Start a Property Management Company in Hawaii | 2024 Guide

Steve Bennett
Business Formation Expert  |   Fact Checked by Editorial Team
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Hawaii Property Management Company

Are you considering starting a property management company in Hawaii? Property management is an excellent business opportunity for individuals with a passion for real estate who are detail-oriented and can effectively manage multiple tasks simultaneously. The demand for property managers continues to grow, making it an attractive and lucrative Limited Liability Company in Hawaii.

Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you gain knowledge through thorough research and market study. Before Starting a Property Management Company in Hawaii, all the steps in this article must guide you.

What is a Property Management Company?

A property management company in Hawaii is a professional firm that handles the administration of residential, commercial, or industrial real estate. Such companies deal with all aspects of managing a property, from finding and vetting tenants to repairing and maintaining the property, collecting rent, and handling tenant issues. These companies are an asset for property owners who may not have the time or expertise to manage their properties effectively and efficiently.

Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) can be a strategic decision for those considering starting a property management company in Hawaii. Starting an LLC provides several benefits, including the protection of personal assets. In an LLC, the owner’s assets are protected in case of any litigation or debt incurred by the company. It also offers greater credibility and potential tax advantages and allows for an easy ownership transfer. Starting an LLC involves filing the necessary paperwork with the Hawaii Secretary of State and paying an initial filing fee.

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How to Start a Property Management Company in Hawaii

Starting a property management company in Hawaii can be a lucrative and rewarding business venture especially if you are in Honolulu. With the right planning, resources, and dedication, you can create a successful company that caters to the needs of property owners and investors in your area. Here is the step-by-step guide to launching a property management company in Hawaii.

Step 1: Understand Property Management

Property management oversees and operates real estate properties, including residential, commercial, and industrial properties. The role of a property manager is to manage the day-to-day activities of properties, ensuring that they are well-maintained and that rent is collected on time. Property managers also deal with tenant issues, repairs and maintenance, and marketing vacant properties.

Step 2: Evaluate The Market

Before starting a property management company in Hawaii, you need to evaluate the local market to determine if there is a demand for your services. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Type of Properties: Determine the properties in Hawaii, such as single-family homes, multi-family buildings, commercial properties, or vacation rentals.
  • Competition: Identify other property management companies and analyze their services, pricing structures, and market share.
  • Market Trends: Research the local real estate market trends, including rental rates, vacancy rates, and property values.
  • Potential Clientele: Determine the number of property owners and investors in your target area who may require property management services.

Step 3: Create a Business Plan

A solid business plan is crucial for the success of your property management company. Your business plan should include the following elements:

  • Executive Summary: A brief overview of your Hawaii property management company, including its mission statement, goals, and objectives.
  • Market Analysis: A detailed analysis of the local real estate market, competition, and potential clients.
  • Services: Describe the property management services you plan to offer, such as tenant screening, rent collection, property maintenance, and marketing.
  • Marketing Strategy: Outline your marketing plan, including your target audience, marketing channels, and budget.
  • Financial Projections: Provide financial projections for your property management company, including revenue, expenses, and projected profits.

Step 4: Register Your Business and Obtain Licenses

To start a property management company in Hawaii, you must register your business and obtain the necessary licenses and permits. Here are the steps to follow:

Choose a Business Structure

For starting a property management company, several business structures are available in Hawaii. Each structure has its benefits and drawbacks, depending on your business goals, financial situation, and personal preferences. The common business structures you can choose from are:

