Owning property means a lot of responsibility, especially if you don't live near your property. One property can be hard to manage, and for businesses or individuals who own many properties it's even harder. Property management companies can take care of everything related to the property for the owners, including acquisition, control, maintenance and rent collection.

Here's how to start a property management company:

  1. Find out what your state's legal requirements are for starting a business. You'll need to determine if your state has any insurance requirements.
  2. Come up with a company name. You can work under your own name, or you can come up with a new one for the company. You may want to enlist the help of a lawyer, especially if you want to incorporate your business [Business].
  3. Open up a business bank account. It's important to separate yourself financially from your business.
  4. Set up an office. You'll want to have a dedicated phone line, internet connection and fax machine.
  5. Get a post office box so people have a permanent address where they can mail you things. Receiving rent checks in the mail will likely be an important part of your business.
  6. Get licensed. Find out your local property management licensing requirements. Many states require property managers to be licensed real estate brokers [BLS]. If so, you'll need to take real estate courses to become certified.
  7. Advertise! You need to get your name out there to generate business. Create a professional website explaining your property management services. Newspapers, yellow pages, business cards and other low-tech advertising are useful too.
  8. Generate your own leads. Don't rely on having people come to you. Check classified ads and real estate listings to find properties being rented and managed by the owner. You can also visit the sales offices of new developments or contact real estate agents in your area.