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the real estate agent VS the property manager just who are they & what do they do?

The real estate agent VS the property manager just who are they & what do they do?

Along with food and water, shelter is the most basic of human necessities yet set foot in the property market anywhere on the planet and you’ll be beset by a veritable who’s who of titles! Among the most common identity crisis within the residential or commercial housing industry is that between the Real Estate Agent and the Property Manager. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, for the most part they represent very different roles:


In a nutshell, a real estate agent’s mission in life is to handle the process of letting or selling property (land, housing or other buildings) on behalf of the owner at the same time as helping prospective tenants and buyers to find a suitable place to rent or purchase. Though no two days are ever quite the same for an agent, typical responsibilities will involve everything from sourcing new clients, networking connections within the community, preparing and publicising real estate listings, co-ordinating and conducting property viewings to arranging and administering all the required paperwork and closing the deal. Besides needing to have an in-depth inside knowledge of not only every single property on their books but also the local market and current trends in real estate, any agent worth their salt must be fully acquainted –and stay up-to-date- with applicable legislation and formalities.

As a transactional business at the mercy of ever-changing market forces, real estate agents traditionally earn commission from the property owner following a successful let or sale and don’t, as a rule, impose a charge on buyers or tenants for using their service. With a copious supply of condominiums and houses throughout the city and beyond together with a healthy demand almost year-round, it shouldn’t come as any surprise to learn that there are dozens of real estate agents in Chiang Mai…including, of course, yours truly!



With the clue in the name, a property manager’s function is to take care of the everyday running of a rental asset for owners that haven’t the time, desire or know-how in doing so alone. Although their allegiance is first and foremost to the owner, a property manager also tends to the needs of the leaseholder in the interests of safeguarding the property (and its contents) as well as preserving or improving its value over time.

Among their repertoire of delegated duties, a property manager will scrutinise the property from top to bottom to determine a realistic rental rate and advise on how best to showcase the property; proactively market the property and carry out assisted walkthroughs; screen would-be tenants, negotiate price as well as the fine print and generate lawfully binding documents; maintain the property and, where necessary and sanctioned by the owner, perform repairs and renovations; strictly enforce the particulars of the rental agreement not least the timely receipt of rental payments in full; along with acting as an independent intermediary between the tenant and the owner in the event of a complaint or a dispute by either party.

As a contractual business unaffected by the state of the market, property managers levy a fee on the owner and which normally amounts to a fixed percentage of the monthly rental revenue. Please note: If a management company is not assigned to the property and you sign contracts direct with the owner, then it is the owners responsibility to act as the property manager.

All but unique in Chiang Mai, Perfect Homes separately provides a comprehensive and professional Property Management Service specifically for those who own one or more residential condo units within the municipality!



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  1. Daniel B.

    on said  

    your essay is well written but didn’t actually address the part that is murky for us farangs who know WELL (I had real estate sales licenses in California and Florida) it all operates in the USA but may be confused here. What I notice is that for sales AND rentals, I see many different places, real estate agents or offices or just people – do you even need any license here? – advertising the SAME properties!

    In the USA, these are called “open listings” because no respectable and successful agent would get involved with them, as you can spend a great deal of time and some money in marketing the place and then someone else or the owner find a buyer and you get nothing. Do owners ever sign exclusive “right to sell” contracts here, where the listing broker is the sole one who gets commission no matter who sells it and they simply share it with buyers agents if any are involved.

    A step further, in the USA, although fine details may differ by state, an owner has a property manager CONTRACT with a single licensed person or company, and that contract spells out everything for which that property manager is responsible and the compensation for it. The property manager should “do it all” and the owner should stay out of it. Does it work that way here?

    • Perfect Homes (Chiang Mai Properties)

      on said  

      Unfortunately the real-estate market is far less regulated, there are many open listings out there, that make it frustrating for agents and buyers/ renters alike.
      Perfect Homes is certified as a company and certain agents are individually certified .

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