Wanted: Property Managers

Career opportunities in real estate management are the best ever, experts say. Here’s why you might want to consider jumping in.

August 1, 2007

Interested in taking your real estate career down a new path? You might want to check out real estate management, says Robert Toothaker, Certified Property Manager (CPM®).

Not only is there a large pool of potential clients who own — or are looking to own — an investment or rental property, but there are many job openings as aging property managers retire, he says.

"Since so many of our colleagues are reaching retirement age, real estate owners and investors must increasingly seek replacements to manage their properties," says Toothaker, who also is president of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), an affiliate of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. “This, combined with a management function that is becoming more complex and sophisticated, is boosting demand for real estate managers as never before.”

He says the need for property managers spans across all classes of properties, including commercial, residential, retail, military, governmental, educational, and industrial.

What the Job Entails

Property managers are in charge of protecting the owner’s investment often by handling the financial operations; vendor contract negotiations; compliance with local, state, and federal regulations and building codes; advertising; and tenant complaints, among other things.

The job of property manager can be complicated, but it comes with many perks, Toothaker says. Among them:

  • Job satisfaction. Real estate management ranked 23rd as “Best Jobs in America,” according to last year’s Money Magazine and Salary.com survey, which researched hundreds of jobs based on growth prospects, pay, stress levels, and other factors.
  • High-growth, high-wage. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, real estate management ranks 38th among the top 50 jobs — growing faster than the average (13 percent) and paying above the median of $28,770. In May 2004, the median annual earnings of salaried property, real estate, and community association managers were $39,980, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Commercial real estate boom. Commercial real estate job postings have increased 35 percent from February to April 2007, with real estate management second only to finance in postings, according to the Spring 2007 issue of Selectleaders Job Barometer, which offered the first-ever assessment of the U.S. job market in commercial real estate. The study also said that employers in the commercial real estate industry are looking to hire and pay more for real estate talent.
  • Strong job market. There are plenty of job opportunities in this arena, Toothaker says, citing the increasing number of property managers who are retiring. In addition, the commercial real estate market remains robust.

Education Is Key

Not so fast, though. Real estate management takes training. IREM is working to attract more people to property management, such as by expanding their college connection program, and has developed several resources to raise the awareness of a real estate management career, such as:

Learn More:

Field Guide to Commercial Property Management

(c) Copyright 2007Realty Times. Reprinted with permission.

Blanche Evans is a writer/editor and CEO of evansEmedia. Formerly, she was a senior editor with Realty Times, where she was named by REALTOR® Magazine as one of the most influential people in the real estate industry.