How to become a property manager

The life of a property manager is full of challenges. Do you like busy days to keep you on your toes? Are you good at problem-solving? Do you like to work in an office, but want to get out from time to time as well? Then, becoming a property manager could suit you very well. Primarily, you are the intermediary between tenants and property owners. Which means, you get to chase the rent, get contracts signed, organise repairs, and mediate disputes between the two parties. Sometimes you work for a real estate agency. Or you could work with commercial properties. In this case, managing the tenants for shopfronts, or large office complexes. Furthermore, the tasks you do on a daily basis vary all the time. Making the profession a good choice for people who don’t want to do the same repetitive tasks every day.

Can you juggle lots of balls? Do you enjoy working with people? Are you friendly and helpful, but not afraid to assert yourself when needed? Do you like to keep busy and do something different every day? Then, becoming a property manager could be an excellent career choice for you. Keep reading and we will demystify what to do next, in order to realise your dream.

Step one: Choose a Course

To become a property manager you will need to study to learn about legislation in relation to letting properties. You also need to learn about government health and safety regulations. In order to find work, you must have a Diploma in Property Services or a Bachelors of Property and Real Estate. Have a look at the courses on offer here, and take the first step on the ladder to success.

Step two: Apply for a certificate of registration, or complete a licensing program

Once you have completed your course you are now qualified. Well done! Now, you need to apply for a certificate of registration or a licensing program. This step varies according to your state. You can check our resource section for links to the relevant bodies in each Australian state.

Step three: Look for your first job

After you have completed your training and registered you are all set. Job prospects are looking good for property managers. Opportunities have been on the rise over the last five years and this trend looks set to continue. When you begin to apply for vacancies, make sure you tailor your resume and cover letter for each application. Remember to highlight your qualifications,  your registration/ license,  your personal strengths and any experience you have.

Step four: Gain experience

Once you have found your first job, spend some time working and building up your experience. The lessons you learn on the ground will prove invaluable and can open doors to potential career progressions in the future. 

Step five: Consider a specialisation

Once you have been working as a general property manager for a while you can consider focusing your career. You could specialise in residential or commercial property. Another option is to work as a body corporate manager, taking care of corporate facilities. You could advance into the real estate industry, or why not consider building up your own property portfolio to manage.

Residential property manager

In this specialisation, you focus on residential property. The tasks are very similar to the ones you do as a property manager. However, there is never the question of working in the commercial arena. To recap you would show and lease properties, collect rent, oversee maintenance and repairs, enforce leases and rental terms, handle complaints and carry out inspections.

Commercial property manager

As a commercial property manager, you change your focus to the commercial realm of property management. This involves overseeing the daily operations of large building complexes leased to businesses. This can include shopping centres and office buildings. You are responsible for collecting rent, negotiating leases, and supervising cleaning and maintenance. Sometimes you will organise insurance, communicate with owners in regards to occupancy levels, property conditions or the finances of the complex.

Body corporate manager

When an owner has properties making up large complexes they must have a body corporate of overarching management. Often, the body corporate will employ a manager. You will be responsible for collecting levies, sending paperwork for meetings, arranging for maintenance or repairs on shared areas, organising insurance. As well as, ensuring the body complies with legislation and other legal matters.

Property Manager Job Description

Property managers take responsibility for all the tasks related to renting a property. Firstly, you market the property, arranging viewings for potential tenants. Secondly, screening and selecting tenants based on their suitability for the property. Thirdly, you prepare and get the tenancy contract signed. Fourthly, once the tenants have settled in. You collect rent, carry out inspections for damage, and make sure the property is well-maintained. If there are any issues with the property falling under the responsibility of the owner, you arrange workers to carry out repairs. Furthermore, if a legal action takes place against the owner, you go to the tribunal to represent them.


  • Approving tenants
  • Collecting rent
  • Marketing properties
  • Arranging repairs
  • Representing property owners at tribunals

Skills for Success

Property managers should have good customer service skills because you act as the go-between between the owner and tenant. Primarily, you need to take care of the property owners interests. Then, at the same time make sure the tenants are happy and safe in the accommodation. Furthermore, you should have a good understanding of the needs of a property in terms of maintenance, and repairs. If work needs doing, you are the one to arrange workers. Then, you make sure all work has a high standard. You inspect properties for damage, protecting the owners investment. At the same time, you look out for any safety issues, protecting the tenants living in the property. Importantly, property managers need to have a good understanding of legislation. If needed you will represent the owner in any dispute tribunals. Usually, you manage a number of properties, which means you need good organisational skills.

Skills and attributes

  • Tip top communication and people skills
  • Assertive
  • Knowledge of relevant legislation
  • Understanding the property market particularly in relation to economics
  • Pay attention to detail
  • Highly organised

What is a property manager salary in Australia?

In Australia, the property managers salary is a median wage of $59,199 per year. This varies according to a number of factors and is intended as a reference only, from Payscale 05/’18.

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