7 Steps to Becoming a Successful Property Manager

June 5th, 2014 by

Property ManagerThe field of property management can be an exciting, fulfilling and potentially lucrative career for the right person. While the hours can be long and even inconsistent at times, many people find it to be the perfect fit for their talents.

If you have an interest in becoming a property management professional, one of the first steps will be understanding how to achieve your goals.

The process doesn’t happen over night, and it will almost certainly include gaining experience in the field and earning a college degree.

Find out more about earning a property management degree online  as well as what it takes to enjoy success in this field by utilizing this guide.

Step 1: Understanding the Job of a Property Management Professional

Before you can truly commit to becoming a property management professional, you should fully understand what the job entails. Just as the name implies, their job starts with managing property.

Typically, this is a commercial property of some kind that brings in the owners revenue. A manager of property might search for commercial tenants to ensure that an office building is always fully leased, or they might handle a residential apartment complex full of owners and full-time residents.

While their primary obligation is to the owner of the building, which is also the person paying their salary, property management professionals also help residents of the property with a range of everyday tasks. Property management professionals tend to spend a lot of their time onsite, and they may even have an onsite office to meet with potential tenants, give tours of the property or meet with interested renters who need financing information.

Step 2: Choosing a Degree That Can Help You Prepare

The next step is understanding that in order to become a property management professional, it is almost guaranteed that you’ll need a college degree.

Companies and property owners simply don’t feel comfortable hiring managers who haven’t completed any college degree programs in a related field. The obvious choice for a college major is property management, which will prepare you excellently for your intended career.

However, what you may not realize is that property management degrees are available at multiple levels. An associate degree takes two years for the typical student to complete, and it may prepare you to manage smaller or less valuable residential properties.

A four-year bachelor’s degree, on the other hand, is seen as the key to success as a commercial property management professional. To go above and beyond, and secure some of the most lucrative positions in the industry, earning a master’s degree might be the best option.

Step 3: Learning About the Advantages of Online Degree Programs

Next is the process of deciding between a traditional campus degree and the potential to earn your property management degree online. Over the past decade, there has been increasing numbers of students that turn to online education in order to get ahead in their careers.

Just like any other degree, an online degree includes coursework, lectures, discussions, homework and exams. However, everything is done online. Lectures and classroom seminars are streamed live, but many students opt to watch them at a later date when it is more convenient. Exams can be taken online as well, and the scheduling is flexible enough to accommodate your priorities on any given day.

While both traditional and online degree programs can prepare you for a career in property management, the online option may be the more convenient option for those with family to care for, a rural residence far from any nearby colleges or a full-time job that makes attending college classes in person a challenge.

Step 4: Applying for a Admission Into a College Degree Program

Once you have picked the right major, degree type and college that you want to attend, it will be time to apply for enrollment. Make sure that you check the prerequisites for enrollment at your preferred college before applying, because these requirements can vary from school to school depending on the competitiveness of the institution.

If you want to pursue an undergraduate degree like the associate degree or the bachelor’s degree, then having a high school diploma, being over the age of 18, submitting high school transcripts and having either SAT or ACT scores will typically be sufficient.

However, it is not uncommon for the admission staff of a college to require additional information like a written essay, personal or educational references or even proof of a specific grade point average on the 4.0 scale.

Those who are planning to pursue an advanced degree like the master’s will need all of the items already mentioned, but they will also require a completed bachelor’s degree in a related field.

Step 5: Completing the Required Courses and Earning Your Degree

After enrolling in the degree program of your choice and getting accepted, the real work begins. Whether you are signed up for a two-year or four-year degree, the bulk of your courses will directly relate to property management.

In order to prepare you for your career, expect to take classes like financial management, leasing laws, tenant communications, marketing, apartment operations and business communications.

Of course, the exact syllabus will depend on your degree level and where you attend college. Students pursuing their master’s degree will typically have the option of focusing on either commercial management or residential management depending on their personal interests.

Step 6: Gaining Experience in the Field

Even with a degree in hand, many employees want to hire managers that have some experience in the industry. Even before you are fully qualified to work as a property management professional, you can pad your resume by working full or part-time in a related position. You might opt to become a caretaker for a residential property, or you could work as an assistant for large real estate firm in your local area. Along with gaining valuable experience and insight into the industry, you’ll be able to make money and make yourself a more attractive hire once you graduate officially.

Step 7: Getting a Realistic Picture of the Property Management Job Market

The final step in becoming a property management professional is knowing what to expect when you go on interviews and apply for any open positions. Good news for aspiring managers is that the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 12 percent increase in demand for property managers over the next decade, which translates to more job opportunities to pursue.

When you do go in for interviews, be realistic about salary potential. While the median salary for a property manager in the United States is $52,610 for those that hold a bachelor’s degree, fresh graduates with little experience might earn slightly less.

Following these steps, and successfully completing your degree in property management, will be the keys to realizing your career potential. Working as a property manager can be fulfilling as well as lucrative for the right candidates.

Visit to learn how you can begin preparing for a career in property management.

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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