Offering your property management services is a lucrative business model and can be scalable, as well. However, you need to do things properly, which is why you must learn about a property management agreement to use so that you can grow your rent rolls.

There are many things you should include in the property management agreement form, and we can help you.

Property Management Agreement

Property management focuses on registered Realtors or real estate agents managing rental properties on behalf of investors and landlords in exchange for a monthly fee. The services can include but aren't limited to:


Clients often engage with a property manager because these professionals organize rentals each day. They trust your experience and expertise, knowing that you will get the best results with fewer issues.

However, landlords do have risk involved when handing over the keys to a real estate agent or property manager. Therefore, clients often seek more than one proposal from various real estate agencies before choosing a manager that they feel comfortable with.

The property management contract is crucial for you to secure business ahead of the competition and receive exclusive rights for managing a client's property. Without this formal contract, you're vulnerable to a landlord changing their mind partway through the process.

Likewise, a contract offers you protection because you receive the rental fee in full and on time from the property owner.

Best Practices

Property management contracts are a pathway between the real estate agent and the long-term client. Below, we've listed the best practices a broker can use to make the most out of this agreement.

Nurture Your Leads by Educating the Stakeholders

Generating new inquiries and appraisals is at the heart of your property management practice. In the template, you must list the principal responsibilities and duties you'll do so that the property owner can review them.

The secret is that the information isn't only for landlords. It's a powerful tool that educates your referral engines, including mortgage brokers, strata management, service desk teams, sales agents, and other stakeholders who might benefit from knowing the duties you perform.

Use the contract information to educate partners. When they understand how you benefit the clients, they will be more likely to drop your name when interacting with California landlords.

If you sign a new client because of an interaction or referral, touch base with the one who referred them to you and let them know how it went. This builds confidence and trust in your network to lead to more opportunities in the California market.

Determine Your Fees

With real estate, most property managers charge landlords a percentage of the rental income as the fee. Likewise, the manager is responsible for appraising the rent amount they believe landlords can receive in the current California marketplace.

Before writing the fees on the contract, make sure to inspect the property and research it to get a better idea of what you should charge for your services. You will generally be required to make repairs on behalf of the property owner, and you want to ensure that they are within your budget.

Landlords wish to get a higher rental income, but they also have a realistic idea of what they can expect. Be reasonable with quotes because you don't want to look suspect.

Leverage the Agreement in Your Listing Presentations

The listing presentation is where you impress clients and win their business. To seal the deal, you must get landlords to sign the property management agreement. However, you have to sell it first. What is unique about it? Where are your negotiation skills?

Once everything settles, and the landlord is ready to work with you, it's time to discuss the conditions of the agreement. What work will be performed and when? How will you manage the property and help the owner draw income?

It’s a Summary

Remember that you should discuss the rent amount you think you can achieve for this property and highlight your duties during the management process.

The contract is a neat summary of the points you've already discussed, so you're simply checking the boxes in each section. If you've done the groundwork, there should be no issue getting the California landlord to sign.

Things to Include

As the manager in California, you must ensure that the contract is worded properly and includes appropriate information about you, where the property is located, and what you will do to manage the premises.

Generally, these are the pieces of information the California property manager needs:

  • Parties - List the effective date and the names of both parties (manager and owner).
  • General - Ensure that you say that the owner will authorize your real estate agency as the manager of the property, listing the address and other pertinent details. Include clauses that state the manager will accept responsibility and will manage repairs and everything else.
  • Term - List the date things go into effect and when it ends. Typically, you start with "this agreement shall" and continue.
  • Agent Responsibilities - These can include renting and leasing, what the real estate agency isn't required to do, and more.
  • Agent Liability - You should say that the owner will not hold the agent to debts, demands, and other lawsuits.
  • Payment and Fees - Here, you say that the parties will agree to the cost of services, when to pay, and that the parties agree to send/receive invoices as appropriate.
  • Termination - Talk about when termination of the agreement is appropriate, such as when one party breaches the conditions set forth in the contract.

Other sections include:

  • Succession
  • Governing law
  • Amendments
  • Assignment
  • Alternative dispute resolutions
  • Signatures

California Laws

The manager is required to have a real estate license to perform most of the property management acts necessary in California. However, this license isn't needed when the manager is actually an employee of a licensed agent, an employee of the resident manager, or a resident manager of any apartment complex or building.

Overall, the activities of the manager exempt from state licensing requirements are limited to the powers under that specific statute. (BPC 10131 and BPC 10131.01).

Build Your Own

In California, you're not limited as to what you can put in the property management contract. However, most real estate brokers and managers use a template to help them get started and list the activities.

You can build your own or download them here (PDF or Word)!


Property management is often required in California because the owner doesn't know what to do or doesn't care to perform their duties. In these cases, they authorize a company to do the work for them, and you want to be the manager in charge of that address.

It's crucial to create an agreement that meets your needs and focuses on the duties performed, such as repairs and maintenance.


What's the Standard Term for Your Property Management Agreement?

Property management contracts are generally required in California, and they last as long as that property gets rented. This can be anywhere from three to 24 months for a residential property. Then, tenants usually choose a month-to-month agreement.

How Does Someone Terminate the Property Management Agreement?

The agreement may be terminated when:

  • The lease date is reached, and the landlord chooses not to rent this property anymore.
  • One party breaches the agreement conditions.
  • The property isn't rented with a definite period when the agreement was originally signed.

Can You Edit Your Property Management Agreement Once It's Created?

When you use DoorLoop to create the agreement, we realize that there are certain modifications you may need to make. The templates are available in Word and PDF format for your benefit. You're also not required to hire a real estate lawyer for this, though some managers do so to fully understand the statute.

Can I customize my own form or agreement?

Yes, you always can, however if you want to be 100% sure you are protected, you should consult an attorney in your local area.

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David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!