Property management is a great career to get into. Whether you have a passion for customer service, strategic planning, or technology, a career in property management has something to offer.

There is no straight path to a career property management, and no specific property management degree (as far as we know). People with all different kinds of degrees end up working in our field and are successful.

There are, however, certain spheres of knowledge that are helpful to the property manager.

Understanding how buildings work — a lot has to happen behind the scenes for a building to function “seamlessly” in the eyes of its residents—from proper maintenance and repairs of issues large and small, to knowledge about building security best practices and contract management with landscapers.

Understanding local laws and ordinances — buildings have to abide by a multitude of ordinances, and it’s the property manager’s job to spot potential issues before they happen.

Understanding fiscal responsibility — property management companies usually collect assessments from building residents, and it’s their job to utilize the building’s reserve funds wisely to keep the building in the best shape possible, while saving as much money as possible.

Understanding good service — whether you’re just getting started in property management or are at the helm of your own property management company, you’ll need to remember that you work in a service industry and your reputation begins and ends with the quality of service you provide for building residents and owners.

Not sure how to get started in property management? Classes in business and basic law may be useful, but one of the best ways to get started is to get an entry level job at a property management company and work up from there. Some of the most knowledgeable employees have been ones who have worn many “hats” at a company and have seen multiple sides of the business.

Somewhere along the way, depending on what aspect of property management you end up working in, you may need to get your real estate broker’s license or leasing agent’s license. If you’re just getting started with property management, though, you’re better off getting your foot in the door and learning by experience before committing to studying for any licensing.

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