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Property Management Jobs for Beginners: How to Get Started Today

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As the concept of owning rental properties as a solid investment grows, so does the number of property management jobs needing to be filled. Many individuals may not realize how this industry can benefit their long-term careers. This is a great opportunity for driven individuals looking for both professional and financial growth. Furthermore, ideal property managers include those who enjoy working with problems, multitasking, and solving problems. So, if this sounds like it might be you, read on to find out what property management jobs require and the steps you need to take to launch your new career.

What is a Property Manager?

A property manager is a third party hired by the owner to oversee the day-to-day operations of a rental investment portfolio. Therefore, if owners cannot or do not want to manage the daily stresses, a manager provides the peace of mind everything is being taken care of. So, depending on the portfolio, this may include overseeing commercial real estate, single-family homes, multi-family buildings, or a combination of assets. In addition to the term “property manager,” these professionals are also known as – Real Estate Managers, Asset Managers, Landlords, Investment Managers, or Property Administrators.

What Does a Property Manager Do?

Property management jobs involve a variety of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Anyone who has self-managed understands the rigors property owners face. Thankfully, professional property managers are well-equipped to handle a variety of situations effectively and efficiently. Let’s check out some of the property managers most common duties below –

What Does a Property Manager Do?Typical Property Manager Responsibilities

  • Research the Local Market and Set Rental Rates
  • Provide Targeted Marketing to Minimize Vacancy
  • Follow-up on Leads and Conduct Tours for Prospective Renters
  • Thoroughly Screen All Prospective Applicants
  • Facilitate the Preparation and Signing of Rental Agreements
  • Schedule and Oversee Routine Maintenance
  • Respond to Emergencies and Repair Requests
  • Communicate with Tenants and Owners
  • Ensure the Property Complies with Local Building Codes and Rental Regulations
  • Facilitate and Process Lease Renewals
  • Collect Rent and Access Late Fees as Needed
  • Perform Routine and Essential Property Inspections
  • Attend Court Eviction Proceedings
  • Coordinate the Turnover Process
  • Basic Accounting Functions and Reporting
  • Provide Excellent Customer Service to Owners, Vendors, and Tenants

Why Should You Consider Property Management Jobs?

The real estate industry is a booming one with a demand that is only expected to grow. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, property management jobs are set to grow at an astounding rate. In fact, reports suggest that the need for property managers will be up 10% heading towards 2026. Furthermore, this growth rate is greater than most other job sectors. Growth equals opportunities! Therefore, the opportunity that property management jobs offer is a great entry point for anyone interested in the estate industry.

How to Become a Property Manager

If the responsibilities above sound like something you could easily take on, considering property management jobs may be right for you! So, before deciding to make this career move, check out these 5 easy steps to entering this competitive, fast-growing, and rewarding field.

  1. Research Local Requirements
  2. Pursue Relevant Industry Education
  3. Obtain Specialized Certifications
  4. Start Building a Client Base
  5. Never Stop Learning

Research Local Requirements

Before any new career venture, it is important to research any applicable local or state requirements. Many individuals are familiar with real estate requirements, but property management guidelines will vary by state. For instance, those looking to start a property management company will need a broker’s license in most states. That said, certain states may only require a property manager’s license or no licensing at all. So, it is important to know what your state requires before taking the plunge.

Typically, becoming a property manager entails some education, experience, age, and exam requirements. However, it is up to the individual to know what applies, so research carefully. Moreover, some of the basic qualifications for property management jobs include –

  • Must be over the age of 18 (or 21, depending on the state)
  • High school diploma or equivalent GED
  • Legal US citizen or permanent resident
  • Real Estate License Coursework (if needed per state law)
  • Passing Score on Real Estate Licensing Examination (if needed per state law)

Pursue Relevant Industry EducationPursue Relevant Industry Education

For property managers, an understanding of the local market and laws is vital. In addition, companies hiring for property management jobs appreciate applicants with real-world and scholastic experience. Ideally, applicants are pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in related studies such as –

  • Real Estate or Real Estate Development
  • Finance or Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Urban Planning
  • Business Administration

Much of the skills learned through these education tracks translate well to the property management field. After all, managers must have excellent communication and written skills along with strategic management experience. So, one of the ways to build some experience is through entry-level positions at a real estate firm or property management firm. Property managers can never predict all of the scenarios they are faced with, so real-world experience is critical.

Obtain Specialized Certifications

Depending on local legal requirements, property managers may need to obtain certain certifications. Moreover, these are a way to build knowledge but also to boost your credibility in the industry. So, whether your state requires certification or not, it is a good idea to pursue anyway. Thus, this demonstration of commitment will open more doors as you apply for various property management jobs.

