling what is the average property management fee for rental properties and ensuring competitive property management prices. It's essential to understand the range of services provided by property managers and to ask pertinent questions before making a hiring decision.

Moreover, it's important to verify that the firm has the expertise to manage your specific type of property effectively. While there are overlapping duties in managing both residential and commercial properties, the required skill sets can differ significantly. For example, commercial property managers need to be well-versed in regulatory and insurance matters, which are less pertinent in managing residential properties like multi family apartment buildings and single-family homes.

Commercial properties, ranging from medical and law offices to industrial, retail, or restaurant spaces, require a property management company with the appropriate background and staff to meet the diverse legal and physical needs of commercial tenants and to conduct accurate risk assessments for these properties.


Common Property Management Company Fees

Understanding the property management fee structure is key for property owners in the Seattle area. In addition to the base management fee, other property management costs are fairly common. Depending on your property and the services you’re using, you may only be charged some of them. Here is a common property management fee breakdown:


1. Leasing Fee

What is a leasing fee? It's a charge property managers apply for finding and placing a suitable tenant in a vacant unit. This process usually includes services like running background checks, prior eviction searches, financial verifications, and other tenant vetting services. Generally, the leasing fee is equal to about 50% of the first month’s rent, although some companies may charge as low as 25% or as high as 100% of the first month’s rent. This fee is a standard part of property management prices and is crucial for maintaining high-quality tenancy in your property.


2. Lease Renewal Fee

When it comes to ongoing tenancy, property managers may charge a lease renewal fee each time the existing tenants renew their lease for the residential or commercial space. This fee is integral to the management fee for rental property, covering the additional costs required to update, modify, and process a new lease. It involves the property management company communicating with the tenants about any market-based rent changes, preparing and collecting new lease documentation from tenants, and handling other miscellaneous tasks. A typical lease renewal fee is about $150 to $200, reflecting the administrative effort involved in ensuring a continued, smooth rental experience.


3. Repair Funds

Regular maintenance and upkeep are crucial in property management, impacting the property management hourly rate and overall costs. Management companies often require property owners to provide repair funds, covering minor maintenance and repairs. This approach streamlines the process, allowing managers to address small repairs without needing constant approval. It's an integral part of the property management fee calculation.

Your contract should specify the limits for these repairs, typically maintaining a repair fund equivalent to about one month’s rent. This is in line with standard property management prices. If you decide to sell your property or change property management companies, expect a refund of any unused funds, ensuring a fair and transparent handling of your resources.


Look for Value-Added Property Management

When you're in the market for property management services, particularly in the bustling Seattle property management scene, it's crucial to look beyond just the surface. If you're considering hiring a property manager, especially one offering a flat-rate property management deal, it's essential to be vigilant about hidden fees. These seemingly attractive, low rates can often be misleading.

Unfortunately, some less-reputable companies may engage in these unethical practices, leading to more complications than solutions for your investment property in Seattle. As you navigate this landscape, it's important to focus on property management fee calculation transparency. This approach will help you avoid the pitfalls of hidden costs and ensure you partner with a property management firm that genuinely adds value to your real estate investment. Remember, the goal is to find the right property manager for you in 2024, one who aligns with your needs and upholds the integrity of managing your property.


It’s Not Just a Property, It’s Your Property

Worried about the cost of hiring a property manager? The fees are worth the peace of mind knowing everything is under control when it comes to your commercial or residential real estate investment. A property manager can also get you more rental income for your property than you may be able to get yourself with extra amenities and an in-depth knowledge of the rental market.

At Powell Property Management, you can rest assured your property is in caring, honest, and experienced hands. Our company credo is that it is not just a property, it is your property. We are committed to seeing that you get the most out of it, and that has been our way since 1909 when our family business began. Get in touch with our team to learn about the property management fees for your single-family home, duplex, apartment, or commercial property.


How to Get Maximum Rent for Your Property

You may also like: Common Fears of Hiring a Property Manager in Seattle


What Does a Property Manager Do?

What Does a Property Manager Do?

If you own a commercial or residential investment property in the South Sound area near Seattle, you may find that managing that property is a little...

Read More
5 Rental Property Tax Deductions You May Qualify for as a Landlord

5 Rental Property Tax Deductions You May Qualify for as a Landlord

Learning what can be deducted from your taxes as a landlord or property owner is very important if you want to maximize your profit on a rental...

Read More
Why You Need A Property Manager for Your Seattle Area Multi-Plex

Why You Need A Property Manager for Your Seattle Area Multi-Plex

The tenant in 2C says the toilet runs continuously. Four people would like to see 4A this afternoon. 1A is upset that 3B has an unreported dog that...

Read More