How to Start a Property Management Company in Arizona

Are you a property manager in Arizona dreaming of launching your own company? 

This journey can be both exciting and daunting, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the essential steps required to establish a successful property management business. 

But don’t worry if you are feeling overwhelmed, we have got you covered!

In this blog post, Upkeep Media will walk you through everything you need to kickstart your journey and establish your very own property management company in Arizona. 

With these insights, we are confident that you will be able to avoid the common pitfalls that many property managers face when they first begin their business. 

Ready to learn more? If so, keep reading!

What Does It Mean to Be a Property Manager in Arizona?

The truth is, while it is a largely fulfilling career, being a property manager is also jam packed with essential tasks and responsibilities that will require your constant attention.

Property management entails overseeing various types of real estate on behalf of property owners. Your main priorities as a property manager are to ensure that the property is being well-maintained, the owner sees a return on their investment, and the tenants are content. 

Balancing these competing elements is crucial for your company’s success.

You can definitely expect a wide range of responsibilities, from handling emergencies to covering your expected day-to-day tasks. 

This involves advertising vacant units, meeting with tenants and property owners, and finding the best way to uphold a property’s condition. The truth is, your days will vary! 

Working in property management is anything but boring, and you will learn this pretty early on in your journey. 

As you navigate interactions with tenants, owners, and contractors, you will find that you often must serve as a mediator between them, working to align their sometimes conflicting interests. 

Your goal is to maintain the property’s quality, profitability, legal compliance, and tenant satisfaction, working to help everyone involved with the property stay on the same page. 

Another aspect of being a property manager in Arizona is that you must navigate local rules and regulations in regards to rental properties.

While we will dive into this in more detail later in this blog post, it is crucial for property managers to do their research to make sure that you are always remaining compliant with local rental property laws.

Despite its challenges, property management offers both personal and financial rewards. By following our guide, we are confident that you can thrive in property management long term. 

Keep reading to learn more about starting your own property management venture in Arizona!

Step 1: Create a Business Structure for Your Arizona Property Management Company

The very first step in establishing your own property management company in Arizona involves determining your business structure and selecting a name. 

Once you have chosen your business name, the next step is to formally register it as a legal entity. This process can be a bit tricky in Arizona, so we strongly advise seeking assistance from a local corporate accountant to ensure proper navigation.

By registering your business and coming up with a comprehensive plan, you will be better equipped to make future decisions regarding your company’s structure and protect yourself against personal and professional liabilities in the long run.

Similar to many other states, the first step to becoming a licensed property manager in Arizona is acquiring a Real Estate Broker License from the Arizona Department of Real Estate (ADRE).

Once you have your license, you will need to register your business. Typically, property management companies in Arizona opt for either a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) or an unincorporated business entity (often referred to as an S-Corp or C-Corp). 

While both options have their advantages and disadvantages, seeking advice from an attorney or CPA with specific expertise in corporate tax filings is recommended in order to determine the most suitable corporate structure for your business.

We strongly encourage prospective property management business owners to conduct thorough research to identify the best business structure tailored to their own unique needs. 

Once you have registered your business and established a tax structure, you can start the necessary legal processes to safeguard your assets, your business, and yourself from potential liabilities in the future.

Step 2: Understand the Arizona Rental Property Laws and Create a Legal Contract for Clients

Once you have established your property management company as a legal entity and you have begun setting up your business structure, it is crucial to craft a comprehensive, legally binding contract for your future clients in Arizona.

Before marketing your business, we strongly advise starting this process early on in your journey to avoid potential time and financial burdens in the long run. 

Working with an attorney who specializes in property management and real estate to create a strong legal contract for your clients will help you make sure that your company remains protected against liability, fraud, and various other risks that come along with the industry.

Your property management contract should clearly outline the following:

  • Duration of the contract term
  • Parties involved (your company and the property owner)
  • Responsibilities of the property management company, including property maintenance, tenant management, rent collection, evictions, repairs, emergency maintenance, monthly costs and ongoing responsibilities
  • Anything related to the rental property that you are not responsible for
  • A breakdown of any fees that are owed by the property owner to the property management company
  • Responsibilities of the property owner
  • Hold harmless clauses (Legal statements absolving parties of liabilities for injuries or damages)
  • Termination clause that outlines conditions for contract termination with or without penalties

By ensuring your contract covers these key aspects, you can establish a solid foundation for your property management company in Arizona while protecting the interests of both your company and your clients.

Step 3: Develop a Business Plan for Your Arizona Property Management Company

As you continue to build your Arizona property management company from the ground up, it is essential to outline both your short-term and long-term goals. This process begins with creating a comprehensive business plan.

First, you’ll need to determine the structure of your property management company. Typically, there are two prevalent approaches:

  1. Sole proprietorship: A single property manager oversees all client and tenant needs, contracting out work to professionals and contractors as necessary. For instance, repairs are outsourced rather than handled in-house.
  2. Employee-based company: This model distributes the workload evenly among salaried employees, allowing each team member to focus on their specific expertise. In this scenario, your company may have in-house maintenance workers to handle repairs.

While these are common structures for property management companies, it’s important to note that you are not bound to one model forever.

Many property managers start as sole proprietors, using the work of contractors to help maintain the units under their care.

As the business expands and you manage more properties, hiring employees will become a necessary step in your company’s ability to maintain your success. 

At this point, you can restructure the company and establish a typical hierarchical system with additional team members.

Expanding your Arizona property management company involves adding a range of roles to your team, including part-time, full-time, and contracted positions. 

While it may seem daunting, delegating just some of your responsibilities to trusted team members can improve the quality of your services for clients and tenants.

