All You Need to Know About Becoming a Property Manager

Taking the first steps into becoming a property manager can be a rather daunting affair. Where do you start? What are the dos and don’ts? These are some of the questions that are bound to eat away at you as you consider this career path. 

If you find yourself asking these questions, you are in luck! In this article, we are sharing with you a detailed guide from a property management specialist. However, before we discuss how to become a property manager, let’s first clarify what it means to be a property manager. 

To put it simply, a property manager is typically a real estate agent who specializes in managing rental properties. They assist landlords with attracting renters, lease management, and the upkeep of properties. 

A property manager serves as an intermediary between the property owner and tenants, ensuring that both parties’ needs are met efficiently.

So basically, as a property manager, your job would be to oversee and coordinate all aspects of property operations, ensuring the property is well-maintained, tenants are satisfied, and the property owner’s investment is protected and maximized.

Property management

As a property manager, you will be expected to oversee and manage real estate investments of commercial and/or residential rental properties. In the process of doing this, you’d be expected to handle the following tasks:

  • Finding and vetting tenants for the property
  • Answering questions about the property
  • Overseeing rental showing and giving potential tenants a tour of the property
  • Managing lease information, contracts, and other paperwork involved in renting or leasing the property
  • Collecting rents and deposits and returning them if there is a need to
  • Handling move-ins/outs
  • Handling property inspection, maintenance, and repairs
  • Screening employees/vendors who would be responsible for maintaining the property e.g. cleaners, inspectors, repairmen, etc
  • Acting as a middleman between the property owner and tenants
  • Performing basic accounting activities
  • Ensuring the property(s) they manage are compliant to regulatory codes

Property management is a diverse field. While the job essentially involves overseeing the daily operations and maintenance of real estate properties, the specific responsibilities can vary widely depending on the type of property being managed and the unique needs of the property, the property owners and tenants. 

As such, there are various different types of property managers. The major types include:

Residential Property Managers: 

These are property managers who specialize in managing residential properties including single-family homes, multi-family units, condos, and other such residential properties. These property managers majorly focus on tenant relations and property upkeep. 

Commercial Property Managers: 

These are property managers who oversee commercial properties like office buildings, retail spaces, and industrial properties. These property managers specialize in handling business tenant needs and maintaining commercial properties they oversee.

Nowadays, they also will hold events in a plaza to attract more business to their tenants. They will do this in exchange for higher rent fees.

Industrial Property Managers: 

While many commercial property managers often manage industrial properties as well, industrial property managers are property managers who specialize in handling industrial properties specifically. These property managers are responsible for ensuring properties are in compliance with building and industry codes and regulations. They’re also responsible for overseeing the unique aspects of industrial properties, which often include warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers.

Special-Purpose Property Managers:

Some property managers specialize in overseeing properties that have very specific use cases; properties like theatres, sports arenas, zoos, places of worship and so on. Properties like these are called special-purpose properties. Property managers who oversee these properties are responsible for ensuring that the facilities meet the unique operational and regulatory requirements associated with their specific functions. 

There are other, more specialised property managers who handle niche markets or unique property types. You can carry out further research to find out more about them and choose whichever you feel you are best suited for.

In truth, there is no set way to become a property manager. Depending on where you reside, the type of property manager you want to be, and the type of properties you are looking to manage, the process might be different for you. Some regions require that property managers be licensed. Others do not. Some require specific educational qualifications or certifications, while others emphasize experience and on-the-job property management training

That being said, we recommend the following steps if you’re looking to become a professional property manager:

Research Your Local Requirements

Start by finding out what it means to be a professional property manager where you reside. Do you need to be licensed or not? Do employers in your location require that you have some sort of certification or is hands-on practical experience and a great portfolio good enough? Find out what it means to be a professional property manager in your region and you’re good to go. 

Undergo Property Management Training

Regardless of whether or not a formal education or certificate in property management is required in your region, having undergone some form of property management training – the more extensive the better – is required. If you reside in a region where some form of certification is required, you might want to enrol in some property management courses or even get a degree. Apprenticeships are another great way to get the training you need and are a great choice if you reside in regions where certification isn’t really required. 

Gain Experience

After completing your training, whichever form you choose, it is now time to start raking in all that experience. Depending on your region, you might not be able to do this until you actually get certified, so that’s something you need to watch out for. 

When looking to gain experience though, we recommend applying for internships and entry-level positions first to get a feel of working in a professional setting. The more experienced you get, the more demanding the projects you can then start taking. 

Get Certified

While some regions don’t require that property managers are certified, being certified would never hurt your property management career. In fact, it would only help it. Common certifications for property managers you might want to consider include:

By following these steps and continuously improving your skills and knowledge, you can build a successful career in property management. Whether you choose to work for a company or start your own business, the key to success lies in dedication, professionalism, and a thorough understanding of the properties you manage and the needs of your clients and tenants.

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