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How to Become A Property Manager

Property managers look after a number of aspects of residential, commercial, or industrial properties. They carry out various tasks, including:

  • Meeting with prospective renters and showing them properties
  • Discussing the lease and explaining the terms of occupancy or ownership
  • Inspecting all building facilities

  • Property managers do a lot more than just manage. Here’s how you can become one.

    • They take care of the numerous different aspects of residential, commercial and industrial properties
    • They ensure the adequate maintenance, preservation, appearance and operation of such properties

    How to become one…

    • Education
    • Work Experience
    • Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
    • Skills


    • Education requirements vary according to the different job titles
    • Typically college degrees in real estate, business administration and public administration are required
    • Commercial property managers are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree
    • A master’s degree may further brighten career prospects

    Work Experience

    • A background in sales, specifically in property sales is highly beneficial
    • Provides you with a base to build your career on
    • Also provides great insight into the best methods to sell to prospective buyers

    Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

    • Real estate license necessary before entering the profession
    • Quite a few professional certifications are available to potential property managers
    • Various professional development courses are on offer
    • Some examples include:
      • BOMI International
      • Institute of Real Estate Management
      • National Association of Residential Property 
      • Community Association Managers International Certification Board
      • Further training may also be required in some cases


    • Customer-service
    • Good interpersonal relationships
    • Critical thinking
    • Speaking
    • Listening
    • Organization and coordination


    • Work experience plays a huge part in further advancement
    • Training programs as well as a master’s degree may also be required in some cases

  • Paying bills or delegating bill payment for such expenditures as taxes, payroll, and maintenance
  • Investigating and settling complaints and violations
  • Maintaining records of owner requests as well as rental activity
  • Refraining from discrimination when advertising properties or dealing with potentials renters.
  • Complying with all relevant laws and regulations, such as the Federal air Housing Amendment Act.

These professionals also prepare budgets and financial reports and ensure that the property is well maintained, has a suitable appearance, operates well, and preserves its resale value.

What are the different types of Property Managers?

The following are some examples of the different kinds of property managers:

  • Property and real estate managers. These professionals manage the operation of income-generating commercial or residential properties and ensure that real estate investments achieve their projected revenues.

  • Community association managers. These managers work on behalf of homeowner or community associations with regards to communal property and services of cooperatives, as well as planned communities.

  • Onsite property managers. Onsite property managers look after the day-to-day operations of a single property, such as an apartment complex or an office building.
  • Real estate asset managers. These property managers plan and direct the purchase, sale, and development of real estate properties on behalf of businesses and investors.

How to Become a Property Manager

In order to increase your prospects of becoming a property manager, you should preferably earn a college degree. Though some individuals with high school diplomas or equivalent may possibly find related work opportunities, many employers prefer to hire college graduates.

You can work towards a bachelor’s or master’s degree in one of the following:

  • Business administration
  • Real estate
  • Public administration
  • Accounting
  • Finance

These degrees can particularly be useful for those of who seek commercial management positions. The coursework may include instruction in topics such as:

  • Financial institutions
  • Real estate development
  • Urban planning
  • Real estate management
  • Real estate finance

You may also study advanced courses that would focus on:

  • Housing for an aging population
  • Commercial property management
  • Residential property management
  • Affordable housing administration

Going through this curriculum will help you gain knowledge in strategic management, commercial valuation techniques, and property law and property industry. You will also be able to develop an understanding of the specifics of real estate law in relation to commercial, rental and private property. You will also learn how marketing strategies and real estate investments are made.

How to get a license to become a Property Manager?

A license is essential for real estate managers who buy or sell property. Managers of public housing that has been subsidized by the federal government are required to get certified. A professional certification is evidence of your competence and professionalism. The Community Associations Institute, the Institute of Real Estate Management and the National Association of Residential Property Managers are some of the organizations that offer a number of certifications and professional development courses.

What skills do you need to be a Property Manager?

Customer-service skills - Property managers must provide excellent customer service to keep existing clients and win more clients.

Organizational skills- Property managers should be able to plan, coordinate, and direct a number of contractors at the same time so they should be able to organize and prioritize their work.

Interpersonal skills - Keeping in view that property managers get in touch with people every day, they must have excellent interpersonal skills.

Communication skills - Communication skills are essential for property managers so that they may effectively deal with their clients.

Problem-solving skills - Problem-solving skills are absolutely essential for these professionals. Property managers should be able to mediate disputes or legal issues between residents, homeowners, or board members.

What is the career outlook for Property Managers?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of property, managers is projected to grow 12% from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Employment is expected to grow because:

  • New developments provide community services and have mutually-owned common areas that are managed by homeowner or community associations.

  • More people will live in the buildings that property management companies operate.

  • Property owners are becoming more and more aware that property management firms help make properties more attractive to potential buyers renters.

The median annual wage for property managers was $52,610 in 2012 according to BLS.

Where do property managers work?

Property managers may possibly find opportunities in a number of industries including:

  • Local government
  • Offices of real estate agents and brokers
  • Activities related to real estate
  • Civic, social, professional, and similar organizations

How good is the work environment for Property Managers?

As a property manager, you are often required to attend meetings with residents, property owners, community association board members, or civic groups. This is why you may have to work long hours and like most property managers, deal with a lot of pilling paperwork.

While property managers spend a lot of their day dealing with official procedures and talking on the telephone, the issues they deal with vary from week to week and month to month. It means you will have considerable room for challenges that will help to keep you on your toes.

Is Becoming a Property Manager the right career path for you?

