I have a real estate license and would like a job being a leasing agent/property manager. How do I go about that?
First, become someone people want to hire as a property manager. This is difficult if you aren’t already working in the job, because you don’t have a mentor yet to train you and spoonfeed you about what you need to do.
Yes, the license is the same, but the skill set required to be a good property manager are very different from the skill sets that make for a successful real estate salesperson.
You mentioned you have a real estate license but you didn’t mention what kind. If you want to act as a leasing agent, you must have a brokers’ license, or you must work under someone who has a brokers’ license. Merely holding a real estate salesperson license is not enough in Texas. There has to be a brokers’ licensed individual handling the work or supervising those who handle the work.
If you don’t already have a brokers license, you can start taking classes towards it, but it’s going to require at least four years of real estate experience before you can qualify.
In addition, you’ll have to complete 270 hours of coursework and an additional 630 hours in related coursework.
If you want to run your own show one day, or maximize your potential for promotion, you’ll want to have a brokers license. More information on Texas property management licensing requirements available here.
In addition to the licensing requirement, it’s good to be making progress toward one of the basic professional certifications for property managers. One such certification: Certified Property Manager, or CPM.
Unless you have some experience already (so you can qualify for a fast-track program), the CPM requires classwork from a certified course provider on marketing and leasing various kinds of properties, leadership and human resources, financial tools used in the industry, and real estate financing and valuation.
Some professional organizations, such as the Institute of Real Estate Management, feature job advertisements specific to property managers on their websites. You can also identify different companies in your area who manage properties as a core part of their businesses, and either keep an eye on their websites or – better yet – get to know the principals in those firms through networking, business lunches and direct requests for an informational interview.
Who Should You Contact?
You can get started in a wide variety of different businesses. Yes, property management firms are a good place to start, but you can also look at real estate developers, full-service real estate firms, REITs (real estate investment trusts), office buildings and their owners, large corporations with significant physical plants in your area, military housing offices and bases, colleges and universities, and even religious/charitable organizations that provide housing and residential services.
Any of them can help you start developing your skill sets in the many areas of property management beyond acting as a leasing agent – though that’s important, too.
More specifically, just in a little bit of looking, we found a variety of property owners and managers looking for leasing agents, if you’re willing to travel to the Arlington/Dallas/Fort Worth area. It looks like opportunities start at about $9-10 per hour for entry-level leasing agents and goes up from there as you develop your skills. If you’re brand new, you’ll probably start with a leasing agent or assistant manager position and move up from there.
Still lost? Visit our list of the best property management companies in the state of Texas (or any other state, for that matter!) and contact them directly! Or visit a property they manage in person and ask for the manager, and how you would apply for an opening.
Writing about personal finance and investments since 1999, Jason Van Steenwyk started as a reporter with Mutual Funds Magazine and served as editor of Investors’ Digest. He now publishes feature articles in many publications including Annuity Selling Guide, Bankrate.com, and more.