Great Property Management Companies Show Genuine Substance and it's Clear and, Paid or Outdated Property Management Company Data That Don’t Help Property Managers

In the early days of the internet, directories like aimed to list every website related to a particular topic. While everyone thought that would be useful for browsing at the time, these kinds of shallow listing sites quickly became outdated as the web evolved. 20 years later it feels like we’ve come full circle somehow.

Now, they’re the poster children for terrible ideas that somehow earned a huge amount of traffic before people figured out there was zero substance.

Today’s property managers face a similar problem with sites like and,,, that claim to help find service providers but fail to provide any substantive data to inform your decision if the data on their site is even accurate or up to date.

The Problem with Property Management Listing Sites

Sites like Expertise and PropertyManagement AllPropertyManagement operate on a seemingly simple premise – they compile lists of local property management companies in cities across the country. However, a closer look reveals some major shortcomings:

  • Limited Vetting Process: Many sites allow companies to self-report information or pay for featured listings, resulting in outdated and potentially misleading entries.
  • Lack of Meaningful Data: These lists provide little more than company names, websites, and contact information. There’s no data on performance metrics, customer satisfaction, pricing models, etc.
  • Paid Prioritization: Companies can pay to be featured at the top of results, obscuring truly top-rated providers.
  • Lack of Specialization Data: Different property types (residential, commercial, affordable housing) have distinct management needs, but listings provide no filtering by specialty.

In essence, these sites offer a phone book-like experience that is increasingly obsolete in today’s data-driven world of online reviews, industry analysis, and transparent pricing information.

Our company discusses the winner-take-all economy around us, and its brutal effects on mom-and-pop small businesses and landlords frequently. Rental investors are being crowded out by Wall Street REITs who are buying up all available quality inventory, and even building entire communities to rent (build to rent).

This makes Wall Street a direct competitor with Sally who just received a job relocation to a new city, and can’t unlock the 4% mortgage golden handcuffs they’re currently in. They can either make dramatic concessions for their living arrangements by taking a much cheaper and usually smaller home for the same monthly payment, or rent. When they rent it’s quite likely through another one of those Wall Street REIT property management companies (who MoveZen Property Management competes directly with) who then squeezes every ounce of profit out of that relationship as they possibly can too.

Equally culpable are the “proptech” companies out of Silicon Valley CA. Very similar results with a different flavor. Report big profit or user growth every quarter, at any cost, or lose your job. Where do customers fit into that mentality?

So if sites like,, and only posted mom-and-pop property management companies to their uncurated list, that would be phenomenal.

However, what is their business model? Making mom-and-pop property management companies successful or getting the highest bidder to pay the highest toll for data they scraped off the websites of those mom-and-pop companies without authorization, and without bothering to keep it reasonably up to date. Do you think it’s the 10-year-old company that can only manage 200 total homes because they don’t want to embark on the wild journey of hiring a lot of property management staff and is therefore probably not even taking many new accounts, or that private equity owned company out of Silicon Valley CA and Wall Street, NY?

Furthermore, they often even list HOA management companies as if they don’t understand that has nothing to do with long-term investment rental management and is a completely unrelated industry without much overlap.

These sites exist solely to sell to the highest bidder and nothing else. Quality means nothing, it’s all about impressions. Drive traffic to the site, show advertisers that traffic, then reap massive profits selling publicly available data they scraped off our sites and Google, and little more. selling influence to property management companies

Do you think those companies earned, or paid for those spots? Are they the best?

What they probably did not bank on, and cannot believe their luck, is that Google and even Bing in some markets would actually elevate that model to the top of their results. That seemed to lend credibility to sites that had just scrapped their data off Google itself, and diverted traffic from search results that are, while dramatically declining in quality, still mostly user-curated and up-to-date.

How are we so certain that these lists are not only of little use but flat-out misleading customers?

Our company changed our name almost 12 months ago From Victory Property Management to MoveZen Property Management. In that time we’ve notified these companies dozens of times including the press release that announced the change. We were not able to get our name updated until almost a year later.

For years we had not paid any attention to these gatekeeper sites because we knew they provided zero added value. However more and more Google has even begun to derive their own dramatically sinking search results from these gatekeepers. It’s a big reason why Google’s market share and stock are both tanking now and likely just starting a long-term 10-year period of dramatic underperformance if not an outright AOL-style fall from grace. Garbage in, garbage out Google how do you not know that?

Google search results for property management companies are poor

Too little too late maybe?

That’s another topic. Also during our name change Google took months to update things. That combination left us appearing as a brand new company with no serious digital footprint. Despite the fact we are always one of the oldest companies in every market where we operate, we cover more of the NC SC region (soon to be VA as well) than any other non-franchise company, we have thousands of 5-star reviews across two decades and many locations, we invest heavily in our listing presentations and it shows, we get the best results in the industry without question and (can show actual address redacted cash flow statements that demonstrate) bring passion and effort to every aspect of the property management process.

Our leading company pretty much fell off of all Google and gatekeeper toll collecter sites like and for almost an entire year, and suddenly old outdated listings on sites that can’t be bothered to respond to requests for updates began to be a very big deal.

That said, we had a stellar year as evidenced by our being named to Inc Magazines, Inc 5000 Regionals Mid Atlantic list of leading companies in the NC, SC, VA, and Washington DC region. Why is that list different from and Because they actually did serious due diligence and even our CPA had to sign off on the data that we provided to be considered for that prestigious award.

How did we pull that off? Because we grow internally, and organically, through massive numbers of referrals from very happy customers.

