A Property Manager vs a Real Estate Broker [Service Comparison]

There are certain key differences between a property manager and real estate broker. It is important for you to understand why their charges vary when many of the job roles overlap and it appears as though both agents do the same task. 

Real Estate Brokers: 

By definition: A real estate broker, real estate agent or realtor is a person who represents sellers or buyers of real estate or real property. While a broker may work independently, an agent usually works under a licensed broker to represent clients (Wikipedia). 

Rental brokers coordinate the showing and agreement signing of a vacant property with a prospective tenant and charge a fee to the tenant for these services. Generally the fee is one months rent of the property, but this may vary based on individual brokers or the agency they are a part of. 

They work with a renter to find an available unit, market the vacant property, show the listing, and vet the tenant for an owner. There are no specific operating procedures or background checks the agent is responsible for. 

In some cases a property will be exclusively represented by one broker and the only way to view the apartment is for a renter to work with that broker. In other cases, an owner will give the listing to a few brokers or make the listing available to all brokers.

Property Manager: 

A property managers role is far more varied and has a larger scope vs just posting your listing and finding a tenant. Property managers are hired by property owners to manage all tasks related to the rental unit. 

From marketing a vacant property, finding new tenants, doing background verification and continually checking the condition of the property. Furthermore, a property manager is also responsible for property maintenance, collecting rent, enforcing the lease, interacting with the tenants, handling evictions and agreement violations, paying owners rental income, property accounting, and more. 

A property manager will essentially also perform all the tasks of a Real Estate agent in addition to the above mentioned task. 

A property manager and property owner enter into a contract where a fee is set based on how the agency or manager wishes to monetise his or her services. This is a more contractual basis vs a transactional basis which is the case for the Real Estate Brokers. 

Property management firms such as ours have a specific person designated as a Property Management Agent, who will handle all the property related tasks; from finding a new tenant to the agreement signing and much more. 

Property managers can typically represent several properties and owners.  In some cases, a high-rise apartment complex or multifamily family property will have a designated manager to represent that specific property.

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