Real estate management frequently referred to as property management or asset management – is a critical segment of the much broader real estate industry. This article talks about why you should pursue a career in real estate management.
Are you seeking a career that offers the opportunity for challenge and advancement? A job filled with interesting work? A place where you can make a difference in the lives of others? A fast-paced ever-changing environment that rewards effort and ambition? If so, a career in real estate management may be just what you are looking for.
Is a career in real estate management in your future?
Real estate management incorporates both real property management and asset management. It is an ideal career choice for those who want to have their skills valued and their contributions recognized while having a meaningful impact on others and the world around them.
Today’s real estate manager is much more than someone who maintains the building and collects the rent. Consider the typical office building or apartment complex: It is a multi-million-dollar asset, and its manager is recognized as the CEO of the business enterprise that property represents.
Likewise, this manager is constantly in contact with those who work in that office building or live in that apartment community and thus has a real and immediate influence on their quality of life.
Who Can Pursue a Career In Real Estate Management?
Actually, anyone can pursue a career in estate management. But specifically, people with attention to detail and having the ability to communicate with a variety of people, those who are technologically savvy and challenge-seeking, those who already have strong skill sets but are looking to learn more through training and mentorship. If this sounds like you, then you are not so far away from making your wealth from the real estate industry.
In evaluating career options, four key questions no doubt come to mind:
- What would I do in the job?
- How do I prepare for career success?
- How do I find a job?
- How much can I expect to earn?
These questions arise no matter what field you are considering.
Real estate management is no exception. Knowing the answers can help in deciding if a rewarding career in real estate management might be in your future.
What Would I Do in the Job?
Real estate management is the administration, operation, marketing, maintenance, and financial oversight of real property in order to achieve the objectives of the property’s owner. It is a service business, and as such, managers work closely with both the owners of the properties they manage and the tenants and residents who reside and work within these properties.
The work performed by real estate managers varies greatly depending on the position they hold, the type of organization or company they work for, and the type of real estate asset they manage. Real estate management is a sophisticated business.
It requires the utilization of the latest technology to increase operating efficiencies, maximize revenue streams, and monitor property performance. Managers must provide multifaceted financial reports to owners, develop emergency procedures to protect people and property, comply with changing governmental regulations, understand new lease provisions and terms, and know how to operate properties in an environmentally sustainable and cost-efficient way.
As enterprise leaders, real estate managers must learn to operate in an environment of change characterized by shifting demographics, emerging technologies, and heightened economic pressures.
Positions in Real Estate Management
Real estate management offers job opportunities at many levels – ranging from front-line site managers to company executives. In addition, a variety of staff positions – accounting, marketing, leasing, maintenance, human resources – support overall real estate management responsibilities. Specific real estate management jobs generally fall into these broad categories:
- Site manager
- Property manager
- Regional manager
- Asset manager
- Management company executive.
It is important to realize that the responsibilities associated with these positions often overlap. At the property level, there frequently are many similarities between duties of the site manager and those of the property manager. At the asset or portfolio level, parallels can be seen between the duties of the regional manager and those of the asset manager. Job titles and duties will vary greatly depending on the type of organization and the kind of property being managed.
Now that you know what a real estate manager does, how do you gain the knowledge and learn the skills needed to succeed in your career journey?
A frequent starting point is a support position in the real estate management office or on-site at a property as a maintenance worker, leasing agent, or assistant site manager. Traditionally, as people in these positions learn more about the field and what it has to offer; additional training prepares them for transition into management positions.
Others come to the management profession by first working in another area of real estate, such as residential home sales, banking, or development. As they come into contact with those involved in the operation of real estate, they are attracted to the opportunities and challenges they see.
Of course, as in many other occupations, some people “stumble” into a career in real estate management by chance rather than by choice, often taking a job in the business while they wait for something else to develop. Anecdotally, it is not uncommon to find a manager who entered the business by taking a job as a real estate agent during his undergraduate years or early years of job hunting after NYSC.
Because real estate management is competitive and increasingly complex, the future will demand exceptional performance from practitioners, including extensive, never-ending education.
In recent years, we have seen a steady increase in real estate degree programs within polytechnics and universities throughout the country. Once known as a profession learned on the job, real estate has emerged as a field that demands more advanced education.
For those entering the field and those seeking career advancement, earning a degree in real estate, while not a requirement for a successful career in real estate management, is highly recommended. Many polytechnics and universities offer real estate and property management courses, more and more offer degrees in real estate, and a few offer degrees in property management. Likewise, a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in business administration or finance can provide a meaningful educational foundation in the field.
These can be great sources for education because they offer hands-on, practical knowledge.
Subject areas that support preparation for a career in real estate management include:
- Finance courses – to develop analytical and computer skills; gain knowledge of basic financial and accounting principles
- Business courses – to gain critical thinking and solid organizational skills, and acquire general business knowledge
- Management courses – to develop strong interpersonal skills and business management skills
- Real estate law or business law – to acquire understanding of related legal issues
- Communication – to cultivate strong written and oral communication skil