Property management can be a very lucrative field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals in the property, real estate and community association management professions earn an average annual salary of just under $60k, with potential to make far more. If you’re considering a career in this industry, the best way to set yourself up for success is to plan ahead. Here are a few tips from our experienced team.
Step 1: Meet the Minimum Requirements
In order to become a property management professional, you must – at the bare minimum – meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age (though some states require you to be 21)
- Possess a high school diploma (or GED equivalent)
- Be a legal resident
- Pass the real estate licensing exam (as required by most states)
Beyond this, there may be additional requirements depending on the state in which you plan to operate.
Step 2: Have or Develop the Appropriate Skillset
Being a property manager isn’t the same as being a successful property manager. This industry isn’t suited for everyone, which is why knowing which skills to focus on is so important. Given the vast number and varying types of tasks you will be responsible for, here are the basic skills needed for success:
- Customer Service
If you’re just starting out, you may not yet have these skills mastered. That’s ok, provided you are willing and able to develop and hone those skills over time.
Step 3: Work toward Obtaining Any Necessary Credentials
Some states require property management professionals to maintain active licenses and certifications. You should begin by researching what is mandated in your geographical area. The four most common licenses/certifications relating to the property management industry include:
- National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP)
- Certified Apartment Manager (CAM)
- Certified Property Manager (CPM)
- Master Property Manager (MPM)
Each of these has its own set of requirements, typically involving a combination of in-field experience as well as course hours. Determine which, if any, you may need to focus on and get the ball rolling.
Step 4: Jump In and Get Started!
Like most career paths, most property managers start from the bottom and work their way up. This is especially the case if you are required to obtain a license or certification. These things take time, but there’s no need to wait. In fact, as mentioned, some credentials require hands-on experience, so get that resume ready and start applying for jobs.
We recommend focusing on entry-level positions with property management or real estate companies. This will allow you to learn the ropes and begin developing some experience you can build on. If you’re willing to put in the hard work, you’ll be able to reap the rewards of a long and lucrative career in the property management industry.