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Become A Commercial Property Manager

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Working As A Commercial Property Manager

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • $77,930

    Average Salary

What Does A Commercial Property Manager Do

Property, real estate, and community association managers take care of the many aspects of residential, commercial, or industrial properties. They make sure the property is well maintained, has a nice appearance, operates smoothly, and preserves its resale value.

Duties

Property, real estate, and community association managers typically do the following:

  • Meet with prospective renters and show them properties
  • Discuss the lease and explain the terms of occupancy or ownership
  • Collect monthly fees from tenants or individual owners
  • Inspect all building facilities, including the grounds and equipment
  • Arrange for new equipment or repairs as needed
  • Pay bills or delegate bill payment for such expenditures as taxes, insurance, payroll, and maintenance
  • Contract for trash removal, maintenance, landscaping, security, and other services
  • Investigate and settle complaints, disturbances, and violations
  • Keep records of rental activity and owner requests
  • Prepare budgets and financial reports
  • Comply with anti-discrimination laws when renting or advertising, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Federal Fair Housing Amendment Act, and local fair housing laws

When owners of homes, apartments, office buildings, or retail or industrial properties lack the time or expertise needed for the day-to-day management of their real estate properties, they often hire a property or real estate manager or a community association manager. Managers are employed either directly by the owner or indirectly through a contract with a property management firm.

The following are examples of types of property, real estate, and community association managers:

Property and real estate managers oversee the operation of income-producing commercial or residential properties and ensure that real estate investments achieve their expected revenues. They handle the financial operations of the property, making certain that rent is collected and that mortgages, taxes, insurance premiums, payroll, and maintenance bills are paid on time. They may oversee financial statements, and periodically report to the owners on the status of the property, occupancy rates, expiration dates of leases, and other matters. When vacancies occur, property managers may advertise the property or hire a leasing agent to find a tenant. They may also suggest to the owners what rent to charge.

Community association managers work on behalf of homeowner or community associations to manage the communal property and services of condominiums, cooperatives, and planned communities. Usually hired by a volunteer board of directors of the association, they manage the daily affairs and supervise the maintenance of property and facilities that the homeowners use jointly through the association. Like property managers, community association managers collect monthly fees, prepare financial statements and budgets, negotiate with contractors, and help to resolve complaints. Community association managers also help homeowners and non-owner residents comply with association rules and regulations.

Onsite property managers are responsible for the day-to-day operation of a single property, such as an apartment complex, an office building, or a shopping center. To ensure that the property is well maintained, onsite managers routinely inspect the grounds, facilities, and equipment to determine whether maintenance or repairs are needed. They meet with current tenants to handle requests for repairs or to resolve complaints. They also meet with prospective tenants to show vacant apartments or office space. In addition, onsite managers enforce the terms of rental or lease contracts along with an association’s governing rules. They make sure that tenants pay their rent on time, follow restrictions on parking or pets, and follow the correct procedures when the lease is up. Other important duties of onsite managers include keeping accurate, up-to-date records of income and expenditures from property operations and submitting regular expense reports to the senior-level property manager or the owner(s).

Real estate asset managers plan and direct the purchase, sale, and development of real estate properties on behalf of businesses and investors. They focus on long-term strategic financial planning, rather than on the day-to-day operations of the property. In deciding to acquire property, real estate asset managers consider several factors, such as property values, taxes, zoning, population growth, transportation, and traffic volume and patterns. Once a site is selected, they negotiate contracts to buy or lease the property on the most favorable terms. Real estate asset managers review their company’s real estate holdings periodically and identify properties that are no longer financially profitable. They then negotiate the sale of the properties or arrange for the end of leases.

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How To Become A Commercial Property Manager

Although many employers prefer to hire college graduates, a high school diploma or equivalent is enough for some jobs. Some managers receive vocational training. Other managers must have a real estate license.

Education

Many employers prefer to hire college graduates for property management positions, particularly for offsite positions dealing with a property’s finances or contract management. Employers also prefer to hire college graduates to manage residential and commercial properties. A bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration, accounting, finance, real estate, or public administration is preferred for commercial management positions. Managers of commercial properties and those dealing with a property’s finances and contract management increasingly are finding that they need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration, accounting, finance, or real estate management, especially if they do not have much practical experience.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Experience in real estate sales is a good background for onsite managers because real estate salespeople also show commercial properties to prospective tenants or buyers.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Real estate managers who buy or sell property must have a real estate license in the state in which they practice. In a few states, property and community association managers must also have a real estate license. Managers of public housing subsidized by the federal government must hold certifications.

Property, real estate, and community association managers working in Alaska, Colorado, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, Virginia, and the District of Columbia are required to obtain professional credentials or licensure. Requirements vary by state, but many managers working in states without requirements still obtain designations to show competence and professionalism. BOMI International, the Community Associations Institute, the Institute of Real Estate Management, the National Association of Residential Property Managers, and the Community Association Managers International Certification Board all offer various designations, certifications, and professional development courses. Most states require recertification every 2 years.

