March 22 2019
These days it’s unusual for someone’s career to follow a straight line from the bottom to the top. Not everyone climbed the corporate ladder even when it was common to work for one company your whole life, but whether you move up or just sideways it’s typical today for the average worker to jump between several companies and even between industries as jobs move around and new opportunities arise.
As such, people who end up in property management careers can start out in all sorts of other jobs working for companies big, small, and in between. Many of those jobs don’t have much in common with what you’ll do as a property manager, but more than a few can prepare you for the kind of work it involves. As such, if you have any of the jobs on this list you’ll be well-placed to enter the property management field.
1. Sales Representative
Public speaking isn’t easy, nor is it easy to sell products to strangers even if you like what you sell and you think your potential customers want or need it. Not every sales job gives you that benefit. However, working that kind of job gives you the sort of practical experience you can’t get from any school or university. Sales experience comes in handy for property management careers because you need to emphasize the good points of your units if you want to keep them full of tenants.
Property management involves a lot of numbers, especially when you reach a point where you’re managing several properties at once. You need to keep your expenses under your income, but you also need to set your monthly rates at a competitive price. This involves juggling numbers like employee wages, property taxes, maintenance and repair costs, insurance premiums, advertising, and more. An accounting job gets you used to dealing with all this math, plus you’ll know how important it is to keep track of changing federal, state, and local laws and regulations that will affect your business.
3. Building Inspector
Once property management careers reach the management level, they don’t involve much maintenance work. However, it can be useful as a manager to understand things like the condition of pipes, wires, walls, and appliances. Experience with inspecting buildings helps you understand what’s important and what isn’t about a unit’s condition, and it means you can follow along when your maintenance team starts talking technical.
People don’t often move straight up a corporate ladder anymore, but it’s good that things aren’t so simple anymore. Employees who enter a new industry bring different kinds of experience and perspectives to the table, and they often think of solutions that someone who started within the company wouldn’t think of. So even if you aren’t in the property management industry, you may have just what it takes to join up and begin a new career.