Like most industries the real estate industry has a lot of moving parts; a lot of jobs and positions. Anything to do with selling, insuring or evaluating real estate requires a license. Each state, just like New York, sets their own guidelines about what education is required to get a basic license. That education is mostly about the laws. Of course it is important to know the laws to help protect customers, but what about the actual business of real estate? What about actually working to help customers get together and do business? What about answer the question, “How do I make money doing this?”
This is where we get to talk about training that you can get that works in other businesses, too. So, for example, if you know how to do a really specific job and that is all you know how to do, then it is hard to use that experience in a different business. Maybe someone is highly trained as a plumber and has always been on job sites installing pipes. It is hard for them to change industries or even move into a management position without additional training. The same is true for some jobs in the real estate industry, except real estate property management.
Why Is Real Estate Property Management Different?
Earlier I wrote that real estate has a lot of moving parts. There are sales people who work with buyers to show them homes. There are listing agents who find people who want to sell their homes. There are marketing assistants who help listing agents find buyers and buyer’s agents. There are appraisers, loan officers, and inspectors, too. But, there are two jobs which stand out from the rest to help you learn business management, marketing, project management, operations management and more. Those two jobs are real estate broker and real estate property manager.
What Does A Real Estate Property Manager Do?
Some jobs in real estate have a pretty detailed job description. Most people are what we call “agents” and they work with buyers and sellers and a few other people like lenders and inspectors. Sometimes they have to find their own customers which means they have to do a lot of personal advertising. So, when we talk about portable skills, including management skills, what is different about a property manager’s job? Here is a bullet point list at just some of the tasks and duties a property manager will likely have:
- Find tenants for the property
- Explain the legalities of the lease to tenants
- Screen and process tenant applications
- Find and retain maintenance contractors like roofers, plumbers, and groundskeepers
- Coordinate with utility companies to ensure best rates
- Answer to local authorities about violations or code changes
- Hire, train and oversee junior team members
- Maintain bookkeeping records
- Prepare reports for the owners like Profit and Loss statements and general revenue reports
- Make sure tenants are always satisfied with the property and agreement
That is just a partial list, and you can easily see how this can prepare someone to be in management in an even larger role. Some corporations have Real Estate Property Management Directors who manage hundreds or thousands of properties and many employees. Even government organizations like a Board of Housing hires property managers. But, it’s not limited to residential. Companies that own industrial parks or shopping malls also hire property managers to manage their real estate. So, you can see, there is plenty of opportunity to find work in the field of real estate property management.
How Do I Become A Real Estate Property Manager?
Every state has their own laws and regulations on property management. Most of the time this means having a standard real estate sales person’s license. Being licensed is not a requirement to becoming a Certified Property Manager, but you may still need the license to take on most jobs. As a real estate manager there are many things a person will be doing that aren’t the same as a real estate agent. That is why getting a real estate property manager certification is very important.
Certification, like any other field, requires a little time in the classroom. During that time, which is 22.5 hours total, you will learn about finding tenants and dealing with complaints, handling leases, adjusting rent prices and initiating evictions. You will also learn how to review and select real estate investments, the preparation of leasing terms and conditions, and daily administrative and operational duties.