There are many exciting career opportunities in the real estate industry, including selling, buying, managing and renting pieces of property. If you enjoy working with people and are seeking a real estate job with a competitive salary and steady employment, then you might consider becoming a property manager. In this article, we explore what a property manager is and the steps you can take to pursue this career.
What is a property manager?
A property, or real estate manager, is someone who oversees a piece of property that’s owned by someone else. Property managers oversee all aspects of property and tenant management including maintenance requests, rent payment, lease agreements, and more. Property managers work at real estate agencies, property management firms or they work independently.
What does a property manager do?
A property manager oversees a property’s maintenance and takes care of business and administrative tasks that come with leasing a property to renters.
This may involve tasks such as:
Setting rent prices
Collecting and reminding tenants about rent payments
Advertising available units
Showing rental properties to potential tenants
Creating and enforcing lease agreements for new tenants
Addressing tenant maintenance requests, complaints and questions
Managing move-in and move-out processes like administering keys, changing locks, cleaning and painting the unit
A property manager also often hires professionals for repairs and inspections to maintain the property and prepare it for new tenants.
How do you become a property manager?
To become a property manager in most states, you must earn a property management license. Be sure to check rules and regulations around property management in your state before getting started.
Here’s how you can become a property manager:
1. Complete your education
Most real estate jobs require candidates to have at least a high school diploma or GED before they apply for licenses or jobs in the field. Some aspiring property managers might also choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration or management to enhance their knowledge of business processes. Finishing your preliminary education before you start training to become a property manager can help you build your skill set and ensure that you’re prepared for the work that the job entails.
2. Take real estate courses
Enroll in a program that educates and trains students in real estate. Many real estate classes can be completed within a year, and some take place online or at local colleges. Courses in real estate might cover subjects such as real estate management, real estate finance, urban planning, property management and real estate development. This can provide you with an in-depth knowledge of the real estate industry.
3. Apply for a property management license
While the licensing requirements for property managers can vary from state to state, most property managers apply for a license before they start looking for a job.. Earning a property management license typically requires candidates to be 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, have a positive reputation with the state real estate board and pass a background check.
4. Obtain certification
Certification is another great way to showcase your expertise and skills. Some states require certification instead of a real estate license, but it can always benefit you to have both. Earning certification as a property manager can involve completing coursework and passing a comprehensive exam.
Here are a few common certifications for property managers:
Certified Property Manager (CPM)
National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP)
Certified Apartment Manager (CAM)
Master Property Manager (MPM)
Property Manager in Charge
Property Manager License
5. Apply for jobs as a property manager
Many property managers find work by looking for properties that need management or by contacting property owners to inquire about whether they want to hire a property manager for any of their buildings. You can also find jobs as a property manager with real estate agencies and property management firms.
Salary and job outlook for property managers
Indeed lists the national average salary for property managers in the United States as $51,352 per year. However, your salary will depend on many factors, including the company where you work and the region where you live. Most property managers also qualify for benefits in addition to their regular salary, such as paid time off, health insurance and professional development assistance. For the most up-to-date information from Indeed, please click on the salary link above.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they predict no significant change in the number of people employed as property managers from 2019 to 2029. The Bureau attributes this lack of growth or decline to the growing number of property management activities that are being automated. However, the Bureau also states that potential growth in the single-family housing market could eventually result in more job opportunities for property managers over time.
What skills do you need to be a property manager?
Property managers need specific skills to be successful in their field, many of which relate to working with clients. For example, a property manager should have excellent customer service skills, as much of their job is responding to inquiries from potential tenants, as well as time management skills as they often coordinate property showings.
Here is a list of skills that can benefit a property manager:
Customer service skills
Time management skills
Attention to detail
Critical thinking skills