Property managers have a multifaceted job and are responsible for the overall administration and supervision of properties. Depending on the specific field, such as commercial, condos, multi, or single-family properties, property managers must oversee properties’ operational and financial management. Another essential function of a property manager is to create a happy and healthy environment for any residents that live in said properties.
So if you love wearing many hats, property management might be your thing. Or maybe it already is. If you’re interested in improving your resume to apply for a property manager job, follow this guide.
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Job Duties of a Property Manager
Property managers are responsible for driving occupancy, managing property, and ensuring resident satisfaction. They also ensure adherence to regulatory compliance, national, state and local, and supervise their team’s day-to-day activities. Below are some essential duties:
Strategizing and implementing marketing plans such as local listing, customizing websites, and developing print media to increase occupancies and resident retention, including new and older residents.
Providing excellent customer service by being available at many hours of the day to take requests via email, phone or onsite.
Acting as a liaison between residents and the corporate office to resolve complaints or arbitrate rules under the signed contracts.
Overseeing administrative assignments and completing paperwork of leasing, renewal, and property records, including often tracking and proofreading them.
Supervising an entire resident life-cycle’s operations, including screening tenants, handling security deposits, collecting rent, and collecting debt in case of delinquency or evictions.
Analyzing financial performance monthly, quarterly, and yearly by reviewing expenditures and projections of annual income, expenses, repairs, and maintenance budget. This task may require regular interaction with a property management regional, national or international boss.
Ensuring federal, state and local regulatory compliances, including filing paperwork, property safety records, and property claims losses.
Supervising onsite team or teams, ensuring work is delegated and tracked to completion through specific software.
Conducting interviews, hiring new staff, and overseeing the new and seasoned team’s training and coaching.
Maintaining the quality of properties by contracting and scheduling repairs through vendors such as roofers, painters, and carpet cleaners.
Undertaking vendor research based on price and quality, drawing up contracts.
Property Manager Median Salaries
As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay is $58,760. Projections say there will be little or no changes for the next 10 years in the job outlook. Good opportunities may also come for those managing accommodations for the elderly such as retirement homes.
Top Skills for Property Managers
A property manager can thrive in a competitive environment with specific skills. Often, they are the captain of the entire ship. Thus they need to handle vendors, staff, tenants, corporate officers and landlords. Technical knowledge of the industry and property laws and civil tax rules is essential.
Below are some of the most desirable property management skills that will help you excel:
- Superb negotiation skills: You may find yourself in the middle of a dispute between a tenant and a landlord, and you may need to create a win-win situation for both. To make things complex, you have your vendors, contractors, employees, and city officials also in the mix at various times. To navigate these relationships successfully, you have to have good negotiation skills. One way to do this, according to experts, is by negotiating customer expectations with that of current market conditions. For example, during COVID-19, many landlords paid for upgrades to ventilation systems to keep tenants safe from other apartments’ air. Another significant expense where you might negotiate is in vendor bids to repair and maintenance upgrades.
- Expertise in financial analysis: When doing financial performance analysis, a property manager scrutinizes the budget to control costs. For example, according to the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute, knowing the proper energy usage and rates of local buildings, analyzing whether a property is in a deregulated market, or being aware of non-recurring expenses are all ways costs are controlled. The ability to successfully break down property functions into categories such as net and gross income, capital expenditure, and cash management activities is also essential to financial planning. Propertyware is one software that can help you do all this, so it’s worth learning.
- Adept at compartmentalizing work: As a property manager, prioritizing assignments defines how successful you are. Having to oversee accounting, administrative, and documentary functions, including tenant screening and property evaluation, all at the same time, isn’t easy. Thus, prioritizing work will help you manage your time to honor commitments and deliver customer satisfaction.
- Excellent endurance capacity: Your work may make you more mobile and add to your travel time. Responding to residents’ complaints, for example, you travel to various locations. Walking around the properties, climbing stairs, and using maintenance equipment may put additional strain on you physically.
- Robust real estate comprehension: In some states, you are not only required to have a real estate license but specific certifications like Residential Management Professional (RMP®) or Certified Property Manager (CPM® ). Having these extra credentials asserts a certain level of knowledge. Another aspect of industry knowledge is marketing know-how. Advertising property listings in a way that attracts potential residents is a great skill to have. An additional way to understand real estate is through essential maintenance work such as plumbing or basic electric operations, which can help your business save money on service calls and repair bills.
- Commitment to serve: Dealing with residents, tenants, landlords or property owners, you should be committed to serving them. Customer-driven skills will assist you in understanding customer needs, diffusing tense situations, and empathizing with them. These interactions will enrich your experience and help you communicate better.
Educational Requirements for Property Managers
To be a sought-after property manager, you need to have extra education to complete certification, licensing or training programs. And in some states, some of these programs are required. For example, in California, you have to obtain a real estate license to be able to do this job. This knowledge also extends to technical matters. Since there is industry-specific software a well-experienced property manager should have, you should also get a tech-specific certification. The good news is these options can be obtained over several years and, if you stay in the industry long-term, can only give you more opportunities within it.
Let’s take a look at some.
DegreeProperty managers usually have a high school diploma or its equivalent, at a minimum. However, commercial property or offsite positions do prefer a bachelor’s degree because of its somewhat complex financial and operational management needs. A degree in business administration, accounting, or other types of finance is desirable. Different educational concentrations might also give you an edge in real estate or public administration.
