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June 1, 2011

How to Become a Property Manager

Although there are thousands of property managers across the country, very few came out of college to become a property manager.

Property Management is one of those businesses that require a “Can-Do” attitude.  A good property manager is a person who can multi-task, make the right decisions quickly, has good communication and people skills, and manages their time well.

Many property managers came into the business because they worked in a related industry and saw the need for someone like themselves.  I’ve seen contractors who provided service to property managers, like carpet cleaning, get into property management.

The largest related business that seems to breed property managers is real estate licensees.  As they represent their clients in their purchases, a relationship and trust are formed, and it is not uncommon for the client to ask their real estate agent to also manage the property.   Over time, that real estate agent’s management portfolio grows and at some point, they decide to either open up a property management division or quit sales altogether and manage properties full time.

Some, like myself, were investors themselves.  Perhaps they managed their rentals and did it with great success, so they opened the doors to outside clients.   Others had hired a property manager and found themselves wishing that their property manager would do things a little different and eventually decided to open up their own company so to offer the services they believed would benefit others.

Getting into the business can be the easy task.  Making your management business success and enjoying it tends to be more difficult.  The burnout and attrition rate for the property manager is great.  It’s a 24/7 business, and the expectations from tenants and owners are great, and those expectations often oppose one another.

The other issue is training.  As I stated above, most property managers got into the business because they were good business people who worked hard, communicated well, and were able to multi-task while making good decisions.  Those are great traits, and they likely will bring very good results initially.  But to survive, the property manager needs good training, systems, and support.

The best business decision I ever made as a property manager was to join the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM).  NARPM provides very specific education.  Additionally, NARPM members share like no other association.  It’s the networking with each other that provides some of the greatest benefits.  NARPM has a forum where a member asks a question or describes a situation and thousands of property managers across the country can post their recommendations as well as recommended procedures and forms.

It’s NARPM that can take someone with great managerial skills and real estate knowledge and make them become a property manager that property owners can count on being educated professional, ethical, and there for their clients for years down the road.

From RealTalk contributor

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