If you’ve ever thought about pursuing a career in real estate, you’ve likely looked at the high-profile jobs: being an investor, a house flipper, a real estate agent. Maybe you’ve even looked into niche sectors like property law or stylish industries like interior design, but one of the tricky things about choosing a career is that most people don’t know much about all of the jobs that make the world work. They just aren’t the jobs that you learn about on career day in school, but that doesn’t make them any less important – and in real estate, one of those important, but behind the scenes jobs is that of property manager.
So, what does a property manager do? It’s a lot more than just collecting rent and sitting in an office. In fact, to be a successful property manager, you’ll need to be a skilled multitasker, great with people, and have an eye for the details. If you can’t stand monotony, this could just be the job for you.
It’s Different Every Day
When industry insiders speak about property management services, they’re really using a type of shorthand. Others in the field quickly recognize the term as covering tasks as diverse as screening tenants, setting up showings, collecting rent, managing maintenance teams, and even handling conflict between neighbors. Property managers are liaisons between landlords and their tenants, are marketing professionals, repositories of local knowledge, and they’re often the ones who do the dirty work of evicting tenants when things go wrong. Though most people associate these tasks with the title landlord, in many cases, people move into and out of apartments without ever meeting the landlord.
It Can Be Crafty
While many of the jobs that fall to property managers are essentially administrative, sometimes the role also requires an artistic eye. For example, in between tenants or when placed in charge of selling a home or condo, property managers will often take charge of staging the home for showings. That means they need to understand how to lay out a space to make it visually appealing, how to light the space, and they may even direct a landscaping refresh with help from the maintenance crew. If you’re interested in design, but don’t necessarily see it as a primary career prospect, this is a job that would still let you use those skills.
You’re A Money Manager
Some landlords keep careful track of their operations’ finances – they may have even gotten into the industry because they’re good with money and can spot a smart investment. Others, however, entrust most of their properties’ financial issues to their property manager, which means you’ll be responsible for preparing budgets and financial reports, paying bills, keeping track of rent costs, and other major monetary tasks. While you may need to get approval for big expenses, the financial well being of another person’s investment is in your hands.
You’re A Mediator
Any time you have a lot of people living in close proximity to each other, there are bound to be conflicts, and as a property manager, it will be your job to address these so that they don’t get out of hand. Ideally, you’ll want to prevent conflict between tenants by catching potential problems before they can arise – the tenant who hosts noisy parties and keeps waking their neighbor, or the one that piles their recycling in the hall – but that isn’t always possible. Often, you’ll just have to settle for smoothing things over, responding to problems as they’re brought to your attention. Out of all the tasks that come with the property manager title, this one might just be the most difficult.
Being a property manager means being a jack of all trades and a master of many of them when the circumstances call for it, but it’s a great job for high energy people who thrive on unpredictability.
Though you may spend a lot of time behind a desk in this gig, the work in front of you will encourage you to innovate each and every day.