Thinking about starting a property management company or taking on a career in the industry? Before you dive headfirst into property management, you need to make sure you have the right skills and knowledge. Being in property management may seem simple to those with little experience looking in from the outside, but it is in fact very complex.
Below we’ll take an in-depth look at what a day in the life of a property manager looks like, what is required to start a property management company, and how you can set yourself up for success.
How Much Do Property Managers Make?
According to recent reports from payscale.com, the national average salary for property managers is around $50,161/year for entry level to $75,000/year for more experienced managers.
How to Become a Property Manager
Once you’ve decided you want to get into the property management game, it’s easy. Many states require you have a real estate license, so check to see if your state is one of them. Like with any new industry you’re entering, you’ll have to start out as an entry-level employee and work your way up. Over the years, you’ll learn the ins and outs of management and make some valuable connections, and eventually, you could branch out and focus on starting a property management company of your own.
Do I Need a Property Manager License?
Although many states require a real estate license or other certification, most don’t require an advanced degree. A real estate license or practical experience in the real estate industry is helpful, but not always required. However, having a real estate or property management certification can still be beneficial if you intend to start working for an established property management firm.
WHY START A PROPERTY MANAGEMENT BUSINESS?
A property management company looks after property portfolios on behalf of their client base. Clients can range from one-property landlords through to people who own and rent out hundreds of properties or those own leasehold buildings. Either way, services offered by property management companies include finding and vetting tenants (that is if the property management company is also acting as a letting agent, which many are), drawing up legal tenancy contracts, checking on how tenants are looking after the property, dealing with maintenance and repair issues, managing financing and liasing between the tenants and the landlord. Property management services are very much in demand, with many landlords choosing to make their own lives easier, with the added benefit of knowing everything is compliant and legal. A property management business can be very profitable too, with most services charging an upfront as well as a monthly fee.
WHAT SKILLS WILL I NEED?
Good communication and interpersonal skills are essential as you will be required to deal with a whole manner of different people with different needs and expectations – landlords, tenants, vetting companies, maintenance contractors, etc. You will also need to be highly motivated and focused. Property management is often fraught with problems and things regularly go wrong, so you will need to be prepared for that and keep a level head at all times whilst liaising and tracking details to ensure that everything runs smoothly and meets all expectations.
Choose the right office location
Getting an office in an office plaza is the fastest way to lose your identity as a business. That’s because these spaces don’t allow for much creativity in terms of appearance. They also make it difficult for people to find you because you’re buried in a sea of uniformity.
For best results, we recommend you look for a street front office. Make sure you have a dedicated door and signage that’s visible to passers-by. This will increase your exposure and improve your ability to attract walk-ins.
Build a website
Nowadays, having a website is an essential part of running a business. It gives your company credibility and functions as a 24/7 salesperson.
You could hire a web developer to build the website for you or use our website builder. Both are easy for the average person to use and don’t require any technical skills.
Joint relevant associations
Another great way to build credibility and attract clients is to join property associations in your area.
Invest in marketing
Besides investing in a good website, make sure you use tools like Google AdWords and SEO marketing. This’ll make it easier for people to find your business online.
You should also invest in Google my business listing because it’s one of the most effective tools for property managers to attract clients. The goal is to achieve maximum visibility in your area and make yours the go-to property management company.
Brand your business
It’s important to brand your property management company from the beginning to set yourself apart from the competition. This includes creating a logo and some tagline for your business. You’ll use this in all of your branding materials, including your website, banners, social media pages, business cards, flyers, and stationery.
The key to success in the property management industry is getting to know as many people as possible. The best way to do this is to involve yourself in property management networking groups and make industry-related friends that you can do business with.
Take relevant courses
If you want to work in the property business, you must be knowledgeable about the industry.
Gone are the days when property managers had to file everything in massive cabinets. Now, you can manage your property from your computer or smartphone. You don’t have to completely rely on technology if you don’t want to, but you can always use it to simplify your life.
Take care of your tenants
If you want to manage someone else’s property, it’s important to keep their tenants happy. This means handling requests in a timely manner, staying on top of maintenance tasks, and communicating with them regularly.
Build a team
Most property management companies start out as one-man shows. This will probably be the case with you too. Unless you can afford to hire staff from the get-go, you’ll be responsible for all aspects of your business, including leasing, maintenance, management, and inspections.
You need excellent interpersonal skills because you’ll be dealing with all kinds of different people daily. From the landlord to maintenance contractors and tenants- every one of these people will come to you with varying needs and expectations. You need to communicate with each party in a clear and effective manner.
Part of your job as a property manager is to put out fires and handle unexpected occurrences. You’ll experience a lot of tough moments and challenges, especially with your first client. It’s in moments like this that you need to stay calm and adopt a focused mindset. When facing a tough situation,
Set a budget
There are a lot of costs involved in setting up a property management company, and you can easily overspend if you don’t have a proper budget in place.
Do your research
Before you do anything, do some research to determine if there’s demand for a new property management company in your area. Perhaps there is, or maybe people are just looking for letting agents at the moment.