How a Real Estate Agent is different than a Property Manager

Real estate terminology is full of acronyms and confusing job titles. We’ve been talking about different job descriptions in the industry, helping you tease out who does what.  

In this blog post, you’ll learn what a property manager does and how the role overlaps with real estate agent. Stay tuned ‘til the end if you’d like to know how to become a property manager as we’ll cover that too. 

What is a Property Manager? 

Landlords often delegate tasks when they are unable to do the work themselves. They may live too far away, lack expertise, or need time to focus on other priorities. That’s where the property manager comes in. 

A property manager is an individual or a company who assumes responsibility for a residential, commercial, or industrial property in place of the owner. They are generally paid a fee or a percentage of the rental amount and responsibilities may include duties such as: 

  • Coordinating property maintenance, repairs, and upgrades 
  • Supervising employees 
  • Marketing and showing property 
  • Locating and screening potential tenants 
  • Record keeping and reporting to the owner 
  • Drawing up contracts 
  • Dealing with tenants 
  • Mediating tenant/landlord relationships 
  • Collecting rents 
  • Inspecting properties

Property managers can be self-employed or work for property management companies. You might find it’s an interesting career choice if you like meeting people, have good mediation skills, and appreciate variety in your routine. 

Can a Real Estate Agent Be a Property Manager? 

Property management, in addition to real estate, can be an ideal way to diversify income, but be sure to check your state requirements. Many states require property managers to hold a real estate broker’s license or work under someone who does unless they are self-managing properties they own. 

Depending on your state, property managers may also be governed by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and/or the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). 

Many real estate agents aren’t interested in property management because it takes them away from their main business of buying and selling. Others, however, appreciate the value in an alternate source of income, lower rate of competition, shorter sales cycle, and variety of duties property management offers. 

How to Become a Property Manager 

According to the California Department of Real Estate (DRE), the profession requires “knowledge of agency, contracts, fair housing, rentals, and leases” and “additional knowledge is required in business administration, marketing, purchasing, extensions of credit, accounting, advertising, insurance, repairs and maintenance, taxation, and public relations”.  

Since many of these topics are covered in real estate broker’s licensing courses, brokers have the knowledge and skills necessary for property management plus benefits like being able to list properties on MLS sites and use regulated lockboxes for showings. 

Whether you can work as a property manager depends on your state. In California, for example, if you don’t have your real estate broker license, you’ll need to work for a real estate brokerage or a property management firm. 

If you want to work as an independent property manager or start a property management company, you’ll need to be a licensed broker. Currently, broker requirements include two years of experience as a real estate salesperson, as well as coursework and a passing grade on the state real estate broker licensing exam. 

While specific training in property management is not required at this time, courses from organizations like the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) will help you become knowledgeable and give you a competitive edge in the property management marketplace. 

How to Become a Real Estate Agent or Broker 

Are you just starting to explore the real estate industry? Sign up for an upcoming Career Day event to find out about the many exciting career options available.  

Ready to enroll in real estate education courses? Our unique Group Study program offers all the benefits of seasoned, licensed instructors in a virtual classroom or in-person lecture format. If you prefer independent, self-paced learning, you can access our courses through the Fast-Track program. 

If you’re already licensed, we’ve got the Continuing Education you need to renew your real estate salesperson and broker licenses. If you’re ready to pursue property management and need Broker License training, we would be glad to help you take the next step in your career. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us today. 

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