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Property Specialist Duties and Responsibilities

A property specialist's duties can vary depending on the size of the leasing company, as well as the number of properties under the specialist's care. That said, most property specialists fulfill these common responsibilities:

Evaluate Potential Tenants Property specialists sort through leasing applications and decide which potential tenants are a good fit. Leasing property is a calculated risk, so the property specialist must consider income, credit, and tenant history, among other factors. This responsibility also requires giving tours and pitching to prospective tenants.

Manage Staff Property specialists are responsible for managing maintenance staff as well as any outside contractors. They're generally the main point of contact between tenants and the staff.That's one reason why open availability is crucial, as issues can arise at any time.

Oversee Operations A key aspect of the specialist's job is running a property's day-to-day operations. This includes paying bills, writing income reports, overseeing maintenance work, and communicating with tenants about community issues.


Property Specialist Skills and Qualifications

As part salesman and part manager, property specialists have a diverse and well-rounded skill set that includes:
  • Salesmanship - property specialists use sales pitches to entice potential tenants to submit an application. The specialist needs to build a large pool of quality prospects to avoid leasing to unsuitable applicants
  • Negotiation - after selecting suitable candidates, property specialists negotiate a lease agreement that satisfies potential tenants while preserving the property owner's interests
  • Employee management - ensuring that staff is on task, working efficiently, and respecting the comfort and privacy of tenants is key to maintaining a property and its community
  • Communication skills - securing new leases and managing staff requires savvy in-person communication, but because property specialists primarily use email and notices to contact tenants, they're strong written communicators as well
  • Organization skills - managing properties involves a lot of time, paperwork, and sensitive information, so property specialists rely on organizational strategies to prioritize their time and stay on schedule

Property Specialist Education and Training

In some cases, a high school diploma is all that's required to become a property specialist. However, many employers look for a bachelor's degree in business management. Leasing companies usually give new property specialists on-the-job training. They can also become certified in property management, but this is by no means a universal requirement.

Property Specialist Salary and Outlook

Categorized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as property managers, the median salary for property specialists is around $57,000 a year. The bottom 10 percent earn less than $28,260, while salary for the top 10 percent surpasses $126,390. In the next 10 years, the field is expected to grow by 11 percent. This above average rate is attributed to more people choosing to rent apartments, as well as a rising elderly population leading to more age-specific properties.

Helpful Resources

If you're ready to start your property specialist career, we've put together some helpful resources to get you on the right path:

Institute of Real Estate Management - this organization for property managers and specialists offers classes, webinars, and certification programs, as well as a job board

New York State Association of Realtors - while this site is geared towards full-fledged realtors, it offers helpful resources for anyone working in the real estate industry, including several certifications that can set prospective property specialists apart from other job candidates

California Association of Realtors - this group offers education opportunities for those outside the agent career path, including professional development for managing specific properties like vacation rentals and commercial spaces

The Book on Managing Rental Properties: A Proven System for Finding, Screening, and Managing Tenants with Fewer Headaches and Maximum Profit - Brandon and Heather Turner wrote this book for new rental property owners, but its peek into the owner's point of view is invaluable to property specialists as well

The Property Management Tool Kit - this handy guide explores how to improve a property's value, but specialists will especially appreciate its in-depth discussions of record keeping, rent collection, and tenant issues

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