Property management can be a fulfilling career choice. If you enjoy working with tenants and negotiating and enforcing the terms of a lease, then this may just be the perfect role for you! Other duties may include collecting rental payments each month, maintaining a rental property, and communicating with the landlord.
However, it's important to note that if you want to become a part of a property management company in Michigan, you will need a real estate license. We understand that it might seem a little overwhelming, which is why we have written this article to help you navigate the ins and outs of becoming a property manager.
What Is a Property Manager?
Before delving into the requirements, it might be helpful to first understand exactly what property managers are and what role they play in real estate.
A property manager is someone responsible for overseeing a rental property, acting as a middleman between the tenant and landlord in exchange for compensation or other valuable consideration pursuant.
Property managers and property management companies provide maintenance services, collect rent, and ensure that tenants are following the terms of the lease when a landlord or property owner is unable to fulfill these duties or simply isn't interested in doing so.
Michigan has two types of property managers:
- Real estate brokers
In accordance with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, you need to hold a salesperson or real estate broker license in order to act as a property manager in the state.
You must be 18 years old or older, complete 40 hours of pre-licensing coursework, and take the real estate examination to obtain a real estate salesperson license. Keep in mind that you will also need to be a US citizen to become a salesperson or real estate broker.
Additionally, you must complete a background check and file your application via the MiPLUS web platform, along with a $88 fee. Real estate licenses are issued by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, which is also tasked with protecting the public's interests.
The truth is that property management can be a lucrative career choice. On average, property managers make $48,000 annually, but salaries can range from $ 21,000 to $88,500, depending on the individual's experience working in the industry, their location, skillset, qualifications, and more.
A real estate broker often performs a number of duties. They are generally responsible for running background checks on prospective candidates and negotiating the terms of the lease agreement.
Property management specialists will also manage home inspections and manage the day-to-day function of the property, taking care of maintenance and repair operations. Another major part of the job is communicating with the landlord and tenant.
Keep in mind that before managing property for a client, a property manager must enter into a property management employment contract that details the terms and conditions of the agreement between the two parties.
It's important that property management professionals comply with state law concerning their function. Here is a quick breakdown of the responsibilities a property management company typically has:
- Arranging for potential tenants to view properties
- Conducting assessments of the rental unit
- Leasing available properties
- Communicating with the renter
- Acting as a liaison between landlords and tenants
- Running background checks on candidates
- Assisting in the creation and execution of rental contracts
- Managing lease renewals
- Attending a court-ordered eviction hearing
- Pursuing unpaid rent
- Accounting and reporting
- Confirming that the rental home complies with all applicable building and real estate regulations in Michigan
- Selecting and controlling contractors for routine upkeep and repairs
It is important that managers have certain skills. If you have the skills listed below, then property management may just be a career worth pursuing!
- Management skills. It goes without saying that you'll need to have good management skills. If you have experience managing people and projects, you'll definitely be at an advantage.
- Time management skills. You should also be able to manage your time well to ensure your efficiency as a property management specialist.
- Organizational skills. Another essential quality is organizational skills. Because you will inevitably have to keep track of rental payments, lease agreements, and more, it's crucial to stay organized.
- Knowledge of basic accounting. To manage activities like collecting monthly payments, estimating and reporting late fees, and updating spending records, property managers require a basic understanding of accounting practices. Even though there are plenty of software solutions that make this easier, some knowledge is necessary.
- People skills. Since you’ll spend a lot of your time dealing with tenants, landlords, contractors, and more, it is important to have excellent people skills if you want to be successful in the industry.
To act as a middleman between a landlord and tenant, a property manager must have certain qualifications, as mentioned previously. However, there are a number of certifications that you can pursue.
What Education and Certification are Needed for a Rental Manager?
If you want to pursue a career in real estate management, you'll need to have a high school diploma. Moreover, you'll need 90 hours of experience managing property alongside a broker. You will also need to pass the real estate exam to obtain your Michigan real estate license.
Thereafter, you may pursue additional qualifications to manage your own properties in Michigan.
Property Manager Certifications
There are a number of qualifications that you may pursue after you have met the real estate license requirement and managed real property. Keep in mind that the more qualifications you have, the higher your chances of landing a high-paying job with a reputable property management company.
We'll cover them briefly in the section below to give you a better idea of what your options are.
National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP)
This type of qualification will hold you in good stead and prepare you for the demands of working in a fast-paced real estate management industry.
To qualify for this type of position, it is important to first apply for an entry-level job as a property manager. Here are some of the requirements for pursuing this type of certification:
- A minimum of six months of experience
- Completing all the NALP modules successfully
- Passing the market survey and NALP examination
Certified Property Manager (CPM)
This is the qualification to pursue if you want to hold senior positions at your real estate management firm.
Here are some of the requirements:
- Candidates must either show they do not require a license for their current work or possess a real estate broker license.
- Three years must have passed continuously in a suitable real estate management position.
- You must complete 19 of 36 requirement tasks to be eligible for this certificate.
- Meet the requirements within one year
Certified Apartment Manager (CAM)
A property management certification is the next step for a leasing specialist after mastering crucial industry principles. As a result, onsite managers—who typically serve as the sole person that tenants interact with on a regular basis—are the target audience for training for Certified Apartment Managers (CAM).
This qualification allows property managers in Michigan to represent regional property owners in the best manner possible.
Here are some of the requirements that must be met to qualify for this certification:
- A minimum of 12 months of industry experience
- Successfully complete the modules in the CAM course
- Obtain your certification within 12 months of enrolling
Master Property Manager (MPM)
The greatest level of achievement possible for real estate brokers is Master Property Manager or MPM. This involves having worked in real estate management for at least 60 consecutive months.
Additionally, a qualified candidate must satisfy all requirements for a CPM certification. A minimum of 500 housing units at one or more locations or 100 units at five or more locations is also necessary.
Now that you understand what property management entails, you're well on your way to pursuing your career as a real estate manager. Because a job of this nature can be overwhelming, it's important to have the right tools to help you navigate the challenges this job may bring.
Fortunately, you can turn to DoorLoop, an intuitive real estate management software solution designed to make your life easy. From assistance with accounting to tenant screening features, you can find everything you need in one place!
This is a must if you want to get ahead in the real estate game. Contact us today to book your free demo.
Frequently Asked Questions
Want to know more? Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about how to become a property manager in Michigan.
1. Do I have to have a real estate license to be a property manager in Michigan? Are there any exceptions?
Suppose you are dealing directly with an owner and administering real estate for him or her in Michigan. In that case, you do not require a license. Moreover, managing a condo or community association does not require a broker license.
If all you're doing is maintaining a property or managing the books, for instance, you don't require a license. As stated by the Institute for Real Estate Management, you will only need a real estate license if you are involved in discussing or handling property leasing.
2. What is a property management employment contract?
Before a manager may commence work with a landlord, it is important that a property management employment contract be drawn up. A property management employment contract is a written agreement between the broker and the property owner.
It details the duties and responsibilities of the property manager. This agreement also grants the broker consent to lease a property for a commission, fee, or other valuable consideration pursuant.
3. What can I do with a Master Property Manager certification?
If you're hoping to obtain a Master Property Manager certification, you're probably wondering whether it is worthwhile. The short answer is that it is.
This is one of the highest qualifications that real estate brokers may obtain and is generally necessary for establishing a property management company, as this is one of the requirements. You can really boost your earnings and employ other real estate managers!