According to a 2024 report by IBISWorld, the property management industry in the United States produces around $117 billion per year and real estate makes up around 16% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Because of this, many people are seeking to open a property management company or get into property management. Property management might seem simple, but it involves a lot more effort than most people think. We'll talk about the challenges of property management as well as the benefits, to help you make a more informed decision.

What Does a Property Manager Do?

A property manager takes care of buildings and rental properties for the owner. Their job is to make sure everything runs smoothly so that the buildings are safe, clean, and pleasant places to live or work in.

Here are some basic property management tasks:

  • Vacancies: They advertise rental properties, show them to potential renters, and choose the most suitable tenants.
  • Rent Collection: They are responsible for making sure tenants pay their rent on time each month.
  • Property Maintenance: Property managers keep buildings in good shape. They schedule repairs and upgrades, deal with emergencies, and ensure that the property meets legal standards.
  • Budget Upkeep: They manage the money needed to maintain the property, including paying for repairs and upgrades.
  • Tenant Relations and Communication: They are the main contact for tenants. If tenants have problems or need help, the property manager is the person they go to.
  • ... and much more

Is Being a Property Manager Stressful and a Lot of Work?

Is Being a Property Manager Stressful and a Lot of Work?

Being a property manager is definitely a demanding job. Let's discuss some stressors that people in the industry have reported.

Many Responsibilities

One of the main reasons the job is stressful is the wide range of responsibilities.

Property managers must oversee repairs, handle emergencies, and ensure all properties are safe and up to code. They also need to keep track of payments and manage budgets, which can be particularly challenging if resources are limited.

"Be prepared to have thick skin and talk with a bunch of subcontractors, tenants, and landlord(s). You will deal with so many unusual and unpredictable things, such as mold, leaks, infestation, complaints, state violations, etc. that has nothing to do with you." (Reddit User)

Dealing with People

Another stress factor is dealing with people. Property managers often find themselves mediating conflicts between tenants or dealing with complaints. This requires strong communication skills and a lot of patience.

Sometimes, no matter how well a property manager does their job, they can face difficult situations with tenants or property owners that are hard to resolve.

A Reddit user reported "You have to be prepared to become cynical very quickly, as well as develop thick skin FAST. You are hired as the “middle man” between the owner and the tenants. You get 'yelled at' by both sides when things go wrong."

Unpredictable Workload and Work Hours

The workload in this field can be unpredictable.

A property manager's day might start with a simple to-do list, but emergencies like a broken water pipe or a power outage can throw off the entire schedule. This unpredictability means property managers must be flexible and ready to tackle unexpected challenges at any time, which can mean working well beyond a nine to five.

"It is definitely not a 9-5, clock in/clock out kind of job. On call is part of the deal in almost every role. Even in more senior roles, you always have to be ready to back up the rest of your team and show up at any hour if needed." (Reddit User)

Financial Management

Managing the finances of properties involves more than just collecting rent.

Property managers must also handle budgets, plan for repairs, and sometimes deal with unexpected expenses. Keeping everything balanced requires strong organizational skills and attention to detail.

Safety Issues

Ensuring the safety of tenants and the property is also a top priority.

This includes regular maintenance checks, addressing hazards promptly, and complying with safety regulations. Failing to do so can lead to serious legal consequences for both tenants and property owners.

Accounting Tasks

Accurate record-keeping and financial reporting are key in property management. This includes detailed tracking of income, expenses, and deposits. Many people struggle in the area because it requires a good understanding of accounting principles.

Hiring the Right People

Whether it's maintenance staff, cleaning crews, or office support, finding the right team is important for a property manager.

On top of all other tasks, they need to hire trustworthy individuals who can perform their duties effectively and contribute to the smooth running of the property.

Pros of Becoming a Property Manager

Pros of Becoming a Property Manager

Regardless of it's downsides, property management is a career path that many people love. Let's explore some of the benefits of entering this field.

Growing Field and Technology

There are close to 297,000 property management businesses in the U.S. and the demand for property managers is increasing as more buildings and living spaces are built.

Technology also plays a big role in making the job easier and more efficient. For example, property management software, like DoorLoop, can help manage rental payments, track maintenance requests, and even screen new tenants.

This means property managers can handle their tasks more quickly, make fewer mistakes, and focus on portfolio growth.

Low Entry Barrier

Becoming a property manager doesn't require a lot of expensive education or training. Many positions only ask for a high school diploma or a two-year associate degree. Of course, some knowledge and skills in real estate can help, but many companies provide on-the-job training to get you started.

Not Tied to One Client

Property managers have the opportunity to work with various clients and properties. One day you could be managing a residential apartment, and the next, a commercial office building.

This variety keeps the job interesting and allows property managers to gain experience in many areas of the real estate industry.

Earning Potential

Property management can make a great career.

A property manager's salary often depends on experience, the size and number of properties you manage, and the region you work in.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for property, real estate, and community association managers for 2023 was $62,850, with the average annual salary at $59,428.

Bottom Line: Is Property Management Difficult?

Yes, property management is difficult. Property managers need to stay organized, communicate effectively, and be ready for unexpected challenges at all times.

However, the benefits of being a property manager are huge. It's a growing field thanks to the continuous need for housing and commercial spaces, and the integration of new technologies that make managing properties more efficient. The barriers to enter this career are also very low, which allows many people to start with minimal upfront investment in education.

The earning potential is also above national average, making it a more attractive career for people willing to take on the responsibilities.

Read this post to learn more about how to start a property management company.

... and to learn more about how property management software can streamline your day-to-day operations, schedule a free demo of DoorLoop today!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Will property management be a good business in the future?
Yes, property management will likely be a good business in the future. As more people need places to live and work, the demand for skilled property managers will grow. New technologies also make managing properties easier, making the field more efficient and appealing.

What makes the best property manager?

The best property manager is organized, good at solving problems, communicates well, and can handle stress. They keep properties running smoothly by dealing with tenants, managing money, and fixing issues quickly.

What kind of property manager makes the most money?

The property managers who make the most money usually handle a large number of properties or manage high-value commercial real estate in big cities. They often have lots of experience and advanced skills in real estate and business.

Ilia is a Content Creator and Copywriter at DoorLoop with a background in Real Estate and Law. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida International University with Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and International Relations.