The real estate industry offers a range of careers. You don’t just need to be a developer or agent. One of the rewarding paths you can follow is property management. This gives you the chance to work closely with people from all walks of life. It is also a role featuring a combination of problem solving and leadership.
There is also likely to be a need for residential property managers wherever you choose to live in the world. However, it’s important to note the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted slower-than-average job growth in this area of 3% for this decade. This doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities available to you — the jobs are there. But it does mean you need to make sure you stand out from the competition.
We’re going to look at how you can make the best start in this field.
Understand the role
As with any career decision, it’s important to gain a full understanding of the role first. There is so much more involved with this career than simply interacting with renters. Some careful consideration here can help you make more informed decisions about whether it’s right for you.
The core role of a property manager is relatively straightforward. Professionals in this field take responsibility for maintaining and operating real estate on behalf of owners. But the duties of a property manager are much further reaching than this. They involve administrative and customer service elements, building safety, financial management, and legal aspects. Technical and legal knowledge is imperative to make certain business is performed fairly and within regulations.
Alongside the technical elements of the role, there can also be personal challenges. Particularly in residential property management, you are likely to be liaising with renters in stressful circumstances. You’ll need to utilize empathy when presented with people experiencing financial issues. At the same time, you’ll have to balance this with the business priorities of the owners you represent and find solutions. Before you get started in your career you need to know whether this meshes with your interests and how you’ll be able to cope with such hurdles.
Build and communicate your skills
Unlike many careers, there are no standard formal qualifications for those who want to work in property management. This is one of the reasons a career in this area is so accessible to people from a variety of backgrounds. However, just because there isn’t a formal path, this doesn’t mean a solid skill set isn’t important. To make the best start in this career, you need to build a set of relevant abilities and communicate why these make you a good candidate.
Property management involves a range of responsibilities and duties. You’ll find the most effective skills development approach reflects this. There is some benefit to gaining a degree in business or management for the administrative side of the job. Attending a trade school can also give you valuable practical skills to practically assist tenants. Though it’s worth considering that many larger property management companies have mentorship programs to guide candidates through each aspect of the work. This can be an efficient route into the industry and give you the knowledge and hands-on experience needed to succeed in the industry. It also offers you the benefit of gaining insights from career veterans.
Whatever route you take to obtain your skills, you also need to communicate these effectively to prospective employers. Simply listing your job history is not likely to show you can be an asset. Your job application needs to be immediately appealing to employers and give them incentives to invite you to an interview. You can bolster this by providing an impactful set of supporting documents alongside your resume. This could be a detailed reference from your property management mentor or even a portfolio outlining projects to demonstrate you have practical skills.
Present your best self
As a property manager, you will often represent the public face of your employer. While you’ll certainly perform a lot of behind-the-scenes work, you will also be interacting with people to a significant degree. This will include liaising with property owners, contractors, tenants, and perhaps local government officials. A large part of your success in starting a career in property management is presenting your best self at all times.
This must begin with your approach to interviewing for the position. The recruiter will know exactly how vital your personality and appearance are to the customer service elements of the job. They will be reviewing your suitability for these aspects as well as your technical skills. Often, people will make key judgments about you in a few seconds, so you must put in the effort to give a great first impression. Pay attention to wardrobe choices that both authentically reflect your personality and show you to be a committed professional. Even simple elements like a genuine smile and good manners contribute to the recruiter’s impression of whether you are a good fit for property management.
This has to extend beyond the interview, though. As with many of the fastest-growing jobs today, your communication and interpersonal soft skills will impact your success. Keep working on developing these aspects and becoming someone calm and controlled under pressure. There will be times when emergencies arise. Your ability to present a calm front and handle crises with a cool head can raise the confidence tenants, owners, and employers have in you.
Property management careers are steadily growing and can represent great opportunities. However, it’s worth applying some effort to make sure you have the best start. Gain a deeper understanding of the role and build the skills to help you have a practical and positive impact. Don’t underestimate the importance of presenting yourself as a competent and confident professional at all times. With some consideration and commitment, you can embark on a rich and rewarding path.
About the Author:
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of topics but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to business productivity and marketing strategies.