These courses focus on learning the ins and outs of the industry. That said, they cover best business practices and the knowledge required to handle various management responsibilities. Keep in mind; there are several professional certifications available to potential property managers. Each of these certifications has different requirements, including portfolio type/size, years worked and passing scores on exams. Some of the main certifications to get you started include –

  • Certified Apartment Leasing Professional (CALP) – Step one is to apply for an entry-level position with a real estate broker or property management company. Typically, this is as a leasing agent. Accreditation from The CALP teaches novice leasing professionals the basic skills of the job.
  • Certified Apartment Manager (CAM) – After gaining experience in leasing, the next step is property management. Furthermore, CAM focuses on training onsite managers and helps individuals gain the skills to be the best possible representative of community owners and investors.
  • Certified Property Manager (CPM) – CPM individuals must complete a minimum of 3 years of consecutive employment in a qualifying real estate management role. Additionally, they must hold a license if required by law.
  • Master Property Manager (MPM) – MPM requires at least 60 months of consecutive industry employment. Additionally, the candidate must meet all CPM requirements and maintain a portfolio of 500 residential units at 1 or more sites or 100 units at 5 or more sites.

Start Building a Client BaseStart Building a Client Base

Any new business venture involves getting the word out and building a client base. That said, the property management field is no different. As you obtain the necessary certifications and relevant experiences, the next step is to find something to manage.

However, if you are starting out alone, this is easier said than done. Therefore, start with friends, family, or acquaintances that may have an investment that would benefit from professional management. Beyond that, seek out opportunities to network with other local business professionals, developers, real estate agents, and brokers. That said, another great way to get started is by looking for property management jobs with existing firms. This helps to build experience, professional reputation, and contacts within the industry.

Never Stop Learning

As with any vocation, property management jobs require individuals to keep learning along the way. Whether it is changes to laws, new regulations, building code, or rental compliance – it is vital to stay up to date as a landlord. Keep in mind, as a property manager, owners are paying for your services and your experience. Thus, continued learning is essential to overall success. In addition to keeping up with changing laws, stay current on market trends through reputable real estate blogs and websites.

Essential Skills Every Property Manager Needs

Essential Skills Every Property Manager Needs

  • Professional Communication – Property managers are constantly in contact with owners, tenants, vendors, or applicants. So, whether it is over the phone or through emails, texts, or notices – strong verbal and written communication is a must!
  • Unmatched Patience – Landlords occasionally must handle disputes among tenants. However, handling disputes or calming an anxious owner’s nerves takes great patience. So, individuals familiar with de-escalation techniques will fair well in property management jobs.
  • Attention to Detail – Managing rental portfolios involves handling sensitive information and legal documents. Therefore, attention to detail is critical in filling out contracts, sending notices, and complying with applicable laws.
  • Organization Skills – Whether handling leasing processes, turnover maintenance, or accounting – effective management involves multi-tasking. Impeccable organization skills ensure all properties under your management receive the proper attention they deserve.
  • Accounting Knowledge – Collecting rent, calculating and assessing late fees, or keeping up with expense reports means landlords need basic accounting skills. Although technology assists property managers with effortless accounting, some knowledge of best practices is necessary.

How Much Do Property Managers Make?

While salary can vary based on several factors, most areas have a median starting range between $40,000 to $60,000. To give you a better idea of average salaries in different areas, check out our list below.

Property Manager Salary Range – “Glassdoor”

  • Baltimore: $44,000 to $92,000
  • Philadelphia: $80,000 to $140,000
  • Washington DC: $85,000 to $150,000
  • Richmond: $76,000 to $130,000

Property Manager Salary Range – “Salary.com or PayScale”

  • Baltimore: $78,000 to $130,000
  • Philadelphia: $38,000 to $91,000
  • Washington DC: $48,000 to $98,000
  • Richmond: $43,000 to $70,000

Property Manager Salary Range – “ZipRecruiter”

  • Baltimore: $30,000 to $69,000
  • Philadelphia: $29,000 to $68,000
  • Washington DC: $51,000 to $110,000
  • Richmond: $30,000 to $69,000

Make the Most of a Rewarding Property Management Career

Property management jobs will become more plentiful in the years to come as industry demand continues to grow. The best way to get your start is through industry certifications and education. From there, joining the team of an established local property management firm builds on that knowledge with real-world experience.

There are many opportunities for driven individuals in the property management industry, including leasing, onsite management, commercial managers, and accounting staff. Experienced property managers provide vital services to help owners grow their portfolios. At Bay Property Management Group, our team handles daily operations for our owners by providing unparalleled customer service. So, if you are looking to start your career or are an owner searching for quality property management, look no further than Bay Property Management Group.