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Thinking about a Career Shift in 2021? Here’s the 101 on Becoming a Property Manager

Have you considered making a career shift recently? As many people are pivoting to different professional paths during the COVID-19 pandemic, one industry that has become increasingly popular among self-starters is property management. What might surprise you is that property managers share many overlapping skills with those of other industries. From customer service to sales and marketing, property management truly offers something for everyone. If becoming a property manager piques your interest, it’s important to fully educate yourself about the field so you know what to expect. Here’s what it takes to get a career as a property manager underway 

Earn your real estate license. 

While most property management positions do not require a college degree, many states do require a real estate license. A thorough understanding of the real estate and housing market is essential for conducting many of the responsibilities involved in this role. Embarking on your real estate education – even it means taking just a few courses while you work a full-time job – will get you prepared for the field. Additionally, if you are currently enrolled at a college, there are many courses that can help you excel as a property manager, including courses in business, management, finance, urban planning, and affordable housing administration. Taking advantage of education in this realm will give you more confidence as you enter the field while setting you apart from others in the applicant pool. 

Pursue specialized certifications. 

If you’re planning on becoming a property manager in a state in which a real estate certification is required, there are typically certification tests you’ll need to pass. Obtaining at least a couple of specialized certifications will not only be critical for landing a job, but for acquiring the additional knowledge and skills needed to effectively navigate the many responsibilities of a property manager. Some of the most common certifications include the National Apartment Leasing Professional certification and the Certified Apartment Manager (CAM) certificationThere are many more certifications that can be achieved, but these two are more common to have.  

Establish a plan for your job search.

Most property manager candidates don’t land the first job they apply to – in fact, getting your first job will likely take some time, especially if you’re a newbie in the field. One effective way to get your job search off the ground is by getting your networking into high gear. Making connections with real estate investors is a great place to start, as these individuals are typically the first to hear about property management job openings and can often serve as valuable referral sources. Additionally, it’s never been more important to grow your personal brand online. Establishing a strong social media presence and even developing your own personal website can help you market yourself to potential employers while you build your professional identity in the field. Remember, in property management, your reputation is everything. Taking action to create a robust online presence will be key to advancing your career, long after you land your first position. 

Educate yourself on best practices. 

The most successful property managers are those who are not only very skilled and knowledgeable but understand the depth of best practices that are required to run a property in the most professional and ethical way. In addition to performing a multitude of day-to-day responsibilities, property managers must stay informed about the latest real estate laws and regulations and how they’ll affect the properties they manage. Earning relevant certifications, along with reading real estate news on a regular basis, can help you stay abreast on the latest industry developments.  

Expand your suite of skills. 

One of the most unique aspects of property management is that it involves a wide variety of skills. While you may already possess some of the core skills required to excel, there are likely many you need to add to your toolbox. Some skills to focus on as you make your mark in the industry include communication, customer service, marketing, sales, and problem-solving. One of the most important traits in property managers is emotional intelligence, as your ability to understand the needs and behaviors of others will be paramount as you work to address tenants’ concerns, manage employees, and coordinate vendors for your property. When it comes to skill development, make a plan to capitalize on your strengths, and improve your weaknesses.  

Embrace the job. 

To truly succeed as a property manager, it’s important to have a genuine appreciation for the field, as well as empathy towards your community of residents. After all, your tenants are paying your salary – make sure to treat them with kindness and respect! Like any career, there will be stressful days, but it’s how you handle the stress that will make you a more accomplished professional.  


If you’ve been contemplating making a career shift, the new year is the perfect time for a fresh start. Launch your property management career with HH Staffing and let us connect you with many exciting job opportunities across the U.S. 


Until Next Time,  


Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr- President, CEO, and Chief Servant  

Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful  

Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings a fresh perspective from decades of experiences creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high-performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.