Property management is a topic we write about a fair amount here at AHRN. But we usually cover things like tips, advice, and important news for property managers. What about people interested in pursuing a career, or even a side gig, in the field? If you’re wondering how to become a property manager, or even what starting such a job would entail, here’s the lowdown.
What is a Property Manager
If a landlord or company owns multiple properties, perhaps ones spread out across different cities or states, they’ll probably hire a property manager. A property manager is either a single individual or an agency with multiple managers covering multiple properties. These people/businesses bear the responsibilities of overseeing the rental houses, apartments, commercial buildings, or secondary/part-time occupancy homes owned by others.
What Does a Property Manager Do
Property managers act as the main point of contact for renters of these properties. This can include everything from finding new tenants to evicting delinquent ones. So they need to have a good, communicative relationship with the tenants they aid. They also care for the property as directed by its owner, to include subcontracting for maintenance and repairs. And while an individual property manager may work for an agency, their main responsibility is to the property owner(s). Needless to say, property managers do a whole lot.
Becoming a Property Manager
Now that you know what the job entails, let’s explain how you can start doing it. There are a few definite steps you need to take before you can start doing the job, either on your own or at an agency.
Get to know the nitty gritty of what the job entails. Figure out what kind of property you can, or would prefer, to manage. Residential or commercial? Rental properties or part-time residences like summer homes? Know exactly what you’re potentially in for and what you need to get started. The more knowledge you acquire beforehand, the better equipped you’ll be to do the actual job if you end up pursuing it.
The certifications and/or property manager licenses needed vary from state to state. In the majority of them, you’ll need at least a real estate license, but that’s not a universal requirement. Find out what it takes to do the job in your state.
Once you know what you need, go get it. This might require mandatory classroom time, but will almost definitely include a test or two to get certifications. So buy some test guides, study up, and ace those exams. Once you’re over that hurdle (or hurdles, if your state has multiple requirements), you’ll be legally set to start work as a property manager.
While a real estate license is the most common minimum requirement, there are some other professional credentials companies may want you to have before they’ll hire you. And, even if your particular state or agency doesn’t require them, they’re worth looking into. They’ll put you ahead in the running for openings and help you do your job to the fullest. Some further certifications to consider are:
- Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA)
- Residential Management Professional (RMP)
- Certified Property Manager (CPM)
- Certified Apartment Manager (CAM)
Start Managing Property
Now that you’re all licensed, certified, and knowledgeable, it’s time to get to work. If you want to work for a property management company or agency, start searching job boards for openings. If you want to work on your own, start networking to build your business. Talk to friends and family who may be interested in your services. Get in touch with local realtors. Let them know you’re new in the business, hungry for work, and have an impressive array of certifications. With the knowledge and the documents to back that up, you’ll have a great shot at a quick start in the growing field of property management.
Caring for the homes, houses, and offices of others is by no means an easy gig. But it’s one with high guarantees of regular work and decent pay. You don’t have to take our word for it, the Bureau of Labor has some solid stats to back that up. So long as people own houses and buildings they rent out or otherwise need taken care of, they’ll need others to watch over them.