As Seen On:



«« 3 Tips to Planning a Stress-Free and Affordable Holiday Season   |   Detailed Labor Packing List for Mom, Dad, Baby, and Siblings »»

How to Become a Property Manager

How to Become a Property Manager Today, I interview two stay-at-home moms who work as property managers. One wishes to remain anonymous and the other is my neighbor Teresa Thornberg. They both are unique in that they have been managing property for years and their children are now grown up and mostly moved out of the house. So although they are writing this in the present, please keep in mind they were able to manage property while their children were living at home. I have another SAHM/WAHM friend who has a baby is also a property manager. She’s agreed to do an interview (when we can find some time) as well.

Welcome Teresa!

Q. What inspired you to begin working?

A. I wanted extra income for the family and a back-up for my husband’s income.

Q. How did you go about starting your business or arranging a work at home position?

A. My husband and I invested retirement funds in rental houses. Having given up my part-time job as a commercial real estate appraiser, I started managing all the property myself.

Q. What are some tips you would like to share with others who are interested in doing something similar?

A. It is not necessary to have real estate education or background. It would, however, be very helpful to read some good-quality books about property management. I live in Utah, USA, so the Utah Chapter of the National Apartment Association is an excellent additional resource (see uaahq.org). It is not expensive to become a member, and the Association offers landlord education classes. Most of the best information I gained has been from these classes. Also, the staff is always available to answer landlords’ questions. The National Association offers many educational opportunities as well. Landlord/tenant law and other factors can vary from state to state and from country to country, so it is good to get plenty of advice pertinent to the state/country in which you live.

Q. How many hours do you work a week or how much of your time does this position require? Is it flexible? Is it consistent?

A. I work between 20 and 40 hours per week since I have 19 houses. The job takes up more time when there are move-outs/move-ins, since I make sure to do very careful tenant screening before renting to a new family.  Also, since I usually remodel houses newly purchased, the process can take a lot of my time even though I hire general contractors. I choose my own work-times, with some exceptions. These would involve things such as urgent repairs needing delegating to one of my workers (plumbers, handymen, electricians, roofers, etc.), or screening calls needing to be done at certain times of day to reach the right person.

Q. When/how do you find the time to work?

A. With the hours being generally flexible, I can work at all different times of day and also work around my health issues.

Q. Are there certain tips/advice you’d want to share with others who want to start working like you?

A. Many expensive mistakes can be avoided by gaining some knowledge and/or advice before beginning, as I mentioned above.

Q. Was training/schooling required for the position? How/when did you complete it?

A. As stated above, special training or education are generally not needed in order to manage real estate in the United States, but a certain amount of self-education and “as you go” advice from experts is important.

Q. What is the income percentage you bring in? or How much do you make from this job? or Does the income help a little, medium, or is the main source of your family’s income?

A. The income from 19 houses, after debt service, taxes, insurance and repairs/maintenance, is $25,000 to $35,000 per year. The income level fluctuates depending upon whether new houses were purchased and remodeled during the year, and also depending on needed repairs. Most of my houses are 40-60 years old. Newer properties need fewer repair investments.

Q. How would someone who wants to do something similar get started?

A. The current economic climate and real estate market are favorable for home buyers. For people in mid-life, I would suggest transferring some of the retirement investments to real estate. There are qualified real estate consultants (or sometimes experienced real estate agents) that can help determine whether a specific property would be a good buy. For a young family, a home already purchased can be rented out, allowing for purchase of another home to live in. Then, the income from the rental can be added to other income to be considered in qualifying for another house purchase. This process can continue depending on individual circumstances. A good real estate consultant or agent can help with choosing the right kinds of properties. It is important to get good guidance since there are pitfalls to be avoided.

Thank you Teresa!

Teresa Thornberg is a wonderful stay-at-home mom who is such a kind and sweet person. She is the mother of four, is a proficient pianist, and likes to travel with her husband and my parents to remote and far off places.

Today’s next stay-at-home mom has been a property manager for multiple properties for years. Although she wishes to remain anonymous, she shares her knowledge with us. Welcome friend!

Q. What inspired you to begin working?

A. When we considered paying a property manager to find renters for our rental properties, I decided to try it myself. Then I could keep the commission.

Q. How did you go about starting your business or arranging a work at home position?

A. It was by default. These rental properties were an investment gone bad. We were supposed to sell them but then found out they didn’t qualify for government financing because they were modular homes which had been moved and remodeled. So we tried to rent them.

I know another lady (a friend of mine) who loves managing property. She has done it for years as a stay-at-home mom as well. She and I often share our experiences. She has a lot of properties and started with a few and added more and more as she felt more comfortable with it.

Q. What are some tips you would like to share with others who are interested in doing something similar?

A. In a high rental area, put up signs on the road and leave fliers at the home, and for free on local classifieds before advertising in the paper.

Have a list of a reputable and reasonable plumber, a heating/air condition man, a window and door store which makes home visits, a fix -it man, and a cleaning service.

Definitely screen your renters. Check with their previous landlords and verify their places of employment. Do a credit check, if you so desire.

Have a rental application which asks all of the above information. Then, if they qualify, draw up a lease and make sure they sign it.

Q. How many hours do you work a week or how much of your time does this position require? Is it flexible? Is it consistent?

A. The time involved varies. Our rental properties are 3 and a half hours away. So when I have to drive out there it is an all day event. This happens when I check people in and out of a unit.

In case of emergencies with the physical home, I have to either call the handy man or give the renter the phone number of our specified repairman and let them schedule the arrangements.

