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How To Become a Property Manager

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!

Do I Need a License to Rent My House?

If you’ve recently moved, you may be interested in keeping your former home and renting it out for profit. Maybe you’ve made a recent real estate purchase and are looking to make improvements and profit off of tenants. Will you need a license to rent your home? In short, yes, you will probably need a license, although laws vary by state. Learn more about how to rent out your home. 

Landlord Licenses

In most states, you will need some type of license to legally rent out your home. It varies state by state and even city by city, so research real estate and rental laws in your area. In some states, collecting rent without a license is illegal, and could result in serious fines, so it’s important to check first. You will likely need either a rental license, business license, landlord license, or a combination. 

Building Permits and Inspections

You will probably have to contact your local municipality to change the status of your home and inform them that it will become a rental property. In most locations, you have to file a building permit with the local authorities. A government inspector will come out to perform a routine inspection to ensure that the home is suitable for occupancy. You may have to make certain changes to correct any violations that the inspector finds. 

Landlord Insurance

Insurance is another consideration – you’ll have to change or add to your insurance policy, from homeowner’s insurance to renter’s insurance. Rental insurance will very likely be pricier than homeowner’s insurance, so you should be prepared for that cost. 

Renting Out Your House: Tax Implications

There are tax implications that you will need to consider when converting your home from your place of residence to a rental property. Tax codes can be complicated, so you may want to speak to your accountant for help navigating the process and to learn how to correctly file your taxes. You will have to report your income as a landlord as taxable income. 

There are also tax deductions you can file as a landlord. Since your home is now a business of sorts, you can file for deductions on costs like repairs and maintenance, mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance, homeowner association fees, and utilities. Under most tax code, you cannot file deductions greater than the total sum of rent received that year, although there are exceptions. 

Managing Your Property 

Profiting off of your former home by renting it out is an attractive concept, but actually managing tenants, rent payments, maintenance, and more can be a handful. If you have a full-time job outside of this, it can be difficult to manage all of the responsibilities of a landlord. 

Hiring a property management company can take that weight off of your shoulders. With a property manager, you can still profit off of your property without having to worry about managing tenants, collecting rent, and the many legal aspects of renting your home. If you’re looking for a property manager, contact Property Management Group today.

Best Neighborhoods to Live in Philadelphia

philadelphia - skyline

The City of Brotherly Love has experienced a huge amount of growth in the last few years, with up and coming neighborhoods freshly populated with hip bars, coffee shops, and much more. If you’re looking to move to Philadelphia or looking for a new neighborhood to call home, these five locales are top-rated for walkability and easy commutes, restaurants, nightlife, safety, and access to various businesses, activities, and more.

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Bella Vista

South Philadelphia neighborhood Bella Vista is a favorite among residents and visitors to the area. Home to Philly’s Italian Market, Bella Vista has no shortage of restaurants and eateries. This South Philly neighborhood encompasses three parks (Bardascino Park, Cianfrani Park, and Hawthorne Park) and a stretch of the popular tourist and shopping destination, South Street.

Bella Vista is a safe urban neighborhood known for great restaurants, coffee shops, and nightlife. The cost of living in Bella Vista is affordable compared to more affluent Center City areas. Both affordability and charm make this neighborhood a popular choice among young professionals, with an easy commute to Center City by bus or Broad Street Line. A low crime rate also makes this diverse neighborhood a great choice for families.

Washington Square West

Washington Square West is located in Center City, but with open spaces like Washington Square Park the urban is balanced with spacious green areas. The neighborhood surrounding the park is known for beautiful old brownstone buildings, hip restaurants, boutiques, and small businesses. Washington Square West also has a thriving nightlife scene, with abundant trendy bars and some of Philly’s most popular clubs.

Washington Square West has historically served as a home to Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ community, but this neighborhood is diverse and welcoming to all. Its location in Center City offers a short commute to the rest of the city, with access to various bus routes, the Broad Street Line, and the Market-Frankford Line. Still, many residential blocks keep Washington Square West from feeling too urban, making this one of the favorite neighborhoods to live in in Center City Philadelphia.

Old City

Old City is Philadelphia’s most historic neighborhood, containing historical landmarks including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Betsy Ross House. Situated on the Delaware River and neighboring Center City East, Old City’s charm lies in its history, cobblestone streets, and tiny brick alleyways. If you’re not a history buff, Old City is also full of restaurants, bars, boutiques, and more, many of which are located on 2nd Street.

Old City is a short walk from Center City, with ample public transit options as well, including multiple bus routes and the Market-Frankford Line. This neighborhood is also home to Penn’s Landing, a popular destination for seasonal festivities, concerts, and a waterfront park. Old City is one of Philadelphia’s most family-friendly neighborhoods, with a great combination of urban living and old-world charm.

Manayunk

Manayunk rests on the Western edge of Philadelphia, west of Fairmount Park along the Schuylkill River. This hilly neighborhood is named after a Lenape Native American word meaning “where we go to drink” which was a reference to the river in olden times. The name is fitting, however, as Manayunk is known for its many bars and restaurants that make up a bustling happy hour and nightlife scene.

Popular for its small-town feel in a big city, Manayunk is home to many small businesses, specialty shops, boutiques, and galleries. You’ll have to drive 20 minutes or take a Regional Rail line to get into the city proper, but there’s plenty to keep you occupied in Manayunk itself. While there is not a college directly located in Manayunk, many college students, post-grads, and young professionals flock to this neighborhood.

Fishtown

Fishtown is Philly’s cool, hipster neighborhood. Formerly an industrial fishing hub, many old warehouses and industrial spaces have been converted into trendy bars and lofts. Gentrification has led to an influx of young people living in new condos and renovated row homes. Fishtown is known for its art and music scene, and the vibrant neighborhood attracts some of Philly’s best artists.

Fishtown hugs the Delaware River, but various bus routes and access to the Market-Frankford Line makes commuting to the rest of the city an easy feat. This up and coming neighborhood is full of activities, from trendy bars (often featuring live music) to dog parks to concert venues, casinos, and more.

Looking for a new apartment in Philadelphia?

Contact Property Management Group today to schedule an appointment to see apartments for rent in Philadelphia. Click below or give us a call at (215) 545-7007.

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