If you're on the lookout for a new career path, becoming a property manager might just be the perfect job for you. Now more than ever, people of all ages are renting instead of buying, so the need for good and professional property managers is out there.
A career in property management can bring a decent salary, job security, and steady employment, and if you like to work with people, then your success is almost guaranteed.
What is a property manager?
A property manager oversees all responsibilities that come with managing properties that are owned by other parties. These properties can be large residential buildings with multiple rental properties, small homes, or luxurious retail complexes. A property manager is also responsible for a large number of tasks like filing taxes, finding and verifying tenants, collecting rent, and handling property maintenance.
It's not unusual for property managers to work unpredictable hours. They must be familiar with local real estate laws and regulations, have great communication skills, marketing skills, and offer good customer service. When it comes to accounting and similar tasks, property managers can choose to handle these tasks themselves or to outsource them to other employees or to independent specialists or companies.
What does a property manager do?
On a typical workday, a property manager will be responsible for certain administrative and leasing related tasks such as:
- Screening new tenants
- Showing them the properties
- Signing leases
- Collecting rent
- Answering to property maintenance service requests
- Inspecting rental units after tenants move out
- Doing maintenance checks
- Advertising vacant rental units on websites
- Handling evictions
A property manager’s job is extremely diverse, so if you are considering a property management career you should be open to learning new things.
Career paths in the real estate management industry (entry-level)
Assistant Property Manager
This career path consists of providing general assistance to property managers and ensuring that things run smoothly in the office. An Assistant Property Manager will usually handle the following tasks:
- Manage the company's relations with external clients
- Advertise rental properties
- Communicate with tenants
- Collecting data
- Processing rent payments and late rent fees
- Processing maintenance requests and ensuring that they are taken care of
- Managing the company’s budget and expenditures
An assistant property manager needs to have the same skills as a property manager including communication, marketing, and management skills. In order to be more efficient and to automate the tasks that are repetitive, assistant property managers have access to a wide range of software such as finance tracking apps, advertising tools, property maintenance platforms, smart pricing apps, and utility management apps.
Administrative Assistant/Office Coordinator
A lot of real estate management companies need an administrative assistant or an office coordinator to handle general office work. By hiring an administrative assistant, the property manager can focus on more pressing matters like landlord/tenant relations, property maintenance, and marketing.
An administrative assistant will usually do the following things:
- Answer phone calls and emails
- Assist walk-in clients
- Making appointments for rental units showings
- Collecting and managing data
- Processing maintenance requests
If you want to start a career in real estate management by becoming an administrative assistant, it is important to know that this job can be quite stressful. Office coordinators and assistants will often act as the voice of their company so they must be prepared to handle stressful situations and must have a good understanding of the company’s procedures and policies.
In some cases, companies will hire bookkeepers to assist property owners and managers with their daily accounting operations and financial transactions. In a real estate management company, a bookkeeper will usually handle the following tasks:
- Processing rent payments, deposits, and late rent fees
- Filing taxes
- Keeping records of all incomes and expenses
- Creating monthly/quarterly/yearly financial reports for the property owners and for the company
Property management career skills
Customer Service Skills
Good property managers must be able to fill vacant rental properties quickly and find good tenants. This means that they need to have great customer service skills. It is worth mentioning that because we live in a technological world in which information travels extremely quickly, it is essential for property managers to build a good reputation for themselves and for their companies.
Every stage of the rental process requires good relationship management:
- Before a lease is signed - It is important to set the rent so that it covers all the costs associated with the property maintenance, but without leaving the impression that you are ripping off your tenants.
- During the lease signing - During this stage of the rental process, the property manager must explain all the formalities in detail and make sure that the tenant is informed.
- For the duration of the lease - The property manager must be amicable and responsive but also firm and professional.
- When the lease is up - The property manager has to carefully inspect the rental unit and to offer clear information if the security deposit cannot be returned to the tenant.
In order to have a successful career in the real estate industry, a property manager must ensure that everything runs smoothly. They should be able to handle a range of administrative aspects of the business. This includes collecting the rent and processing it, managing the company’s budget, paying bills, and collecting or processing data.
Before taking any steps towards pursuing a career in property management, it is important to be sure that this is truly something that you are passionate about. Being a customer-driven position, property management is not for everyone.
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