Property Manager Careers

So get this - as a property manager, you are, in fact, in charge of maintaining a property. From showing apartments to inspecting the property and even meeting with the property owners, it is your job as manager to make sure the property is up to the task.

Generally, you'll just work in an office setting. But those times when you actually have to inspect the property, you'll have to vacate your desk chair. Most of the time, you'll find you're centrally located in an office where residents can come to you to pay rent or submit a complaint.

Many employers expect you to have a college background of some sort, but some will accept a high school diploma with some experience. All in all, becoming a property manager isn't a bad gig. And finding rental properties for potential tenants is only half the fun.

What Does a 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.

How To Become a 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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Average Salary
$43,186
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
7%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
10,432
Job Openings

Property Manager Career Paths

Top Careers Before Property Manager

Top Careers After Property Manager

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Average Salary for a Property Manager

Property Managers in America make an average salary of $43,186 per year or $21 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $61,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $30,000 per year.
Average Salary
$43,186
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Best Paying Cities For Property Managers

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
New York, NY
Salary Range61k - 106k$81k$81,258
Philadelphia, PA
Salary Range43k - 75k$57k$57,042
Southfield, MI
Salary Range40k - 73k$55k$54,723
Richmond, VA
Salary Range41k - 69k$54k$53,979
Baltimore, MD
Salary Range40k - 70k$53k$53,348
Seattle, WA
Salary Range39k - 68k$52k$52,271
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range34k - 77k$52k$51,873
Urban Honolulu, HI
Salary Range49k - 53k$51k$51,249
Chicago, IL
Salary Range36k - 64k$49k$48,555
Denver, CO
Salary Range35k - 61k$47k$46,657
Saint Paul, MN
Salary Range32k - 60k$45k$44,589
Miami, FL
Salary Range36k - 53k$44k$44,247
Atlanta, GA
Salary Range35k - 55k$44k$44,187
San Antonio, TX
Salary Range32k - 58k$43k$43,429
Cleveland, OH
Salary Range31k - 55k$41k$41,463
Tucson, AZ
Salary Range26k - 56k$39k$38,730
Cedar Rapids, IA
Salary Range28k - 50k$38k$38,156
Portland, OR
Salary Range28k - 50k$38k$38,153
Gary, IN
Salary Range27k - 47k$36k$35,929
Las Vegas, NV
Salary Range22k - 47k$33k$33,143
$22k
$106k

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CompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
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$45,76008/06/2021
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Property Manager
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$80,00008/05/2021
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$40,00008/05/2021
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08/05/2021
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Property Manager Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Property Manager. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Property Manager Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Property Manager resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Property Manager Resume Examples And Templates

Property Manager Demographics

Gender

female

59.5 %

male

36.5 %

unknown

3.9 %

Ethnicity

White

68.1 %

Hispanic or Latino

14.9 %

Black or African American

9.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

67.0 %

French

6.9 %

German

3.6 %
Show More Property Manager Demographics

Property Manager Education

Majors

Business
37.2 %

Degrees

Bachelors

49.9 %

Associate

22.7 %

High School Diploma

13.5 %

Top Colleges for Property Managers

1. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. Villanova University

Villanova, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,308
Enrollment
6,819

5. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

6. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

7. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,880
Enrollment
4,177

8. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

9. Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,822
Enrollment
42,529

10. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582
Show More Property Manager Education Requirements

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Top Skills For a Property Manager

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 12.5% of property managers listed prospective residents on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and customer-service skills are important as well.

  • Prospective Residents, 12.5%
  • Customer Service, 11.8%
  • Property Management, 10.4%
  • Vacant Units, 6.4%
  • Financial Statements, 5.8%
  • Other Skills, 53.1%
  • See All Property Manager Skills

Best States For a Property Manager

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a property manager. The best states for people in this position are New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Maine. Property managers make the most in New York with an average salary of $81,012. Whereas in New Jersey and Massachusetts, they would average $76,032 and $68,562, respectively. While property managers would only make an average of $66,871 in Maine, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New York

Total Property Manager Jobs:
826
Highest 10% Earn:
$135,000
Location Quotient:
1.28
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Jersey

Total Property Manager Jobs:
409
Highest 10% Earn:
$126,000
Location Quotient:
1.02
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Massachusetts

Total Property Manager Jobs:
411
Highest 10% Earn:
$112,000
Location Quotient:
0.89
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Property Managers

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Top Property Manager Employers

1. Public Storage
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$39,954
Property Managers Hired: 
2,521+
2. Equity Residential
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$42,553
Property Managers Hired: 
224+
3. Riverstone Residential Group
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$39,549
Property Managers Hired: 
167+
4. Aimco
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$39,798
Property Managers Hired: 
157+
5. Extra Space Storage
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$42,384
Property Managers Hired: 
146+
6. LEDIC Realty Company
3.2
Avg. Salary: 
$43,750
Property Managers Hired: 
116+

Property Manager Videos

Updated August 18, 2021