What Degree Do You Need To Be A Property Manager

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 8 minute read

Rental properties do not take care of themselves. Most busy landlords choose to delegate the responsibilities and operations of their real estate investment to a property manager who has experience in such fields. A college degree can help you succeed in your career as a property manager.

Education prerequisites for property management

As a property manager, you don’t need a degree, but you are more likely than not to have some type of formal education beyond high school.

At least 55% of those working in property management have a bachelor’s degree, according to data from the O*NET website. 

Another 10% of property managers have a post-secondary certificate. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) claimed that the usual amount of education anticipated for entry-level property, real estate, and community association managers is a high school diploma, just 15 percent of the sector identified this as their greatest level of schooling.

Doing so will help you get your foot in the door in the property management industry, so why not go for it? Companies are increasingly trying to recruit property managers who have more than a high school degree because this work isn’t simple.

To be an effective property manager, you must have a diverse set of skills and knowledge, including strong communication abilities, administrative prowess, economic acumen, and a thorough understanding of the various laws and regulations that govern the rental and management of real estate properties. 

According to O*NET, you may also need technical skills in the usage of access software, such as key card management applications, as well as accounting software, such as Intuit QuickBooks, and database software, such as Propertyware, Yardi, and Advantos Systems DataTrust Enterprise.

So many requirements mean that it’s impossible to succeed as a property manager without a lot of expertise and preparation.

The possibility of making more money as a property manager is one more motivation to get a degree or certificate in property management. When it comes to earning potential, having a wide range of qualifications is often better.

What to Anticipate From Real Estate Management Degrees and Professions

If you want to become a property manager, you’ll likely need to learn about management and leadership skills, as well as key areas of business administration, no matter what degree you pick.

When you work as a property manager, you simply take on the responsibility of renting out and maintaining the property, as well as all of the associated activities and procedures, in order to ensure that the money you invested keeps coming in.

A property manager assumes the responsibilities of a landlord or supervisor. As a property manager, you must collect rent or HOA dues, hire maintenance workers or do repairs yourself, if you’re the hands-on type, keep up with city ordinances and regulations to stay in compliance, fill vacant spaces on the property, and evict renters who don’t pay their rent or cause any problems.

It is common for property managers to handle many properties, either owned by a single major company or owned by numerous individuals and small companies.

Some property managers set up their own companies and provide their services to clients who engage them to handle their property. The property itself may not be the only item you manage, depending on your circumstances. 

Some property managers employ a team of superintendents, secretaries, and regular handymen or maintenance employees to assist with the management of their properties.

Much of the work you perform as a property manager on a day-to-day basis is determined by whether or not you have direct control over the properties you manage or if you function as an administrator for those who do.

Do degrees exist in property management?

Although property management bachelor’s degree programs are rare, they do exist. For example, Virginia Tech is one of the few schools in the US to offer a Bachelor of Science (BS) in property management.

Many educational and training programs are available for property management, however, not all of them need students to complete a four-year degree.

This four to the eight-month program at Penn Foster is one of several property management education programs that are either certificate programs issued by vocational colleges and career schools like this, or certification courses offered by professional organizations and associations.

Non-degree property management training programs tend to be short and targeted. Property management certificate and certification programs tend to focus more on courses that have a direct application in the industry than bachelor’s degree programs.

Coursework in the fundamental responsibilities and abilities of property managers, as well as business plan development, is included in Ashworth College’s career diploma in property management. 

These programs primarily prepare students to work in the fields of property management, maintenance management, staff recruitment and training, rent and lease structures and conditions, tenant relations management, and legal and tax concerns related to property management.

Property management courses at the Institute of Real Estate Management generally cover financial reporting, investments, the value of the real estate, and the language used in marketing and upkeep of properties.

The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) offers certification for property managers called the Certified Property Manager (CPM) certificate.

To ensure that the value of private and commercial real estate assets grows, CPMs are responsible for managing the portfolios of their clients. 

To get certified, you must first fill out an application, sign a code of ethics, take a course in the subject, and then take and pass a certification exam in order to become certified.

The Top Property Management Degrees

Bachelor’s degree programs in property management are not uncommon, but they are difficult to find.

A bachelor’s degree in business administration, real estate, finance, accounting, or public administration is the most common path for property managers who want to become property managers.

