Property specialists, also known as property management specialists or real estate specialists, oversee government, commercial and residential properties. Effective property specialists are adept at overseeing tenant, contractor and government department operations, as well as ensuring that their properties are secure and well-maintained. They also approve and process tenant, business or government client transactions, such as lease agreements and rental payments, that take place on their property. It is the property specialist that assesses risk and makes the final judgments on whom can reside or conduct business on a certain property.
To be effective, property specialists must have excellent interpersonal and negotiating skills to attract tenants and close on leasing and rental agreements. They must also be well organized and able to make good judgment calls and quick decisions concerning which tenants to grant or deny leasing privileges to. Attention to detail is also a must as financial, legal and background details can constitute risk factors in certain tenants securing properties. Computer skills, namely with internal operating systems and database software, are also essential. Property specialists must also have good written communication skills to draft detailed leasing or tenant incident reports, as well as tenant-related correspondence. They must also have a solid grasp on real estate market trends and area property values to ensure they offer reasonable rental rates.
Property specialists are mainly responsible for reviewing rental or leasing applications to determine a tenant's ability to adhere to standards devised by the property owners. They also work with security and surveillance personnel to ensure their tenants' overall safety on the premises. Management of property staff including grounds keepers, construction workers and maintenance staff is also an important responsibility of property specialists. Administrative duties like preparing rental income reports, paying bills, drafting rental leases and contracts and writing official notices to tenants concerning issues, such as rent increases or anticipated construction projects, are also key to property specialists. In addition to normal property management responsibilities, government property specialists must also incorporate and enforce upon their tenants certain federal regulations and guidelines specific to their mandated property control systems.
In addition to their main responsibilities, property specialists also perform functions such as investigating possible rental or tax fraud, personal property theft or vehicle damage when such incidents occur. Property specialists also participate in periodic meetings or conferences with property owners or government entities to discuss concerns or improvement efforts pertaining to their properties. In some cases, property specialists must travel to oversee a number of properties and their operations. This is especially true in cases of government properties or commercial complexes. Property specialists typically work for one employer; however, the employer may own multiple properties for the specialist to manage.
For most positions, a property specialist must hold, at minimum, a high school diploma; however, bachelor's degrees in business management, finance, marketing and other related majors are increasingly preferred. Property specialists must also have at least one to five years of experience working in real estate, property management or customer service. Certifications such as the Certified Property Manager and Certified Public Accountant are also highly preferred by employer property owners.