Property management is an exciting job that allows you to interact with people. By managing the site, you are responsible for taking payments, writing up lease agreements, hiring maintenance workers, and fielding problems from tenants. For someone who enjoys the day-to-day interaction with people and real estate, it is a good direction to go. So, how do you get into the field?
While there are not many colleges that offer a bachelor's degree specifically in property management, you can take other routes. By getting a degree in accounting, public administration, or business administration, you will have a head start on what you need to know. Earning your real estate license in the process gives you valuable information that will help you in your career.
No matter which path you take to earn your degree, there are a few classes you need to take, including courses that cover real estate law, leasing laws, and financial management. You should complete courses in bookkeeping, too. A certificate course that covers multi-tenant housing and government-assisted housing is also beneficial.
Licensing and Certification
In some areas, to be part of a successful property management team, you may need a license or certification. This requirement varies by state, so you should check with your state's real estate board for specific requirements. If you are required to have a certificate or license, you will have to renew it on a regular basis, and you must complete a certain number of training courses each year to maintain that certification.
Even if your state does not require a license to work in this field, you should consider getting a certification. By going through the certification program, you can show potential employers that you have the knowledge needed to perform the job to their high standards. Prior to exams, however, most programs do require you to have some work experience as a leasing agent or assistant manager. Check with the National Apartment Association or Certified Apartment Manager sites to learn the exact requirements.
Once you get your education, you are ready to enter the field of property management. Of course, you need some experience in order to run your own office. You can start by working as a leasing agent for a firm to help gain necessary skills. Smaller groups may even allow you to take a job as an assistant property manager. This allows you to shadow the current manager and learn the necessary skills needed to run your own office in the future. No matter the size of the leasing agency, you need to prove that you understand maintenance and financial management before you will be allowed to be in charge of your own area.
It takes time to gain the level of education and experience in order to run your own property management office. However, by keeping yourself abreast of the changing real estate regulations and having a firm understanding of financial and business management, you can succeed.