To become an apartment property manager, it is best to gain experience in the field, either as a maintenance person, leasing agent, or perhaps both. Those without this experience can also become an apartment property manager by taking internships and getting a college education. The most common courses for those in property management include real estate management, business, economics, marketing, or a similar field.
While experience is valued in a residential property manager's position, education should not be discounted either. If you have both, you will have an edge when it comes to a managerial position. Also, remember that those wanting to become an apartment property manager generally do not start out in the position right away. It is a position that will require some time to work your way into.
Most individuals work from within a larger apartment complex to become a manager. You may start out as a leasing agent or assistant manager and then be moved up when the managerial position becomes available. If you want to move up quickly, it is best to look for larger companies with more than one property, as they will likely present the most opportunities.
Should you wish to consider college before starting to work for a commercial property company, talk to an academic adviser about your overall desire to become an apartment property manager. He or she can assist you in putting together a course of study that will help you become a more valuable prospect in the minds of employers. If the college offers a degree in real estate management, you should strongly consider this track, but other business-related degrees will also work.
Making contacts and learning the business through an internship while in college could prove invaluable, if you seriously want to become an apartment property manager. Consider taking an internship with more than one company, but keep contact with all of them throughout your college career. You may find these contacts are a valuable key to gaining a foothold in the industry after you graduate.
Once you get an interview, remember to stress to the employer that this is your chosen career path and you plan on spending the rest of your professional life in property management. Employers are more willing to make a long-term investment in you if they know you are willing to return the favor. If you are not interviewing for a managerial position, it is still acceptable to mention your desire for management at some future point, but it should not be a focal point of the interview. Remember, you are there primarily to express interest in the job being posted.