The Short-Term Shop

How To Become A Property Manager: The Complete Guide for Success

How To Become A Property Manager: The Complete Guide for Success

Are you an investor losing a significant chunk of your earnings to property management companies? Or maybe you're seeking a dynamic, rewarding career change? If you relate to either of these scenarios, becoming a property manager could be the perfect solution for you.

However, the journey to becoming a property manager can have a steep learning curve, grasping the legal prerequisites and understanding landlord-tenant rights. If you’re new to the game, it’s not always clear where to start.

At The Short Term Shop, we understand the complexities new property managers face. We've helped hundreds of newcomers navigate the challenges and watched them emerge successful. Now, we want to help you do the same. 

In this article, we’ll guide you through the necessary education and licensing requirements, help you understand your legal obligations, and equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in property management. 

Wondering how to become a property manager? Let's dive in!

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Who Is A Property Manager?

A property manager (or real estate manager) is anyone who assumes responsibility for the daily management of rental properties. Property owners who need help overseeing their properties typically seek a property manager's services. In exchange for a fee, property managers offer rental management services that can encompass a variety of tasks and responsibilities.

In the U.S., over 270,000 companies specialize in managing properties. These businesses employ more than 840,000 individuals in real estate or property management-related roles. Additionally, data shows that the property management industry as a whole is valued at $88 billion.

Property managers work exclusively with rental properties and do not engage in buying or selling real estate. Although the entry barrier may be higher than in other real estate careers, it typically comes with more structured hours and income.

What Are the Responsibilities of Property Managers? 

Property owners often hire a property manager to handle the day-to-day tasks when they want to rent out their space. This is especially common in residential properties like apartments. The property owners or landlords communicate with the property manager, who handles everything from maintenance requests to collecting rent payments. The responsibilities of a property manager can include:

  • Setting rental rates and efficiently collecting rent from tenants.
  • Conducting effective marketing and advertising campaigns to attract potential tenants for available rental properties and units.
  • Showing rental units to interested parties and thoroughly screening tenant applications to find reliable and suitable tenants.
  • Providing ongoing customer service and promptly addressing tenant inquiries, concerns, and maintenance requests.
  • Conducting property inspections during the move-in and move-out phases to document the condition of the premises.
  • Managing eviction processes when necessary, adhering to legal procedures and regulations.
  • Handling challenging tenants and resolving conflicts or disputes professionally and diplomatically.
  • Coordinating maintenance and repairs by engaging and overseeing qualified contractors.
  • Managing lease renewals, ensuring tenant retention, and efficiently managing turnover processes.
  • Maintaining the overall appearance and operational functionality of the property.
  • Performing basic accounting duties, such as managing bill payments and conducting analyses related to property performance.
  • Staying informed about landlord-tenant regulations and ensuring compliance with applicable laws and guidelines.

Are you ready to take on these responsibilities and learn how to be a property manager with a rewarding and engaging career?

Reach out to The Short Term Shop to start your journey.

4 Steps to Becoming a Property Manager 

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Becoming a property manager can be a promising path to kickstart your career in the thriving real estate industry. If you're intrigued by the responsibilities and qualifications that come with this role, then you may be wondering about how to become a property manager. 

At The Short Term Shop, we've devised a straightforward plan to guide you through the complexities of becoming a property manager. Here are the four steps to success:

#1. Learn and Understand Legal Obligations

If a real estate job is something you're thinking about, it's crucial to comprehend the legal prerequisites. One of the necessary aspects is understanding what type of licensing is required for property management in your state. As a property manager, it's essential to be proficient in tenant-landlord rights and regulations governing leasing properties, including whether the landlord can terminate the lease early. You need extensive knowledge of local, state, and federal laws concerning the real estate industry.

#2. Meet Education Requirements

A high school diploma or equivalent is generally enough for property management. Higher degrees can offer more opportunities and income potential, but they are optional. Consider bachelor's and master's programs in Real Estate Management, Business Administration, Public Administration, Finance, or Accounting for advanced education.

#3. Obtain Industry-Specific Certifications

Obtaining property management certifications can enhance your professional appeal. It demonstrates your commitment to the field, provides knowledge of best practices, and gives you a competitive edge. Notable certifications include: 

  • Certified Apartment Manager (CAM)
  • Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA)
  • Certified Property Manager (CPM)
  • Master Property Manager (MPM)
  • National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP)
  • Residential Management Professional (RMP)

You don't need all these certifications when you're just starting. Start with one certification and gradually add others as you advance your career.

#4. Secure Your First Property Management Job

After obtaining proper certification and licensing, the next step is securing your first property manager job. Two common options are available:

  • Seek employment with a property management company to gain experience and manage properties on their behalf.
  • Consider contracting directly with property owners, allowing you to manage properties independently.

To expand your opportunities, it's essential to network with industry professionals. You can interact with colleagues in the real estate industry for referrals and recommendations. It's also a good idea to connect with house flippers and rental property investors to leverage word-of-mouth marketing for job offers. Additionally, watch online job boards for new openings that may interest you.

Revolutionizing Property Management with The Short-Term Shop

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Whether you own a rental property locally or in a different state, you would love to save money on property management while maximizing your rental. Typically, you'd have to surrender a significant portion of your revenue, ranging from 20% to 40%, to a property management company. But becoming a property manager can help you retain much of your hard-earned income. 

