The Guide to Property Management

Posted by Jordan Muela in Property Management Articles

One of the many growing career fields in the United States is property management. As one might expect, property management requires both the skills needed in the fields of real estate and business management. To manage property is to contribute to its life cycle. Property managers can be involved in all parts of a residential, commercial or industrial building. They are often made responsible for booking maintenance, handling paperwork during transfer of ownership, and even handling the daily goings-on and money circulation. Indeed, their control is expansive so too must be their knowledge and expertise. This Guide to Property Management should serve as the source for understanding the formal qualifications of the field.

Job Description

Someone in charge of property and real-estate management is responsible for preserving the value of a property through maintenance. Oftentimes, landlords and owners of apartment complexes, office buildings and industrial facilities do not have the time or the skills to manage their own property. They would then hire a property manager to collect rent and pay bills accordingly. The property managers do not maintain the grounds, but they are usually responsible for drafting contracts with landscaping and janitorial services that will. Property managers generally earn around $36,880 annually.

Property managers may work onsite or offsite. The former will enforce agreements made between residents and administration. They will collect rent and handle termination-of-lease procedures if the rent is not paid. They will also enforce parking and pet violations. Offsite managers serve as a liaison between the people who are onsite. For example, they will tell a landlord that someone hasn’t paid the rent but not collect it themselves. Property managers also consider the wishes and demands of the renters. They aren’t merely a police force hired by the landlords and owners.


Only certain types of people are suited for employment in property management. The most important qualities in a property manager are speaking, writing, computer and financial skills. Their most valuable credential is experience in the field of management. Onsite managers in particular should have some experience with real estate and have at least a basic understanding of building mechanics.

There is no required amount of education needed for the job. However, it is becoming more and more of a good idea to obtain a bachelor’s or master’s degree prior to applying for a job as a property manager or assistant property manager. Formal degrees in business administration or real estate are most recommended. Licensure is a separate issue. If a property manager intends to work in public housing they will need to be certified by the Federal Government. This certification is unnecessary for other careers in the field, but the professional recognition is attractive for both resumes and property owners looking for services.

Professional Designations

Property management personnel may be certified with one or multiple titles pertaining to their position. These titles are awarded by organizations such as the National Association of Realtors and require successful completion of certain training courses. These designations not only make an individual more valuable to their career field but they also make the recipient more proficient and capable of assisting a wider variety of clients. The following is a list of just a few acknowledged areas of expertise.

Useful Tools

Tracking the finances for a facility and keeping records of its tenants is an intricate process. In order to manage data most effectively, property managers should maintain various digital files with information they can update quickly and periodically. There are various property management software programs available on the market, each with its own features and benefits. Some tools that these programs offer might include emergency notification call trees, response polls, status updates referring to progress and the ability to attach notes on files. One important factor to consider when shopping for property management software is making sure it is secure. The files that the program reads will likely contain personal information so it is crucial that these files are protected with complex passwords and other login information. Search for software with the utmost caution. A slight difference in price can be a significant difference in protection.

Consult the following resources for more information on property management training, designation and tools.

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