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Do you need to hit the books to become a sucessful property manager?

Needing a place to live is consistent regardless of the economy. Property management will always be a necessity. That’s one big reason why it’s such a great industry to work in. But you need the right credentials and education to work as a property manager. As with any profession, you will receive on the job training. But there is some education required to get the job. So, where do you start?

University education is an option:

There are different degrees you can earn which will work for property management. Not every property management position requires a degree. But you must earn a bachelor’s degree to dive into commercial property management.

  • Business Administration – This degree plan requires courses in finance, marketing, economics, and so much more. These classes are applicable to property management. This degree helps prepare you to manage a property.
  • Public Administration – Many who earn this degree work in the government. But it’s not simply a degree for government employees. Housing specialists, urban planners, and budget analysts have public administration degrees. These specialties aid you in your property management career.
  • Real estate – A real estate or real estate development degree gives you the knowledge to be successful in property management. You learn the applicable laws you must follow in real estate. The marketing and financial components are essential to creating a thriving property management business.

Not every property management position requires a bachelor’s degree. Some only require a high school diploma. They equip you with the skills you need to do your job well.

Real Estate license:

Some states require that property managers hold a real estate license from the state. Many companies require their property managers to have their real estate license. The classes you attend to earn your license are valuable to your career. They also provide you with the skills you need to move up the ranks in this industry. Some of the classes include:

  • Real estate development
  • Real estate finance
  • Urban planning
  • Property management
  • Housing for the elderly

Though you may not use each class as a property manager that does not undercut the value. Real estate schools are flexible with you too. You can take your classes online or in person.

Certifications:

The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) has a nationally known certified property management program. The courses you earn through the program will prepare you for success. You learn how to manage single family, multi-family, and commercial properties.

  • Marketing – There are many ways to market real estate. It benefits you to know how each marketing method applies to your property. It will allow you to use your marketing dollars wisely.
  • Property maintenance – Regular maintenance keeps your property values high and saves you money. Regular maintenance on appliances will keep them going longer. A maintenance request system is also vital. A system (in writing) between the property manager and the tenant ensures requests are handled in a timely manner. This avoids disputes down the line.
  • Valuation of real estate – This has many components to it. The property’s location, community amenities, and physical features all play a role. You will learn to use the Gross Income Multiplier (Sales price/rent income) to come up with an appraisal of the investment. This method is common for residential property management.

Fair Housing:

All property managers must go through fair housing training. If you earn your real estate license these courses are included. Otherwise, your employer will provide your fair housing training. There are several federal and state laws property managers must follow. You will learn about protected classes, how to process applications, and how to market your property legally. It is essential to have a clear understanding of these laws. Otherwise, you open the door to a discrimination lawsuit.

Earning proper education plays a huge role in your success as a property manager. It’s a lucrative field with plenty of potential. It pays to invest in your education to become successful. Looking to start your property management firm? Let the experts at Property Management Pros help.

6 Basic Tips to become a Successful Property Manager

Property managers serve as intermediaries between landlords and renters. Your job involves much more than simply looking after properties and filling vacancies. To be successful, you must be organized, have good people skills, pay close attention to details and possess other skills. Are you just getting started in property management, or maybe you’re thinking of entering this profession? If so, here are six basic tips for becoming an effective property manager, along with the importance of using a license through Property Management Pros instead of doing it all by yourself.

1. Look for the Right Tenants

By finding the right tenants, you can have a lower tenant turnover, in addition to protecting your cash flow. One way to get the right renters is by asking a prior landlord for references. Other good sources for leads can be lending institutions and contractors.

Require background checks, so you can review credit histories, any evictions and even criminal records. Another suggestion is requiring a non-refundable, small deposit for applications and background checks as this usually weeds out unqualified tenants.

2. Be Exceptionally Organized and Professional

To advance in your career, you need to be extremely organized and have good planning skills.

Consider how organizational skills are imperative when it comes to collecting rent and screening new tenants. It’s critical that you document all interactions with your tenants, besides record the amount of time you spend doing tasks, such as property showings, answering calls, creating listings and talking with contractors. This way, you ‘ll have a better understanding of how you spend your time, so you can make improvements.

What’s more, you should always show professionalism when you work with your staff, landlords, tenants and other people. This means controlling your temper and not letting biases and opinions affect your decisions.

3. Use the Latest Technology

If you want to be a successful property manager, you need to make friends with technology.

Although it may be hard, initially, and especially if you’re “old-school”, it can become easier and even second-nature. More and more property managers are using devices, such as mobile online leasing tools. Some of the specific software for property managers include Spectra, Maxwell Systems, Appfolio Buildium, and Launch-Pad a free CRM for property managers.

