Property management is a profession that is increasingly requiring more than just a high school diploma. While it is not strictly necessary to have a degree to become a property manager, having one can help you achieve your goal. O*NET reported that a bachelor's degree is the most common level of education for property managers, and 55 percent of students in the field declare this degree. Another 10 percent of property managers have a post-secondary certificate.
Why should you consider getting a degree in property management or doing some professional preparation to start in this profession? The main reason why companies are increasingly looking to hire property managers with an education or training higher than the high school level is because this job isn't easy. Regardless of what you choose to specialize in when you're preparing for a career in property management, your course of study will most likely include some emphasis on management and leadership skills, as well as relevant aspects of business administration. Property Management degree programs are few and far between, but they do exist. For example, Virginia Tech offers a degree in property management, but it is one of the few institutions in the country to do so.
Just because there aren't many specific degree programs for property management doesn't mean that there aren't many education and training programs in this area that don't grant a bachelor's degree. Many property management education programs are certification programs awarded by vocational colleges and professional schools, such as this four- to eight-month program from Penn Foster, or certification courses offered by professional organizations and associations, such as the Institute of Real Estate Management. Generally, training programs without a degree in property management are short and very focused. The core courses of a property management degree program may include introductory studies in property management, property management operations, residential and commercial property marketing and leasing, affordable and specialized housing management, residential technology, and advanced property and asset management. Property management may seem like a fairly specific specialty, but students may have the opportunity to further specialize by taking elective subjects in areas of particular interest to them.
These related electives may include real estate law and valuation, housing policies and challenges, ethical leadership, and many others. One of the advantages of earning a degree in property management, rather than a certificate or certification course alone, is the greater opportunity to work on developing your communication skills through courses in basic university composition, business writing and public speaking. The specialization in business administration provides you with extensive undergraduate business training. This is useful for property managers, since much of their work falls under administrative functions. You may or may not have extensive management functions related to other people, but you will likely need skills related to managing the financial aspects of operating the rental property, as well as skills to plan, market, schedule, coordinate maintenance work and renovations on the property and oversee compliance with laws and regulations. Courses in operations management, strategic planning, marketing and business law are valuable for those who want to pursue a career in property management.
CPMs maintain both private and commercial real estate investments and are responsible for ensuring the appreciation of such properties. To get certified, you must apply, accept a code of ethics, complete some type of education in the field, and pass a certification exam. Earning a degree or certification in property management can help you stand out from other applicants when applying for jobs. It can also give you an edge when negotiating salaries or promotions. With the right education or training program under your belt, you can be well on your way to becoming an effective and successful property manager.