Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Manager Career Description


Property, real estate, and community association managers take care of the many aspects of residential, commercial, or industrial properties.

What they do

Property, real estate, and community association managers make sure the property is well maintained, has a nice appearance, operates smoothly, and preserves its resale value.

They typically do the following:

  • Meet with prospective renters and show them properties
  • Discuss the lease and explain the terms of occupancy or ownership
  • Collect monthly fees from tenants or individual owners
  • Inspect all building facilities, including the grounds and equipment
  • Arrange for new equipment or repairs as needed
  • Pay bills or delegate bill payment for such expenditures as taxes, insurance, payroll, and maintenance
  • Contract for trash removal, maintenance, landscaping, security, and other services
  • Investigate and settle complaints, disturbances, and violations
  • Keep records of rental activity and owner requests
  • Prepare budgets and financial reports
  • Comply with anti-discrimination laws when renting or advertising, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Federal Fair Housing Amendment Act, and local fair housing laws

When owners of homes, apartments, office buildings, or retail or industrial properties lack the time or expertise needed for the day-to-day management of their real estate properties, they often hire a property or real estate manager or a community association manager. Managers are employed either directly by the owner or indirectly through a contract with a property management firm.

The following are examples of types of property, real estate, and community association managers:

Property and real estate managers oversee the operation of income-producing commercial or residential properties and ensure that real estate investments achieve their expected revenues. They handle the financial operations of the property, making certain that rent is collected and that mortgages, taxes, insurance premiums, payroll, and maintenance bills are paid on time. They may oversee financial statements, and periodically report to the owners on the status of the property, occupancy rates, expiration dates of leases, and other matters. When vacancies occur, property managers may advertise the property or hire a leasing agent to find a tenant. They may also suggest to the owners what rent to charge.

Community association managers work on behalf of homeowner or community associations to manage the communal property and services of condominiums, cooperatives, and planned communities. Usually hired by a volunteer board of directors of the association, they manage the daily affairs and supervise the maintenance of property and facilities that the homeowners use jointly through the association. Like property managers, community association managers collect monthly fees, prepare financial statements and budgets, negotiate with contractors, and help to resolve complaints. Community association managers also help homeowners and non-owner residents comply with association rules and regulations.

Onsite property managers are responsible for the day-to-day operation of a single property, such as an apartment complex, an office building, or a shopping center. To ensure that the property is well maintained, onsite managers routinely inspect the grounds, facilities, and equipment to determine whether maintenance or repairs are needed. They meet with current tenants to handle requests for repairs or to resolve complaints. They also meet with prospective tenants to show vacant apartments or office space. In addition, onsite managers enforce the terms of rental or lease contracts along with an association’s governing rules. They make sure that tenants pay their rent on time, follow restrictions on parking or pets, and follow the correct procedures when the lease is up. Other important duties of onsite managers include keeping accurate, up-to-date records of income and expenditures from property operations and submitting regular expense reports to the senior-level property manager or the owner(s).

Real estate asset managers plan and direct the purchase, sale, and development of real estate properties on behalf of businesses and investors. They focus on long-term strategic financial planning, rather than on the day-to-day operations of the property. In deciding to acquire property, real estate asset managers consider several factors, such as property values, taxes, zoning, population growth, transportation, and traffic volume and patterns. Once a site is selected, they negotiate contracts to buy or lease the property on the most favorable terms. Real estate asset managers review their company’s real estate holdings periodically and identify properties that are no longer financially profitable. They then negotiate the sale of the properties or arrange for the end of leases.


Work Environment

Most property, real estate, and community association managers work out of an office. However, many managers spend much of their time away from their desks. Onsite managers, in particular, may spend a large part of their workday visiting the building engineer, showing apartments, dealing with owners and board members, checking on the janitorial and maintenance staff, or investigating problems reported by residents. Real estate asset managers may spend time away from home while traveling to company real estate holdings or searching for properties to buy.

Managing properties or community associations, or selling and leasing real estate, can sometimes be stressful.

