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NRT Buys Property Manager, Emphasizes Rentals — But It’s Not An Easy Business

With homeownership on the wane, the nation’s biggest broker is raising its bet on rentals.

(Boonton, NJ, October 10, 2014) — NRT, a division of Realogy Holdings, this summer bought a large property manager in Texas and formed a national operation to handle rentals.

NRT’s Ryan Gorman stresses the synergies created by operating both a brokerage firm and a property management firm.

Ideally, the property management firm is talking to tenants and, when they’re ready to buy, can point them to NRT agents, he suggests.

Sales agents, meanwhile, meet move-up buyers who want to keep their old house as a rental.

But Jack Meeks, who runs a brokerage and a property management firm in Florida cautions that the sales and rental businesses are so different that it’s rare for one agent to handle both types of transactions. Meeks split his property management firm into a separate company operated from its own office.

“There is a connection, but not one you can over-emphasize,” Meeks says.

“The reason companies like NRT want to get into property management is that very large hedge fund investors are buying hundreds and hundreds of properties, then turning them over to companies to manage.”

For smaller brokers branching into property management, Meeks offers this advice: It’s not a bad business, but expect to earn your money.

More on property management, attracting younger agents, and a low-cost way to offer agents health insurance appear in the October issue of Real Estate Broker's Insider.

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