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Real Estate Manager: Job Description & Career Requirements

Real estate managers oversee the daily activities and financial aspects of residential and commercial properties, such as apartments, office buildings and retail stores. Learn what type of education is required to obtain a position, as well what to expect in terms of job growth and earnings potential.

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Career Definition

Real estate managers oversee the operational aspects of commercial and residential properties and are responsible for maintaining the premises and increasing their value. Some managers may provide services for multiple buildings or locations. Job duties associated with large properties can include training and supervising staff members and groundskeepers. According to the U.S. General Services Administration, real estate managers who work on smaller properties may also be responsible for daily services and minor repairs (www.gsa.gov). Depending on the employer, additional activities can include making mortgage, tax and insurance payments, as well as other bookkeeping activities.

How to Become a Real Estate Manager

Education Required

Most employers prefer applicants to have a bachelor's degree in real estate, finance or business administration. Managers often receive on-the-job training, including how to operate and repair any machines or equipment located on the premises.

Skills Required

Real estate managers must have excellent interpersonal and analytical skills, including the ability to communicate with owners, staff and tenants in an effective and efficient manner. Computer literacy, recordkeeping and strong leadership abilities are also required. Manual dexterity and knowledge of maintenance tools and equipment may be helpful in more hands-on positions.

Career and Salary Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), opportunities for property, real estate and community association managers across the country are expected to grow by 12% from 2012 to 2022, due to the expansion of residential and commercial properties. As of May 2012, real estate managers earned mean annual salaries of $63,570 (www.bls.gov).

Alternate Career Options

Administrative Service Managers

In general, administrative services managers oversee the support services for a company or an organization. Responsibilities typically include maintaining the facility, recordkeeping and routing mail. While it is possible to enter the field with a high school diploma, some employers may prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in a relevant field of study, such as business administration or facility management. Professional certifications are available from the International Facility Management Association. As reported by the BLS, job opportunities for administrative services managers nationwide are expected to increase by 12% between 2012 and 2022, a fast-as-average rate of growth when compared to all other occupations. The BLS also reports that, in May 2012, administrative service managers earned mean yearly wages of $88,660.

Lodging Managers

Lodging managers are responsible for the efficient and profitable operations of hotels, motels and other related establishments, which typically includes making sure that overnight guests have an enjoyable stay. Minimum requirements include a high school diploma and lodging experience; a bachelor's degree in hotel management or hospitality may be required by full-service or larger establishments. According to the BLS, a little over half of the states in the country, as well as Washington D.C., provide relevant training at the high school level. As of May 2012, lodging managers earned mean annual wages of $54,800, with little or no change in job growth anticipated between 2012 and 2022 nationwide.

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