  • Sole Proprietorship: This is the simplest business structure, which involves a single individual owning and operating the property management company. The owner has complete control over the business and is personally responsible for all debts and liabilities. There is no formal registration process for a sole proprietorship, but you may still need to obtain licenses and permits specific to property management.
  • Partnership: A partnership is a business structure where two or more people share ownership of the property management company. Partnerships can be general, limited, or Hawaii Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP). Each partner contributes to the business and shares in profits and losses. Partnerships must file a partnership agreement with the Hawaii Secretary of State and obtain necessary licenses and permits.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC is a hybrid entity that combines a partnership’s flexibility with a corporation’s limited liability protection. Owners, known as members, are not personally responsible for the company’s debts and liabilities. To form an LLC in Hawaii, you must file the Articles of Organization with the Hawaii Secretary of State and comply with any licensing and permitting requirements.
  • Corporation: A corporation is a separate legal entity from its owners, known as shareholders. Corporations offer limited liability protection and can issue stock to raise capital. There are two types of corporations: C Corporations and S Corporations. Forming a corporation in Hawaii requires filing the Articles of Incorporation with the Hawaii Secretary of State.
  • Professional Corporation (PC): This type of corporation is designed specifically for licensed professionals, such as real estate brokers, who wish to form a corporation for their property management company. Professional Corporation offers limited liability protection and must comply with all state regulations for the specific profession. To form a Professional Corporation in Hawaii, you must file the Articles of Incorporation with the Hawaii Secretary of State and adhere to any licensing and permitting requirements.

Before choosing a business structure for your property management company in Hawaii, consult with a Business Attorney in Hawaii to discuss the best option for your situation. Remember that each structure has its tax implications and requirements, so it is essential to understand your choice’s financial and legal ramifications.

Choose a Business Name

Choosing a business name for your Hawaii property management company is important to establish your brand identity and attract potential clients. Here are a few suggestions to consider:

  1. Hawaii Premier Property Management
  2. Hawaii HomeGuard Property Services
  3. Hawaii Nexus Property Management
  4. Hawaii BlueSky Property Solutions
  5. Hawaii KeyPoint Property Management

Remember to check the availability of your chosen business name with the Hawaii Business Express and ensure it’s not already in use by another company. There is a complete guide on Hawaii Business Name Search for you to have a property management company name. You can register your business under a different legal name if your preferred name isn’t available. Once you have chosen a name, you can submit an application for Hawaii DBA (doing business as)

However, before filing a DBA, you should know that you need to renew your DBA every five years, which costs $50.

Once you’ve settled on a unique name, you can hire a Resident Agent and obtain the required licenses and permits.

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Hire a Resident Agent

A Resident Agent is a person or entity designated to receive important legal documents and correspondence for your business. In Hawaii, every business entity, such as an LLC or a corporation, must have a Resident Agent with a physical address within Hawaii. The Resident Agent’s primary role is to ensure that your business complies with state regulations and be available to receive any legal notices or official government correspondence.

In Hawaii, the cost of having a Resident Agent ranges from $50 – $150. However, suppose you are still wondering how to hire a Resident Agent. In that case, you can also serve as your Resident Agent, appoint a friend or family member, or hire the Best Hawaii Resident Agent Services.

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File For Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation

If you form an LLC for your Hawaii property management company, you must file the Hawaii Articles of Organization, which costs $50. However, you must file the Articles of Incorporation if you form a Corporation for your Hawaii property management company. The Articles of Incorporation filing fee costs $50 for filing online, by mail, fax, or by email. It is crucial to provide accurate and complete information on this document, as errors or omissions may result in delays or rejection of your filing.

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Obtain an Employer Identification Number

You must first obtain an Employer identification number (EIN) in Hawaii from the IRS if you will open a bank account or hire an employee for your Hawaii property management company. 

