With so many prospective tenants desperately looking for rental property throughout the state of Georgia, it is a profitable time for those who own property.
However, one problem faced by property owners, especially those with multiple properties, is real estate management.
While it’s easy to get a real estate broker to help buy or sell a piece of property, managing it is a long-term commitment that requires not only a real estate license but also a wide range of qualifications and property management skills.
This is where property managers come in. With the right person managing their assets, property owners can rest assured that they will make a decent profit and that their buildings will be kept in good condition.
If you have been thinking of filling that property management void by becoming a community association manager, this is the right article for you.
We will discuss all there is to know about property management, including getting a real estate license under the Georgia real estate commission, the community association management services that are expected, property management laws, and the salary you should expect as a Georgia property manager.
What Is a Property Manager?
Property managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of running a residential or commercial property.
They not only provide essential property management services but also act as the link between landlords and tenants.
In situations where the property owners are either too busy or too far away to oversee the minute requirements of their tenants, it is the property manager that acts as the focal point of all issues about the property.
However, property managers are not usually involved in the buying or selling of property, which would require a broker's license or real estate salesperson license.
It is quite normal to have a change in property ownership and yet have the new owner keep the same property manager for the sake of continuity.
Georgia property management requirements are not that complicated and, in general, all that one needs is:
- USA citizenship (valid social security number) or permanent residence status
- At least a high school diploma or a GED
- Any other pre-license course or pre-licensing education would be beneficial
- Minimum age of 18 years old
- Optional requirements, such as post-license courses and registration with the local homeowners association
- A clean criminal record
According to the Georgia real estate commission, the average salary for property managers in the state is around $45,156 per year.
This is assuming that the manager is working for a licensed property management company.
The exact salary will depend on a variety of factors, such as skills, experience, location, the scope of the management job, the property management company, and key industry knowledge.
Also, a community association manager running a large complex will earn a lot more for their services,
A property manager can choose to work alone rather than for one of the property management companies, in which case they will earn either more or less than the state's average salary.
The bulk of the work of a property manager involves overseeing the day-to-day needs of the tenants, implementing the wishes of the landlords, and maintenance of the building.
It is the property manager, or property management company that will decide whether a tenant can move into the property. They will also conduct routine inspections to make sure that everything is kept in order.
As the link between the landlord and tenant, property management requires effective communication skills, honesty, and reliability to make sure that the two parties maintain a harmonious and mutually beneficial relationship.
Property Manager Responsibilities
A property manager (particularly a community association manager) has a wide range of responsibilities required for managing a piece of real estate.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Ensuring compliance with the Georgia real estate commission regulations, state laws, and building codes
- Tenant screening by, for example, checking the Georgia criminal information center
- Ensuring payment of rentals
- Reporting and accounting duties
- Preparation and signing of lease terms and agreements
- Coordinating the turnover process
- Showing properties to prospective tenants
- Processing lease renewals
- Conducting inspections of the property
- Ensuring the health and safety of tenants
- Attending court eviction proceedings
- Addressing concerns from the tenants
- Marketing available rental units
- Routine maintenance and repairs
- Communicating with tenants
Just like a real estate broker, property management is pretty much a hands-on job that involves a lot of interaction with prospective tenants and landlords.
Before applying for their real estate license, applicants need to work on cultivating the following skillsets and attributes:
- Communication skills are essential because in many cases no relationship exists between property owners and their tenants, meaning the manager must act as the go-between
- Patience will help when dealing with difficult tenants, of which there will be a lot of them, especially in a large apartment building managed by a community association manager
- Organization to help make the processes of viewing properties, moving in and out, and rental payments much smoother
- Strong and steadfast because requesting rent is not always met with cooperation
- Fair-minded when dealing with landlord/tenant disputes
- Attention to detail to effectively manage a property
Becoming a property manager is much like being a real estate broker regarding the need to obtain the right licensing before being allowed to practice in the state of Georgia.
While you will not need a typical real estate broker's license, such as a real estate salesperson license, as a manager, you will need the following:
- National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP) - The first step in the journey to becoming a real estate manager is to get a job with a property management company or real estate agency and become certified by the NALP. This will require:
- At least six months of experience on-site with the certifications to prove it
- Complete 25 credit hours required for NALP certification
- Finish the entire course within 12 months
- Certified Apartment Manager (CAM) - Getting a Certified Apartment Manager (CAM) License is the next part of the process which has the following requirements:
- At least 12 months of experience on-site with the certifications to prove it
- Complete 40 credit hours required for CAM certification
- Finish the entire course within 12 months
- Certified Property Manager (CPM) - The CPM is the most highly regarded Georgia real estate license you can get your hands on. It comes with the following requirements:
- A pre-existing real estate broker's license or proof that one is not needed
- Employment for at least three years in a property management role
- Meet at least 19 of the 36 requirements for a CPM
- Complete the course in not more than 12 months
- Master Property Manager (MPM) - The MPM is the highest qualification managers can have and will usually mean that they can take on any job in the real estate business, even community association management services. It requires:
- 60 months of continuous employment in real estate
- A portfolio listing at least 500 units managed at one location, or 100 units at five different locations
Besides getting a high school diploma, continuing education will help you to advance quickly in the real estate industry.
As such, post-license courses deal with basic accounting, risk management, business administration, and real estate laws of the state of Georgia.
There are a lot of great opportunities in the property management business for those willing to put in the work and obtain the various qualifications and certifications outlined by Georgia real estate law.
What Are the Most Common Issues Faced by Property Management Companies?
The following are some of the issues that are prevalent in real estate management firms:
- Below market rentals
- Bad tenants
- Disputes between tenants and landlords
- High maintenance costs
What Are the Top Five Tips for a Property Management Company?
Five tips that every property management company needs are:
- Carry out a needs assessment
- Read reviews from real customers
- Find a PMS with a booking engine
- Establish a clear budget
How Long Does It Take To Get a Georgia Real Estate License?
You will need to attend the pre-license course, which can last anywhere between two to six weeks, while the actual scheduling and taking of the exam will need about three weeks. Altogether, you will need about three to nine weeks for your Georgia real estate license