Property, real estate, and community association managers often attend evening meetings with residents, property owners, community association board members, or civic groups. As a result, long workdays are common. Some apartment managers are required to live in the apartment complexes where they work, so that they are available to respond to emergencies even when they are off duty.

Most property, real estate, and community association managers work full time.


How to become a Property, Real Estate and/or Community Association Manager

Although many employers prefer to hire college graduates, a high school diploma combined with several years of related work experience is typically required for entry-level positions. Some managers also must have a real estate license.

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most onsite property management positions. However, many employers prefer to hire college graduates for commercial management positions and offsite positions dealing with a property’s finances or contract management. A bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration, accounting, finance, real estate, or public administration is preferred for these types of positions.

Property, real estate, and community association managers typically have several years of prior work experience. Experience in real estate sales is a good background for onsite managers because real estate salespeople also show commercial properties to prospective tenants or buyers.

Real estate managers who buy or sell property must have a real estate license in the state in which they practice. In a few states, property and community association managers also must have a real estate license. Managers of public housing subsidized by the federal government must hold certifications.

Property, real estate, and community association managers working in Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, Virginia, and the District of Columbia are required to obtain professional credentials or licensure. Requirements vary by state, but many managers working in states without requirements still obtain designations to show competence and professionalism. BOMI International, the Community Associations Institute, the Institute of Real Estate Management, the National Association of Residential Property Managers, and the Community Association Managers International Certification Board all offer various designations, certifications, and professional development courses. Most states require recertification every 2 years.

In addition, employers may require managers to attend formal training programs from various professional and trade real estate associations. Employers send managers to these programs to develop their management skills and expand their knowledge of specialized fields, such as how to operate and maintain mechanical systems in buildings, how to improve property values, insurance and risk management, personnel management, business and real estate law, community association risks and liabilities, tenant relations, communications, accounting and financial concepts, and reserve funding. Managers also participate in these programs to prepare themselves for positions of greater responsibility in property management. With related job experience, completing these programs and receiving a satisfactory score on a written exam can lead to certification or the formal award of a professional designation by the sponsoring association.



The median annual wage for property, real estate, and community association managers was $58,760 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $31,030, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $129,160.

Job Outlook

Employment of property, real estate, and community association managers is projected to show little or no change from 2019 to 2029.

Employment demand will be driven by the number people living in buildings that property management companies operate, such as apartment buildings, condominiums, cooperatives, planned communities, and senior housing.


Similar Job Titles

Apartment Manager, Community Association Manager, Community Manager, Lease Administration Supervisor, Leasing Manager, Occupancy Director, On-Site Manager, Property Manager, Real Estate Manager, Resident Manager


Related Occupations

Administrative Services Manager, Wholesale and Retail Buyer (except Farm Products), Loan Officer, Real Estate Broker, Procurement Clerk


More Information

The trade associations listed below represent organizations made up of people (members) who work and promote advancement in the field.  Members are very interested in telling others about their work and about careers in those areas.  As well, trade associations provide opportunities for organizational networking and learning more about the field’s trends and directions.


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Video Transcript

Owners of commercial buildings, apartments, and other real estate… rely on the skills of property, real estate, and community association managers to ensure their property is well maintained and preserves its resale or leasing value. These managers collect rent or fees, process complaints and repair requests, negotiate favorable terms with tenants or sellers, and enforce their facility’s policies. They also show vacant space to prospective tenants, and report profits or losses to property owners. Property and real estate managers oversee the operation of business or residential properties and ensure they achieve their expected revenues. Community association managers work for homeowner or community associations to manage shared property and services for condominiums, cooperatives, and planned communities. Onsite property managers handle day-to-day operations of apartment complexes, office buildings, and shopping centers. Some apartment managers live in the building they manage. Real estate asset managers buy, sell, and develop real estate properties for investors, to ensure the portfolio of holdings remains profitable. Most property, real estate, and community association managers work full time, splitting their time between an office and offsite at meetings and inspections. A high school diploma plus several years’ related work experience is needed for entry-level positions, although many employers prefer to hire college graduates. A real estate license is required for some positions.



Content retrieved from: US Bureau of Labor Statistics-OOH,
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