Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers

Career, Salary and Education Information

What They Do: Property, real estate, and community association managers take care of the many aspects of residential, commercial, or industrial properties.

Work Environment: Most property, real estate, and community association managers work out of an office. However, many onsite managers spend a large part of their workday doing tasks away from the office, such as showing apartments, inspecting the grounds, or meeting with owners.

How to Become One: Although many employers prefer to hire college graduates, a high school diploma combined with several years of related work experience is typically required for entry-level positions. Some managers also must have a real estate license.

Salary: The median annual wage for property, real estate, and community association managers is $58,760.

Job Outlook: Employment of property, real estate, and community association managers is projected to show little or no change over the next ten years. Job opportunities should be best for those with a college degree in business administration or real estate and for those who obtain professional credentials.

Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of property, real estate, and community association managers with similar occupations.

Following is everything you need to know about a career as a property, real estate, or community association manager with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

Top 3 Property Manager Jobs

  • Bilingual Assistant Property Manager - The Vineyards - Petaluma, CA

    What you'll do: * Assist the Property Manager with rent collections, late notices, posting rents, serving 5 Day Pay or Quits and serving eviction notices * Assist with and manage tenant delinquency ...

  • Senior Bilingual Property Manager - The Vineyards - Petaluma, CA

    JRK Residential Group has an immediate need for an experienced Senior Bilingual Property Manager for our property in Petaluma, CA. Working together is the core of our culture, and we are always ...

  • Bilingual Property Manager - Redwood Capital Group - Roswell, GA

    Property Manager Qualifications and Responsibilities: · Maintaining financialand operational accountability for the property · Managing andcoordinating persons, activities and available resources ...

See all Property Manager jobs

Top 3 Community Association Manager Jobs

  • Community Association Manager - Associa Northern California - Los Gatos, CA

    Associa Northern California is seeking an experienced Community Manager to provide the overall supervision for a portfolio of community associations in the San Francisco Bay Area. This position ...

  • Community Manager - Regent Association Services - Tustin, CA

    COMMUNITY MANAGER Overview A Community Manager manages all aspects of the community associations in their portfolio. A Community Manager acts only under general supervision and sets their day-to-day ...

  • Community Manager - Associa Northern California - San Francisco, CA

    The Community Manager oversees a portfolio of community associations in the San Francisco area. Outstanding customer service is key when interacting with internal and external customers including ...

See all Community Association Manager jobs

What Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers Do[About this section] [To Top]

Property, real estate, and community association managers take care of the many aspects of residential, commercial, or industrial properties. They make sure the property is well maintained, has a nice appearance, operates smoothly, and preserves its resale value.

Duties of Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers

Property, real estate, and community association managers typically do the following:

  • Meet with prospective renters and show them properties
  • Discuss the lease and explain the terms of occupancy or ownership
  • Collect monthly fees from tenants or individual owners
  • Inspect all building facilities, including the grounds and equipment
  • Arrange for new equipment or repairs as needed
  • Pay bills or delegate bill payment for such expenditures as taxes, insurance, payroll, and maintenance
  • Contract for trash removal, maintenance, landscaping, security, and other services
  • Investigate and settle complaints, disturbances, and violations
  • Keep records of rental activity and owner requests
  • Prepare budgets and financial reports
  • Comply with anti-discrimination laws when renting or advertising, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Federal Fair Housing Amendment Act, and local fair housing laws

When owners of homes, apartments, office buildings, or retail or industrial properties lack the time or expertise needed for the day-to-day management of their real estate properties, they often hire a property or real estate manager or a community association manager. Managers are employed either directly by the owner or indirectly through a contract with a property management firm.

The following are examples of types of property, real estate, and community association managers:

Property and real estate managers oversee the operation of income-producing commercial or residential properties and ensure that real estate investments achieve their expected revenues. They handle the financial operations of the property, making certain that rent is collected and that mortgages, taxes, insurance premiums, payroll, and maintenance bills are paid on time. They may oversee financial statements, and periodically report to the owners on the status of the property, occupancy rates, expiration dates of leases, and other matters. When vacancies occur, property managers may advertise the property or hire a leasing agent to find a tenant. They may also suggest to the owners what rent to charge.