The application of an EIN in Hawaii can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that the Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is four weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone-International Applicants – International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

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Get the Necessary License and Permits

When starting a property management company in Hawaii, you must obtain legal licenses and permits. Here are some common licenses and permits you may need:

  • Business License: Hawaii requires businesses to obtain a Business License to operate legally. The business license fee in Hawaii ranges from $50 – $300.
  • Real Estate Broker License: In many states, property management companies must have a licensed real estate broker or designate a licensed broker to oversee the business operations. Check with your Hawaii Real Estate Commission or similar governing body for the requirements and application process.
  • Salesperson License (if applicable): If your Hawaii property management company also engages in leasing or renting properties, you may need to have a licensed salesperson working under the supervision of a licensed broker.
  • State Tax Registration: Register with the Hawaii Department of Taxation to collect and remit sales and use taxes and other applicable state taxes.
  • Local Zoning and Land Use Permits: Depending on the nature of your Hawaii property management services and the location of your office, you may need to obtain zoning and land use permits. 
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: If you have employees, you’ll likely need to obtain workers’ compensation insurance by Hawaii’s laws.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: Hawaii property management companies should consider obtaining professional liability insurance (errors and omissions insurance) to protect against potential legal claims related to business operations.

Before starting your property management company, consult a Business Attorney in Hawaii to ensure you obtain all the necessary legal permits and licenses. Failing to do so can result in fines, penalties, and even the closure of your Hawaii business.

Step 5: Set Up Your Office

While starting a property management company without a physical office is possible, having a dedicated workspace can help establish your credibility and professionalism. Select a location that is convenient for both you and your clients. This may be a home office, a co-working space, or a commercial office space. Also, you will need basic office equipment such as a computer, printer, phone, and filing system.

Step 6: Market Your Property Management Company

Effective marketing is crucial for attracting clients and growing your Hawaii property management business. Usually, the best way to market your property management company is to advertise in local newspapers, real estate magazines, and direct mail campaigns.

Step 7: Build a Team

As your property management company grows in Hawaii, you may need additional staff to help manage your workload. Consider hiring property managers, administrative assistants, maintenance technicians, and marketing professionals. Ensure your team is knowledgeable, professional, and committed to providing excellent customer service. However, before hiring an employee for your Hawaii property management company, you should obtain an EIN and open a bank account.

Benefits of Starting a Property Management Company

There are several benefits of starting a property management company in Hawaii:

  • Steady Income: Property management is a growing industry in Hawaii, and there is always a demand for qualified professionals to manage properties. This means starting an LLC property management company can provide a steady income stream.
  • Low Startup Costs: Starting a property management company requires minimal investment, as you do not need to purchase any property. You can start with just a few clients and gradually increase your portfolio.
  • Flexible Work Schedule: Property management companies offer flexible work schedules, allowing you to work around other commitments such as family and other business ventures.
  • Growth Opportunities: With the right marketing strategies, you can rapidly grow your property management company and increase your client base.
  • Diverse Client Base: Property management companies cater to a diverse range of clients, including landlords, tenants, and property owners. This means that there is always a demand for your services.

