Sometimes, a career magically drops into your lap – if it’s a specific type of career. If you’re trying to become a navy seal or an actor or president, more effort and research is probably a good thing. When it comes to property management, maybe it just sort of happened. A friend of yours maybe asked you to check in on their renter, or maybe you decided you needed a roommate or two to help with your own bills. You may have just sort of stumbled into house hacking without knowing that was a thing. Maybe a roommate situation inspired you that you could try this full time.
Now it is time to stop stumbling. Property management is a good career and since you’re here, chances are you may know a bit, but need to know more. Most importantly, you need to get the basics
What is a Property Manager
Becoming a property manager is very different from other jobs. There’s no college courses to teach you about dealing with tenants and their noise complaints or neighborly quarrels. There’s no textbook on midnight flooding or collecting rent. You have to learn on the job what a property manager is and does. A property manager is someone who oversees the day-to-day operations over a piece of real estate.
A property manager will supervise maintenance such as light handiwork or cleaning, smooth over tenant issues and handle everything with the rent. That means responding to tenant complaints, hiring repair people and leasing vacant units. If you’ve been house hacking, then it’s similar to what you’re already doing, but on a bigger, more professional scale.
Becoming a Property Manager
On the upside, if you want to go to one of the oldest schools in the United States for their property management majors, you can, such as the University of Georgia. On the downside, it is a world that greatly values real world experience. As a property manager, you need to know local property value, the rent market, and what tenants in the area want. You need to know how to find good tenants, how to properly conduct a background screening, the ins and outs of tenant retention, budget management, and property maintenance.
Experience is key – if you do not have that, then you need to show a basic understanding when you’re applying to become someone else’s property manager. Show that you know what the appropriate rent amount should be, how you handle budgets, and your ability to time manage.
Pricing a Property Manager
Time for the big question: how much does a property manager cost? If you’re tired of doing it all on your own, maybe you’ve come to the decision to hire outside help with the day to day work. If you’re trying to become a property manager, you need to decide if it’s worth the tradeoff.
According to payscale.com/research, a U.S. based property manager has a median base pay of around $50,000. This will vary depending on where the job is located and the amount of experience backing it. For example, a property manager in New York City may expect a pay range anywhere from $43,000 to $150,000, according to Glassdoor and Salary.com, while a property manager in Milwaukee they may ask for between $33,000 to $80,000. Be sure to check your area to simultaneously check your expectations. If you want to rank closer to the higher end of those pay grades, remember that knowledge is always worth a promotion. Check out how you can enhance your skills and breadth of understanding by adding some certificates to your belt, such as the ones that the National Apartment Association offers.
How do you feel about becoming a property manager? What are your early concerns? Let us know in the comments below!
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