Over the past few years, the demand for property managers has definitely been on the rise. While managing property may sound like an easy enough task that practically anyone should be able to handle, potential employers much prefer individuals who have formal training from a post-secondary learning institution. Since this Bachelor's degree is not offered by all four year colleges and universities, you may want to do your homework to find a learning institution that fits your needs and your schedule. Of course, prior to entering a post-secondary institution of learning, you must have completed your high school requirements and have obtained your diploma.
Individuals who are pursuing a Bachelor's degree in property management will be required to successfully complete a core curriculum that contains courses such as mathematics, expository writing, social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and foreign languages. Once you have been admitted into your major degree program, you will take courses like customer service, multi-family housing, risk management, legal issues, nonprofit housing, leasing strategies, building codes, rental property law, technology, and specialty housing. Unless the post-secondary school of your choosing states otherwise, a property management degree generally prepares students to manage commercial properties, as well as residential properties.
If this is the educational route you decide to take you will likely have to complete courses like property management applications, property management fundamentals, intermediate property management, finance and accounting for property management, property management research and applications for writing, federal and contractor focused property management, managing a property management organization, and basic contracts, agreements, and grants. It is also completely feasible to become a property manager by pursuing your degree in accounting, finance, or real estate. The bottom line is, there are a few different areas of degree programs that will adequately prepare you to be a property manager. As long as you have your degree, your chances of gainful employment are much higher.
Once you have obtained your degree, you will likely spend your days overseeing commercial properties (like office buildings) or residential properties (like apartment buildings). You will probably be responsible for collecting rent from numerous tenants, taking care of maintenance requests, and making sure that all applicable taxes have been paid in a timely manner. Keep in mind, regardless of the educational avenue you decide to pursue, in order to be certified as a property manager you will need to earn a passing score on the property manager exam. To prepare yourself for this certification exam you will need to be well versed and knowledgeable in these areas: maintenance and operations, asset management, legal management, risk management, marketing and leasing, human resources, and financial operations.
In addition to earning a passing score on the certification exam, you should also have three professional references that you can submit to the Institute of Real Estate Management and you must have a minimum of three years of experience managing properties.
We interviewed Newport Beach, CA properly manager Tony Smith to go over what life is really like as a property manager. The purpose of the interview is to expose the truths and myths of becoming a property manager.
Question: If you don’t mind I’ll just open the interview up and let you tell us about yourself, how you started and give us a idea of what your day is life including your challenges.
Answer: I originally got interested in property management and real estate at a young age as both of my parents are in the industry. I first started working for my dad learning the business when I graduated high school. My parents are big believers in education and wanted me to get the proper training. I enrolled in a school so I can earn my Bachelor’s degree in property management and business. After I graduated I got hired at a small mom-and-pop business that handles 20 rental properties. Many of my employees however earned thier education from a vocational training school first.
Question: What was your main role at the company you worked for?
Answer: Because I had experience I started out pretty quickly working on rental agreements and working with clients. Most of our business is in the summer rental business where we rent out our properties by the week. Because of the turnover it is important to have good communication with future renters as well as the cleaning companies we use.
Question: What is the hardest thing about being a property manager?
Answer: Without a doubt the hardest thing is coordinating the rentals so we don’t miss a week. Some of our rentals can be $2-3K per week so we lose a lot of revenue if the house goes vacant for even 1 week. We require deposits to be put down in advance which are non-refundable but that only covers a small percentage of the rental if the individual doesn’t go through with the rental. It is up to me to make sure every week is booked.