How do I Become a Rental Property Manager?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2019
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There are three items required to become a rental property manager: post-secondary training, related work experience, and communication skills. A rental property manager typically works for a large property management or commercial leasing company. The role of rental property manager is to arrange leases, collect rental payments, respond to maintenance requests, and resolve emergencies.

There are two main types of rental property managers: residential and commercial. A residential property has different requirements and laws that must be followed. For example, residential unit residents must have advance notice before entering the unit, regardless of whether tenant is in the unit or not. Residential tenants may arrange to sublease their unit to another tenant, should they be unable to complete their lease and do not want to pay to break the lease.

Commercial property managers must ensure that common services are provided, as stipulated in the contract. This may include security of the premise, maintenance, cleaning of common areas, and landscaping. In addition, commercial property managers must respond immediately to reports of vandalism or damage.

People who want to become a rental property manager are typically detail-oriented, enjoy working independently, have excellent interpersonal skills, and like to solve problems. Conflict management and resolution is an important part of a property manager’s job. Issues can arise between tenants, maintenance staff, customers, and community members. Many property managers have taken additional courses in conflict management to help with these issues.


The first requirement to become a rental property manager is to complete a post-secondary education program. These programs are available from a wide range of community and career colleges. University graduates with degrees in business administration, architecture, or management may find opportunities to work in property management.

Related work experience can include office management, project administration, customer service manager, or supervisor. The skills that need to be developed are related to managing conflicting priorities, providing customer service, and keeping track of expenses. Any experience working with skilled trades can be very helpful, as many property managers are also responsible for maintenance and repairs.

Communication skills are very important if you want to become a rental property manager. The property manager spends the vast majority of the day talking with people, providing information, resources, and planning activities. The ability to share information and work with others is critical to success in this role. It is not unusual for property managers to take additional courses in written and oral communications, with a focus on business writing. These skills are important and help to create a professional image for you and the property management firm.


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