Community association managers work on behalf of homeowner or community associations to manage the communal property and services of condominiums, cooperatives, and planned communities. Usually hired by a volunteer board of directors of the association, they manage the daily affairs and supervise the maintenance of property and facilities that the homeowners use jointly through the association. Like property managers, community association managers collect monthly fees, prepare financial statements and budgets, negotiate with contractors, and help to resolve complaints. Community association managers also help homeowners and non-owner residents comply with association rules and regulations.

Onsite property managers are responsible for the day-to-day operation of a single property, such as an apartment complex, an office building, or a shopping center. To ensure that the property is well maintained, onsite managers routinely inspect the grounds, facilities, and equipment to determine whether maintenance or repairs are needed. They meet with current tenants to handle requests for repairs or to resolve complaints. They also meet with prospective tenants to show vacant apartments or office space. In addition, onsite managers enforce the terms of rental or lease contracts along with an association's governing rules. They make sure that tenants pay their rent on time, follow restrictions on parking or pets, and follow the correct procedures when the lease is up. Other important duties of onsite managers include keeping accurate, up-to-date records of income and expenditures from property operations and submitting regular expense reports to the senior-level property manager or the owner(s).

Real estate asset managers plan and direct the purchase, sale, and development of real estate properties on behalf of businesses and investors. They focus on long-term strategic financial planning, rather than on the day-to-day operations of the property. In deciding to acquire property, real estate asset managers consider several factors, such as property values, taxes, zoning, population growth, transportation, and traffic volume and patterns. Once a site is selected, they negotiate contracts to buy or lease the property on the most favorable terms. Real estate asset managers review their company's real estate holdings periodically and identify properties that are no longer financially profitable. They then negotiate the sale of the properties or arrange for the end of leases.

Work Environment for Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers[About this section] [To Top]

Property, real estate, and community association managers hold about 367,900 jobs. The largest employers of property, real estate, and community association managers are as follows:

Real estate 49%
Self-employed workers 38%
Civic, social, professional, and similar organizations 2%

Most property, real estate, and community association managers work out of an office. However, many managers spend much of their time away from their desks. Onsite managers, in particular, may spend a large part of their workday visiting the building engineer, showing apartments, dealing with owners and board members, checking on the janitorial and maintenance staff, or investigating problems reported by residents. Real estate asset managers may spend time away from home while traveling to company real estate holdings or searching for properties to buy.

Managing properties or community associations, or selling and leasing real estate, can sometimes be stressful.

Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Manager Work Schedules

Property, real estate, and community association managers often must attend evening meetings with residents, property owners, community association board members, or civic groups. As a result, long workdays are common. Some apartment managers are required to live in the apartment complexes where they work, so that they are available to respond to emergencies even when they are off duty.

Most property, real estate, and community association managers work full time.

How to Become a Property, Real Estate, or Community Association Manager[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers near you!

Although many employers prefer to hire college graduates, a high school diploma combined with several years of related work experience is typically required for entry-level positions. Some managers also must have a real estate license.

Find a Degree:


Education for Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most onsite property management positions. However, many employers prefer to hire college graduates for commercial management positions and offsite positions dealing with a property's finances or contract management. A bachelor's or master's degree in business administration, accounting, finance, real estate, or public administration is preferred for these types of positions.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation for Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers

Property, real estate, and community association managers typically have several years of prior work experience. Experience in real estate sales is a good background for onsite managers because real estate salespeople also show commercial properties to prospective tenants or buyers.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations for Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers

Real estate managers who buy or sell property must have a real estate license in the state in which they practice. In a few states, property and community association managers also must have a real estate license. Managers of public housing subsidized by the federal government must hold certifications.

