Have you ever considered a career as a property manager? This career path is definitely not for everyone, however it is a solid career choice in a growing field. This means that once established, property managers have a good level of job security as well opportunities for growth and advancement. Jobs are usually easy to find and secure for qualified individuals with a degree, experience or both.
Property management carries some unexpected challenges. It also has a variety of unique benefits. The right individual will find this career rewarding and will be well equipped to handle the variety of tasks that property managers are required to complete. Before considering a career in this field an individual should carefully examine the position and its requirements to be sure that this job is a good fit. The many demands of this job can prove overwhelming some individuals. The right individual will be able to complete a variety of diverse tasks and will be available all hours.
What exactly is a property manager?
Basically, a property manager takes care of a property. This means that they manage all vital elements of this property including: maintenance, finances, tenants, customer relations, and emergencies. While all tasks are not necessarily completed by the property manager directly, the manager is required to oversee and coordinate these and other needed tasks for the property.
Property managers are often employed by apartment complexes, rental agencies, and businesses with extensive property holdings. Sometimes they oversee one singular property while other property managers will have stewardship over multiple properties. It all depends on the size of the property and level of care desired.
What type of education and training is required?
Managers generally are college educated and have a degree. A degree however is no way a requirement for the position. Experience in related fields can compensate for a lack of education. Any experience in management, finance, repair or related subjects will prove useful to a property manager as they undergo daily tasks. Much job training will come on the job. Some property managers take courses in addition to on the job training to further hone their skills.
Many property management professionals begin their career as assistant manager and learn the field while helping a current property manager with their daily tasks.
There is potential for advancement in this field. Many managers start in the field in smaller, lower-paying jobs. However, as experience grows they are able to secure more complex positions and manage more expensive properties. This generally results in an increase in compensation and associated benefits.
What is the schedule like?
This job is a job that knows no schedule. Emergencies will happen at all hours, and a manager will need to be available to fix them. This field is likely not a good fit for someone who would be unable to wake up in the middle of the night for a problem. Potential tenants will typically work a traditional schedule and will require property showings during evening and weekend hours. Repair and maintenance crews typically work during the day. This complex schedule will result in very non-traditional hours.
Managers need to be ready to work at all times. When an emergency situation arises, they need to remain calm and collected to help the issue resolve. Tenants will call at all of the day and night with problems and complaints.
Are there any special skills a property manager should possess?
A calm disposition under pressure is essential. Managers work with a variety of people in many situations. They need to be able to calmly negotiate fees with contractors, kindly resolve customer complaints, and explain leases and legal issues to potential tenants. Each of these situations can be complex and requires a strong set of people skills.
Property managers also have to be able to handle pressure. They are responsible for collecting unpaid rent and resolving tenant complaints. They also act as a salesperson for the property when new tenants are needed. This position requires an adaptive personality that can handle a variety of situations and changes. They must be able to multi-task and quickly change tasks as needed.
How is the work environment?
A property manager will have the opportunity to work both in and out of an office. Some tasks like bookkeeping will occur in the office. Other tasks like property inspections will occur out of the office. This is a good position for someone looking for variety and the opportunity to move around. Some managers oversee properties alone. Others work with a team. The work environment will largely be determined by the specific needs of the assignment.
What is typical compensation?
While property management isn’t the best paying job around, it does pay well. The average salary for managers is around $46,000. The US Department of Labor reports that half of the property managers in the United States are compensated in the range of $31,730 to $68,770. Property management professionals also generally get employment perks like free rent especially when managing an apartment complex. Vehicle compensation is also commonly provided when the position requires extensive use of a personal car.
They work hard for their money and often work long hours or overtime. Managers are constantly on call. They are often understaffed, and required to pick up any work that is not accomplished.