Here's the truth: you only have so many hours in a day to manage your properties. No matter how much hard work you put in, you can only stay on top of so much before you get overwhelmed. Streamlining helps, hiring assistants helps, but if you really want to grow your real estate business, finding a property management team that you can trust will free up your time and energy to do a lot more. A team like this is not just for those with a lot of properties; even if you just have one apartment complex, a property management team may be the right decision for you. (As a note, many property management teams also handle commercial properties!)
Finding and Keeping Tenants
Tenants need to be interviewed, their application needs to be reviewed, any background and/or credit checks need to be run, and then there's all the paperwork involved in all of those things. This process is time consuming. You also need to stay on top of leases, when they expire, and handling renewals. Property management teams do all of that.
Property Repair and Maintenance
Things break down, and they do it on their own schedule. If you've been running a place by yourself you already know that these types of emergencies can and will happen anytime of night or day. And if you're doing it on your own, you are the person everybody is going to call when the toilet clogs at 3 am. Property management teams will have dedicated maintenance staff that they can deploy, and may even set up an emergency repair line, so that the only person who gets disturbed at night is whoever is on call.
Listed separately because it's typically contracted out, but it's still necessary to stay on top of. There are often city ordinances about grass length, so any grass on your property will need to be mowed regularly, at the minimum. If you have trees, you may need to have them trimmed on regular basis, to keep branches from potentially causing damage to your property. Any bushes, hedges, gardens? Those will need to be kept up with. If you have a pool, that will need to be cleaned, maintained, and seasonal openings/closures will need to be handled (where applicable).
It should go without saying, but you also have to keep on top of finances for all of those things, plus taxes and other random costs. Property management teams will handle that, and generally send you a statement showing where all the money is and how it was spent. They are familiar with their local and state property taxes, so if you're owning property in a different state, that can really help you out.