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Property Manager

Kaiwhakahaere Papa Whenua

Alternative titles for this job

Property managers look after the daily running of residential and commercial properties.

Pay

New property managers usually earn

$45K-$75K per year

Senior property managers usually earn

$100K-$130K

Source: Hudson and Hays, 2017.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as a property manager are good due to high demand.

Pay

Pay for property managers varies depending on experience.

  • New property managers start on between $45,000 and $75,000 a year.
  • Mid-level property managers can earn between $75,000 and $100,000.
  • Senior property managers can earn from $100,000 to $130,000.

Commercial property managers charge set fees for managing properties, while residential property managers charge the property owner a percentage of the weekly rent.

Some residential property managers are paid a salary by their company while others work on commission only.

Source: Hudson, '2017 New Salary Guides', 2017; and Hays, 'The 2017 Hays Salary Guide', 2017.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Property managers may do some or all of the following:

  • advertise and show rental homes or commercial properties
  • negotiate leases and tenancy agreements
  • collect rents and bonds
  • investigate and resolve any tenant complaints
  • organise property repairs
  • review property maintenance, security and tenancy contracts
  • keep up to date with the real estate market 
  • help plan property investments
  • write financial reports
  • advise building owners on tenancy law and the real estate market.

Skills and knowledge

Property managers need to have knowledge of:

  • property inspection and valuation
  • building methods and materials, and architectural and engineering plans
  • property laws and local regulations
  • the real estate market.

Trade skills, such as plumbing or carpentry, may also be useful.

Working conditions

Property managers:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may work evenings and weekends, and be on call
  • are based in offices, but often travel locally or nationally to clients' properties, and to meet with prospective clients or attend courses.

What's the job really like?

Ravi finds out what it's like to be a property manager and real estate agent - 5.44 mins. (Video courtesy of Dave Mason Productions)

Clinton: Residential agents are almost always paid on commission whereas property management agents are paid a salary. Des Ryder is a property manager and he has an assistant too – it's Theo’s brother, Carlos.

Des: My lifestyle – I prefer property management. I like to have the freedom of my weekends and also not having after-hours work so much – I do have some after-hours emergency calls but in general I’ve got the weekends free for family and things like that.

Clinton: The team are doing an inspection of a rental before the tenants move in. A detailed list of the condition of the property is made.

Des: So, it basically just goes room to room, door to door. So the first thing I’ll check is things like doors…

Des: It’s a very varied job. So I can be like this morning, we went out and checked the water meter to just see if it was leaking, I can be doing bond inspections when people have left, I can be showing houses. The great thing is about talking to people, so you’re not just sitting in an office, you’re out and about.

Clinton: Real estate agents have to work within a legal framework that protects consumers, so learning about legislation that relates to the job is important.

Clinton: The Skills Organisation is the industry training organisation that offer a range of qualifications for exciting careers in real estate.

Annette: At the Skills Organisation, we offer two qualifications in real estate and residential property management. The first one is the National Certificate in Real Estate (Salesperson) (Level 4) – this is a critical certificate to obtain if you want to sell real estate or work in the real estate industry. The second one is the New Zealand Certificate in Residential Property (Levels 3 and 4). These qualifications offer you the ability to work in the residential management.

Clinton: An important part of any marketing campaign is the chance for the public to view the property – the open home…

Clinton: …and sometimes there’s a few last-minute tidy ups before the potential buyers arrive.

Clinton: Ravi’s doing the doorstep meet and greet, and taking down the visitors' details.

Jamie: Hi guys, how are you? Good.

Jamie: So for me, a big part of the job is etiquette – some people have natural etiquette when it comes to dealing with people; other people pick it up more slowly than others but it’s very important about how to treat people, how to listen to them and how to understand what’s actually important for other people.

Clinton: And Ravi’s definitely getting the right idea, he’s right in the thick of it, and enjoying himself.

Open-homer: How big is the section out there?

Clinton: It’s all about clinching the deal. In the real estate agent world, no deal means no pay.

Clinton: For Jamie and Ravi, their efforts have paid off. A client’s made the decision to buy.

Jamie: And what level of offer were you considering making today?

Home buyer: $550,000.

Jamie: $550,000? OK, that’s great.

Jamie: It’s so challenging – you meet someone, you build a rapport, you think everything is going well, you’re just about to get the deal signed, and then all of a sudden, something changes. But if you love the challenge of being out there, pitching yourself and working with people and dealing with sometimes difficult personalities, then it’s definitely a job for you.

