Are you considering a career in real estate management? You may be wondering what the difference is between a property manager and a real estate manager. Knowing the differences between these two professions can help you choose the right one to pursue.
Real estate management is an ever-growing industry with many types of jobs available. A property manager helps manage residential homes, apartment units, office buildings and more. On the other hand, a real estate manager specializes in managing commercial real estate investments such as malls and shopping centers.
Although both professionals work with real estate, they have different focuses that require unique skillsets. In this article, we will discuss the differences between a property manager and a real estate manager so you can decide which field is best for your career goals.
What is a Property Manager
A property manager is a professional who is responsible for the day-to-day management of a property, such as an apartment building, a commercial property, or a community association. They work on behalf of the property owner, or landlords, to ensure that the property is well-maintained, safe and secure, and that it generates a return on investment.
Some of the key responsibilities of a property manager include:
- Marketing and leasing properties to prospective tenants
- Collecting rent and security deposits
- Handling tenant complaints and maintenance requests
- Coordinating and supervising repairs and renovations
- Maintaining accurate financial records and preparing regular reports for the property owner
- Enforcing lease agreements and ensuring that tenants are in compliance with the terms of their lease
- Overseeing and managing any on-site staff, such as maintenance personnel or security guards.
Property managers typically have a background in business, real estate, or a related field. Some states require property managers to be licensed. They also must have knowledge of state and federal laws regarding fair housing, security deposit, eviction, and other related laws.
What is a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a professional who helps clients navigate the process of buying, selling, or renting properties. They typically work for a real estate brokerage, which is a company that employs agents and brokers to conduct real estate transactions.
Some of the key responsibilities of a real estate agent include:
- Assessing the current market conditions and determining the appropriate price for a property
- Advising clients on how to prepare their property for sale or lease, including making necessary repairs and staging the property
- Advertising and promoting the property through various channels, such as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), real estate websites, and social media
- Showing the property to potential buyers or renters and answering questions about the property
- Negotiating the sale or lease of the property on behalf of the client
- Providing guidance and support throughout the closing process, including helping with paperwork and coordinating with other professionals, such as home inspectors and mortgage brokers.
Additionally, many real estate agents are members of professional organizations, such as the National Association of Realtors, which provide additional training and resources.
How to become a Property Manager
Becoming a property manager typically involves the following steps:
- Education: Most property managers have a high school diploma or equivalent, and some may have a college degree in a related field such as business or real estate.
- Training: Many property managers start their career by working as an assistant or leasing agent and gain experience in property management through on-the-job training.
- Licensing: Property management is a regulated industry and may require a license from the state in which you plan to work. Requirements vary by state, but most require passing an exam and completing continuing education classes.
- Building a professional network: Building relationships with landlords, tenants, and other industry professionals is key to success in property management.
- Experience: Many property management companies prefer to hire candidates with at least two years of experience, so gaining experience in the field is important.
It’s worth noting that some states, such as California and Texas, require property managers to be licensed real estate agents as well.
How to become a Real Estate Agent
Becoming a real estate agent typically involves the following steps:
- Meet education and age requirements: In most states, you must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent to become a real estate agent.
- Complete pre-licensing education: Most states require that you complete a certain number of hours of pre-licensing education, which can be taken in a classroom or online.
- Pass the real estate license exam: After completing your pre-licensing education, you will need to pass a state-administered real estate license exam.
- Join a real estate brokerage: After passing the exam, you will need to join a licensed real estate brokerage and work under the supervision of a broker.
- Complete continuing education: Most states require real estate agents to complete continuing education courses to maintain their license.
- Build a network: Building relationships with clients and other industry professionals is key to success as a real estate agent.
It’s worth noting that each state has their own set of rules and regulations for getting a real estate license, so it’s important to check with your state’s real estate regulatory agency for specific requirements.
Can a Real Estate Agent Be a Property Manager?
Yes, a real estate agent can also work as a property manager. In fact, many real estate agents also offer property management services to their clients.
A real estate agent who also works as a property manager will have the ability to help property owners not only sell or rent their properties but also manage and maintain them. They have knowledge and skills to help landlords find and screen tenants, collect rent, handle repairs and maintenance, and ensure the property is in compliance with local laws and regulations. Real estate agents who also work as property managers can help landlords maximize their revenue and minimize the time and effort required to manage their properties.
It’s worth noting that in some states, such as California and Texas, real estate agents are required to be licensed property managers as well. In other states, property managers may need to be licensed real estate agents. It’s important to check with your state’s real estate regulatory agency for specific requirements.
Which one is best for you?
Property management is a good option for individuals who are organized, have good communication and problem-solving skills, and enjoy working with people and coordinating tasks. If you enjoy working in a fast-paced environment and are comfortable handling multiple responsibilities at once, property management may be a good fit for you.
Real estate can be a good option for individuals who enjoy working independently, have good sales and negotiation skills, and are comfortable working with numbers and market trends. If you enjoy building relationships and helping people find their dream home, real estate may be a good fit for you.
Ultimately, it’s important to research both careers and consider your own skills, interests, and values before making a decision. It could be helpful to speak with professionals currently working in the field, or intern with a property manager or real estate agent to gain experience and get a sense of what the job is like.