Management of property

Residential and commercial marketing and leasing, managing affordable and specialized housing, home technology, and advanced residential and asset management may all be included in a property management bachelor’s degree program’s core curriculum. 

These courses may also cover property management operations and property management operations.

Even though property management is already a narrow field, students can narrow their focus even more by choosing electives from a variety of specializations within the discipline. 

Electives in real estate law and valuation, housing policies and problems, ethical leadership, and many more are possible choices.

If you want to improve your communication abilities, a bachelor’s degree in property management is a better option than a diploma or certification course.

Administration of Business

An undergraduate degree in business administration gives you a well-rounded education in the field of company operations.

When it comes to real estate management, a lot of the labor falls under administrative duties. No matter how many people you manage, you’ll need to know how to handle finances, promote the rental property, schedule maintenance, and repairs, and ensure that all legal and regulatory requirements are followed. 

Property managers would do well to take courses in such topics as operations management, strategic planning, marketing, and even corporate law.

In order to become a property manager, you may wish to focus your studies on real estate, which is a business administration specialization.

Real Estate

Real estate is another option worth considering. As specializations within a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree or as a separate Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) degree, these degrees are often offered by business schools or departments. 

When it comes to business foundations, financial and managerial accounting, operations and marketing management as well as organizational behavior as well as business law, and economics you’re likely to take courses in these areas of study. 

To earn an advanced degree in real estate management and development, students need to take courses in areas including real estate finance, property investment and management, property management, environmental sustainability in the built environment, and conflict resolution and negotiation.

Accounting and Finance

According to the BLS, many of a property owner’s responsibilities fall under the category of financial administration of rental properties, therefore pursuing a degree in finance or accounting makes sense.

Though they have many similarities, each of these programs is unique in its own way. Accounting is a discipline that focuses on the creation of financial accounts and reports.

To create these reports, accountants often rely on simple algebra and arithmetic, as well as accounting software and a full understanding of relevant rules and regulations. 

As a discipline of study and profession, finance analyzes data to make judgments about managing money, financial assets, and financial activities.

This is what finance is all about A higher level of proficiency in mathematics and statistical analysis is often required for finance majors.

Typical courses in an accounting school include financial accounting, cost accounting sometimes known as managerial accounting, tax accounting, and auditing.

A finance degree often consists of courses in corporate finance, investments, financial statement analysis, and the financial markets. 

There is an increased likelihood that students majoring in finance will have the option of concentrating on real estate, which might involve coursework in areas such as property law, the basics of property practice, as well as real estate financing, and ethical issues.

Both accounting and finance majors are likely to take a course or two on basic accounting principles and procedures.

Administration Public

According to the BLS, a road into public administration is less prevalent but just as useful for those looking to become property managers.

To educate students on community leadership and policy-making, public administration degrees teach students administrative skills and understanding of legislation, laws, and policies – all of which may be useful in property management. 

In this major, you may take courses in public administration, financial accounting concepts, government regulations, budget and finance, administrative law, and public management and leadership.

In certain places, you may be required to have a real estate license in order to work as a property manager.

Acquiring a Position in Property Management

Employment opportunities for property managers aren’t anticipated to improve anytime soon. There will only be 3% more job openings in this field between 2020 and 2030, according to the BLS’s forecast.

Having a college degree and some sort of professional certification, such as those offered by the National Association of Residential Property Managers or the Institute of Real Estate Management, is a good bet if you want to land one of the 11,400 new jobs that are expected to be created during this decade or an existing job role left vacant by established property managers changing employers, switching careers or retiring from the workforce.

If property management is the type of work you want to undertake, don’t allow a bleak employment picture to deter you from going after your dream career.

Despite the fact that the job market isn’t exactly booming right now, the profession as a whole isn’t going anywhere.

The reasons for renting a home, apartment, or another sort of living space might be many. There are some people who are forced to rent since they don’t qualify for a mortgage.

The inconveniences and pains that come with owning a house aren’t for everyone, and some people aren’t willing to make the long-term commitment required to buy a home. 

Vacation homes for the week or an active adult community where property managers take care of yard work and upkeep are options for elderly citizens. As a result of these and other factors, the demand for property management services is near certain.

In 2020, the BLS expects property managers will earn a median income of $59,660. Ten percent of property managers earn more than $134,570 per year, while the rest of the sector earns less than $31,330.

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