In addition, employers may require managers to attend formal training programs from various professional and trade real estate associations. Employers send managers to these programs to develop their management skills and expand their knowledge of specialized fields, such as how to operate and maintain mechanical systems in buildings, how to improve property values, insurance and risk management, personnel management, business and real estate law, community association risks and liabilities, tenant relations, communications, accounting and financial concepts, and reserve funding. Managers also participate in these programs to prepare themselves for positions of greater responsibility in property management. With related job experience, completing these programs and receiving a satisfactory score on a written exam can lead to certification or the formal award of a professional designation by the sponsoring association. 

Advancement

Many people begin property management careers as assistant managers, working closely with a property manager. In time, many assistants advance to property manager positions.

Some people start as onsite managers of apartment buildings, office complexes, or community associations. As they gain experience, they may advance to positions of greater responsibility. Those who excel as onsite managers often transfer to assistant offsite property manager positions, in which they gain experience handling a broad range of property management responsibilities.

The responsibilities and pay of property, real estate, and community association managers increase as these workers manage more and larger properties. Property managers are often responsible for several properties at a time. Some experienced managers open their own property management firms.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Property, real estate, and community association managers must provide excellent customer service to keep existing clients and expand their business with new ones.

Interpersonal skills. Because property, real estate, and community association managers interact with people every day, they must have excellent interpersonal skills.

Listening skills. Property, real estate, and community association managers must listen to and understand residents and property owners in order to meet their needs.

Organizational skills. Property, real estate, and community association managers must be able to plan, coordinate, and direct multiple contractors at the same time, often for multiple properties.

Problem-solving skills. Property, real estate, and community association managers must be able to mediate disputes or legal issues between residents, homeowners, or board members.

Speaking skills. Property, real estate, and community association managers must understand leasing or rental contracts and must be able to clearly explain the materials and answer questions raised by a resident or group of board members.

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Commercial Property Manager jobs

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Commercial Property Manager Demographics

Gender

Female

60.6%

Male

37.2%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

80.5%

Hispanic or Latino

9.5%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

2.4%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.3%

Chinese

7.1%

French

7.1%

Mandarin

7.1%

Danish

3.6%

Portuguese

3.6%

Vietnamese

3.6%

Greek

3.6%

German

3.6%

Gujarati

3.6%

Carrier

3.6%

Hindi

3.6%

Cantonese

3.6%

Polish

3.6%

Korean

3.6%
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Commercial Property Manager Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

8.9%

Monroe Community College

6.3%

George Mason University

6.3%

University of Houston

6.3%

Kaplan University

6.3%

New York University

5.1%

University of Maryland - University College

5.1%

California State University - Sacramento

5.1%

Johnson & Wales University

5.1%

DePaul University

5.1%

San Jose State University

5.1%

University of Idaho

5.1%

University of Alabama

3.8%

Argosy University-Phoenix

3.8%

Michigan State University

3.8%

University of California - Irvine

3.8%

Arizona State University

3.8%

University of California - Santa Barbara

3.8%

University of Southern California

3.8%

West Virginia University

3.8%
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Majors

Business

32.5%

Real Estate

12.5%

Finance

6.8%

Accounting

6.0%

Management

4.8%

Communication

4.5%

Marketing

4.5%

Education

3.8%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

2.5%

Criminal Justice

2.5%

Law

2.5%

General Studies

2.3%

Economics

2.3%

Liberal Arts

2.3%

Political Science

2.3%

English

2.0%

Psychology

1.8%

Computer Science

1.5%

Legal Support Services

1.5%

Human Resources Management

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.0%

Other

30.3%

Masters

11.4%

Associate

9.7%

Certificate

4.9%

License

3.7%

Doctorate

1.3%

Diploma

0.7%
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Real Commercial Property Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Manager, Commercial Properties Jones Lang Lasalle Americas, Inc. New York, NY Oct 06, 2008 $85,300
Commercial and Residential Property Manager Jeff W. Soden, Inc. Richmond, VA Nov 16, 2009 $47,840
Commercial Property Manager Timberton Enterprises, LLLP (D/B/A Park Village Sh Norcross, GA Jun 27, 2016 $39,853
Commercial Property Manager Jae GAK Lee Wasilla, AK Jan 01, 2010 $39,000
Commercial Property Manager Annex Properties Wasilla, AK Sep 01, 2010 $39,000

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Top Skills for A Commercial Property Manager

SquareFeetPortfolioPropertyOwnersPropertyManagementRealEstateOfficeBuildingsOccupancyCommonAreaMaintenanceTenantRelationsAnnualBudgetsSuperviseCustomerServiceNewTenantsPropertyInspectionsRentCollectionTenantImprovementProjectsAccountsReceivablesOfficeSpaceVendorContractsHvac

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Top Commercial Property Manager Skills

  1. Square Feet
  2. Portfolio
  3. Property Owners
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conducted survey of 65,000 square feet of vacant suites and created plan of work and budget projections for rehabilitation.
  • Managed a portfolio of 14 properties, primarily office; including downtown, medical, historical, and suburban.
  • Prepare monthly financial reports for commercial property owners.
  • Participated as Property Management contact as part of a dispositions team to international institutional investor two months after assuming property.
  • Identify and implement strategies that add value for individual properties as well as the entire real estate portfolio.

Top Commercial Property Manager Employers

Commercial Property Manager Videos

A Typical Day in the Life of a Property Manager

Commercial Property Management Training Module 1

Commercial Property Management Planning and Building Performance

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