Aspiring property managers can find online real estate management programs at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels, including Master of Business Administration programs. Occasional on-campus attendance may be required for exams or hands-on learning experiences, but coursework is generally offered entirely online. Topics of study can include investment analysis, real estate marketing, appraisal techniques and property risk management. A college degree may not be required for all property management positions, but a degree is generally preferred by employers.
Associate's Degree in Real Estate Management
An online associate's degree program for real estate management discusses the entry-level career opportunities available in real estate. The program covers legal and ethical issues important in real estate, as well as its principles and practices. Students learn how to define, develop and implement their goals. They are also introduced to such relevant skills as research and marketing, property appraisal, financial analysis, negotiation, organization and time management.
Program Information and Requirements
An online associate's degree program in real estate management typically takes about two years for a full-time student to complete. Roughly half of the courses are devoted to business and real estate subjects, while the other half consists of general education requirements.
Students typically log on to a course management portal through a school's website; therefore, attending online courses is easier if they have an up-to-date computer with a reliable Internet connection, updated browser and personal e-mail account. Other requirements may include word processing software, software plug-ins for media playback and the software needed to run Java-based programs and read PDFs.
Online degree programs are often accessed through a school's website. Students must log in to read or watch lectures, turn in assignments and engage peers in discussion.
Students are introduced to accounting practices and principles. They also learn to analyze a financial accounting statement. Other subjects include accounts payable and receivable, journals, cash payments and receipts.
Students receive an overview of the American business system. By studying the operation of a business, students learn about finance, marketing, customer relations, personnel and production. This course also covers e-business and global business.
Property Management Principles
This course discusses the history and contemporary role of property management. Students learn about the various facets of managing a property, such as accounting, administration, maintenance and legal issues.
Bachelor's Degree in Real Estate Management
Online bachelor's degree programs in real estate management prepare students for careers in real estate, property management, finance, appraisal and related areas. Enrollees take general education, social sciences and business courses along with specialized real estate classes. It might be possible to select a concentration within the major, such as commercial property, residential property or government housing administration. Some distance-learning programs are designed for those with no prior education or experience in the field, while some are meant for professionals who already have experience in the field. Others may require applicants to possess an associate's degree or have completed basic general education courses, such as writing and math.
Program Information and Requirements
Many online bachelor's degree programs in real estate management can be completed without students having to appear on campus. General education coursework accounts for about half of the required degree credits. The remaining credits are devoted to business and real estate subjects. Full-time students who have already completed their general education requirements can usually finish bachelor's degree studies in about two years.
To log into classes and communicate with peers and instructors, students must have a reliable computer with the latest Web browser, operating system (such as Windows) and basic features (which include e-mail capabilities and Microsoft Office Suite). To view documents and multimedia content, students might need to install other software.
In most cases, students access lectures and coursework through the school's course management system, such as Blackboard. The software is usually part of the school's website, so it's accessible from anywhere that a student can connect to the Internet.
Financing in Real Estate
This course covers the various ways that real estate purchases or projects can be funded. Lessons explore both standard and alternative financial tools.
Real Estate Investment
Participants use financial calculators to analyze investment portfolios and potential real estate investments. Topics include taxes and tax-differed exchanges, investment valuation and land investment analysis.
Managing Risk in Property Management
Students learn how to protect both tenants and property while minimizing potential costs and liability. Subjects include insurance coverage, emergency needs and preventative maintenance.
Master's Degree in Real Estate Management
Graduate students can pursue a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in real estate through the Internet. This type of program is designed for knowledgeable professionals and emphasizes higher-level management, leadership and strategy skills, Students delve into real estate laws and regulations and learn the details of making a successful real estate deal. Other subjects covered are team organization, communication and decision-making.
Program Information and Requirements
The time to complete an online master's degree program in real estate management varies depending on if a student is attending school part- or full-time. In general, the degree program takes 18-36 months to complete. Some programs may require students to be on campus for certain events, such as exams.
To facilitate communication between instructors and students, most online degree programs use course management software that serves as a central hub for obtaining class material and participating in discussions. Students log in to this interface through individualized accounts; they may be assigned a school e-mail address, or they may be asked to have a personal messaging account prior to enrollment. Most schools recommend a specific browser that works best to view and interact with their website.
Students access class materials through the Web Lectures may be delivered as text, audio or video. Assignments and projects might take place online and be interactive, collaborative or independent.
Advanced Topics in Real Estate Investment Analysis
This course introduces the skills necessary to make strategic real estate investment decisions. Students learn about the finance theories and economic factors involved in property valuation. They discuss current trends in deal negotiation and real estate project financing.
Analyzing the Real Estate Deal
Students examine the process and components of a real estate transaction. This includes the documents used to bind the agreement, the financial feasibility of the project and the methods for property valuation.
Graduates with an associate's degree in real estate management can look for entry-level jobs as real estate agents and property managers. PayScale.com reported that as of November 2016, the median salary for apartment managers was $35,153; for assistant property managers, the median was $41,060. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects job growth for those employed in the real estate management field to be about average for all professions at 8% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Graduates can also seek employment in related areas, such as mortgage finance, property appraisal, real estate development and construction.
The Institute of Real Estate Management reports that real estate managers are commonly employed by full-service real estate or property management companies, developers, insurance companies, mortgage brokerage firms and commercial banks (www.iremfirst.org). PayScale.com reported that the median salary for property managers was $46,243 as of November 2016. Those with similar job titles - such as real estate, property or community association managers - earned an annual median of $48,857. Similar job titles in this field are site manager, building manager and asset manager.
Online master's degree programs that focus on real estate management prepare students for leadership positions or entrepreneurship in the field. Career opportunities can be found in the finance, appraisal, marketing and management of real estate. PayScale.com reported that real estate asset managers earned a median salary of $74,414, while commercial real estate appraisers earned a median salary of $70,789 as of October 2016.
Continuing Education Information
Advanced scholars can pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Real Estate. Although not commonly available online, a doctoral degree program in real estate usually allows specialization in a specific area of interest, including urban development, real estate development and real estate finance. Graduates can also pursue professional certification through organizations like the Institute of Real Estate Management. Some types of certification include Certified Property Manager, Accredited Residential Manager and Accredited Commercial Manager.
Online degrees in real estate management are available at all levels, though students interested in enrolling in a master's degree program will likely have to choose an MBA program with a real estate concentration. Each level of degree will prepare students for various jobs within the field.