Here are some of the roles to consider filling as your property management company grows:

  • Additional property managers who can act on your behalf and oversee the work of multiple properties.
  • Administrative support that manages office space and daily operations efficiently.
  • Sales representatives for nurturing client relationships and attracting new business.
  • Human resources professionals to help take care of payroll and benefits.
  • Finance experts who can help you manage accounts payable and receivable.
  • Leasing agents, showing coordinators, and tenant managers to handle tenant relations and fill vacant units.
  • Maintenance managers and staff for routine and emergency repairs.
  • Service coordinators working to ensure smooth daily operations.
  • Marketing specialists managing your company’s online presence and marketing efforts.

Additionally, you may want to consider contracting specialized roles such as:

  • Experienced accountants familiar with the complexities of property management.
  • A real estate attorney
  • Contractors for specialized maintenance tasks like locksmiths and HVAC specialists.
  • IT personnel to streamline business systems and processes.

It is important to keep in mind that everyone you hire and work with must be properly registered with the state or be generally qualified to perform their duties. 

The quality of your team will ultimately reflect the quality of your business, so it is absolutely crucial to be intentional with who you are choosing to work with. 

Step 4: Use Property Management Software to Streamline Your Operations

As a property management company in Arizona, you are constantly juggling numerous priorities. This is an aspect of property management that is to be expected, as it is simply part of the job! 

Given the relationship-focused nature of your work, addressing these priorities promptly and professionally is crucial. Your reputation as a property manager is your most valuable asset, and failing to address important matters quickly can significantly harm that reputation, thus harming your business.

It can be difficult to come back from a tarnished reputation in property management, so it is important that you do everything you can to maintain positive relationships with clients and to keep everything as organized as possible. 

However, this is easier said than done, and staying organized as a property manager can be a difficult task. Luckily, that’s where property management software can help!

Software solutions are a game-changer in meeting business needs in every industry, and property management is no exception. When selecting software, we recommend that you prioritize scalability to accommodate both your current and future needs.

For property managers, several Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms are available, and they all cater to a specific set of needs. 

Notable examples include Buildium, Yardi Breeze, Hemlane, and RentManager. 

However, when you are just starting out in property management, these comprehensive tools may not be the most practical or cost effective choice for you.

Luckily, by taking the time to do some research, you will find SaaS solutions that are tailored to various business needs, such as tenant rent collection, maintenance order tracking, email management, and document sharing. 

While it’s true that these individual platforms may not offer the same level of integration as all-in-one property management software, they can often prove to be a more cost-effective and adaptable option for property managers who are in the early stages of establishing their company.

Step 5: Generate Leads and Market Your Arizona Property Management Company

Many businesses make the incorrect assumption that your marketing efforts are only important before you gain your clients. 

After this stage, many business owners stop trying to market their company, as they believe that the importance of marketing ends once they gain clients. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth!

We highly recommend that you treat marketing and advertising your property management company as an ongoing task that remains top of mind for you and your team. Start right at the beginning of your company and keep it going to help you maintain long term success in the industry. 

Here are some of the top priorities that we think you should have when you are marketing your property management company:

Creating an Engaging and Informative Website 

In today’s market, having a top-notch website is essential for establishing credibility online for your property management company. Think of it as the digital face of your business! 

While platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix offer templates for DIY websites, investing in professional web design can elevate your online brand and turn your website into a truly valuable asset that can help you win clients and generate revenue for your business. 


At the end of the day, any business that wants to succeed needs a professional website, and it is important that you do not skip this step.

Developing Strong Marketing Collateral

You may be wondering, what exactly does marketing collateral entail? Well, marketing collateral mainly includes a variety of materials that can be used to promote your business. 

This can be online or offline, and it may include social media content, SEO, advertisements, business cards, brochures, digital guides, blog posts, and more. 

While your website should definitely take center stage, these materials are incredibly useful in establishing professionalism and reinforcing your brand identity both online and in real life. 

Exploring Networking Opportunities

Building relationships and industry contacts is essential for expanding your reach and attracting clients. After all, property management is a relationship driven job, so it is important for property managers to build lasting connections in their communities. 

Each real estate market in Arizona has its own perspective and dynamics. These connections can often lead to more business opportunities for your company. 

Make sure you actively network with real estate professionals and fellow property investors, as this can help you identify potential clients and establish industry partnerships that could last a lifetime. 

You should also consider joining professional organizations such as the National Association of Residential Property Managers for more insights, training, resources, and networking opportunities.

Step 6: Determine Your Property Management Fee Structure

The decision regarding how you will structure your fees is pivotal, as charging too much may deter potential clients, while charging too little could hurt the financial health of your company.

For this reason, understanding your local market is essential, as analyzing your competitors’ pricing can provide you with valuable insights into what you should charge for your services.

Here are some examples of fees to incorporate into your company’s pricing structure:

Setup Fee: This one-time charge, typically ranging from $200 to $300, initiates an account with your business for property owners.

Ongoing Management Fee: The main source of monthly income, this fee typically ranges from 3% to 10% of the property’s monthly rental income. It covers the essential operational expenses of your business.

Leasing Fee: This covers expenses associated with tenant acquisition, including staging, listing, tenant screening, lease preparation, and documentation.

Lease Renewal Fee: While less common, this fee is applicable in highly competitive rental markets. It’s a small one-time charge paid by tenants when renewing their lease.

Eviction Fee: Although considered optional, it’s advisable, especially if you’re representing the property owner during an eviction process.

Step 7: Provide Exceptional Property Management Services to Your Arizona Clients and Tenants

In property management, delivering top-notch services is crucial. As your company expands and acquires new clients, it is vital to consistently improve the quality of your services if you want to uphold positive client relationships and the overall success of your company.

With these strategies in mind, we know that your new Arizona property management company will truly thrive in the long run. 

If you have any further questions, reach out to our team at Upkeep Media today!