4. Develop Good People Skills

Because property management is a job that entails a lot of interaction with many different types of people, you need to have above-average people skills.

Besides knowing how to communicate well with others, you also need to know how to manage conflicts in a civil fashion as well as build healthy relationships with tenants, landlords and others.

5. Jot Down Notes

If you’re like most people, you tend to forget to do things you know you need to do.

That’s why it’s a good idea to jot down thoughts immediately after they pop into your head. You could either use the old-fashioned method of pen and pad, or you could use electronic systems, such your phone’s Notes app, Evernote or ever better your CRM. Furthermore, use a calendar to record appointments rather than depending on your memory.

6. Focus on One Task at a Time

Instead of multitasking, only focus on one job at a time. In other words, use time blocks. For example, work on rental listings without trying to finish another task.

In fact, according to scientific studies, it’s been shown that multitasking is not the way to run a business.  

Other Tips and Considerations

  • Schedule your time better, such as disciplining yourself to stay off social media during work hours.
  • On the other hand, social media can be an effective way to advertise for tenants.
  • Know and understand real estate and rental laws.
  • Don’t use unlicensed contractors for plumbing and electrical work.
  • Buy a high-quality toolbox for repairing appliances, door knobs and other simple things.
  • Keep a close eye on your competitors.
  • Since screening tenants is the most time-consuming part of your job, consider creating a pre-screening survey for eliminating people who may not be qualified.

Starting a property management business doesn’t have to be difficult when you use a business license to get your business up and running fast.

Please contact us and download our Cost Comparison Sheet.

This is a free guide showing the hidden costs of opening your own property management company DIY style vs. using a license through Property Management Pros.

A day in the life of a property manager

So you think you want to become a property manager, here you will find the day to day of what your new business could look like. Are you just getting up early to watch the monthly income flow through your bank account or is this something more? But what exactly is a property manager responsible for? You know they collect the monthly rent and show your property. Yet that is only a small part of the job. The day to day life of a property manager is fun and busy. So, what does it entail?

1. Maintenance requests:

The first thing that you will do is check maintenance requests.

If something happened overnight, it’s time to follow up with the emergency maintenance technician. Then, as the property manager, you must look at the repair costs. Often, the contract with the owner will have a clause that states to fix anything under a certain dollar amount. If the repairs exceed that amount the owner must approve improvements. The maintenance technician lets the property manager know the price of the repairs and you get in touch with the homeowner. Otherwise, the work will be done by your contractor.  

2. Processing rent payments:

You are not going to be doing this on the daily. But at the beginning of the month, it takes up a good part of the day.

It is a must to document all the checks received and assign them to each respective homeowners account. Then the next step is to deposit all the checks into the bank for the owner.  What happens if a check is not received or underpaid for a household?

A non-payment of rent notice is issued to that tenant and the owner is updated of this status.

3. Marketing:

Marketing is a big part of the job.

You will look at your reports to see if anyone has put in a notice to vacate and will also look at your current vacancy report.

Once you know the current and future availability, now is the time to plan for marketing. The goal is to get those vacancies filled as soon as possible – yet also earn the highest dollar per month rental rate as possible – this is a fine line that property managers must walk. There are a few ways that you may choose to market the homes.

  • Bandit and outdoor signs– These are signs put up on the property itself. They market the availability to those driving or walking by. This method is inexpensive and effective. However, you must be in a location which gets a good amount of traffic otherwise these efforts might be wasted.
  • Online advertisements – There are several free and fee-based ways to advertise your vacancies online. The key is to understand the target market and where they are looking for homes. Once you have a good understanding of the lead sources, you can market the vacancies effectively.
  • Community involvement: It benefits everyone if a property manager is networking with those in the community. This develops a great reputation for the owner and property manager. It comes in handy if someone refers your business to a friend. You can also attend community events as a vendor. Thus, you get the know potential tenants better and they get to know your name as the local property mamager.

4. Prospect screening:

Part of filling the vacancies is prospecting leads and processing all applications in a legal and fair manner. All property managers are trained in state and federal fair housing laws. You must use this training extensively when marketing and qualifying residents for vaccant properties.

  • The application must be date/time stamped when received.
  • You absolutuley must make sure all forms are signed and filled out fully.
  • Begin the process of qualifying applicants. This includes credit and criminal screenings, landlord references, and income and employment verification.
  • Once the prospect qualifies prepare their lease and home for move-in.

