Property, real estate, and community association managers oversee buildings in order to ensure income and profits, or to preserve and enhance resale values. Property and real estate managers specialize in commercial or residential properties that produce income. Community association managers specialize in condominiums, cooperatives, and planned communities, and work through homeowners’ or community associations. These managers are usually hired when owners feel they lack the time or expertise necessary to manage their apartments, office buildings, or retail or industrial properties. Property and real estate managers are usually responsible for the financial operations of property, such as collecting rent, and paying taxes, payroll, insurance, and maintenance. They negotiate with contractors for janitorial security, groundskeeping, trash removal, and other services. The may also enforce lease agreements and purchase supplies and equipment for the property. Community association managers are responsible for collecting dues from members, preparing financial statements, negotiating with contractors, and resolving complaints.
Property, real estate, and community association managers must be resourceful, creative people. They should have good writing and computer skills. They need to be good negotiators, able to talk with and persuade people. They also should be skilled at analyzing data to determine the accurate market value of property.
In 2002, property, real estate, and community association managers earned a median annual salary of $36,880. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $17,450, and the highest 10%, who earned more than $86,650. The following shows the median annual salaries for the industries employing the highest numbers of property, real estate, and community association managers:
- Local government – $50,340
- Offices of real estate agents and brokers – 37,820
- Activities related to real estate – 35,750
- Lessors of real estate – 31,190
Training and Education
Most employers of property, real estate, and community association managers prefer to hire graduates with bachelor’s degrees in business administration, accounting, finance, real estate, public administration, or a liberal arts background. Many start out as onsite managers of apartment buildings, office complexes, or community associations, or as employees of property management firms or community association management companies. Some may advance to assistant property manager positions. Assistants work under an experienced property manager learning how to prepare budgets, analyze insurance coverage and risk options, market property to prospective tenants, and collect overdue rent payments.
They may eventually advance to property management positions. Most real estate managers enter this profession by transferring from another occupation, such as property manager or real estate broker. Most employers encourage managers to attend formal training programs offered by professional and trade associations, which also offer certification or formal professional designation. Visit this page about trade schools for more information on related careers.
In 2002, property, real estate, and community association managers held about 293,000 jobs. 40% worked for real estate agents and brokers, lessors of real estate, or property management firms. Others were employed by real estate development companies, government agencies that manage public buildings, and corporations with extensive holdings of commercial property.
Between 2002 and 2012, the number of loan officers is expected to increase about as fast as the average. This will be due to the projected expansion of the real estate and rental and leasing industry, an overall increase in the nation’s stock of buildings, and the development of new homes. The growing elderly population will create a demand for more assisted-living facilities. Opportunity will be best for those candidates with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, real estate, or a related field, and those who acquire professional designation.