So, You Want To Be An Apartment Manager?

>> Friday, December 6, 2013

When I started this blog I never, not ever, expected to receive so many emails from readers wanting to know how to become an apartment manager.
I mean, you've read this, right? 

However, on the flip side, I managed apartments to get us through almost ten years of college, and despite the headaches it produced, it is how we survived.

So, here you go....

How to become an apartment manager.

FIRST, if you desire to jump into property management because you want a free apartment, I hate to burst your bubble, but it ain't free. You work hard for that apartment, and by living in that "free" unit, you have to understand that there will always be someone knocking on your hours, ha!, what's that? AND, most importantly, all the tenants know exactly where you live, which becomes tricky when you are in the middle of an eviction.

Also, if you are passive, have a sensitive gag reflex, or cry might want to jog down a different career path.

Still interested?

Well, I warned you.


Most, if not all, management companies require their managers to have experience. And, if you are still reading, I am assuming you don't have any, because if you do, then start sending out your resumes to different management companies in the area you want to live in.

If you don't have any experience, then I suggest a few different options...

Look into becoming a certified apartment manager. You can google search apartment manager certification courses in your area. I searched for an online course and found one here, I have no personal affiliation with this school, and can't vouch for it. And I personally, never took any certification course, but this could only help you find a job in a competitive field.

Google all the property management companies in the area you wish you live. Some management companies have manager positions open for smaller buildings. Generally, these positions will offer you a discount on your rent in exchange for you to keep an eye on the place. These positions don't usually require previous experience.

This is how I got started. I had a degree and management experience in other areas, but the management company didn't even care, they barely looked at my resume. They handed me a list of small properties(8-12 units) that needed a manager. We decided to rent a two-bedroom in one of the buildings.  I was offered a garage(which was like gold in the city I lived in) and $50 off my rent. Then they paid me $25 a week to walk to the other properties and pick-up trash. I lived there for less than a year, worked way harder than I was paid, but I was able to add apartment manager to my resume. This led me to a larger property, and my compensation included a salary, bonuses, insurance, utilities and my rent. PLUS a super cool pager, anyone else remember pager code? 43110 ( I was eventually upgraded to a cell phone.... in 2011)

Ask friends who are managers. Don't we all know at least one apartment manager? I worked for a corporate management company, they treated their employees like scum, paid crap and would rather ingest their own vomit than actually fill a maintenance request. When I worked there, I didn't feel good about referring friends, at least the ones I liked.

Later, I worked for a smaller management company ran by a man who believed if you treated your employees good they would perform well(crazy concept, right?). And when friends asked if I knew of any apartment management openings, I would ask my boss. I used to do this for my friends, I even gave them my boss's number, until one called and talked to the person he would be replacing for an hour about how they were going to get fired. Duh! That's when I stopped doing that. But, most managers know of other management positions opening up. And a good referral might compensate the lack of experience.

Join apartment management communities.
Multifamily Insiders
National Apartment Association 
And each state, usually, has their own apartment association.

Just remember, that for whatever reason, apartment management positions are popular. I once advertised a job for a Leasing Agent, and I received over 200 resumes within an hour of posting the ad, and it was a commission based only position.

I suggest, when putting together your resume, that you highlight any sales experience and management experience. Emphasis your STRONG communication skills, and your kick-butt time management skills (although I wouldn't use "kick-butt" on your resume).

Good Luck!

On an unrelated note.
I found this picture on the Mulitfamily facebook page...

The thief tore through the neighboring apartment wall in order to get in.

Kind of reminded me of my spider neck dude.

Have a great weekend.

Blog Design by April Showers