A multifamily rental property manager (also known as a multifamily real estate manager) is a company or person that has the responsibility of managing a multifamily property on behalf of the owner.
So, What Does a Multifamily Property Manager Do?
A multifamily property manager plays many roles and takes on many responsibilities including:
- Drafting a property management business plan
- Property management marketing to find leads
- Converting property management leads to clients
- Listing vacant multifamily rental properties
- Screening new applicants
- Handling lease documents
- Offering residents ongoing customer service
- Setting rental rates and collecting rents
- Reporting regularly to property management clients (rental property owners)
- Coordinating repairs and maintenance with contractors
- Performing basic multifamily accounting tasks
- Evicting tenants that violate lease agreements
Why Should You Consider a Career in Multifamily Property Management?
There are many benefits that come with being a multifamily property manager:
- High demand – With the rapid increase of multifamily real estate in the US housing market and more and more investors looking for passive income, qualified property managers are in high demand.
- Good income – Multifamily rental property management is one of the highest paying careers in real estate. According to glassdoor.com, the average annual base pay of a multifamily property manager in the United States is $53,683. These earnings can go as high as $89,000 per year.
Related: How Much Do Property Managers Make?
- Multiple rental units in one building – If you were to become a property manager who solely focused on single-family properties, you may have to expand your operations in order to be able to efficiently manage multiple rental units in different locations. However, with multifamily rental properties, you can start with one client and one property and be earning a percentage from the income generated by many rental units. All the while, it will be easier to manage all the tenants under one roof.
- Networking opportunities – Being a multifamily property manager offers a great opportunity to network with a wide range of people including vendors, tenants, contractors, and property management clients.
If these benefits sound good to you, keep reading to learn how to become a property manager of multifamily homes.
How to Become a Property Manager of Multifamily Homes
Here is what you need to do to become a multifamily property manager:
Get a degree in real estate
While you can pursue a multifamily property management career with just a high school diploma, most companies want to employ people with at least a bachelor’s degree in a real estate-related field. This could be a degree in finance, accounting, business administration, public administration, and real estate. Other companies want employees with specific vocational training in real estate. Qualifications in urban planning, real estate management, housing for the elderly, real estate finance, and affordable housing administration are especially sought after.
The good news is that you don’t have to go back to school to get this knowledge. There are numerous free or affordable online programs and courses in real estate to choose from.
Obtain specialized certifications
Obtaining a multifamily property manager certification will give you credibility and authority. Some jurisdictions will also require you to acquire a separate property management license before you are allowed to manage real estate. Take time to learn about the requirements of your city, county or state.
Here are some important multifamily property management certifications to consider:
- Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA)
- Residential Management Professional (RMP)
- Master Property Manager (MPM)
- Certified Apartment Manager (CAM)
- Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor (CAPS)
- National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP)
- Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAMT)
Most states require multifamily property managers to hold a real estate broker’s license or a property management license before conducting any transactions related to leasing or managing rental properties. These licenses are issued by the local authorities, real estate boards or state governments where a property manager conducts business.
Here are some of the requirements for obtaining a real estate broker’s license or a property management license:
- Age – Most states require property managers to be 18 years or older
- Exam – Candidates must complete a specific amount of classroom hours and pass exams before receiving a license
- Trustworthiness – Most jurisdictions will not license any individual that has been indicted for conspiracy to defraud, extortion, theft, forgery or any other crime showing character untrustworthiness
- Experience – Before being licensed as a property manager, candidates must demonstrate some experience in real estate during the period preceding application
- Proof of citizenship – Applicants might be required to show some proof of US citizenship or state residency
Find your first multifamily property manager job
Once you have your qualifications, certifications, and license in place, it is time to look for some multifamily properties to manage. You can start by informing your friends, family, and professional contacts that you are looking for work in property management. You might just land your first job through word-of-mouth referrals.
Networking with local real estate agents is another great way of getting leads on property management jobs. Such agents can also offer valuable tips on how to succeed in the real estate business.
Another good way to land property management clients is to get access to homeowner data with names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails. You can then market your services directly to rental property owners. If you use a tool like Mashboard to get homeowner data, you can filter the data for multifamily homes in a specific area to ensure that you’re getting in touch with the right real estate investor leads.
Don’t forget to check online career resources and job boards regularly. There are always jobs being advertised for property managers and other real estate disciplines.
Stay abreast of property management trends
Landing a job as a multifamily property manager or starting a property management company should not make you complacent. Engage with other property managers on a regular basis and stay updated on the latest property management industry trends. Reading property manager blogs and newsletters is a great way to stay informed on the latest developments. Property Management Insider, Multifamily Insider, Mashvisor, Zillow, BiggerPockets, Fourandhalf, and Realtor Magazine are some of the top blogs you should consider following.
Besides having certifications and a license, you also require certain skills to become a multifamily property manager. This includes strong communication skills, organizational skills, marketing skills, tech-savviness, patience, professionalism, and flexibility. Having these qualities will enhance your chances of success in the competitive property management career.