Property Management Terms to Understand

Real Estate Terms: Renting

Vacancy rate: The percentage of unoccupied units (not generating income) in a rental property portfolio at any given time

Tenant screening: The process of interviewing, conducting background and credit checks, calling references, and fully vetting applicants to find the best possible tenant

Liability insurance: A type of insurance policy that protects property owners against claims of negligence or action that results in bodily injury or property damage to another party

Rental property: Investment property from which an owner receives monthly payments from tenants for living there

Short-term rental: A type of rental property only leased for a short period of time, usually for vacationers, that comes furnished; property owners commonly use online marketplace services like Airbnb and VBRO to find renters

Long-term rental: The traditional type of rental property where tenant sign a lease for a longer period of time (1+ years)

Rental income: Income generated from rent payments the tenants make to the landlord for living on the landlord’s property

Rental property calculator: Often used to evaluate if a property is a good investment prior to buying, a rental property calculator is an online tool that allows owners to plug in associated costs of their investment property to predict the ROI, cash flow, and IRR

All Property Management Rental Property Calculator

Single-family home: A free-standing residential property not attached to any other residential or commercial properties

Multi-family home: A residential property designed to house many different tenants (or groups of tenants) in separate units within a single structure

Mixed-use building: A property zoned for both commercial and residential use (e.g. a multi-family home where the ground floor is a convenience store)

Leasing fee: The fee a property owner pays to a property manager when the property manager signs a tenant for the rental unit; when a tenant renews their lease, the property owner pays a re-leasing fee to the property manager

Vacancy provision: A sum of money set aside to help cover expenses in the event a rental unit is vacant for a period of time (typically 12% of the rent to allow 6% to cover vacancy and 6% to cover maintenance)

Fair Housing Act (FHA): Federal law that prohibits real estate agents, landlords, sellers, lenders, and any other party that has influence in the decision-making process of buying, selling, renting, and financing of housing from discrimination against individuals in a protected class based on race, nationality, gender, religion, family status, and disability

The Importance of Understanding the Lingo

Property investing can come with a hefty price tag. But if you do it right, you can be making a good amount of passive income from rent while letting the property appreciate. That is why it’s essential to understand the key terms of real estate investing. When you can navigate the market with confidence, you will be on track to excelling as an owner and investor.

Benefits of Property Management


Owning a rental property is a great long-term investment – especially if you’re looking for ways to diversify your revenue stream. However, managing the day-to-day needs of your property can quickly become overwhelming, especially if you are tackling more than one rental.

Whether you are utilizing your rental properties for long- or short-term use, the required maintenance and logistical upkeep could quickly become burdensome for any owner. Likewise, if you are using rental properties to subsidize your retirement, getting caught up in the never-ending needs of your rental can eventually start to feel too much like work.


Choosing your investment property is only the beginning. When it comes to managing your property, there are many things to consider such as rental agreements, maintenance needs, utilities, zoning regulations, and any additional costs like HOA fees. Most property owners find that managing their rental property’s needs quickly begins to feel like a full-time job!

That’s where professional property management services come in. They take the burden of managing the day-to-day details of your rental property off your back, so you can focus on simply reaping the financial benefits. Some great reasons to use property management services for your rental include:

  1. Dedication to the details. A good property management company will handle everything, from rental contract agreements to maintenance to accounting, all at a competitive percentage of the rental’s monthly income.
  2. Finding the perfect tenant. Your due diligence in finding the perfect rental property could be quickly thwarted if you let the wrong tenants take over. A property management company will thoroughly screen all potential occupants to find the best fit to protect your investment.
  3. Serving as the point of contact. If there’s a problem on your property, such as a maintenance issue or safety concern, it may not be convenient for you to drive over to inspect the problem at all times. Your property management company serves as the point of contact between you and your tenants, arranging the necessary services to resolve any issues.
  4. Rental marketing expertise. Your property management team has a firm grasp on pricing trends in the area and platforms on which to list your rental. They will ensure you get the best price and visibility for your property.
  5. Decreasing tenant turnover. A successful property management company knows how to keep their renters happy. They should be responsive and available to resolve any issues that arise during your tenants’ stay. This decreases turnover and increases the stability of your investment.
  6. Preventing potential legal issues. You may be unaware of the various landlord-tenant laws and fair housing laws in your state, but your property managers are not. They will help you avoid any potential lawsuits, saving you time and money.
  7. Discounts on maintenance. Many property management companies have built rapport with local maintenance providers, allowing for discounted services or repairs, which translates to money saved for you.
  8. Overall peace of mind. Owning an investment property involves many moving parts, and it’s easy to get stressed when trying to sort out the details on your own. Allowing a great property management company to handle the day-to-day minutia means you have more time to focus on whatever it is you enjoy most.


Buffalo was hot long before it became famous for its spicy wings. Once home to more millionaires per capita than any other city in the United States, the Western New York community became a booming center for trade and manufacturing with the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. And nearly two centuries later, it’s still producing more than record annual snowfalls. That’s why you need a property management company that can provide you with unmatched services at a competitive price.   

Stonewall Property Management will handle everything from tenant acquisition to rental contracts to maintenance and upkeep. We provide the comprehensive management services you need, so that you can enjoy the benefits of your investment without the stress.