Getting new renters is the most time intensive, but typically renters sign a year lease or longer, so most months for each property there is usually very little time required to manage it.

Q. When/how do you find the time to work?

A. You schedule the driving by the unit time according to your spare time. The emergencies need to be dealt with immediately. The rental issues, (whether the rent is paid on time) need to be handled monthly. When you have a great renter who pays on time and there are no emergencies or problems, it is very easy income!

Q. Are there certain tips/advice you’d want to share with others who want to start working like you?

A. Find housing units which are already rented. Look for ones in an area which is low on rental units, to ensure future renters when one family moves out.
If you have good renters, do your best to keep them. A good renter is valuable.

Q. Was training/schooling required for the position? How/when did you complete it?

A. No….trial and error for me (but we own the properties). My friend (the very successful property manager) took a few courses.  By doing the coursework for a property manager and or attaining a property management certification you may learn a lot of useful information and not have to go through the ‘trial and error’ phase like I did. Further, I have heard that many states require that property managers become licensed. Check with the National Property Management Association for whether or not this is required in your state.

Q. What is the income percentage you bring in?Does the income help a little, medium, or is the main source of your family’s income?

A. Ten percent of the rent each month. The more units you manage, the more you make. The earnings can range from an extra one hundred dollars to thousands a month. What I make helps to provide for the extras…..a trip, play tickets, new patio furniture, etc.

Q. How would someone who wants to do something similar get started?

A. Contact local real estate companies and ask them if they have property management or assistant property management jobs available. If they do, proceed with the require process to get hired. Often becoming an assistant will really help you with learning the ins and outs of property management. Becoming an assistant first can help you see if becoming a manager is something you’d like to do.

As mentioned before, I was managing my own properties. If you’d like to do it this way, first you need to save money to afford to buy a rental property. Then you put aside that extra rental money until you can afford to buy another property.

Thanks so much!!

For other posts in this series with live interviews on how to make money from home please click the links/titles that interest you below…

Introduction to Money-Making SAHM Series

Series 1: Medical Billing

Series 2: Starting an Online Business

Series 3: Housecleaning

Series 4: Cosmetology

Series 5: At-Home Airline Assistant

Series 6: Become an At-Home Employee

Series 7: Beachbody Coaching

Series 8: Freelance Writing

Series 9: Run an at-Home Daycare

Series 10: Write and Self-Publish an eBook Part 1 & Part 2

Series 11: Teach Music Lessons from Home

Series 12: Distribute a Product You Love

Series 13: Blogging

Series 14: Become a Virtual Assistant

Series 15: Buy and Resell Cheap Finds

Series 16: Become an Editor

Series 17: How to Make Money as a Transcriptionist

Series 18: How to Write and Publish a Paperback or Hardback Book

Series 19: Do Online Tech Support from Home

Series 20: Graphic Design

Series 21: Sell Your Own Sheet Music Part 1 and Part 2

Series 22: Start a Preschool from Home

Series 23: Start Your Own Boutique

Series 24: How to Make Money on YouTube

Series 25: Take Legitimate Online Surveys

Series 26: Open an Etsy Shop

Series 27: Become a Photographer

Series 28: Become a Property Manager

Series 29: Make Money Locally Teaching a Talent, Sport, or Hobby

Series 30: Substitute Teaching

Series 31: Sell Shaklee (MLM)-removed

Series 32: Review Websites for UserTesting

Series 33: Sell Mary Kay(MLM)-removed

Series 34: Become an Affiliate with Spark Naturals Essential Oils

Series 35: Quilting and Embroidery

Series 36: Make Money by Doing Laundry for Others through Laundry Care

more coming…pin or bookmark for more.

Anitasignature

For other ‘rich living’ and Money-Making Stay at Home Mom case studies please subscribe, like me on Facebook, and follow me on Pinterest.



«« 3 Tips to Planning a Stress-Free and Affordable Holiday Season   |   Detailed Labor Packing List for Mom, Dad, Baby, and Siblings »»

6 Responses to How to Become a Property Manager

  1. Amanda says:

    I, too, am a SAH property manager, and own my own management business. While it may be a viable option for bringing in another income, it is not at all as simple as it is made to appear in this interview, especially if you are managing properties for other owners.

    If you are managing homes you own, you can get by with having an easy approach. But managing homes for others requires intensive record-keeping, bill-paying, comprehensive tenant screening (which you have to pay for), financial reporting to owners, a knowledge of tenant-landlord laws at the state and federal levels, and the ability to deal with difficult tenants who like to threaten and swear at you.

    Also, many states do require property managers to be licensed, which can range from a simple application to a full-blown course requiring you to pass a test. It can cost hundreds of dollars to become licensed. It also costs money to set yourself up as a business – you need to form a business entity, file with the state, establish bank accounts to hold rent payments, security deposits, and operating funds, and sign up for management software, which carries a monthly fee.

    And after all that, finding clients is not easy, especially when you’re competing with professional management companies who can offer classy websites and in-house maintenance. I am lucky in that my family is all in real estate, so I had clients coming to me. But since that is the exception, good luck finding clients!

    I wrote all of this because I felt it was important for your readers to truly know what it takes to be a property manager who works from home. Basically, unless you own your own rental properties, it’s not an easy job to start from home with no prior experience (like working for a property management company).

  2. Good afternoon,

    The Pennsylvania Apartment Association (three chapters: east, central and west) provides training and certifications for property managers. Great Association with multiple networking opportunities. There is also great training courses for suppliers: I work for a construction company and am a Certified Apartment Supplier. Check it out!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Simple Share Buttons
Simple Share Buttons