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How to Become a Property Manager in New Jersey

Property management is a challenging, multi-faceted position, whether you work with privately owned rental homes, multi-unit properties or condo or homeowner associations. Managers are responsible for meeting occupancy goals, resolving tenant issues and overseeing the maintenance of the properties and communities they manage. At the higher end, where a bachelor's degree is often required, managers are also responsible for managing the property's finances. Property managers who work as employees under certain corporate structures may not need real estate licenses, notes Nicholas Kikis, Director of Regulatory Affairs & Research for the New Jersey Apartment Association. However, leasing agents and property managers who work for real estate brokers generally need to be licensed. Since managers often earn on the job as they progress from lower positions, you may be able to start your career while you're still in school.

Begin or finish your bachelor's degree in business, finance, real estate or another related field.

Enroll in a 75-hour, real-estate salesperson pre-licensing course approved by the state of N.J.

Take and pass the state licensing exam.

Choose one of two paths toward finding your first job: find a sponsoring real estate broker to work with who offers property management services and who would allow you to lease, and ultimately manage properties; or seek an entry- or mid-level position with a property management firm in New Jersey.

Focus on gaining the widest range of experience possible in your early jobs. Assist with prospecting for new clients, marketing vacant properties, fielding tenant complaints, processing payments and collecting overdue rents and arranging for property repairs. Attend association meetings if your broker or employer manages associations.

Enroll in a course approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development leading to a specialist certification as a public housing manager if you're considering working in New Jersey public housing.

Enroll in a course approved by the Institute of Real Estate Management to work toward earning your Certified Property Manager designation.

Work toward earning your broker's license as you complete the work-experience requirements. Complete the New Jersey required 30-hour course on agency and ethics and office management prior to enrolling in a 150-hour broker's course. Schedule and pass your exam once you've applied for and received your eligibility certificate.

Stay informed of industry news, trends and regulations as you continue to learn and grow in your position.


Daria Kelly Uhlig began writing professionally for websites in 2008. She is a licensed real-estate agent who specializes in resort real estate rentals in Ocean City, Md. Her real estate, business and finance articles have appeared on a number of sites, including Motley Fool, The Nest and more. Uhlig holds an associate degree in communications from Centenary College.