Detailed Guide forProperty, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers in California
May also be called: Apartment Managers; Community Managers; Condominium Managers; Landlords; Leasing Managers; Mobile Home Park Managers; and On-Site Managers.
What Would I Do?
Properly managed real estate is a source of income and profit to businesses and investors; to homeowners, it is a way to preserve and enhance resale values. Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers are hired when the owners of apartments, office buildings, or retail or industrial properties lack the time or expertise needed for the day-to-day management of their real estate investments or homeowners’ associations. They are employed directly by the property owner or indirectly through a contract with a property management firm.
Property and Real Estate Managers are the primary link between the property owner or property management firm and the tenant. They oversee the performance of income-producing commercial or residential properties and ensure that real estate investments achieve their expected revenues. They also handle the financial operations of the property which includes the collection of rent and the timely payment of mortgages, taxes, insurance, payroll, and maintenance bills. Managers negotiate contracts for construction, maintenance, security, garbage removal, and groundskeeping services. They may also periodically report to the property owners as to the status of their property.
Community Association Managers, also known as condominium Managers, typically manage the common property and services of condominiums, cooperatives, and planned communities through their homeowners’ or community associations. They interact with homeowners, collect association dues, and oversee the maintenance of the property and facilities that homeowners use such as pools, recreation rooms, tennis courts, and golf courses. They also take care of groundskeeping services. Often, Community Association Managers attend condominium board meetings to solve legal and environmental issues that may arise and to resolve disputes between neighbors.
Some Managers work on-site and are responsible for the daily operations of one piece of property instead of looking after a number of properties at one time. The property may be an apartment complex, office building, or a shopping center. On-site Managers routinely visit the property to see if any repairs are needed, then they make arrangements to fix the problem or make the repairs themselves. Each month they collect rent, keep account of all transactions, and submit regular reports to owners showing income, expenses, and vacancies. Managers also enforce rules and regulations, investigate and handle resident complaints, and serve eviction notices when necessary. Many apartment Managers are on-site Managers and they typically show units to prospective tenants and collect and review applications. They screen applicants by checking their credit history and verifying their employment. Managers must determine and certify each applicant's eligibility according to government regulations when screening prospects for subsidized housing. They also select tenants and complete and sign rental agreements.
Property Managers who do not work on-site act as a liaison between the on-site Manager and the owner. They market vacant space to prospective tenants through the use of a leasing agent or by advertising, and they establish rental rates in accordance with prevailing local economic conditions.
Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers often communicate with and represent the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. They must understand and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Federal Fair Housing Act, as well as local fair housing laws, to ensure non-discriminatory practices.
Important Tasks and Related Skills
Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.
|View the skill definitions|
|Task||Skill Used in this Task|
|Meet with prospective tenants to show properties, explain terms of occupancy, and provide information about local areas.||Oral Expression|
|Direct collection of monthly assessments, rental fees, and deposits and payment of insurance premiums, mortgage, taxes, and incurred operating expenses.||Management of Financial Resources|
|Inspect grounds, facilities, and equipment routinely to determine necessity of repairs or maintenance.||Problem Sensitivity|
|Investigate complaints, disturbances and violations, and resolve problems, following management rules and regulations.||Active Listening|
|Plan, schedule, and coordinate general maintenance, major repairs, and remodeling or construction projects for commercial or residential properties.||Time Management|
|Manage and oversee operations, maintenance, administration, and improvement of commercial, industrial, or residential properties.||Administration and Management|
|Negotiate the sale, lease, or development of property, and complete or review appropriate documents and forms.||Sales and Marketing|
|Maintain records of sales, rental or usage activity, special permits issued, maintenance and operating costs, or property availability.||Clerical|
Below is a definition for each skill.
|View the tasks to skills list|
|Oral Expression||The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.|
|Management of Financial Resources||Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.|
|Problem Sensitivity||The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.|
|Active Listening||Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.|
|Time Management||Managing one's own time and the time of others.|
|Administration and Management||Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.|
|Sales and Marketing||Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.|
|Clerical||Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.|
Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers typically work in offices that are comfortable and well lit. Their schedules are usually flexible; however, many work long hours during the week and may work evenings or on weekends.
Managers usually spend a great deal of time away from their desk and some may travel. They frequently visit the properties they oversee, sometimes on a daily basis. They may visit building engineers or contractors who are involved with major repair or renovation work. In addition, they may also show apartments or condominiums, check on the janitorial and maintenance staff, or investigate problems reported by tenants. Many Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers are self-employed.
In medium-sized buildings, where full-time Managers usually perform some maintenance duties, they move throughout the building and grounds. Apartment Managers usually do not have a separate office. They often live in apartment complexes where they work to handle emergencies that may occur during off-duty times. Apartment Managers frequently work weekends showing vacant units to prospective tenants. They usually receive compensatory time off for night and weekend work and may receive time off during the week.
Managers must deal with all types of people. They do a lot of talking and moving around the facilities, especially when investigating complaints and problems. For these reasons the work can be physically and emotionally demanding, with frequent interruptions.