FAQs

What are the legal requirements for starting a property management company in Hawaii?
To start a property management company in Hawaii, you need to have a real estate broker’s license, bond, and insurance.
Do I need to have any prior experience to start a property management company in Hawaii?
Yes, you need to have experience working with rental properties or a real estate license to start a property management company in Hawaii.
How much does it cost to start a property management company in Hawaii?
Starting a property management company in Hawaii can cost between $5,000 and $10,000 depending on the size of your company and the services you offer.
Is it necessary to have a physical office for my property management company in Hawaii?
No, it’s not mandatory to have a physical office for your property management company in Hawaii, but it’s highly recommended.
Do I need to have a property management license to start a property management company in Hawaii?
No, you don’t need a separate property management license to start a property management company in Hawaii, but you need a real estate broker’s license.
How do I get a real estate broker’s license in Hawaii?
To get a real estate broker’s license in Hawaii, you need to complete pre-licensing education, pass an exam, and accumulate experience.
How many hours of pre-licensing education do I need to complete to get a real estate broker’s license in Hawaii?
You need to complete a total of 80 hours of pre-licensing education to get a real estate broker’s license in Hawaii.
Can I start a property management company in Hawaii if I live in another state or country?
Yes, you can start a property management company in Hawaii if you’re based in another state or country, but you need to have a designated real estate broker working for you.
Do I need to register my property management company with the state of Hawaii?
Yes, you need to register your property management company with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
What type of insurance do I need to have for my property management company in Hawaii?
You need to have general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance for your property management company in Hawaii.
Do I need to have a business license to start a property management company in Hawaii?
Yes, you need to have a business license issued by the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to start a property management company in Hawaii.
What are the taxes that I’ll need to pay as a property management company in Hawaii?
As a property management company in Hawaii, you’ll need to pay state taxes, federal taxes, and other relevant taxes like the GET (General Excise Tax).
How do I attract my first clients as a property management company in Hawaii?
You can attract clients for your property management company in Hawaii by advertising online, networking with other professionals, and highlighting your value proposition.
What kind of properties can I manage as a property management company in Hawaii?
You can manage a variety of properties as a property management company in Hawaii, including single-family homes, multi-family homes, commercial properties, and vacation rentals.
How much can I earn from managing rental properties in Hawaii?
You can earn anywhere from five to ten percent of the monthly rent as a property management fee in Hawaii, depending on the services you provide.
What are the typical services offered by a property management company in Hawaii?
A property management company in Hawaii typically offers services like tenant screening, rent collection, property maintenance, and leasing.
What should I keep in mind when setting rental rates for my managed properties in Hawaii?
When setting rental rates for your managed properties in Hawaii, consider factors like the property’s condition, location, and amenities and compare them with other comparable units in the area.
How much should I budget for property management software in Hawaii?
You can expect to spend between $50 and $150 per month for property management software in Hawaii.
Can I manage vacation rentals as a property management company in Hawaii?
Yes, you can manage vacation rentals as a property management company in Hawaii, but you’ll need to obtain the appropriate permits from the state.
What permits do I need to manage vacation rentals in Hawaii?
To manage vacation rentals in Hawaii, you need to obtain a Transient Accommodation Registration Certificate (TARC) and pay the appropriate taxes.
What’s the average cost of living in Hawaii?
The cost of living in Hawaii is 87% higher than the national average, with housing costs being the most significant factor.
What’s the rental market like in Hawaii?
The rental market in Hawaii is competitive, with low vacancy rates and high demand driving up rental prices.
How do I ensure that my tenants stay for longer periods in Hawaii?
To ensure that your tenants stay for longer periods in Hawaii, offer good customer service, maintain the property well, and keep rental increases reasonable.
How can I reduce tenant turnover in my managed properties in Hawaii?
You can reduce tenant turnover in your managed properties in Hawaii by addressing tenant complaints promptly, improving communication, and offering incentives to renew leases.
What are the landlord-tenant laws in Hawaii that I should be aware of as a property manager?
Some of the landlord-tenant laws in Hawaii that you should be aware of as a property manager include the Security Deposit Law, Habitability Code, and Landlord’s Right to Entry Act.
What happens if I fail to comply with the landlord-tenant laws in Hawaii?
If you fail to comply with the landlord-tenant laws in Hawaii, you may face legal action from tenants, fines, or more severe penalties.
Can I hire someone else to manage my rental property as a property owner in Hawaii?
Yes, you can hire a property management company in Hawaii to manage your rental property even if you’re the property owner.
What’s the maximum security deposit that I can ask for in Hawaii?
As per Hawaii Law, landlords are allowed to ask for one month’s rent as a security deposit if the rental agreement is less than six months and two months’ rent if it is more than six months.
What’s the median property value in Hawaii?
The median property value in Hawaii is around $635k as of 2021.
What are the ongoing expenses of managing a rental property in Hawaii?
Some of the ongoing expenses of managing a rental property in Hawaii include property maintenance, mortgage payments (if any), property taxes, homeowners’ association fees, and insurance premiums.

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Conclusion

Starting a property management company in Hawaii can be rewarding and profitable. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can launch a successful property management business that meets the needs of property owners and investors in your area. Remember to stay up-to-date on industry trends and continually refine your services, marketing strategies, and customer service to ensure the long-term success of your property management company.

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