Property managers primary responsibility is to maintain and even increase the value of the real estate property they manage. They manage commercial and residential properties such as office complexes, apartment buildings and shopping centers. Some property managers oversee the services of community and condominium associations. Property managers take care of the financial aspects of the property and they are responsible for the daily supervising of the properties.
They strive to meet the anticipated revenue goals of real estate investments. Some property managers also analyze market information, taxes, property values, traffic volume, population growth and zoning in order to decide if particular pieces of property should be acquired.
Some property managers are known as commercial property managers and others are called residential property managers. Many specialize in managing of a particular type of property such as office buildings, apartment buildings, retail properties or condominiums.
Some sample job titles are apartment manager, lease administration supervisor, community manager, leasing manager, resident manager and on-site manager.
A property manager makes sure rent is collected on time and makes sure mortgages, maintenance bills and property taxes are paid on time. They also take care of service and repair issues. They negotiate contracts with groundskeepers, janitors and other personnel.
Homeowner association managers and condominium managers may be given additional responsibilities such as maintaining streets and parking areas and operating golf courses, community centers and pools.
Property managers need to comply with federal, state and city legislation which pertain to fair housing laws, local building codes, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Federal Fair Housing Amendment.
- Manage maintenance projects
- Negotiate real estate sales contracts
- Prepare financial reports
- Make sure rent is collected on time
- Analyze real estate market conditions
- Ensure rental properties are occupied
- Evaluate the performance of employees
- Resolve clients and public complaints
- Take care of the financial operation of each property
Property, real estate and community association managers work from an office. However, they often spend time out of their office showing apartments to perspective tenants, meeting with employees and evaluating their work and investigating problems mentioned by residents. Real estate asset managers may travel to company real estate holdings or to look for properties to acquire. In addition, financial, administrative and communication abilities are important for many property manager jobs.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected an eight percent growth in the employment of property, real estate and community association managers. Approximately 46 percent of property, real estate and community association managers are self-employed.
In 2008 the median annual earnings for salaried property, real estate and community association managers was $46,130. The highest paid 10 percent earned more than $102,250. In addition, many resident apartment managers and onsite association managers are provided the use of an apartment as part of their compensation package.
Education, Certification, and Licensing
Commercial property managers and people handling a property's finances and contracts need a bachelor's degree or a master's degree in accounting, business administration, real estate management or finance, particularly if they do not have much practical experience.
In general, onsite property managers who mostly manage the rental and maintenance aspects of properties acquire their knowledge while on-the-job or they have experience in real estate or maintenance. Many property managers begin their careers as assistant property managers and work closely with an experienced property manager.
Real estate managers that buy or sell property need to be licensed by the state where they work. A few states require property association managers to be licensed. Managers of public housing that is subsidized by the Federal Government must be certified. In addition, several organizations provide certifications for property managers.
- Institute of Real Estate Management
- Building Owners and Managers Institute
- Community Associations Institute
- National Board of Certification for Community Association Managers
The primary employers are property management companies, lessors of real estate, real estate agents and brokers offices, and government agencies that manage public buildings.
Schools for Property Managers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.