Definition of "Ancillary"

Steve  Riehle real estate agent

Written by

Steve Riehleelite badge icon

Better Homes & Gardens Big Hill Realty Corp.

The term ancillary in relation to the real estate industry can serve various purposes. As the ancillary definition describes something that works in a supporting or supplementary role for something else, the term finds different applications within the real estate industry, both for commercial real estate and residential properties. It can even be applied to services, businesses, and income. In areas related to decedent’s estates, we have the term ancillary probate. In the following sections, we’ll see precisely how the ancillary meaning works for each of these sectors. Ancillary services and businesses are often used because it’s easier for a company to hire a company that is already specialized in a field than to train and hire employees to cover that function within their company.

Ancillary Services

We can refer to services as ancillary services if they offer support to other services. In the healthcare industry, we have diagnostics and other supporting services that provide help for physicians, doctors, dentists, and nurses. Ancillary services are x-rays, ultrasounds, lab tests, and so on.

Ancillary services can be seen in most industries, and in the real estate industry, they take the form of the cleaning services a rental uses to keep the units clean. Another example would be the landscaping services contracted by a commercial property manager to maintain the office building’s aesthetic appeal.

Ancillary Businesses

Ancillary businesses are mostly considered non-essential because they don’t provide the end product or service purchased by the consumer. Still, they are necessary for the businesses that provide those services and products. Big companies stripped themselves of ancillary services, and they outsource these services to other companies known as ancillary businesses. Functions like human resources, accountancy, payroll, or call centers are outsourced to ancillary businesses all the time. The one thing that is important to the company that outsources services to ancillary businesses is that business’s reputation.

In the real estate industry, these ancillary businesses would be the cleaning business or the landscaping company by following the example above. Accountancy is also a function that is often outsourced by a brokerage agency, human resources, and training as well.

Ancillary Income

Rental properties gather income for the rental management company from their housing services. However, other services produce income for rental properties, and that income can be referred to as ancillary income.  These ancillary income sources include early termination fee, late fee, pet fee, dry cleaning and laundry, storage space fee, parking fee, and so on.


Need help as a:

I'm interested to:


I work in:

Reach out to the local professionals for help
I agree to receive FREE real estate advice.

Agents, get listed in your area. Sign up Now!

Here's what you'll get:

1. Full zipcodes coverage for the city of your choice for 3 months

2. The ability to reach a wider audience

3. No annual contract and no hidden fees

4. Live customer support/No robo calls

$75 - Any City - 3 Months Coverage
loader gif

Please wait ...

I agree to receive FREE real estate advice
I agree with Terms & Conditions and Section 5-5.9.

image of a real estate dictionary page

Have a question or comment?

We're here to help.

*** Your email address will remain confidential.


Popular Real Estate Terms

Measure of land representing one square mile. A section equals 640 acres. ...

Any person, company, or legal entity who signs a check or note to borrow money. By signing a payment instrument, the maker assumes full financial responsibility. For example, John is the ...

Trying to resolve a problem between two individuals up with some compromise or common ground. It occurs more often during times of poor economic conditions. An example is a creditor ...

Local regulation on how real property may be used in a particular locality. The county may establish different zoning classifications and restrictions. If the ordinance is violated, ...

Helps in supporting a building. ...

Purchase of part of property or property rights when condemnation takes place. The owner must be justly reimbursed. ...

Evaluation of the dimensions of a building to determine its ability to meet the needs of the occupants. ...

Modification made by a municipality to the zoning of a locality. A change in zoning typically has to be requested and approved by a zoning commission and then the legislative body. It can ...

Legal action of a landlord to remove a tenant.The tenant may have violated the lease agreement such as for the tenant's failure to pay the rent. ...

Popular Real Estate Questions