Are you interested in a career in property management? Working as a property manager can be an interesting and lucrative job, but the path to this career may not be clear. Since there aren’t property management degrees from colleges, what steps should one take to pursue this career path? Learn how to become a property manager and the experience it takes to become successful in this field.
What Degree Do You Need To Be a Property Manager?
Technically, you do not need a college degree to be a property manager. You can work at a property management company with as little as a high school degree, although many prefer hiring candidates with a bachelor’s degree or higher. If you’re interested in becoming a property manager after college, consider majoring in business administration, real estate, or another business, finance, accounting, or administrative major.
Do You Need a License to Become a Property Manager?
The answer varies state by state, but generally speaking, yes, you will need a license to be a property manager. Most states require property managers to hold either a property management license or real estate license to legally handle documents and transactions relating to leases, rent payments, eviction, and more.
A license is necessary so that property managers can show that they have a certain degree of knowledge about landlord-tenant law and property management practices. Research the property management licensing requirements for your state to figure out how to get licensed and what requirements you must meet.
What Specialized Property Management Certifications Can I Pursue?
While you must comply with state laws in terms of licensing, there are other specialized certifications for property management that you can pursue as well. Most certifications are not legally necessary, but they can help you land a job at a property management company or convey a sense of legitimacy. Obtaining special certifications can open up new opportunities if you’re looking for a job. If you own, or plan to own your own property management company, extra certifications will show potential clients that you are professional and committed to learning the ins and outs of your industry.
Some certifications you should consider pursuing include a CPM, Certified Property Manager certification, an RMP, Residential Management Professional certification, a CMCA, Certified Manager of Community Associations, or a CAM, Certified Apartment Manager. These certifications show your commitment to continued learning in your field, and while they are not necessary to become a property manager, they can be beneficial.
How Do I Get Started in Property Management?
If you’ve pursued a relevant degree, received the proper licensing, and even obtained other certifications for property management, you are well on your way. Breaking into any field can be difficult, however, and property management is no different.
Begin like you would for any job search: apply for entry level positions if you have little or no experience. For an entry level position, you likely won’t need licensing yet. You can also kickstart your career by starting in real estate. Many property managers begin as real estate agents, so if you have your license you can get experience and learn more about the industry by working as a real estate broker.
Property management is a great field for those with an interest and the right skills. Learn more about property management on our blog!