If you've ever rented an apartment or other leased property or know someone who has, you've likely encountered the terms "landlord," "landlady" or "property manager." If this is a career that sparks your interest, you have plenty of options—many of which depend on your level of experience and commitment to learning about the industry.
Here are a few qualifications and details you should know about when entering the field of property management.
Managing a rental property doesn't always require any particular degree or certification, but many larger and more established property management companies will ask that their individual managers have certain levels of experience or college education. Possible useful degrees could include business, accounting or real estate—earning continued education beyond a high school diploma can open you up to more opportunities in the property management world.
While it can vary from state to state, many require property managers to have one or more licenses in order to be in the position professionally. Since it's considered a form of real estate, in many states, it's treated similarly. In South Dakota, for example, property managers who handle leasing and negotiations are required to have a Property Management License. Learn more about property management opportunities in our state here.
There are several property management roles to consider when getting into the field. Some property managers operate from an offsite office, while others will have a residency on the property in question. This will largely depend on the company with which you're working, and your legal and licensure requirements may change depending on your property residency status. In many cases, onsite property managers will have more responsibility for the day-to-day needs of the residents, such as calling for maintenance and unit showings.
Check out the local job listings—are there a lot of property management companies in your area, and how often are they hiring? It turns out the national forecast for property managers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is a projected eight percent growth over the next seven years. The average pay for a property manager in South Dakota is about $37,000 per year, with about 870 people employed in the position statewide.