You see, when you make mom-and-pop landlords rich because you’re so obsessive about delivering amazing long-term results with little headache, they get really happy and start telling a lot of people. if not buying a lot of homes. Those people who know them well hear about real mathematical results and wealth outcomes, and they couldn’t care less if or listed MoveZen Property Management on their uncurated list.

MoveZen has always focused our attention, effort, resources, and culture on building the best A to Z property management system in the business. We get ridiculously amazing results that we can prove with actual live cash flow statements built over time, and our landlord owners tend to keep buying more and more homes. When their friends see how well off they are after they partnered with that solid regional company MoveZen, they want to know how. That’s how we managed to grow even though Google and other gatekeeping toll collector sites refused to update our name.

The other asset that drives customers to us in droves is the thousands of 5-star reviews that we have built over time (almost 2 decades of reviews), and place (we cover almost 10 major metros with very different cultures and markets). Gatekeeper sites don’t talk about those, but customers sure notice.

Why You Need More Than Just a List

Making an informed decision on hiring a property manager requires in-depth research far beyond what listing sites provide, including:

  • Pricing structure and fee schedules
  • Specialty expertise (asset types, affordable housing, etc.)
  • Latest tenant satisfaction scores and reviews
  • Regulatory compliance history and credentials
  • Proprietary technology platforms and reporting capabilities

Top property management firms invest heavily in developing differentiated service offerings, applying the latest best practices, and utilizing sophisticated software and processes. This depth is completely missed by flat listing sites.

How Might You Go About this Process in a More Profitable and Professional Way?

Find reputable sources like NARPM (National Association of Property Managers) to start your search if you want a legitimately curated list. To join NARPM we had to take an extensive ethics course, prove that we’re state-licensed, and answer to complaints from customers when lodged. and do none of that.

BBB (Better Business Bureau) is a great general provide in particular that still actually vets the companies they accredit, holds them accountable, responds to requests for updates, and generally runs a legitimate business. Yet they’re shunned by Google because they run a conservative ship, not clickbait. One thing Google does still have going for it is Google reviews since they are curated by real users with real experiences.

When you’re considering a company look at the quality of its listings. Little else in our opinion better indicates the quality you might expect in long-term care and results as well. Do they show care and passion in how they present all of their listings (not just the photos they borrowed from a sales listing)?

Make sure their listings are showing up on Zillow and which dominate the vast majority of rental searches. A ton of companies do not list on both sites, and that is a major drawback for you. If they are on those sites, does your listing stand out at all amongst the crowd? Do gatekeeper sites give you that kind of advice?

Narrow down the top 3 companies you want to vet, they are usually pretty obvious.

Before you jump in, understand what makes a good rental manager. Such as keeping the cost of vacant homes to a bare minimum, keeping operating costs firmly under control, and investing heavily in a resident satisfaction model that dramatically reduces the two biggest costs for landlords by light years. Poor resident selection and consistent resident turnover dramatically undermine long-term performance.

Understand what performance metrics you want to measure, and what constitutes great results for those metrics (we recommend Nolo’s Landlords Legal Guide for helpful benchmark advice). For us it’s mostly:

Vacancy rate
Operating expenses relative to income
Top line revenue
Repair costs

Ask them smart questions like what kind of results will you get for me? Not how much do you charge?

Why? Because the cost of management across NC, SC, and VA is about 10% over the long term. That means that 90% of your results will come from the decisions your manager makes, not the charges they levy. It’s like swapping the leading oil brand in your car for used vegetable oil because it’s cheaper. It won’t be when your car blows up!

Specifically what results will they get for you on the above metrics?

Over time, it is almost impossible to hide poor performance in those metrics. If you select poor residents it will show up. If you turnover residents frequently because you can’t be bothered to keep them extremely happy, it will dramatically reduce bottom-line profit. If you don’t keep an eye on your property and invest in improving things when it makes sense, not only will your repair costs skyrocket but your income will drop dramatically, vacancy costs will rise, and costly turnovers will come more frequently.

Property Management Results Makeup 90 of bottom line

Since 90% of your bottom-line results are due to performance, should managment cost be a main priority? A lot of companies sure think so and use slight of hand to make you think so too

The one exception to that rule is if you settle in with one of those extremely long-term residents kept on at below-market rents for years to avoid a turnover. Then the home usually degrades dramatically but it doesn’t show up in those metrics until the final move-out and $20k+ turnover that very few non-professional rental investors are emotionally prepared for.

For a company though, you have dozens of properties and those situations average out over time. If you are somewhat engaged with your industry then you can speak at length about how you get those results, the policies that led to them that are working well, are not working well, and what you intend to do about it.

That’s being a smart rental property investor. Don’t rely on a list, curated by a college intern and quite possibly 12 months out of date. Learn a few basic issues and probe the top 3 companies that fit your vibe on these topics. Then make a smart decision.

The Data-Driven Future of Finding Property Managers

As the rental market continues to grow more competitive and complex, hiring decisions will be best informed by tapping into comprehensive data sources that can analyze management company performance, pricing, reviews, and specialties side-by-side. This could include:

  • Government/NGO databases of licensing, compliance, and affordable housing participation
  • Integration of reviews and tenant satisfaction metrics from authoritative sites
  • Public and private reports on management portfolios, staffing, and retention rates
  • Software data streams providing visibility into platform capabilities

The most successful property managers recognize the pivotal role of big data and proptech in driving efficiencies and optimizing the tenant experience. When vetting new management partners, accessing and understanding these types of data-driven insights will be critical.
While listing sites like Expertise and PropertyManagement may still play a narrow role for the general browsing of local companies, their data poverty will become increasingly obsolete for making informed hiring decisions. The future of finding a property manager lies in sophisticated data analysis and comparison tools that provide the level of transparency today’s owners and investors require.

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