The property management industry has been steadily expanding since 2017. Managing properties can provide several opportunities for professional and financial growth. Becoming a property manager is a great career opportunity for individuals who are self-driven, well-organized, and have a real passion for working with people in a wide range of industries and backgrounds. The requirements to become a property manager can vary depending on your location. However, becoming a property manager often involves the same basic requirements.
What Is a Property Manager?
Before jumping into the requirements to become a property manager, it is beneficial to understand what a property manager is and what they do. A property manager takes on the important role of operating and maintaining a wide range of different types of properties for an investor who owns the property. The tasks will vary depending on the needs of the investor. In many instances, the tasks involve ensuring the property is well maintained, that vacancies are filled, and that rent is paid in full and on-time. The typical responsibilities of a property manager include:
- Marketing the property – Vacancies can ultimately cost the investor financially. An unoccupied space still requires utilities, especially if part of a larger complex. This is also a significant amount of money that is lost every month. A property manager is responsible for quickly filling vacancies with quality tenants. This involves knowing the right marketing techniques and tools to appeal to a target demographic. This involves advertisement, staging open houses, and making sure the word is out to keep applicants engaged and interested.
- Applicant screening – No matter what type of property an individual is managing, it is important to fill vacancies with quality tenants. This involves taking the time to screen individuals. This starts with the application process and taking the time to explore financial stability, follow up with references, and carefully review all information provided.
- Rent collection – A property manager is responsible for rent collection and follow-ups. Even with convenient online payment portals, a property manager still needs to make sure these payments are being made on time. If not, a property manager must be able to take the next required steps.
- Tenant communication – A property manager takes care of any complaints or requests on behalf of the tenants. They will also handle any issues between tenants, or complaints from tenants regarding the property. Happy tenants are more likely to stay longer, which makes communication and patience key for a property manager.
- Vendor communication – A property manager also needs to be able to communicate effectively with different vendors when it comes to repairs, replacements, or new installations.
The tasks assigned to a property manager extend from what is listed depending on the property’s unique needs. Knowing what is required and commonly expected of a property manager can help an individual better understand what it takes to become a property manager.
Requirements to Become a Property Manager
The requirements to become a property manager can vary depending on the state to which you are applying, as well as the hiring company. In the United States, six states have no licensing requirements. However, there is still a minimum standard and specific training that is necessary for those interested in meeting the requirements to become a property manager.
Minimum Requirements to Become a Property Manager
One of the most fundamental minimums required to become a property manager includes being at least 18-21, depending on the state in which you intend to work. It is also required to have a high school diploma or an equivalent GED, and to be a legal US citizen or permanent resident. Some basic requirements involve real estate license coursework and a passing score on a real estate licensing examination if required by state law.
Knowing the basic requirements to become a property manager can help an individual discern if this career pathway may be right for them and understanding the state requirements to become a property manager based on the area in which you intend to seek employment is necessary. In addition to legal requirements to become a property manager, there are also skill sets to consider as unofficial requirements.
Skills Requirements to Become a Property Manager
Before committing to the coursework and time needed to become a property manager, it helps to consider if you have the skills required. These skills include:
- Communication – A property management position requires high-quality people skills. A property manager is always in contact with someone. This could be prospective tenants, current tenants, reference referrals, property owners, vendors, and more. The success of these interactions relies on both strong verbal and written communication. A property manager will often be calling, texting, emailing, providing written notices, and communicating directly daily.
- Patience – A large part of communication skills includes patience. A property manager’s job can be stressful. A property manager takes on a lot of responsibilities. Property managers need to handle potential disputes between tenants. This requires the ability to remain as neutral as possible. It also means staying calm, especially when a tenant misdirects their frustrations to you. This also includes staying patient when speaking with property owners, vendors, and other professionals. Knowing how to communicate and de-escalate certain situations is a vital requirement to become a property manager.
- Organization – A property manager needs to be organized. A property manager needs to take care of several different aspects of the business daily. This includes handling the leasing process, organizing turnover maintenance, managing time, balancing schedules, and keeping track of all vital information and dates.
- Attention to detail – an important requirement for property management is the ability to pay close attention to detail. A property manager handles a wide range of sensitive information and legal documents. They must understand what is necessary to remain compliant with all laws associated with the property and its operations.
- Basic Accounting – Even with accounting software readily available, a requirement to become a property manager includes the knowledge of basic accounting. A property manager should be able to keep track of payments, calculate and track late fees, understand and properly fill out expense reports, and provide detailed reports needed by the property owner.
Education Requirement to Become a Property Manager
The most basic educational requirement to become a property manager is to have a high-school diploma or a GED equivalent. However, many property investment and maintenance firms require some level of undergraduate studies as well. Common fields that are pursued by property managers include:
- Property management
- Risk management
- Business administration
- Real estate
The education requirements to become a property manager will vary. It helps to explore what some of the top firms in your area require of their property managers. This way, you know what to aim for to set you apart.
Certification Requirements to Become a Property Manager
There are different licensing and certification requirements to become a property manager. These requirements to become a property manager can vary depending on your state, and the company you work for. Licensing requirements to become a property manager are at a state level. Certification requirements to become a property manager relate to national real estate or property management accreditations. Common property manager certificates include:
- National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP) – Getting this certificate is a great place to start. This helps an individual to apply with a real estate broker or property management company for an entry-level position, such as a leasing agent. This certificate will teach the basic skills needed to do the job effectively. Requirements typically include onside property management for a minimum of six months and completion of seven courses totaling 25 credit hours.
- Certified Apartment Manager (CAM) – This certificate is for onside managers who interact with tenants daily. This helps property managers develop the skills and knowledge to be the best representation of owners and investors. Requires 12 months of experience and 40 hours of course work.
- Certified Property Manager (CPM) – This is a highly regarded designation. It requires three years of consecutive employment in qualifying real estate management. Individuals will need to complete 19 of 36 requirement activities within 12 months. There are also specific requirements for a property manager’s portfolio of work involving residential, commercial, and industrial properties. These portfolio requirements to become a property manager highlight the property manager’s ability to handle a wide range of different properties. This includes the size of the property, as well as how many tenants per property.
- Master Property Manager (MPM) – This is the highest level of distinction. It requires a minimum of consecutive real estate management employment for at least 60 months. It also requires the same requirements as a CPM, plus a minimum of 500 residential units at one site, or 100 at five or more sites.
Requirements to Become a Property Manager
Understanding the requirements of a property manager is beneficial for both investors and those interested in getting into the property management field. It is important to meet the requirements of a property manager to achieve the best success possible. Home365 helps property investors find the perfect property management options for any size property.