There are two basic types of training options for those interested in property management: a professional certificate or a bachelor's degree. A professional certificate in property management may be taken as a stand-alone certificate or as part of an overall real estate or facilities management program. In some cases, property managers will need to obtain a license; professional credentials also exist, such as the Certified Property Managers® (CPM) designation. Requirements for these credentials can vary by state.
Prospective property managers can learn this field through on-the-job training or through their certificate/bachelor's programs. These professionals may also have a background in real estate. For commercial property managers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests obtaining a bachelor's or master's degree in property management, real estate management or general business administration.
Here are some common concepts covered in a property management course:
- Basic management skills
- Mechanical operation and management
- Insurance and risk management
- Business and real estate law
- Tenant relations and communications
- Accounting and finances
List of Courses
This is a general course that covers topics such as the structures, maintenance and repair or restoration of buildings. Those wishing to pursue a career in property management need to have an understanding of how to keep up with the maintenance of buildings or find the correct individuals to take care of problems that may arise. Specific topics covered may include: heating and ventilation, plumbing, building security, electrical systems and air conditioning.
Commercial Property Management
Commercial buildings are the ones that house businesses, organizations or corporations. A commercial property management course covers topics in financing commercial properties, real estate and leasing contracts. Students learn general business management techniques for commercial property in addition to physical management functions, such as building upkeep and tenant relations. Time may also be spent on commercial property sale and marketing techniques.
Residential Property Management
Residential properties are those in which individuals reside. A residential property management course covers topics in building supervision, housing laws, building maintenance and tenant leasing. This course will also cover subsidized housing regulations, cooperative housing management and additional government-sponsored housing. Time may also be spent on topics of leasing laws and tenant relations, though these areas are often covered in depth during a course devoted specifically to leasing law.
As part of a property management program, students take a financial management course, either specific to property management or as a general topics course. A financial management course helps develop skills in accounting, budgeting and maintaining financial data. Students learn the daily decisions made relative to financial information and property management. Information will be provided on how to keep accurate financial statements and balance sheets.
Leasing laws for commercial and residential properties may vary slightly; this course covers all areas of these regulations. Specific topics include real estate tax, options provided to tenants, cancellation of leases, subletting and lease negotiations. A leasing course may also cover the role of a broker, restructuring of leases, utility laws and liability.
Tenant Relationships and Law
Whether they oversee commercial or residential properties, all property managers will have relationships with a variety of tenants. The many laws that have been developed to protect tenants and property managers are discussed within this class. Specific topics include lease agreements, security deposits, sublets and rent control. Time is also spent on fair housing laws and laws specific to the state in which one would become a property manager. This course may also cover concepts in providing great customer service, how to be an accommodating property manager and how to establish trusting relationships with tenants.