Hiring a manager that lives off site

So I’ve heard that it is strongly preferred to have a manager who lives in the park. However, I’m stuck with a dilemma as I would like to replace my current manager, but I only have two legitimate candidates to chose from:

Candidate A - moved into the park two months ago and is an okay but not great candidate. She is untested and has a few potential red flags on her, but seems overall competent. I’m not excited about hiring her though since I really can’t tell how well she will do on the job.

Candidate B - Is a great candidate and definitely has his act together. However, he is buying a stick built house and moving three miles away next month.

Does anyone have experience hiring a manager who doesn’t live on site. Would you pick a great candidate who lives offsite to be manager, or an okay candidate who lives in the park? Unfortunately these are the two best candidates I have to pick from out of my current tenant base.

Go with A. B is moving on with his life, and will not put any attention to the park. But he’ll be happy to get paid for doing nothing until you figure out that he hasn’t been to visit the park for a few weeks.

I manage my own park and live 1 hr away. Obviously a different situation as I have a vested interest in the property.

It isn’t the living location of the manager that is of importance to me in selecting a manager but rather the individual. You are hiring a employee and should expect to hire someone that will do the job. Remember he is a employee and will be expected to do a job not take care of his “neighbour hood”.

A in my opinion, based on your post, is not the best for the job and will be a mistake. Why would a employer hire someone they suspect will do a poor job. Are you so desperate that you will simply chose any warm body with the hope they will work out. If that is the case hire B and hope he will work out as he is in your opinion the best person for the job.

In both cases A and B the potential is that you will end up firing them but that appears more likely with A so why not go with the best person , you may be pleasantly surprised. You will not be surprised to have to fire A.

Personally I think a manager 3 miles away is a great choice as he will not be influenced by community/neighbour pressure to turn a blind eye.

We have had good and bad experiences either way. In this case I agree with Frank. One thing to remember is that it does not have to be a permanent decision. Agree up front that there will be a trial period in which you both need to be comfortable after 3 to 6 months. I am always happiest with the person having the best attitude or work ethic. One of our best managers is very shaky with computers but she is extremely cost conscious and dependable, and handles the residents very well. That goes a long way.


I really think someone onsite has huge value. We shared a manger once with another park owner, and it did not work out well. We also bought a park with a offsite manager- who was great by the way… but things got missed.

The onsite person is part of the community so they hear things offsite managers do not…

Tenants LOVE to tattle on other tenants… and your onsite manager will gather all that juicy info…

We require onsite- period

We’ve had experience with both on- and off-site managers. Our preference is for on-site, but that is more a tie-breaker between two candidates rather than a requirement. We’ve found the key thing to hire for is not their address, but their attitude. Someone conscientious with a track record of working diligently and with attention to detail is the most important thing.

Oh - and the other most important thing is filling houses. If your park is 100% full with stable tenants, then this is not an issue, and having someone on-site is of less importance (plus a park like that would have higher-quality residents). But our parks are more family-type, and we have around 30% turnover per year in our POHs. So we always need someone to be close enough to the park to show available homes. Our neighborhoods are safe, so whether our manager is on- or off-site, they have to open the homes by 9 a.m. and be back to close them around 6 p.m. This opening/closing is certainly easier for someone on-site. But if you have an off-site manager who does not mind the trips (and this will get them onto the property daily), or have a very stable park with little turnover, then go with whichever candidate has the best attitude.

Onward, upward,