How to Become a Property Leasing Manager
Find out how to become a property leasing manager. Research the education requirements and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in property management.
Property Leasing Manager Requirements
Property leasing managers work with residential, commercial or industrial properties and handle tenant leasing and rental concerns. They are often employed by property management companies and deal with a variety of property types, such as multi-unit apartment complexes, commercial office buildings or university apartments. Some typical duties of a property leasing manager include showing properties to prospective tenants, handling marketing campaigns and addressing tenant complaints and maintenance requests.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that although the minimum requirement for property management positions is a high school diploma, many employers prefer to hire candidates with college degrees, mostly at the associate or bachelor's level. Employers looking for commercial property management positions or managers who also handle finances and contract management might seek candidates who have bachelor's or master's degrees. Property managers who conduct real estate sales transactions must be licensed in all 50 states. A few states require property association managers to be formally licensed. Government subsidized public housing property managers need certifications for employment. Property leasing managers often deal strictly with lease and rental issues, but might be required to perform expanded duties, depending on the employer. The following table shows the core requirements for property leasing managers:
|Degree Level||No degree required; some employers may desire college degrees*|
|Degree Field(s)||Business administration, accounting, finance, real estate, or public administration*|
|Licensure and/or Certification||Some states require licensure; certification may be required for government subsidized housing; voluntary certification is also available*|
|Experience||Entry-level; some employers desire 1-7 years*|
|Key Skills||Customer service skills, interpersonal skills, communication skills, organizational skills and tact*|
|Computer Skills||Access software, accounting software, database user and query software and spreadsheet software**|
|Technical Skills||Calculators, fax machines, photocopiers, scanners and 2-way radios**|
|Additional Requirements||Ability to work nights/weekends, valid driver's license with clean driving record, background and drug testing***|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **O*Net OnLine, ***Employer job postings (January 2013)
Step 1: Get a College Degree
Many employers seeking property leasing managers desire or require job applicants with college degrees. Because employers have varying requirements and preferences, aspiring property leasing managers should consider whether a 2-year or a 4-year degree is more appropriate for them. Many 2-year programs at community or technical colleges include transferable credits for students who wish to go on and earn a 4-year degree. Colleges and universities often have real estate specializations within their business administration or management programs that include courses designed for a career in property management, such as real estate principles, law and finance.
- Get relevant work experience while still in school. Employers looking for property leasing managers often prefer or require experienced candidates. However, some entry-level positions are open to students who have taken relevant courses or do not have experience. An aspiring property leasing manager should consider work-study options while completing his or her degree. This can help build on the experience typically required for most positions. Taking advantage of any internship opportunities is another way to build professional experience.
- Develop strong written and verbal skills. Property leasing managers deal with tenants, potential tenants, staff and management on a regular basis and need to have clear and effective communication methods. Students can hone their communication skills by taking courses in subjects like communications, public speaking, business writing and negotiation.
Step 2: Acquire Work Experience
Since most property leasing management positions require a candidate to have relevant work experience, students can enter the workforce to gain that experience after graduation. Students desiring professional certification also need to demonstrate work experience in order to meet qualifications. Some associate or administrative positions at real estate or property management companies may have openings for candidates with little to no experience.
Step 3: Consider Licensure or Certification
Aspiring property leasing managers should check with their state for specific requirements. For example, property community association managers in the state of Florida need to be formally licensed. Licensure generally entails completing required education or training and successfully passing an examination.
Certifications are available through a variety of associations, such as the Institute of Real Estate Management, which offers the Certified Property Manager designation. Earning certification shows potential employers a candidate's level of experience and expertise in the field and may provide career advancement opportunities. In order to qualify for certification, an individual needs to meet educational and experiential requirements, followed by successfully passing a series of examinations.
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