Big Guys vs. Little Guys vs. College in Property Management

by Eli Stevens

Posted on 2019-07-09 14:07:03

I did the math and discovered that I’ve moved more than fifteen times in the last decade. That seems like a lot, especially for someone who hates moving so much.


In those ten years, I’ve dealt with several types of property management. For the most part, I have had a positive experience with renting. At other times, I’ve wanted to rip out my hair because the process seemed so convoluted, and I wanted to tell them, “Look, it doesn’t need to be this hard. There really is a better way. Let me tell you how these people I know handle the renting process…”


But they won’t listen to me, and in some cases there is nothing the people in the office can do about it anyway.


So here is my response - a pros and cons list about the different types of property management I have dealt with in the past decade.


Big Guys


  • As a larger company, they will have internet presence and so will be easy to find
  • Get updated more often
  • More amenities
  • Most allow pets


  • The process is slow
  • It can be hard to get a hold of the manager
  • They use across-the-board leases with stipulations that don’t apply to you but you have to sign it if you want the apartment
  • You probably won’t talk with the same person more than once
  • Lots of fees


Little Guys


  • Better prices
  • Easier process
  • You know all the people in the office and who you need to talk with for different issues
  • If you like to work with humans rather than technology, this is the way to go


  • Hard to find, so you will need to know someone who knows someone…
  • No reviews to see what management and the place is like
  • The apartments tend to be older




  • They don’t require you to do a background check or provide proof of income
  • Willing to work with you - one place I lived wanted the last two months paid in advance, which was money I didn’t have, so I asked if I could pay when the months came since I did have a job, and they said yes, no other questions asked
  • Won’t ask you to do yard work


  • Crowded
  • Parking is strict and your guests will likely be towed
  • If they outsource their maintenance, you may have to wait a while for anything to be fixed


Obligatory disclaimer - all examples are from personal experience and may not apply to all circumstances.

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