Don't let your property investment potential go untapped, or settle for a job that doesn't fulfill you. Contact us today and take the first step towards a rewarding career in property management.

Curious about how to get around short-term rental restrictions? The Short Term Shop has the answers you seek. We'll guide you on leveraging the potential of self-management, empowering you to control your property fully. Rest assured, you won't be alone. We'll be there with you at every turn.

Unlock the Benefits of Self-Managed Short-Term Rentals

As your dedicated guide, we can provide you access to a reliable network of local cleaners, handypersons, contractors, and skilled tradespeople who will be your invaluable on-the-ground support.

While hiring a property manager isn't necessarily a bad idea, you could miss out on a significant chunk of your earnings, settling for a fraction of what you deserve.

At The Short Term Shop, you can access several resources that help you maintain complete autonomy over your short-term rental properties, retain every dollar you've worked hard to earn, and enjoy the financial rewards and freedom that successful self-management can bring. 


What Are the Requirements to Become a Property Manager?

Becoming a property manager is fairly simple as long as you meet the essential property manager requirements. To be eligible, you must be of legal working age and possess certain qualifications. Here are some of the necessary conditions for property management:

  • Age: Applicants must be 18 or older, with some states requiring a minimum age of 21.
  • Education: A high school diploma or GED must be considered for this position.
  • Citizenship or Residency: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or hold permanent residency status.
  • Pre-licensing Coursework: Completing any pre-licensing coursework decreed by the state is mandatory.
  • Licensing Exam: Depending on the state, applicants may be required to pass a real estate licensing exam.

Do You Need a Real Estate License to Be a Property Manager?

If you plan on becoming a property manager, it's important to know that most states in the U.S. require a license. There are only six states where it's not mandatory.

Property management companies and independent managers often hire assistants and office managers who don't necessarily need a license to get started. These positions offer an excellent opportunity to learn about the industry while assisting with administrative tasks. As you gain experience, you can work up and even have your employer sponsor you to obtain your license.

What are Essential Skills for Successful Property Managers?


You'll find separate lists of desired qualifications and skills when reviewing job postings. Skills are developed over time and vary among individuals. If you're interested in real estate and property management, here are key skills to focus on:

  • Clear communication
  • Excellent customer service
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Resourcefulness
  • Basic marketing and accounting

Overall, successful property managers possess unique leadership qualities, organizational skills, and interpersonal abilities that enable them to thrive in this challenging industry.

Stay Current: Real Estate Research & Best Practices in Property Management

Staying current in the ever-evolving world of real estate is essential for success. Continuously researching and staying updated on the latest trends and best practices in property management allows professionals to navigate the dynamic landscape confidently and competently.

Stay Informed and Adaptable

Staying abreast of current trends, projections, and best practices is essential to excel in the real estate industry. One important aspect to consider is your cap rate (you can find out what is a good cap rate for rental property here). Regularly reading real estate news and blogs will keep you informed about the latest developments, ensuring you can adapt to changing market conditions. Understanding the nuances of your specific market will give you a competitive edge.

Invest in Professional Development

Continuously invest in your professional development to enhance your expertise. Obtain relevant certifications and attend conferences to acquire valuable knowledge and skills. Building a strong professional network will provide insights and access to potential opportunities early. Stay informed about evolving standards and advancements in the field. Whether through mandatory continuing education or voluntary efforts, prioritize staying current in this dynamic industry.

Utilize Valuable Resources to Accessing Key Information

Leverage resources like the Property Management Association. This source provides valuable information on changing requirements, best practices, and industry innovation. Stay connected to increase your knowledge base and remain competitive in the real estate job market.

Avoiding Pitfalls: Why Proper Guidance is Essential for Success in Property Management

Without the right guidance, you could find yourself floundering in legal complexities, losing potential income, or stuck in a job that offers little in terms of personal and financial growth.

Thrive as a Property Manager and in Real Estate

Imagine the satisfaction of successfully managing your properties, maximizing your income, and forging a fulfilling career in real estate. This is the vision of success The Short Term Shop can help you achieve.

Real estate offers opportunities for everyone. Interested in learning more about property management and lucrative real estate strategies like short-term vacation rental investing? No matter where you stand on the investment journey – whether you're a novice, have a few deals, or boast years of experience – The Short Term Shop is your ultimate ally.

Still unsure of how to become a property manager? With our expertise, we'll guide you in analyzing, acquiring, and skillfully managing vacation properties in the most lucrative markets. Don't miss out on this opportunity for success! Take the first step towards your real estate dreams, and contact us today for a consultation.


Avery Carl

Avery Carl

Avery Carl was named one of Wall Street Journal’s Top 100 and Newsweek’s Top 500 agents in 2020. She and her team at The Short Term Shop focus exclusively on Vacation Rental and Short Term Rental Clients, having closed well over 1 billion dollars in real estate sales. Avery has sold over $300 million in Short Term/Vacation Rentals since 2017. An investor herself, with a portfolio of over 100 Doors, Avery specializes in connecting investors with short term rentals with the highest ROI potential, and then training them to manage their short term rental from their smart phone from anywhere in the world.

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