Real Estate Manager Job Description

The primary role of Real Estate Managers, commonly referred to as Property Managers, is to oversee the daily operations of a specific property, such as a commercial building or apartment complex. They manage facilities maintenance, collect rent, find renters when properties are vacant and handle evictions. Real Estate Managers handle complaints, violations and other issues from residents and renters. They also manage property expenses and perform bookkeeping duties as needed.

Real Estate Managers can work for property management firms, property owners or be self-employed. The projected employment growth rate for this occupation, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is 8 percent over the 2014-2024 period. The growth of homeowner associations and an increase in people living in property-managed buildings, such as apartments and condos, are among the main reasons cited for this expected growth rate.


Real Estate Manager Duties and Responsibilities

It is up to Real Estate Managers to perform several tasks in order to complete their job duties. After analyzing several job listings for Real Estate Managers, we found the following to be among the most commonly listed responsibilities associated with this job title.

Maintain Properties

It falls to Real Estate Managers to ensure that all commercial and other properties under their care are maintained. This includes overseeing minor repairs, painting, landscaping and other activities that upkeep the value of a property.

Negotiate Contracts

Real Estate Managers are typically involved in creating and negotiating the terms of a commercial or residential lease. This can include new leases, renewals or property purchases.

Show Properties

In some cases, Real Estate Managers are responsible for showing potential renters or owners properties that are available for sale or lease. This involves escorting parties on property grounds, highlighting features and discussing any concerns about property repairs or cosmetic changes.

Interact with Tenants

From collecting rents to preparing eviction notices, Real Estate Managers are involved in communicating with commercial or residential property renters. They will handle requests and complaints and implement conflict management skills when needed.

Manage Property Expenses

Real Estate Managers develop, oversee and make changes to property expense budgets as needed. They maintain expense records, set budget limits, develop cost-saving strategies and prepare financial statements.


Real Estate Manager Skills

Strong customer service, analytical and critical thinking skills top the list of abilities that Real Estate Managers should possess. Successful Real Estate Managers should be able to communicate both verbally and in writing and be detail-oriented and deadline-driven. Math and project management skills, such as team-building and scheduling, are important for this occupation. The ability to work both independently and in teams is imperative. Along with these skills, Real Estate Managers should display the following abilities:

  • Negotiating leases and real estate purchases.
  • Overseeing facilities management.
  • Creating property operations budgets.
  • Managing tenant disputes and complaints.


Real Estate Manager Tools of the Trade

Real Estate Managers rely on various tools to complete job tasks. If you are interested in becoming a Real Estate Manager, you should have knowledge of the following:

Property management software – it can be helpful for Real Estate Managers to employ the use of property management software programs, many of which feature tenant management, lease tracking, maintenance scheduling and more.

Building codes and regulations – Real Estate Managers should be familiar with local codes and regulations for both commercial and residential properties.

Microsoft Office applications – working knowledge of Microsoft Word and Outlook is important to communicate with property owners, tenants and clients.


Real Estate Manager Education and Training

Most employers prefer Real Estate Manager candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree in real estate, business administration or public administration. Licensing and/or certification requirements vary from state to state; some require candidates to have Certified Property Manager or similar credentials. In some states, Real Estate Managers must hold a real estate or real estate broker’s license.


Real Estate Manager Salary

As reported by the BLS, Real Estate Managers earn a median annual salary of $57,040. Those earning at the highest percentile are paid $126,390 per year. The highest annual mean wage is realized by Real Estate Managers employed by real estate offices. Northeastern states are listed as among the areas where Real Estate Managers are paid the highest mean wages. New York ($115,770), Rhode Island ($93,460) and Colorado ($89,040) top the list of states where Real Estate Managers earn the highest annual salaries, followed by Massachusetts ($89,030) and Virginia ($87,410).


Real Estate Manager Resources

We have provided additional resources for Real Estate Manager duties and activities below to help you further decide if you wish to pursue a career in this field. Follow links to books, professional organizations and other resources that shed more light on becoming and working as a Real Estate Manager.

National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) – This national organization offers beginning and existing Real Estate Managers with educational webinars, online courses, conferences and networking opportunities.

National Property Management Association (NPMA) – Real Estate Managers who join this association have the opportunity to take advantage of live and online courses, webinars, seminars and workshops as well as pursuing various certifications in the field.

Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) – Established 80 years ago, IREM offers Real Estate Managers with links to articles, blogs and professional journals as well as providing educational and career support opportunities.

Signature Properties Blog – How to work with tenants, screening techniques, inspection practices and marketing strategies are just some of the topics you can explore when you access this blog.

Let’s Talk Property Management – This blog discusses property management best practice and trends that can help both novice and experienced Real Estate Managers.

Be a Successful Property Manager by Roger Woodson From management strategies to tenant problem resolutions, this book provides a detailed look at how Real Estate Managers can fulfill all of their responsibilities.

The Property Management Toolkit by Mike Beirne – This helpful book details techniques for maintaining properties, collecting rents, handling tenant issues and more. Contains examples of maintenance logs, rental renewals and applications, leases and vacancy reports.


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