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How to get into Property Management

Written by: Judith Portman
Published on: 17 May 2016

Freelance - Property Management (May 2016)

Purchasing a property will always be a considerable investment to most people. It represents a large sum of money and investors will look to being able to get a great return on that investment. But what happens if the owner is a busy person who simply does not have the time to look after their portfolio? That’s often when the services of a Property Management Consultant come into being.

A Property Management Consultant is usually a person or firm who are responsible for looking after either individual properties or a property portfolio on behalf of someone else. The role is an extremely varied one dependent on which industry you choose to be in. Property management vacancies can be found in various sectors, including retail, heritage, health, education and energy, which is only a small selection of roles available. It’s possible to gain employment with an estate agency, global property firm, historical trust, the government or within private enterprise.

Ultimately, it would be up to a Property Manager to oversee the smooth running of the property, ensure the appearance is all it should be, everything works correctly and that a safe and comfortable environment is provided for any inhabitants. Duties are varied and may include liaising with tenants, collection of rent monies and arranging and overseeing maintenance to the property.

Do I need any qualifications?

It’s never a bad thing to hold a relevant qualification as it could result in you being a preferable choice to the competition when it comes to applying for a job. But dependent on the industry chosen, qualifications may be mandatory. Degree courses in Property Management or Real Estate Management are available at certain Universities, or you could look at taking one in either Construction Management or Building Surveying.

Your employer may suggest taking a postgraduate conversion course, accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or Institute of Facilities Management. Very often you will find that graduate training schemes can be available through some estate agencies, or property consultancies and housing associations. These may provide another route into Property Management, which could often result in you being fast-tracked.

Which characteristics are preferable?

  • The ability to be a problem solver
  • You can think on your feet
  • Keep calm in a crisis
  • Expect the unexpected
  • Demonstrate creativity, commitment, focus and reliability
  • Excellent communication skills

What are the working hours?

These can vary dependent on which sector you work in, but some evening and weekend work is often required. Bear in mind that when you oversee properties which other people live in, that you may need to fit in with their hours and when they can be available to allow access for repairs or emergencies etc.

What's it like to actually work in this sector?

You can expect:

  • Spending significant time out on site
  • It’s possible to become self-employed as an independent consultant as long as you have relevant experience and chartered status
  • To have the great job satisfaction working with a tangible end product
Is career progression possible?

Due to the fact that this role is so diverse, dependent on sector, there are going to be many opportunities for pushing forward with your career. Once you have settled into the initial role you have, then you may decide to diversify into a slightly different niche which could mean it’s necessary to gain further qualifications. For instance, you may wish to move into asset management, where you would find that the RICS qualification is necessary. You may desire to move from a small local independent Estate Agency and on to managing larger properties within a private firm or nationwide agency. There are many options available, including options to work overseas should you decide on applying to an International company, or one which is based in the UK, but has branches in Europe or further afield.

If you are interested in working within the Property Management sector within property - check out the current opportunities that are on our site.