The Real Estate Agent’s Guide to Becoming a Property Manager
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
In real estate, there are many paths to a successful career. Working as a real estate agent can lead to success, but you can also find professional, personal, and financial fulfillment by going down a different path. One path to consider is property management.
Depending on the state you work in you may or may not need a real estate license to act as a property manager, but experience as an agent is often a benefit when managing properties. Getting involved in property management can offer a ton of benefits, which include a fulfilling career and the work/life balance that you may be after, and can be a great compliment to helping clients buy and sell real estate or a valuable add-on service for investor clients.
Property managers have the opportunity to work in a fast-paced and dynamic environment, using their skills in communication, problem-solving, and financial management to guarantee the success of the properties they manage. A career in property management can be stable and flexible at the same time. This career can also provide you with opportunities for professional development and networking. For the right person, a career in property management can be a great choice.
Let’s discuss what you need to know to pursue a job in property management.
A property manager is a professional responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a real estate property on behalf of an owner. The main responsibility of a property manager is to ensure that a property is maintained and remains compliant with local, state, and federal regulations. They act as a middleman between the property owner and the tenant.
A property manager handles all aspects of property management.
The responsibilities of a property manager can vary. Your responsibilities will depend on the size of the property and your work agreement with the owner. Most commonly, you will likely be in charge of setting rental/lease rates, marketing vacant properties, conducting property tours, screening prospective tenants before moving in, collecting rent payments, handling lease agreements with tenants, and enforcing these agreements with local legal authorities, as necessary. You will also be responsible for handling tenant complaints and concerns and ensuring that properties are properly maintained and repaired.
Because so much of your role will be people-focused, you must have excellent communication and organizational skills to be successful in your role as a property manager. You must be able to effectively communicate with tenants, owners, contractors, and other stakeholders. By doing so, you’ll ensure that all parties are satisfied with your management of the property. In addition to all of this, you must be able to keep detailed records of financial transactions, maintenance issues, and tenant complaints.
A property manager plays a vital role in the real estate industry by helping owners maximize their investments and ensuring tenants have a safe and satisfactory living environment. Property managers are a critical component of successful real estate ownership and can make a significant impact on the profitability of a property.
Why should you consider becoming a property manager? Let’s discuss the biggest benefits to pursuing a career in property management.
As long as real estate exists, there will be a need for property managers. Property management is always in demand because owner-investors need qualified professionals to oversee properties in their absence. Now that there are more properties than ever before on the rental market, the demand for experienced property managers is expected to increase in the coming years.
One of the biggest benefits of working in real estate is being able to call the shots and not have to work under others. Property managers often have the ability to work remotely and set their own schedules. This allows for a better work-life balance. This can be especially appealing if you value flexibility and autonomy.
What’s one of the major drawbacks of working in real estate as an agent? Not getting a steady paycheck. Commission checks are exciting, but some people prefer a steady paycheck every two weeks. When you work as a property manager, if you go to work at a property management firm you can earn a competitive salary that comes regularly to your bank account. And not only that, you will also have opportunities for bonuses and commissions if you add these incentives to your work agreement. Your salary can vary based on your location, experience, and the size and complexity of the properties being managed.
Or, if you are licensed as an agent, you could choose to offer property management services to your clients in addition to your real estate sales business. In that case, your management business can provide steady income to smooth over the gaps between commission checks.
When you work as a property manager, you’ll find that no two days are the same. Property managers have a variety of responsibilities and tasks. This makes the job interesting and challenging. As a property manager, you may be responsible for an array of tasks, from leasing and marketing to accounting and maintenance. This means you’ll always be doing something new, with little time to get bored.
There are a variety of certifications available to property managers that can make you a more attractive candidate when you begin pursuing job interviews. One important certification to consider is the Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation offered by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). You should also consider earning your real estate license so that you educate yourself on Massachusetts real estate law.
Property managers have the opportunity to network with other professionals in the real estate industry. These professionals include real estate agents, contractors, investors, lawyers, and lenders. This can open up potential career opportunities and help property managers stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices.
As a property manager, you will play an important role in providing safe and comfortable housing for tenants in your community. You can also positively contribute to the overall well-being of communities.
If you’re working as a real estate agent, you know that you can’t work independently unless you take the next step in your career and become a broker. However, if you’re not interested in becoming a broker, property management may be an interesting option. Depending on state laws, property managers have the opportunity to start their own property management company. This can be a great option for those who want to take more control over their career and work independently.
Property managers can see the direct impact of their work through happy tenants, happy owners, and increased property values. This can be especially rewarding for those who enjoy seeing the tangible results of their efforts.
Property managers can take pride in their work and the positive impact they have on the lives of others. Knowing that they are providing safe and comfortable homes for tenants and helping property owners maximize their investments can be very fulfilling.
All in all, becoming a property manager can offer a range of benefits, such as job security, flexibility, competitive salaries, professional growth opportunities, and the ability to make a positive impact on communities and individuals.
To get a job as a property manager, here are the steps you can take:
While getting certified is not required in Massachusetts, having a certification in property management or a license in real estate can give you an advantage in the job market. Additionally, obtaining certifications such as the Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) can demonstrate your expertise and dedication to the field.
Many property management jobs require prior experience. It’s best to get a job as an intern or assistant for another property manager if you can. However, if that’s not possible, you can also translate your skills into real estate, hospitality, or customer service. Consider starting in a related industry and working your way up to a property management position.
Property managers must have strong organizational, communication, and problem-solving skills. It's also important to be familiar with property management software like AppFolio or Entrata. Additionally, you’ll need a basic understanding of financial management.
Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with other property managers and real estate professionals. By building your network, you learn about job openings and make valuable connections who can become your introductions when job opportunities arise.
Check job boards, property management websites, and real estate brokerage websites for job openings. If necessary, tailor your resume (from agent to property manager). Be sure to include a cover letter for the specific position and company you are applying for.
Research the company and prepare for common interview questions. Be prepared to discuss your experience, skills, and how you can contribute to the company's success as their next property manager.
After your interview, follow up with a “thank you” note. Ask about the next steps in the hiring process. This shows your enthusiasm for the position and makes you stand out as a candidate.
By following the above steps, you can increase your chances of landing a job as a property manager. It's important to be both persistent and patient because it can take time to find the perfect job.
Becoming a property manager can offer a rewarding career with many benefits. Property managers have the opportunity to work with a variety of people, including tenants, property owners, and contractors. As a property manager, you can play an important role in ensuring that properties are managed well and remain profitable. Additionally, property management can offer competitive salaries and opportunities for career growth.