While getting into the property management field can be challenging for some, it can be exciting for others. This career can be a suitable option for those who have:

  • The ability to multitask
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Stress management skills

Those who are willing to work in a fast-paced environment as well as individuals who are ready to take on new challenges can also pursue this profession. Successful property managers are proactive. The more you can anticipate problems, the better you will be prepared to tackle and potentially resolve them.

A Final Word on Property Management

In 2012, Forbes ranked property managers at the second spot in its list of The Happiest Jobs in America. This assessment increases the likelihood that if you are able to start working as a property manager, you share positive relationships with your bosses and co-workers, and also potentially receive respectable benefit and growth opportunities.

States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 1660 0.11 1.26 18.13 37720
Florida 1130 0.14 1.68 17.97 37370
Illinois 960 0.16 1.92 17.9 37240
Texas 760 0.07 0.78 16.62 34570
New York 650 0.07 0.85 20.12 41840


How to Become a Property Manager in Texas?

To become a Property Manager in Texas, you must know the legal requirements which vary from state to state. Get your Texas real estate broker’s license and work for 4 to 5 years as a real estate broker to gain experience. A high school diploma is enough to get a job in the real estate sector but some employers prefer a Bachelor’s degree. You can also take refresher courses in real estate and earn certifications to enhance your career prospects.

How to Become a Property Manager in California?

To start a career as a Property Manager in California, you will need to get your California real estate broker’s license and work for 4 to 5 years to understand the sector and gain experience of the market. You will need a high school diploma but some employers prefer their real estate agents and managers to be Bachelor’s degree holders. You can also obtain a certification or take refresher courses to brighten your career prospects.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Property Manager?

While having a graduate degree is not a must to become a property manager in the U.S., the number of companies hiring college graduates in the field has been rapidly increasing. Therefore, if you wish to increase your chances of succeeding in the industry, you should get a 4-year bachelor’s degree in business management or a related field. In addition to having a bachelor’s degree, most states now require property managers to be licensed. Getting a state approved license depends on the requirements of the state which typically vary. Normally, obtaining a license may take 1 year or more. The overall process (including a bachelor’s degree) may span over 5 to 7 years.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Property Manager?

There are certain conditions you must fulfill if you want to become a property manager in the U.S. You must:

  • Be (at least) 18 years or above (in some states applicants must be at least 21 years old)
  • Possess at least a High School Diploma or GED. However, hiring college graduates has become a common practice these days
  • Be a legal citizen of the U.S. or be a permanent resident
  • Clear the Real State Licensing Exam of your state
  • Get a job in a Real State Agency or work as a freelancer

How Much Can I Make After Becoming a Property Manager?

After obtaining a state issued license and fulfilling all the requirements, you can work as a Property Manager. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018 data), the yearly median income of Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers in the U.S. was $58,340. It was also reported by BLS that a 7% growth in the number of jobs for this field is expected between 2018 and 2028.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:How to become a property manager?

A:To become a property manager, it is recommended that you have a post-secondary degree. You can opt for a bachelor degree in business administration, finance, or real estate management. A bachelor degree will help you launch a career in this field. On the other hand, you can qualify for more advanced job positions by further acquiring a masters degree. You may also need a license if you plan to sell real estate. The licensing and certification requirements will vary from state to state. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Q:How to become a certified property manager?

A:You'll need to earn at least a bachelor's degree in any area such as real estate, business administration, accounting, finance or management. There are a number of professional organizations and institutes that offer certification in this field. For example, the Institute of Real Estate Management and the National Association of Residential Property Managers are a few leading organizations that certify property managers. The requirements for certification will vary from place to place. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Institute of Real Estate Management)

Q:What degree do you need to become a property manager?

A:In order to become a property manager you must at least have a bachelor's degree, preferably in public administration, accounting, real estate management, business administration or finance. In addition to this, many students prefer to further pursue a master's degree in any of these disciplines. You can also improve your career potential by getting certified from a recognized organization. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Q:Why become property manager?

A:The US Bureau of Labor Statistics also estimated that the number of professionals working as community association, real estate and property managers will grow by 12 percent from 2012 to 2022. Individuals who choose to become property managers will be required to work with various clients. The career can be diverse and challenging in many ways. Property managers can also excel in the field by pursuing certifications and advanced education. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics and The Princeton Review)

Q:What do property manager do?

A:Property managers make sure that real estate investments gain their expected revenues. They directly handle all the financial operations related to a real estate property. They oversee the collection of rent, the payment of utility and other related bills, mortgages, insurance premiums, maintenance bills, taxes and payrolls. In addition, property managers also make budgets and financial statements related to a real estate property. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Q:How long does it take to become a property manager?

A:It can take you 4 to 6 years to become a property manager after you complete your high school. After getting a high school diploma, you must enroll in a bachelor's degree with a related major such as finance, real estate management, business administration or accounting. Many students pursue further studies and complete a master's program in real estate management, which may an additional 2 years. You may also acquire a state license or a related professional certification. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Q:Becoming a Property Manager will lead to what income?

A:A property manager is a trained professional who deals with the management, sale and purchase of property. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, property managers made a median annual income of $52,610 in 2012. The occupation is expected to experience to experience a growth in demand due to the expanding property market in the United States. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Q:Can you tell me what is a property management agreement?

A:A property management agreement is a contract made between a property owner and a property manager. The contract will include terms and conditions for managing property. It will cover important areas such as maintenance of property, collection of rent, compensation of manager, and termination of contract. Take a look at our page for more detail.

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