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Considering a career in property management?

If you are, the good news is that getting started is easy.

It all depends on what skills and training you’d prefer to get, as some are required while others are optional.

For example: do you need a degree to get started in property management? And is any additional training or certification required?

We’ll answer both of these questions and more below. 

And if you’re already familiar with what a property manager is and their responsibilities, feel free to jump ahead. 

What is a property manager?

A property manager is in charge of handling one or more of a variety of tasks required in the management of a property. 

Typically, that often includes collecting rent, tracking the accounting, managing maintenance requests and regular repairs, and more.

They’re often hired to manage large properties or a large collection that need full-time professional management. 

Property Management Responsibilities

What does a property manager do?

A property manager can handle anything related to the day-to-day management of a property.

What you handle all depends on your services, however.

Some property managers focus on property accounting while many others do full-service property management including everything from the basic management tasks to even things such as forecasting and rent price setting.

Still others offer a variety of potential services or collection of services at different prices. 

A property managers responsibilities can include: 

  • Rent collection
  • Creation and enforcement of tenant and property policies
  • Maintenance management
  • Regular repairs and upkeep
  • Advertising
  • Onboarding tenants including the entire leasing and screening process
  • Property accounting such as paying bills, managing accounts, and preparing taxes
  • And more
Property Management Degree

Do you need a degree to be a property manager? 

Now, let’s get down to the meat of things: Do you need a degree to be a property manager? 

No, you don’t need a degree to officially operate as a property manager in the U.S.

Most property management firms don’t require any formal degree, simply a high school diploma, beyond the expected certification (which we’ll talk about in a bit). 

In fact, there is no “property management” degree at many colleges, likely due to its similarity to the management of other businesses in many ways. 

With that said, a degree can be useful and even encouraged depending on the firm you seek to work with.

What degree is best for property management? 

Now that we’ve established you don’t need a degree to be a property manager, let’s talk about what degree is most helpful for being a good property manager.

These are all highly relevant and useful areas of study:

Accounting

Much of property management involves managing the various financial matters related to the property.

That can include:

  • Rent collection, documentation, and managing
  • Managing other fees and responsibilities such as deposits
  • Taxes
  • Vendor payments
  • And more

Marketing

Keeping units and properties occupied is a critical aspect of property management.

After all: no tenants, no rent, no revenue. 

That’s where marketing and advertising comes in and why it’s so key.

The better you are at both, the more effective you’ll be at keeping your client’s portfolios occupied and profitable. 

Business administration

Managing a property is a lot like managing a business, especially if that property is an apartment complex or commercial establishment. 

Every business-related skill you have will help improve your ability to manage large-scale properties. 

Risk management

In property management, liability issues and shifts in the market can be costly if you’re not prepared.

Formal education in risk management can help you reduce issues here and make your owners properties safer and more profitable. 

Each of these areas is one which you need to pull from regularly in your property management duties, especially in the case of the first three. 

Property management certification and additional training

Beyond a degree, there are types of licensing and certification you need to obtain to be officially recognized as a property manager in most states.

Property Manager Certifications

To be a property manager in most states, you need two things:

  • A real estate broker’s license or a real estate license hung with a broker
  • Certification from an officially recognized property management program

A real estate broker’s license is all that is officially required in many states, with property management certifications acting as additional training.

However, in many other states certification via an official property management training program is baked into the requirements for becoming certified to manage real estate. 

What’s next: Get the tool great property managers use

Once you’ve completed your official education and certification, your learning isn’t done.

To become a great property manager, you need to look for ways to become better and more productive. 

That’s where the DoorLoop property management software comes in.

DoorLoop’s property management software is a trusted partner to countless property managers for its ability to help with every area of property management.

Including:

  • Rent collection
  • Accounting
  • Maintenance management
  • Owner reports and check printing
  • Tenant communications
  • Listing properties 
  • Screening
  • Leasing
  • And more

You can learn more about DoorLoop’s streamlined and easy-to-use property management tool here

David Bitton

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!