What are the chances of scoring a job as a property manager with no real estate experience?

One of the jobs I'm looking to apply for is this killer part-time position as a property manager. I don't have any real professional experience, but I feel that I have the common sense and work ethic to really impress a prospective employer.

I'm currently a waitress, however I put quite a bit of time into learning the ins and outs of the business that I work for - learning the financial programs in our computer system, how to be diplomatic with angry customers, keeping everything clean and in repair, coming in to check up on things and sometimes help out for a few hours on my days off without pay, etc. - and I've made it clear that I'd be interested in more formal responsibility (they let me take on pretty much any extra tasks I want, but they won't make it a regular part of my job). Unfortunately, there are no real opportunities for advancement.

I pick things up fairly quick. I've had experience with managing time, budgets, and tasks when I was president of the writing club / literary magazine at my high school. Not the most important thing in the world but I did plan and oversee everything from the actual putting together of the publication to staging coffeehouse-style poetry nights as fundraisers. I did lots of multitasking, delegating tasks, approving budgets, settling disputes, etc.

I definitely miss having a 'job' like this where I was responsible for managing my own time and overseeing many different people and projects at once. I thrive on being a busybody.

I understand that the job I'm applying for would require me to show apartments and be on call for tenants at all times, and that's not just something I could tolerate, but something that appeals to me.

If I make all of this clear in my cover letter and resume, could my enthusiasm make up for a lack of real estate experience?

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Do you even have a license? It doesn't sound like you can legally do this job.

    High school is NOT management experience either. Busy bodies are not only terrible people managers, it does not sound like you can handle the legal issues or the bookkeeping end.

  • 1 decade ago

    The trick is to use your 'transferable skills', and not to set your sights too high. You may have to start out as a leasing assistant or even a porter. You are correct though, that a few of the major necessary skills for this position are common sense and work ethic. Good judgment and the ability to remain calm and professional in the face of emergencies also helps.

    You might think you have no 'professional experience', but you say you are a waitress. That's customer service. More than half of my job as a property manager is customer service work so that almost qualifies you right there!

    It wouldn't hurt to have a few letters of recommendation that specifically mention not only your ethics and sound judgment, but also your experience using the transferable skills necessary to succeed in property management.

    Property management is definitely not for everyone, and confidence can make up for a lot, but what it cannot make up for is knowledge of fair housing and landlord-tenant laws, which you cannot get from your current line of work. Have you studied landlord-tenant law on your own? There are a lot of great books available on the subject, and every large city has a 'renters rights' type of organization that would love to train you in landlord tenant law to be a volunteer. You can also find classes through your local metro multifamily housing association, fair housing bureau, and local community college.

    I entered the field of property management three years ago with no experience. It took me six months of applying for over a hundred positions before one company finally gave me a chance to manage a very small property in a bad neighborhood for no pay, just a rent credit. My previous job was at Starbucks, where I was not in management.

    I had no real estate experience at all and was willing to start at the bottom and work my way up, because; like you, being needed for after hours emergencies appeals to me.

    I worked hard, learned fast, and moved up quickly at my company from my part time job to managing several larger properties, and now I train other new managers in addition to managing an 80 unit community.

    I wouldn't make your lack of experience too clear in your cover letter, but instead focus on how similar your current skills match what is needed for this position, and mention that you are very willing to do whatever it takes to acquire any necessary skills to be successful in your new career. Join multifamilyinsiders.com to network with other managers, find job leads, and learn more about property management.

    Good luck!

    Source(s): www.multifamilyinsiders.com
  • 5 years ago

    Hey S4D, Starting your career as Property Manager is such a nice idea. As you mentioned that you have good sales & customer service experience you can look forward to become more familiar with property management. Property management includes many services like - Property accounting and reporting - Lease administration - Tenant rent collection - Property financial planning and budgeting - Insurance review - Property risk management - Facilities management and many more. Familiarity with those services can better enhance your self for this career. Thanks and best luck for your career.

  • 1 decade ago

    I went from working healthcare for 24 years to working apartment management. The former owner trained me completely.

    I think its possible. I have no prior experience in real estate although I did have about 15 years management experience with my previous positions.

    I really dont think any of your local apartment complexes have licensed personnel to manage their offices, it would cost them more.

    My advice is to take a chance, you wont know for sure until you try it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    you will PROBABLY need a real estate license.

    I can guide you on getting one

    Source(s): RE broker, landlord/tenant specialist
  • 1 decade ago

    In South Africa... Huge!!

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