Negotiating Rental Management Fees

Negotiating Property Management Fees

We receive inquiries all the time from owners wanting us to reduce our fees. We recognize that it is customary for many cultures to accept negotiation as a natural way of conducting business. This style makes perfect sense in a retail environment where the business relationship is not expected to extend past the transaction. One and done. This same logic has a dangerously false precept when applied to managing rental real estate.

Property Management Is a Partnership

Our view of property management is that of a partnership — where the owner is a silent, controlling partner and the agent is the managing, minority partner. We have set up our fee structure to earn a fair and reasonable profit from our operations. To reduce our fees would result in us either breaking even or losing money.

Bad Business

If you share this perspective then it begs the question: Why would anyone want to hire a managing partner who makes unwise business decisions right from the outset? It follows that other business decisions emanating from that manager would seriously jeopardize the profitability of the partnership. In contrast, surrounding yourself with successful business people invariably ensures your own success.


In property management, it is not an ‘either/or’ game where one party succeeds at the expense of the other. Granted, some property managers (and some owners) view it that way. But GOOD property management, at a very fundamental level, is based on helping both parties succeed. That is the very definition of a successful partnership.