upwards of $100,000 per year, depending on the city in question. This career also has a unique advantage because it gives property managers the skills and experience to succeed as rental business owners. So if you’re looking to enter the job market or shift careers to something more exciting, you’re certainly at the right place.
Do you need some help getting started on your property management journey? Are you unsure what the role involves and if they use property management software? Strap it for the best crash course on property management on the internet. Sit tight as we explore a day in the life of a property manager and the skills and certifications you need to excel in this chosen field. Let’s get started:
What is property management?
Before exploring the nitty-gritty of what it takes to become a property manager, we should define what it means in clear terms. To keep it simple, property management is the daily oversight of a real estate property. In other words, it is the supervision of maintenance, repairs, and operations required to keep a rental in good condition and remain profitable. Dedicated property managers can help new landlords with their rental investment by lighting their duties and ensuring all property needs are met.
What does a day of a property manager look like?
Before looking into how to become a property manager, it’s crucial to understand the responsibilities that come with the job. After you’ve attained the right skills and certificates, you can find employment in a property management company or as an assistant to someone who knows the ropes. In such a scenario, you can expect to be responsible for some or all of these activities each day:
One of the most crucial roles of a property manager is rent collection. Besides reminding tenants when their rent is due, they’re also responsible for enforcing sanctions for late payments. In some cases, property owners even give them leeway to determine rental prices. Thus, they must also be familiar with current market conditions and rates for similar units within that location. In summary, property managers can set, adjust, and ensure rental income constantly flows in.
Another duty of a property manager is to fill vacancies. This role often overlaps with a real estate agent, but because property management requires a background in sales and marketing, these professionals are more than up to the task. They can adopt modern digital and traditional advertising to attract high-paying prospective renters. But their role continues after advertising. Property managers are also responsible for screening these potential tenants thoroughly and selecting the right one.
Drafting lease agreements
While a solid screening can help avoid unnecessary tenant disputes, a well-written lease will go further. After all, quarrels between landlords and tenants can be inevitable. However, having all your policies in writing can give you leverage in your arguments or in court. Property managers must also draft such leases and ensure the landlords are well protected with clear rules on subletting, security deposits, late rent, and other scenarios.
Attending to tenant complaints
Long-distance and busy landlords are often unable to attend to renter complaints promptly, which can lead to dissatisfaction and a higher tenant turnover. However, property managers are often local professionals who can swoop in quickly and resolve the tenant’s issues. That extends to a demand for repairs, noise complaints, or other needs that arise during their tenancy.
Performing repair and maintenance needs
Every rental property at some point will need repairs, and good landlords know to anticipate it. However, putting aside money to fix a broken toilet or faulty fuse box doesn’t guarantee your availability to see it through when it happens. Thankfully, property managers can access such funds and are often on the ground to see these repairs through. They also have to be proactive and schedule preventive maintenance checks to ensure all appliances and systems within the house are working accordingly.
Supervise other employees
When a landlord requires the expertise of other professionals like plumbers, electricians, pest control, or a cleaning crew, they often have to supervise the ongoing work. This responsibility can be tedious, especially if the rental is undergoing major work. That’s why property managers are so valuable, as they can step in for an absentee landlord and oversee these employees. They may also be responsible for inspecting the work after its completion and paying the workers their dues.
Skills and certifications for aspiring property managers
Skills you need to be a property manager
Communication skills: For any property manager to be successful in their job, they require practical communication skills. Being a professional requires contacting the owner, tenants, workers, lawyers, and others. As such, relaying the correct information using the best tone is crucial to avoid miscommunications that could result in a suit or lost income for your rental.
Organizational skills: Since property managers are responsible for overseeing the daily operations of a rental unit, they require intense organizational skills. For example, you need to track which tenants have paid and which haven’t, receipts for wages and repairs, and vital documents for the rental, like leases and addendums.
Marketing skills: Finding new tenants is one of a property manager’s most important roles, and without the right marketing skills, you’re sure to flop. Knowing how to attract, engage and convert prospective house searchers to paying renters is an invaluable skill you should have.
Accounting skills: Property managers need to track the money flowing in and out of the property to ensure they are maximizing profits. Thus, you’ll also need basic accounting skills to follow up on all these properties’ expenses and income.
Certifications you need to be a property manager
Remember that the requirements for the job vary from one state to the next, so it would be best to look up the unique criteria for where you live or plan to practice. Some of the most common certifications you may need to include:
- Certified Property Manager (CPM)
- National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP)
- Real Estate Broker’s License
- Master Property Manager (MPM)
- Certified Apartment Manager (CAM)
That’s a wrap! We hope you found this crash course on a day in the life of a property manager helpful. If you’re considering a career switch, you should be familiar with all the responsibilities that come with the job. For example, overseeing a rental property means taking on roles like rent collection, filling vacancies, and settling tenant disputes.
Thus, it’s no surprise that to succeed in this field, you must wear several hats and be adept in communication, organization, marketing, and accounting. While a college degree can be helpful in pursuing this career, some states are okay with online property management courses you can. Although, you’ll have to ensure you have the proper certificates your state requires to practice.