5. Issuing notices for lease violations:

Hopefully, you, the property manager isn’t processing many evictions in your day to day activities. However, dealing with lease violations is a part of the job you will more than likely deal with more than you expect. This is how you protect the owner’s investment – ultimately creating a happy client that will stick with you in the long run.

Often, these eviction notices are issued for non-payment of rent. Yet, there are other violations that are common. Two examples of non-monetary lease infractions are noise and housekeeping violations. If the tenant has loud parties and the police are called that is usually against the lease agreement. Not keeping the home reasonably clean attracts pest which can be another violation.

The day to day job of a property manager is never boring and always throws new experiences and challenges in your direction. There are many moving parts when it comes to managing single-family homes. It’s a large task but you dont have to get started without guidance.

Check out what licensing a nationally recognized brand has to offer your new business, and how a small investment can make a big impact on your first year in business.

How to Choose the Right Property Management Niche

Making the leap into property managemetn is profitable. So, why not get your slice of the pie? You need to choose a property management niche. There are three main types single-family, multi-family, and commercial. Each niche has its own set of benefits. But which one is most beneficial to you? You’ll want to examine each one to determine which works best for you.

Commercial:

Managing commercial real estate is a lucrative business. If the business is booming the tenants are not as likely to leave as residential tenants. There are three types of properties managers can choose to specalize in when setting up shop.

  • Retail: These can be large or small storefronts. The location is vital. They need to be found by customers to be profitable. Business owners also need the freedom to place merchandise in easy to see spots in the store. Point of sale accessibility and safe cash storage locations are important too. Ensuring that the store is safe and secure when the manager locks up is mandatory. Don’t invite thieves to steal the merchandise or money.
  • Office: Office spaces need to accommodate office staff. The office must fit separate cubicles, multiple phones, and computers. The office needs to have professional and comfortable touches throughout the space. The office is the client’s first impression of the business. How will you do parking? Paid, free, or validated? Make sure bathrooms are in working order so staff can use them at their leisure. Employees should also have a break room to heat up their lunch and snacks.
  • Industrial: An industrial building should hold many people in a large room. It needs to be well ventilated too. They will be using mechanical equipment, so it is imperative that it is a safe space for employees to work. If it’s next to office space, make it sound proof so you don’t disturb the other tenants.

The key to managing a successful commercial property is communication and service. You want to keep your tenants for the long run. Filling commercial real estate is more difficult than residential, so these tenants mean a lot to your clients. It can take between two and nine months to secure a lease on a commercial property – so when theyre in place make it count.

Multi-family:

These are your large apartment buildings or condos. They can vary in size, price, and location. Since you are dealing with so many units you will need to hire plenty of staff to be successful. The best thing you can do is carefully vet each prospect and have high standards. This will lead to much less headache down the road when it comes to repairs and the dreaded eviticions.

 Keep in mind, they are sharing walls, community rooms, storage rooms, and parking garages. A bad tenant can make life miserable for your good tenants, which is never a good thing. You don’t want good tenants leaving and spreading their distaste for your community. Make sure to enforce the housekeeping and quiet enjoyment of the property clauses. This effects the entire community. A loud tenant infringes on your other tenants’ right to quiet enjoyment of the property. A sloppy resident can bring in pests. Those pests migrate to other apartment homes through the walls.

As a multi-family property manager, you must rent to families with children. There are only two exceptions.

  • Senior properties: 55 and better and 62 and better properties are exempt from renting to families with children – something to consider when looking at your niche.
  • Health concerns: Each community has occupancy standards to protect the property. Two people per bedroom is fair. Otherwise, it is a health concern. Let’s say a person with five children under the age of 18 wants to rent a one-bedroom apartment. They may be denied due to occupancy standards. This usually isn’t the call of the property managers but is something to ask your potential clients.

Single-family:

Single-family investing is the easiest property management niche to get started in. With a massive (& growing) market single-family property manager usually has more than enough business to go around in any market. The most challenging part is developing trust when your competing with the big guys.

It’s also easy to expand your client base as you see fit. A great property manager understands that they specialize in what they do. When you hire out marketing and other services to help you grow – your clients will thank you. You will be growing, your clients will receive top tier services, and you wont have to worry about learning new skills. You don’t have to stay local either. You can expand nationally as you see profitable in new areas – just be sure to expand your brand with you.

Getting into property management isn’t something you need to do alone. With a license from Property Management Pros, you can hit the ground running with a nationally recognized brand + a set of systems and procedures to be profitable from the start.

Want to learn more about starting on your own Vs using a property management pros license?


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Disclaimer: Property Management Pros is not intended to be marketed as a Property Management Franchise, but rather a License. Every state has different laws regarding real estate and brokerage laws dealing with Franchises and Licenses.