What Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers Do
Property, real estate, and community association managers take care of the many aspects of residential, commercial, or industrial properties.
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 a Property, Real Estate, or Community Association Manager
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.
The median annual wage for property, real estate, and community association managers was $58,760 in May 2019.
Employment of property, real estate, and community association managers is projected to show little or no change from 2019 to 2029. Job opportunities should be best for those with a college degree in business administration or real estate and for those who obtain professional credentials.
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.
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.
Property, real estate, and community association managers held about 367,900 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of property, real estate, and community association managers were as follows:
|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 managers often 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.
This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of property, real estate, and community association managers.
|Occupation||Job Duties||Entry-Level Education||Median Annual Pay, May 2019|
Administrative Services Managers
Administrative services managers plan, direct, and coordinate activities that help an organization run efficiently.
Food Service Managers
Food service managers are responsible for the daily operation of restaurants or other establishments that prepare and serve food and beverages.
|High school diploma or equivalent||$55,320|
Lodging managers ensure that traveling guests have a pleasant experience at their establishment with accommodations. They also ensure that the business is run efficiently and profitably.
|High school diploma or equivalent||$54,430|
Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents
Real estate brokers and sales agents help clients buy, sell, and rent properties.
|High school diploma or equivalent||$50,730|
For information about professional designation and certification programs for property, real estate, and community association managers, visit
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/property-real-estate-and-community-association-managers.htm (visited ).