How to Become a Property Manager: The Definitive Guide

how to become a property manager

There are several things in life that everyone needs, such as food, water, and oxygen. Somewhere to live is on that list too. Though everyone requires a roof over their head, not everyone can afford their own property. With the economy not doing great, there are people who can no longer afford to pay their mortgages too. That’s why more and more people are looking into how to become a property manager.

The rental market is rapidly expanding. This suits many different people, including those who can afford to buy additional properties. They may consider it a good investment and will need tenants to make it worthwhile, but they may not want to spend time dealing with the day to day running of the property. That’s where property managers come in.

So, how can you become a property manager? The steps are really simple.

What is Property Management?

When the owner of a property, whether they are a sole-trader or a multinational company, decides they cannot deal with property management for whatever reason, they often hire a property manager. Project managers take care of every aspect of real estate, meaning it involves many different responsibilities and required lots of different skills.

There are a number of different ways to get into the property management industry. Perhaps you’ve had a similar role in the past, such as working as a real estate agent, or acting as an assistant in another capacity. Similarly, you may have effectively “learned on the job” by dealing with your own properties. Alternatively, specific education and training can be pursued in order to become a property manager.

Property owners, who may not recognize the responsibilities that come with being a landlord, will rely on the expertise and professionalism of a property manager, so it’s important to understand what it takes to become an efficient and professional property manager.

What Does a Property Manager Do?

A property manager takes the place of the landlord in the world of real estate, undertaking all work required to maintain the home and keep the tenants happy. This will involve a wide range of tasks, including:

  • Researching and setting the rental amount
  • Advertising the property listing and ensuring the details are up-to-date
  • Liaising with prospective tenants
  • Hosting property viewings with prospective tenants
  • Preparing the property for viewings
  • Collecting rent and undertaking necessary steps when it is late
  • Being the point of contact for tenants
  • Organizing maintenance, repairs, and decoration
  • Maintaining the finances relating to the property
  • Purchasing and arranging delivery of new furniture and homewares, if included as part of the tenancy
  • Preparation of reports and information for the owner
  • Drawing up tenant leases and renewals
  • Organizing application for eviction proceedings, if necessary
  • Conducting walk-throughs at the end of leases
  • Liaising with third parties that have dealings with the property, such as contractors and utility company employees

Property managers need to be highly organized and prepared to handle any issue that might arise, from tenant complaints to information requests from the owner.

What Skills Does a Property Manager Need?

When managing a property, you’ll get to know the occupants well, and you’ll need to be on hand to help with any issues brought to your attention. The job requirements are numerous and include:

  • Good literacy and numeracy abilities
  • Appropriate communication skills
  • Accuracy
  • Negotiation
  • Ability to think on your feet
  • Good time-keeping
  • Current knowledge of regulatory requirements

Having the right skills enables a property manager to work efficiently, successfully keeping their clients and employer happy. In addition to the professional skills required, there are certain personality traits that help make a good property manager:

  • Good availability
  • Willingness to assist
  • Positive attitude
  • Out-going

How to Become a Property Manager

It is not as simple as waking up one day and deciding that you want to be a property manager. It requires work and dedication, encompassing a number of different steps.

  1. Check the Requirements

Legal requirements vary from state to state. In most cases, a qualified property management company is required to hold a real estate broker’s license but not always, so check out what you need and take the necessary steps to get it.

  • Education

A prospective property manager usually doesn’t need to have anything more than a high school diploma, but college education can help a prospective candidate appear more suitable to the role.

A college education that specifically focuses on real estate related matters is even better. Subjects such as real estate, accountancy, and business administration, for example, will prove useful in both applying for jobs and in undertaking the work of a property manager.

In some states, it will be necessary to undertake an industry exam.

  • Vocational Courses

Work experience is an added bonus too, so completing relevant vocational courses would really help. Real estate courses will provide knowledge and experience, negating the need to go back to college – something that is not for everyone.

Alternatively, some real estate knowledge can be gained through working as a real estate agent, or by undertaking some work experience in a real estate related profession. Someone who is already working within the office of a real estate agent in an entry-level position could request inclusion on any in-house training or courses available through the company. This will help enhance existing knowledge of the property industry and what it means to be a property manager.

  • Certification

Certification would help demonstrate professionalism and skill, and would allow you to gain your clients’ trust. Gaining professional certification may be compulsory in some states, especially in those where a license is required, so check with your own authority.

There are a number of professional certifications that can be obtained in relation to property management. Such as

The type pursued will depend on the stage you’re at in your career. For example, an expert property manager with a long career should seek a Master Property Manager (MPM) certification to demonstrate their expertise. 

  • License

Even if your state doesn’t require a license, it can still be really helpful. It shows you know your job well and can do it to a high standard.

How to Start a Property Management Company

Now you know how to become a property manager, you might want to take it further. You may be wondering whether starting a property management company of your own is right for you. You already know the role, of course, and you will have an idea of how the business is run.

As well as to the practicalities of running your own property management company, you will need to consider whether you have any existing customers who could help you start off.

The next step will be to determine whether you intend to be a sole trader or become an incorporated company.

Determine the extent of the work that you will be able to take on and whether you will be employing staff. This will help you decide whether you’ll require commercial premises in which to base your company, or whether you can operate from a home office.

Once you get the company registered in accordance with the type of company and the state you’re in, you will be able to start advertising and increase your customer base.

Use any contacts that you might have in the real estate industry to help develop your business, whether in the form of leads or advertising.

How Much do Property Managers Make?

The expected salary will vary, depending on the state you’re in and the number and type of properties you manage. Experience and qualifications will also play a part.

As of 2019, the average salary for a property manager is around $56,000, varying between approximately $51,000 and $65,000, and as with most professions, a property manager can expect their salary to increase as their career develops and as they take on a greater amount of responsibility.

In a fluctuating economy, many people like to put their money into property, often considering bricks and mortar a safer investment than stocks and shares. The need for property managers is increasing every day, offering you the chance to enjoy a long-term career within the real estate industry.

Get started today. What have you got to lose?

2 thoughts on “How to Become a Property Manager: The Definitive Guide”

  1. This job takes great skills! This lists of the responsibilities would make my head spin, but this would be a great job for an awesome multitasker! Great post!

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