There has been little or no unionization of Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers. However, they may belong to a professional association such as the California Apartment Association. The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and the Community Associations Institute (CAI) both have several chapters in California as well.
Will This Job Fit Me?
The job of Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Manager will appeal to those who like activities that have to do with starting up and carrying out projects. This occupation satisfies those with enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations involve persuading and leading people, making decisions, and taking risks for profit. People with enterprising interests generally prefer action rather than thought.
What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?
The median wage in 2015 for Property and Community Association Managers in California was $62,613 annually, or $30.10 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.
Most employers provide vacation, sick leave, and medical insurance. Some provide dental and life insurance, and a few also offer retirement plans and vision insurance. Property and Community Association Managers may receive a rent-reduced or rent-free apartment and a utility allowance as part of their compensation package. Those who are self-employed must provide their own insurance and retirement.
What is the Job Outlook?
Employment opportunities for Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers fluctuate from year-to-year because the strength of the economy affects their demand. Growth of an older population will increase the need for specialized housing, such as assisted-living facilities and retirement communities, which requires property management. Replacement needs will be a major source of job openings as workers transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force permanently.
Projections of Employment
In California, the number of Property and Community Association Managers is expected to grow slower than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Property and Community Association Managers are expected to increase by 12.5 percent, or 5,700 jobs between 2012 and 2022.
|Estimated Employment and Projected Growth|
Property and Community Association Managers
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Due to Net
|View Projected Growth for All Areas|
Annual Job Openings
In California, an average of 570 new job openings per year is expected for Property and Community Association Managers, plus an additional 1,030 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 1,600 job openings.
|Estimated Average Annual Job Openings|
Property and Community Association Managers
|Jobs From Growth||Jobs Due to|
|View Data for All Areas|
How Do I Qualify?
Education, Training, and Other Requirements
The job of Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Manager generally requires a bachelor's degree in business administration, accounting, finance, real estate, public administration, or a related field. In some metropolitan areas, basic and advanced courses in property and apartment management are given by industry groups such as the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), and local affiliates of the National Apartment Association (NAA).
Previous real estate or property management experience is preferred. Knowledge of contracts, fair housing, rentals, and leases satisfies a considerable portion of property management requirements. Additional knowledge is helpful in business administration, marketing, purchasing, extensions of credit, accounting, advertising, insurance, repairs and maintenance, taxation, and public relations. Managers should also be able to work independently, read and follow instructions, and maintain financial records. Legible and effective writing, good communication and public contact skills, knowledge of business math, and the ability to plan and organize the work of others also ranked high among employers.
Early Career Planning
High school students should take courses in English, mathematics, science, social studies, foreign language, and shop.
Work Study Programs
California offers Regional Occupational Programs (ROP) for Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers. One such program is titled Apartment Rental Management. To find an ROP program near you, go to the California Association of Regional Occupational Centers and Programs Web site.
Continuing education is not required; however, it is important that Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers remain knowledgeable about today's management practices and changes in California law.
The California Apartment Association offers a California Certified Residential Manager certificate. Employers often encourage their Apartment Managers to complete this training and usually pay for the courses. At the national level, the IREM awards the Certified Property Manager (CPM) and the Accredited Resident Manager certificate and the NAA offers similar credentials such as the Certified Apartment Property Supervisor or the Certified Apartment Manager certificate.
For more information, go to the U.S. Department of Labor's Career InfoNet Web site and scroll down to "Career Tools." Click on "Certification Finder" and follow the instructions to locate certification programs.
Where Can I Find Training?
There are two ways to search for training information:
- Search by Field of Study to find what programs are available and what schools offer those programs. You may use keywords such as: Real Estate Management and Residential Property Management.
- Search by Training Provider to find schools by name, type of school, or location.
Contact the schools you are interested in to learn about the classes available, tuition and fees, and any prerequisite course work.
Where Would I Work?
The largest industries employing Property and Community Association Managers are as follows:
|Industry Title||Percent of Total Employment for Occupation in California|
|Activities Related to Real Estate ||24.5%|
|Lessors of Real Estate ||14.8%|
|Offices of Real Estate Agents & Brokers ||2.4%|
|Management of Companies and Enterprises ||2.3%|
|Professional and Similar Organizations ||1.9%|
Finding a Job
Prospective Property and Community Association Managers may apply directly to property management firms or condominium homeowner associations. They should also check newspaper classified ads and the Internet for current job listings. Job referrals may also be found through the California Apartment Association. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.
To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).
Yellow Page Headings
You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Property and Community Association Managers.
- Association Management
- Commercial Real Estate
- Real Estate Management
Find Possible Employers
To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:
- Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
- Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
- Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
- Contact the employer for possible employment.
Where Could This Job Lead?
Experienced on-site Managers may advance to positions with more responsibilities and more pay while managing larger properties. Further opportunities exist in executive-level positions in property management firms.
Below is a list of occupations related to Property and Community Association Managers with links to more information.
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These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.
For the Career Professional
The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.