Property management companies take care of a wide range of details that many landlords would rather not have to deal with on their own. For example, the property manager takes care of advertising vacancies, screening potential tenants, writing up leases, collecting the rent, dealing with tenants' complaints and handling repairs. When the property manager is responsible for the day-to-day running of the landlord's property, only involving the landlord if there is a major repair or a legal issue, the landlord is free to concentrate on other, possibly more lucrative, areas (such as buying more buildings and expanding his business). Usually, property managers are paid ten percent of the monthly rent for their services.
In addition to having management experience, property managers have to possess good communication skills, they must treat the tenants with respect and they have to take care of problems in a timely manner. The landlord should take the time to run a complete background check on the property manager, to make sure that the property has a good reputation and is ethical, as the landlord could be held responsible for any crime (blackmail, robbery, physical assault, etc.) committed by the property manager against a tenant in one of the landlord's buildings.
If you are a landlord, regardless of whether you choose to have a property manager or not, you should make sure all your property is insured and that you pay whatever taxes are necessary. Get rid of anything that could be harmful to your tenants, such as asbestos, defective wiring, lead paint or broken glass, or other junk on the premises. Check out landlord training programs in your city, which focus on legal issues and regulations, improving landlord-tenant relations, and how to involve the authorities to eliminate drug selling or other criminal behavior on the premises.