Many of you young, teenage African-Americans as well as young Africans who live in America are at an age where you’re trying to figure out what you’re going to do with the rest of your life. We want you to know that our group of owners on this website are looking to build an army of black property managers that will stretch across the entire globe, so you may want to take a serious look at making a career out of property management. So for those of you that are young & just starting out, you may be a little intimidated and be wondering “Okay……….how do I get started?” Great question. Most states require that you get a real estate broker’s license in order to become a property manager in that state, and you also must be 18 years of age to qualify for one in most states. The requirements do vary ever so slightly in some states……….but are the same in others. For a State-by-State guide regarding “the specifics” required to become a certified property manager, please click on the link below: Property Management Requirements by State Also, you won’t have to get a full 4-year college degree to apply for a broker’s license………….but in many cases you’ll have to take and pass a few specific college courses in order to qualify for your real estate broker’s license (mostly 3-5 specific college courses). The great thing is that through online research we’ve discovered an online college called Ashworth College that offers a property management online course program. According to their advertisements it can be completed in as little as 4 months. They told me over the phone that the current tuition for the entire property management program is $698…………….Now that may go UP or DOWN in future years, but as of late 2016 that’s how much it costs. The link for Ashworth College’s Property Management Course Program can be accessed below: Property Management Courses – Online Training – Ashworth College Online Also, feel free to contact Ashworth College at 1-888-909-7865………..Be advised that the NABPM is definitely not an advertisement site for Ashworth College or for any other university or college for that matter, but as of right now this is the only “online” program that we know of where you can get the certification necessary to become a certified property manager in as little time as what they have advertised, for the low amount that they are charging. Now if you find any other online courses offered where you can become a certified property manager, feel free to contact us and let us know about it. We’ll gladly add all online courses that are available. The only drawback that we’ve discovered with Ashworth so far is that their training isn’t “customized” State-by-State, but as you will see in the State-by-State guide, the requirements are so similar for each state that it isn’t going to matter. Now once you get your course requirements out of the way, WikiHow says that there are 3 methods you can use to become a property manager: Method 1Method 2Method 3 Gaining Education & Experience #1) Expand your knowledge base. High school curriculum is not generally designed for specific careers such as property management. Based on your performance and grades in high school, consider whether community college or a 4 year university are right for you. Your faculty mentors will also be able to give you tailored advice for beginning a career in property management based on where you live. An added benefit of taking classes in higher education is networking with people either working in or aspiring to break into property management. -After high school, take courses in management, accounting, business administration, law and finance. These courses will give you an introduction to good business practices. -Discuss your career goals with an academic adviser. They “should” be able to advise you on the next steps to take. Different states have different regulations for property management, and your academic adviser “should” know them. If they don’t, do your own online research state by state to find out what is required for each state. Make sure that you meet the “minimum” educational requirements state-by-state to make sure that you are doing business as a property manager in each state “legally”. Attaining a 2 year associates degree that includes classes required for property management will do nothing but help you. Attaining a 4 year college degree that includes classes required for property management is even better. #2) Get a certification for property management if a state requires it. Many states require property managers to pass a certification test, so this is an important step. It will also teach and require you to learn good property management, business, and accounting skills. Check with the National Property Management Association for whether or not this is required in your state. #3) Consider joining a realtors’ or property managers’ association. This will help you make connections with realtors and other property managers that may help your future business. It is also a good way to increase your knowledge by signing up for seminars and workshops and also by reading some good books on how to be a good property manager sold at your local bookstore. Go to Google and type up “Books on how to be a good property manager” and look at what’s listed and recommended. Books such as Property Management Kit For Dummies………..Be A Successful Property Manager by Roger Woodson………….Property Management For Dummies……….The Rental Property Manager’s Toolbox by Jamaine Burrell are excellent books for those just starting out in the profession. You don’t have to read every single book on property management that’s been published, but go onto Amazon or go by your local Barnes & Noble and buy yourself a couple of books like that. Then read them from cover to cover! The knowledge shared in books like that will give you a leg-up on the property managers that don’t read them. What’s that old saying? “Leaders are Readers”. The property managers that make the most money will not only be the ones who work the hardest, work the smartest, and are the most honest………..they’ll also be the ones who “know” the most, and they’ll know the most because they read the most. Look for property management and realty associations in your state as well as nationally. Becoming A Property Manager For Others #1) Get your resume out there. Before you have the necessary capital, connections, and experience to invest in your own properties, you need to work in an entry-level job. You will benefit from this by having a supervisor mentor, a steady income, and gaining experience in a variety of property management tasks. There are a few paths to take for finding an entry level job. #2) Contact local real estate companies. It is often too time consuming for a real estate agent to split his or her time between selling real estate and managing rental properties. A good property manager is the key to proper management of a realtor’s rental properties. Submit your resume highlighting your skills pertaining to property management. #3) Apply as an assistant property manager. Many apartment complexes or government housing facilities utilize assistants. By taking on this role, you learn the ins and outs of the job without being entirely responsible for everything at first. Instead of being the one responsible for collecting rent and late fees, you might act as the contact for maintenance and/or janitorial services. #4) Consider buying one or two properties down the road. After a few years you may find you are accumulating capital and have the time to devote to taking on extra work. In the long run, managing your own properties would likely result in the largest profit margin. It may also become more work than you bargained for, and new businesses can take many years to get themselves out of debt. Consider the risks and rewards before making any big decisions. Managing Your