Property, real estate, and community association managers working in Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, Virginia, and the District of Columbia are required to obtain professional credentials or licensure. Requirements vary by state, but many managers working in states without requirements still obtain designations to show competence and professionalism. BOMI International, the Community Associations Institute, the Institute of Real Estate Management, the National Association of Residential Property Managers, and the Community Association Managers International Certification Board all offer various designations, certifications, and professional development courses. Most states require recertification every 2 years.

In addition, employers may require managers to attend formal training programs from various professional and trade real estate associations. Employers send managers to these programs to develop their management skills and expand their knowledge of specialized fields, such as how to operate and maintain mechanical systems in buildings, how to improve property values, insurance and risk management, personnel management, business and real estate law, community association risks and liabilities, tenant relations, communications, accounting and financial concepts, and reserve funding. Managers also participate in these programs to prepare themselves for positions of greater responsibility in property management. With related job experience, completing these programs and receiving a satisfactory score on a written exam can lead to certification or the formal award of a professional designation by the sponsoring association.

Advancement for Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers

Many people begin property management careers as assistant managers, working closely with a property manager. In time, many assistants advance to property manager positions.

Some people start as onsite managers of apartment buildings, office complexes, or community associations. As they gain experience, they may advance to positions of greater responsibility. Those who excel as onsite managers often transfer to assistant offsite property manager positions, in which they gain experience handling a broad range of property management responsibilities.

The responsibilities and pay of property, real estate, and community association managers increase as these workers manage more and larger properties. Property managers are often responsible for several properties at a time. Some experienced managers open their own property management firms.

Important Qualities for Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers

Communication skills. Property, real estate, and community association managers must understand leasing or rental contracts and must be able to clearly explain the materials and answer questions raised by a resident or group of board members.

Customer-service skills. Property, real estate, and community association managers must provide excellent customer service to keep existing clients and expand their business with new ones.

Interpersonal skills. Because property, real estate, and community association managers interact with people every day, they must have excellent interpersonal skills.

Listening skills. Property, real estate, and community association managers must listen to and understand residents and property owners in order to meet their needs.

Organizational skills. Property, real estate, and community association managers must be able to plan, coordinate, and direct multiple contractors at the same time, often for multiple properties.

Problem-solving skills. Property, real estate, and community association managers must be able to mediate disputes or legal issues between residents, homeowners, or board members.

Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Manager Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for property, real estate, and community association managers is $58,760. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $31,030, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $129,160.

The median annual wages for property, real estate, and community association managers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Civic, social, professional, and similar organizations $57,580
Real estate $56,370

Property, real estate, and community association managers often must attend evening meetings with residents, property owners, community association board members, or civic groups. As a result, long workdays are common. Some apartment managers are required to live in the apartment complexes where they work, so that they are available to respond to emergencies even when they are off duty.

Most property, real estate, and community association managers work full time.

Job Outlook for Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of property, real estate, and community association managers is projected to show little or no change over the next ten years.

Employment demand will be driven by the number people living in buildings that property management companies operate, such as apartment buildings, condominiums, cooperatives, planned communities, and senior housing.

Growth in the single-family housing market may have a positive influence on demand, as some new housing developments will require property managers to oversee jointly owned common areas, such as pools, gyms, and business centers and to enforce homeowner association laws. However, the automation of some property management tasks, such as posting vacancies and assigning maintenance requests, may slow employment growth.

See all real estate jobs.

Job Prospects for Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers

Job opportunities should be best for those with a bachelor's degree in business administration, real estate, or a related field and for those with professional certification.

Because of the projected increase in the elderly population, particularly good job opportunities are expected for those with experience managing retirement centers, age-restricted communities, and healthcare facilities.

Employment projections data for Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers, 2019-29
Occupational Title Employment, 2019 Projected Employment, 2029 Change, 2019-29
Percent Numeric
Property, real estate, and community association managers 367,900 368,700 0 800


A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.


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