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Property officers work in the real estate industry, where they manage industrial, commercial and residential buildings on behalf of the owners. Also called property managers, these officers oversee building inspection and maintenance; supervise service providers; and resolve tenants’ complaints. Although many property officers work for property management firms, others work as in-house employees in government agencies, educational institutions and other organizations.
Mastering the Skills
Strong administrative skills are crucial to be effective property officers. They must be able to effectively handle the day-to-day activities involved in managing a building, such as supervising maintenance contractors and maintain property records. Because property owners rely on property management firms to find tenants, property officers should possess excellent communication and customer-service skills to attract and assist potential tenants. Strong coordination skills are crucial, too, as they need to simultaneously attend to the management needs of several properties.
The main role of a property officer is to ensure the operational efficiency of the facilities under his management. For example, an officer in charge of a residential building ensures that providers of services, such as water, Internet and electricity, are paid on time to avoid service interruptions. He also helps to resolve tenant complaints by maintaining an open line of communication with them. An officer may develop rules to guide the conduct of all tenants and head off problems.
Property officers have a duty to establish and foster positive business relationships between property management firms and property owners. They often keep landlords informed about the financial performance of their properties, and collect and deposit rental income on time. Property officers working as resident employees in organizations maintain up to-date records of the organization’s facilities and conduct periodic inspections to ensure that safety and health standards are met.
Although you can qualify for employment as a property officer with a high school diploma, most employers prefer associate or bachelor’s degrees in business administration, real estate, finance or a closely related field. Property officers involved in the sale of real estate must be licensed to practice. Those who earn professional certifications and a master's degree in business can qualify for employment in large firms or start their own property management firms. Examples of organizations that offer professional certifications include the Institute of Real Estate Management and the National Association of Residential Property Managers.