Many real estate developers, investors, and owners of various commercial and residential properties do not have the required time or knowledge that is needed to manage these properties. In many situations, these people hire property management firms or property managers to take on these responsibilities. Because property management involves many aspects of maintenance, the background of property managers is quite varied- everything from financial duties to maintenance and operations. In most cases, property managers work their way up from lower positions within apartment buildings, office complexes, community associations, or property management firms. A large majority end up going into business for themselves, while the remainder feels more comfortable working underneath a larger firm or company.
While there is not a college-specific designation for property management, those who do have their bachelor?s or master?s degree(s) in business administration, finance, account, real estate and public administration end up having the most opportunity within the field. People with previous experience in real estate sales can also be excellent property managers thanks to their time spent showing apartments and offices to prospective clients.
Throughout a career in property management, there is ample opportunity for higher education through brief training programs, where they learn or improve skills and knowledge in areas such as maintenance of mechanical systems, influencing property values, risk management, human resources, real estate law, tenant relations, and many more. Many related associations offer programs to receive certifications and professional designations that can improve a property manger?s opportunity for advancement. While some states require property managers to obtain licenses, it is not uniform among all states. Historically, those managers that have either a bachelor?s degree in a related field, or a professional designation, have a better chance at being hired than someone that does not.
Regardless of a person?s qualifications, anyone going into property management needs to be able to communicate effectively with people, and have solid speaking and writing skills as well as basic financial capabilities. Many investors and property owners look for qualities such as good negotiation skills, in-depth data analysis skills and creative financial strategies.
Over time, a property manager usually ends up specializing a particular category of property management- residential managers for apartments, condominiums or neighborhoods, commercial managers for business parks, office space, and retail complexes, as well property managers for retirement communities, homeowner associations, and many others. Taking it one step further, he/she may choose to focus on new property management by emphasizing various marketing strategies and advertising opportunities, or on older properties that are in need of repairs and renovations.