February 17 2020 - In 2019, the residential real estate, rental and leasing industry in the United States†grew 2.8 percent. The commercial real estate industry is also on a growth streak.
These stats mean one thing: the American real estate sector is doing well.
Itís no wonder the employment of property managers is forecast to†grow seven percent†through the next decade. If youíre thinking of pursuing a career as a property manager, youíve made a sound career decision.
Continue reading for a comprehensive guide on how to become a property manager.
Understand the Job Description of a Property Manager
The primary duties and responsibilities of a property manager include:
- Marketing properties under their management
- Ensuring properties are ready for viewing
- Meeting with prospective clients (those looking to buy, rent or lease) and showing them the properties
- Screening prospective tenants or buyers and ensuring they meet the set standards
- Creating tenancy agreements
- Collecting rent and other fees from tenants
- Hiring property maintenance, repair, cleaning, and security contractors
- Ensuring property taxes, insurance, and other associated bills are paid on time
- Preparing financial performance reports for every property under their management
- Ensuring compliance with relevant housing laws.
Most property managers have regular nine to five jobs. However, they are always on standby to respond to emergencies that may occur at their properties.
In terms of compensation, itís fair to say property management can be a rewarding career. Check out this†property manager salary guide for more information.
Now that you know the job description of a property manager, does it look like something you would want to do? If yes, proceed to the next step.
Pursue Professional Education
A decade or so ago, you could get started in property management with just a high school diploma. An employer would hire you as an onsite manager and train you on the job. Your duties would be limited to inspecting properties, supervising contractors, and handling property viewings.
With time, and as you gained more experience, the employer would promote you to senior property management positions with more complex duties.
Today, though, the profession has become more competitive. Employers are looking for people with professional training.
As such, to enhance your chances of getting hired, go to college and pursue at least an associateís degree in property management. A bachelorís degree is the more desirable option.
In either course, though, youíll learn the fundamentals of real estate and economics of property management. By the time you complete your studies, youíll have a good understanding of property marketing, tenant relations, housing laws, and accounting and bookkeeping.
Those pursuing a bachelorís degree program have the opportunity to complete an internship before graduating. This will help you gain some real-life property management experience, which is what most employers are always looking for.
Nurture The Right Occupational Skills
Earning a property management degree is a good place to start, but the right professional education on its own isnít enough to make you a competent property manager. You also need to possess the right occupational skills.
For example, a good property manager needs excellent communication and customer-service skills.
This is a customer-facing job. Every day, youíll deal with tenants. If youíre not good at customer service, you might not be able to competently serve your tenants.
A property manager is a problem-solver. There will be new problems to solve every so often. One day a tenant has an issue with another tenant, the next day thereís a plumbing or electrical problem. With strong problem-solving skills, youíll always have an effective solution to any emerging problem.
To excel at this job, you need to be a highly organized person with keen attention to detail. Thereís lots of data and paperwork to work with. You must be able to develop an effective records management strategy and ensure every piece of data is accurate.
Improve Your Employment Prospects
Armed with the right education and occupational skills, youíre ready to find employment as a property manager. To make yourself more attractive to employers, however, itís advisable to take further steps.
For instance, pursuing a property management certification, such as the Real Property Administrator, can improve your employment prospects. †If you want to specialize in managing apartments, the Certified Apartment Manager credential will do you a lot of good.
There is also the National Association of Realtorsí Certified Property Manager, which is the industryís premier credential.
These certifications have varying qualification requirements, so be sure to make inquiries before choosing a certification.
That being said, some property managers might need to obtain a state license. For example, if you want to be involved in the purchase and sale of real estate properties, youíll typically need to obtain a real estate license.
Established property management companies are the primary employers of property managers. Other employers include community housing associations and organizations that own several properties, such as hotels and colleges.
After being hired, youíll likely start out as a junior property manager or a property specialist. With experience, youíll rise through the ranks into a senior property management position.
With time, you could move into self-employment and start your own property management agency.
How To Become A Property Manager: Your Path Is Clear
Pursuing a career as a property manager can be satisfying, both professionally and financially. The employment outlook is good, meaning you wonít struggle to find a job. And with this guide on how to become a property manager, you now know the steps you will need to take to achieve your goal.
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