LicenseUnlike real estate managers who buy and sell property, property managers working in few states must have a real estate license. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists nine states where this is necessary. However, in many states where you don’t, you still have to work under a person who has a real estate broker’s license. If you fall into one of these states or plan to switch over, it will be a good idea to check the licensing requirements.
But check this out: If part of the property manager job you are applying to is to advertise rental properties, negotiate a lease, show a rental property, drive potential clients to property, or collect rent, you most likely need to have a real estate license to do it. Some of the requirements to get a real estate license is that you need to be 18 or 21 years old, have two to three years of real estate experience, be a U.S. citizen, pass a broker’s exam, and pass a background test.
Most states do require you have a property management license. For this, you need to pass proper coursework, be 18 years old, be in “good standing” with your state’s real estate board (meaning your license is reviewed once in a while and your performance monitored), and you also need to pass background checks.
Why are these licenses needed? Because of legal and tax reasons. Landlord and tenant laws have been developed over decades to protect both tenants and property owners. If the managers don’t know the rules well, people might be financially and legally liable for anything out of the ordinary that might happen, such as the death of a tenant or a destructive fire.
CertificationsThe real estate industry is one of the oldest industries and boasts some of the oldest trade associations. Additionally, many universities and colleges also offer credentials that can declare your real estate industry expertise.
- Universities and colleges: Certification in property management courses offers education in concepts ranging from mechanical operation and management, insurance and risk management, and tenant relations and communication. Some universities are well-known for specific parts, such as residential (Ball State University), commercial property management (Fordham University), and finance or leasing (The University of Texas at San Antonio).
- Member associations: There are several coveted certifications from established member associations. The Certified Property Manager (CPM®) certification from the Institute of Real Estate Management is one that the Community Association Managers International Certification Board offers. Another is the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®) for residential property managers units such as condominiums.
There are more. The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) offers an internationally recognized certification. The National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), which focuses on small or single-family properties, has another well-known and recognized program. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has another that is highly valued.
The National Apartment Association (NAA), which has more than 75,000 member companies, also offers several of the most critical education and certification programs. They include the Independent Rental Owner Professional (IROP) program, where rental owners can learn about taxes, maintenance, and energy efficiency issues, the Certified Apartment Supplier (CAS) certificate for operational education, the Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technician (CAMT), for maintaining properties cheaply, and the Credential for Green Property Management (CGPM), focusing on efficient green improvements.
If you have more experience as a property manager, you can try to get a Residential Management Professional (RMP) certification. Requirements include managing at least 100 units for two years and having a real estate license. You can also get a Master Property Manager (MPM) certification, a level up from the RMP, with qualifications for people who manage 500 units over five years.
- Software knowledge: Property managers need to know how to use MS Office in Word and Excel. However, with the ever-growing expansion and complexities in property management and real estate, there is an emerging array of property management accounting software such as Yardi Voyager, Appfolio Property Manager and Buildium. You can learn how to use and excel at these technologies through training programs offered by the tech companies themselves and some, like Microsoft, have well-established certificate programs.
- For-profit companies: Many top companies in the real estate and property management industry invest in their workers through educational opportunities. For example, Greystar, the current top property manager in the U.S. with more than half a million units, offers “specialized training on mixed-use assets” to staff in partnership with IREM. Lincoln Property Management does the same thing with education in Personnel Training, Quality Assurance, and Mechanical and Preventive Maintenance
Property Manager Resume-Writing Tips
While some job duties may be constant for property managers, no two jobs will be similar. Hence, paying attention to the job details will help you make an impressive resume. The following tips will come in handy too:
- Present your management skills: Management skills such as budget management, vendor management, or project management will make you stand out as a desirable candidate. Since the role requires leadership to a relevant degree, management experience in any of these fields will work in your favor.
- Showcase your toolkit: Due to the vast array of responsibilities you need to take on, any specialization that you may have picked and have in your toolkit, let it rain on your resume. Construction maintenance expertise can be some of it. Or if you know or have experience in commercial or home administration like multi-single-family properties or mortgages and loan processing, make sure it’s in your resume.
- A well-balanced professional summary: As a property manager, you are central to both tenants and property owners securing their rights and business considerations. Ensure that your resume covers all the involved parties such as tenants, property owners, vendors, employees, or activities such as leasing, budgeting, and staffing.
Looking for Cover Letter ideas? See our sample for Property Manager cover letter.
How can marketing help me be better at property management?
As a property manager, you are responsible for advertising vacant properties to let interested people know what is available. Thus it is crucial to understand what information goes into a listing. As a marketing strategist, you will know where to list and list properties to get prospective tenants’ attention. In this digital era, digital marketing gives you an edge. It will be an added skill if you use marketing tools to your advantage, including web design and social media like Instagram. If you are not digitally savvy, there are avenues such as Craigslist or Oodle where you can list your apartments. At Realtor.com, only property managers and owners can list properties.
How can I progress in my career as a property manager?
A real estate career offers many lucrative opportunities. Some of the most profitable trades are listed below, which you can venture into gradually:
- Real estate brokers: In simple terms, you will be selling, buying, and leasing properties on behalf of your clients. While the agent works on a commission basis, the broker gets a cut in each sale. There are licensing requirements based state-wise.
- Real estate investor: You can also invest in buying and selling properties. That is the role of investors in real estate. They may be involved actively in buying, renovating, and selling it for higher profits (what you call flipping) or only put your money.
- Senior or regional property managers: This will be a gradual movement with increased experience and expertise.