Own Properties #1) Get experience managing others’ properties. An education and the right amount of money are not all the ingredients of a successful property manager. You should get a feel for the everyday life of a property manager by working as one for someone else. This will also expand your network of colleagues in the industry. The more you prepare for your career, the smaller the learning curve later on. #2) Raise capital. Once you have built up some experience and income, find a good time to invest in properties. You will need a considerable amount of money, which will likely have to come from elsewhere. The two best ways to raise this money are by either finding investors or taking a loan. A). Take a loan. Banks are a good place to look for a loan to buy houses. Some banks even specialize in funding real estate ventures. Gather your credit information at Equifax.com or at Experian.com and meet with a few banks to see what they are looking for, and what they expect from you. For you teenagers just delving into the world of property management you are now about to embark on the lesson of making sure that you are paying bills, and paying them on time in order to maintain a high credit score! Nothing keeps you from being able to buy property more than a low credit score. So make sure that you pay your bills and pay them on time. The higher a credit score, the better. Your aim should be to maintain a 700 credit score or higher. An 800 credit score or higher is considered pristine. Any credit score above 700 makes banks consider you “a good loan risk” and that’s what you want. Pay your bills on time, and do what you can to not take on too much “debt”……in other words, avoid having too many credit cards, avoid having to always buy the newest car because with that new car comes a “car note”, and avoid always buying a new doo-dad that will bring with it the need for you to “finance” it, or in other words, pay a monthly bill to pay it off. It’s what they like to refer to as “the layaway plan”. Too many layaway plans leads to more and more bills that can be tough to pay every month. It never hurts to play the boardgame Cashflow because that boardgame teaches you how to get your spending under control, and it also teaches you how to keep a monthly financial statement on yourself. You can logon to www.richdad.com to either play the electronic version of those games, or to buy the actual boardgames to play in person with friends and associates. B). Find investors. Using the connections you made, ask around to see if anyone is interested in investing in a new property manager. When making pitches to potential investors, make sure you name the specifics: what exactly they are investing in, who is involved, exact financial numbers, and most importantly, why you will be a good property manager for them. #3) Look for properties to buy. Beyond the financial limitations of a new property manager, you don’t want to stretch yourself too thin while you are still getting off the training wheels. Look into buying 1 or 2 properties and expanding from there when you feel comfortable. Properties are listed in various places such as the internet, newspapers, or even with your realtors’ association. #4) Find renters. Based on the properties you own, some listing methods may be better for finding renters. Renters in college towns generally look on the internet first, while families or professionals may check with realtors. Make sure you evaluate their ability to pay rent on time, cleanliness, and credit history before agreeing to rent them the property. #5. Keep meticulous financial records. Now that you don’t have a boss to report to, all benefits and drawbacks of property management fall on your shoulders. There are many reasons to keep track of your finances, and they are all incredibly important to the well-being of your property management business. Establish a system for keeping these records, and stick to it. -Tax purposes. Avoid any surprises in future IRS audits by keeping track of your numbers and report them accurately and honestly to the government. -Approaching investors. Knowing specific financial numbers will make it easier for you to give precise presentations to investors, which will impress them. -Making wise investments. Only by knowing the success of current and previous properties can you make better investments in the future. -Operating costs and expenditures. A large part of your job is maintaining your properties. Keeping track of your finances will help you determine the profit margin for each property. #6) Know state and local laws. You are now solely responsible for making sure that your properties meet the government’s codes and regulations. You will likely have learned many of these in previous years, but keep a copy of the codes and regulations handy and make yourself aware of new developments. Not only will this help you keep your properties safe and livable for your tenants, but it will help you avoid lawsuits and failed inspections. #7) Keep up maintenance on your properties. The best property manager is the one that prevents future problems with regular maintenance. You should also be responsive to your tenants’ maintenance requests. Being prompt and courteous is a great way to keep quality renters in your properties. Keeping your properties maintained will also enable you to find quality renters when someone moves out or is evicted. So this concludes the 3 methods that WikiHow teaches that you can use to become a property manager, and also how to be a good property manager. If you’re just starting out you’re going to need to come up with a standard lease for tenants and you’re going to need to come up with a standard contract for your property owners coming on board as clients. Here’s a good way to come up with a standard lease for tenants, at least in your local city. Got any relatives that are currently renting an apartment or house? Tell them to give you their lease for a quick sec. Take it to Fedex Kinkos and make a copy of it. Replace the name of the property management company on the lease with your own name or the name of your prop mgmt company. Bam! There’s your 1st standard lease. Every now and then you see a television show that’s educational and beneficial for what you specifically are trying to accomplish. For property managers it is highly recommended that you tune-in to the reality tv show called Income Property. Although that show is shot in Canada, it is an excellent training tool for property managers here in the U.S. when it comes to teaching you what your #1 priority is in the property management business…………….to maximize the profit and income for every single rental property you manage. That is your #1 priority as a property manager and I don’t know if there’s a better television show out there to teach aspiring property managers how to do that. Below is an example of a property income/expense statement. Be advised that this is just an example. You can design your income/expense statements to look however you want. So long as they provide the numbers and the numbers are accurate your property owner will be satisfied. Every property owner that you manage property for will expect to receive one of these either by e-mail or by snail-mail every single month for every single property. If you’re managing an apartment complex you should do a statement like this for each apartment unit. At the end of the year they will expect a summary statement that adds up all income and all expenses for the past 12 months for each property. All summaries should be sent to them no later than February 28th of each year so that they can report the income for each property on their taxes by April 15th. By January 31st would be even better. Your property owners should receive these like clockwork so you’ve got to be dependable for sending these to them in a timely fashion.