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How to Become a Property Building Manager

Research the requirements to become a property building manager. Learn about the job description and see the step-by-step process to start a career in property building management. View article »

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  • 0:00 Property Building…
  • 0:47 Earn a Bachelor's Degree
  • 1:42 Attain an Entry-Level Position
  • 2:13 Get a Job as a…
  • 2:58 Obtain Licensure
  • 3:30 Consider Certification

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Video Transcript

Property Building Manager Career Info

Property building managers, property managers, and building supervisors manage rental properties for landlords. Landlords rely on the managers to rent and lease units, provide building maintenance, and address any issues that may arise. Dealing with demanding tenants may be stressful at times.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Some postsecondary education or training
Degree Field Business administration, accounting, real estate, finance, or a comparable discipline
Licensure/Certification Licensure may be required; voluntary certification available
Experience Experience necessary for managers; experience in real estate sales is desirable
Key Skills Customer-service, communication, negotiation
Median Salary (2015) $55,380 (for property, real estate, and community association managers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labors Statics

Property building managers must be good at customer service and must have strong communication and negotiation skills. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labors Statics in 2015, property, real estate, and community association managers earned a median salary of $55,380 per year.

Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Most employers hiring managers for higher volume or commercial properties are looking for college graduates. Property management positions rely on the worker's communication and math skills. Prospective property managers may consider areas of study that include mathematics, economics, and English.

Candidates with a background in business or a related field may be preferred. Possible degrees to consider include accounting, business administration, finance, public administration, or real estate.

Internships are an excellent way to apply classroom learning to real-life work situations in this field. If a student resides in a dormitory during her or his college years, applying for work as a dorm advisor or resident assistant may bolster the candidate's resume.

Attain an Entry-Level Position

Many property managers begin in assistant roles. Property management assistants receive on-the-job training in such tasks as building maintenance, small home repairs, plumbing, and landscaping. They also learn to select contractors for these jobs. After demonstrating responsibility, assistants may eventually progress to customer service, including assuming responsibility for contractual negotiations with vendors and renters.

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Get a Job as a Property Building Manager

The majority of people who follow the education path take jobs managing commercial properties and large-scale corporate facilities. Managers of commercial properties and corporate buildings may supervise a staff of assistant managers and maintenance professionals. They may also manage more than one property at a time.

Once an assistant has experience in all aspects of property management, he or she will be ready to enter the job market. The majority of people who follow this path manage smaller apartment complexes. One of the benefits of this job is that the cost of a personal residence within the complex is frequently a part of the salary package.

Obtain Licensure

Every state requires real estate managers to be licensed in the state in which they buy or sell property. There are a few states that require property building managers to be licensed as well. Some states, such as Florida, only necessitate a license for property managers when a certain number of units or annual income is reached. Licensing requirements vary from state to state, so prospective property managers should check with the appropriate licensing board for specifics.

Consider Certification

While not typically required by employers, voluntary certification proves competency and looks good on a resume. Some employers may encourage managers to attend training programs that result in certification. The Institute of Real Estate Management, for example, offers a Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation. There are a few ways to become a CPM, including completing coursework, having a college degree, or holding other designations. Additionally, applicants must promise to uphold a Code of Professional Ethics.

To sum up, individuals who aspire to become property building managers may want to consider completing a bachelor's degree program in a field such as business administration or finance before going on to work as an assistant to gain experience in the field before advancing.

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