Clinton: Over 12,000 real estate professionals are members of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand. Helen O’Sullivan is the chief executive officer.

Helen: First and foremost, you’ve got to be prepared to work hard. This is a great industry. It is, however, a very challenging industry and you’ve got to be prepared to put in the hard yards but you also have to have a work ethic and a commitment to professionalism. I would absolutely recommend that newcomers to the industry join an agency that is a member of the Real Estate Institute, apart from access to our advisory services library and a lot of the guidance that we provide to members, they will also have access to the statistics, the most up-to-date data at what the market is transacting at right now, which is a key requirement for them when they’re acting in a quickly moving market.

Jamie: Yeah, so I’m very impressed with Ravi, he seems very keen and I think one of the most important things in real estate is to have a great attitude and work hard, so I’m sure he will do really well.

Ravi: It was really great, it was really, really interesting and I’m really thankful for the experience. It was a lot more than I thought it would be and it was a lot more than, like there was a lot of stuff to do and everything – it was great!

Clinton: A good understanding of relevant legislation is essential. The Skills Organisation offer qualifications designed to put you at the front of your profession. A National Certificate in Real Estate is available that provides the skills to conduct legal property transactions. Qualifications available are The National Certificate in Real Estate (Salesperson) (Level 4), The New Zealand Certificate in Residential Property Management (Level 3) and The New Zealand Certificate in Residential Property Management (Level 4).

Entry requirements

There are no specific requirements to become a property manager, and many larger property firms provide in-house training.

However, the following qualifications may be useful:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Real Estate (Salesperson) (Level 4)
  • New Zealand Certificate in Residential Property Management (Level 4)
  • National Diploma in Real Estate (Level 5)
  • Bachelor of Property (Level 7)
  • Bachelor of Land and Property Management (Level 7)
  • Bachelor of Business (Property) (Level 7).

Commercial property companies prefer graduates

Employers at commercial property companies usually prefer to hire graduates with:

  • a degree in property management, finance or marketing
  • experience in areas such as law, construction, accounting or finance.

On-the-job training

Residential property managers can train on the job and achieve a New Zealand Certificate in Residential Property Management (Level 4) through the Skills Organisation.

Secondary education

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include accounting, business studies, economics and maths.

Personal requirements

Property managers need to be:

  • honest and reliable
  • excellent communicators, with good listening and writing skills
  • proactive and adaptable
  • good negotiators and mediators
  • organised
  • able to make good judgements.

Useful experience

Useful experience for property managers includes work in:

  • construction
  • real estate
  • property investment
  • valuation
  • quantity surveying
  • finance and administration.

Registration

Property managers can register with the Property Institute of New Zealand (PINZ) or the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ). 

Find out more about training

Property Institute
0800 698 258 - national@property.org.nz - www.propertyinstitute.nz
Real Estate Institute of NZ
(09) 356 1755 - info@reinz.co.nz - www.reinz.co.nz
Skills Organisation
0508 754 557 - www.skills.org.nz
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Growing demand for property managers

Opportunities for property managers are good due to:

  • people often leaving the role to go into real estate sales, which creates vacancies
  • an ageing workforce, with many property managers due to retire soon
  • not enough people going into property management.

About 4,600 people work as property managers in New Zealand. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment expects this number to increase by 3% by 2024.

Types of employers varied

Property managers can work for:

  • large or small property management agencies
  • institutional investors who run property funds
  • government departments with property portfolios.

According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, about 40% of property managers are self-employed.

Sources

  • Church, A, 'Exciting Future with Property', Autumn 2017, (www.propertyinstitute.nz).
  • Clements, D, 'New Zealand Property Education – Industry Challenges and Opportunity for Graduates', Autumn 2017, (www.propertyinstitute.nz).
  • Harrison, N, 'The Future of Property – Education and Development Opportunities', Autumn 2017, (www.propertyinstitute.nz).
  • Hays, 'Hays Quarterly Report July-September 2017', July 2017, (www.hays.net.nz).
  • Hutching, C, 'Lincoln University Doubles Property Studies Intake after Fears of Shortfall', 8 April 2017, (www.stuff.co.nz).
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2006-2014 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers Directorate – Tertiary Education Commission), 2015.
  • Robert Walters, 'Global Salary Survey 2017', 2017, (www.roberwalters.co.nz).

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Property managers may specialise in:

  • residential properties
  • commercial properties such as retail spaces, office buildings, or industrial buildings.
A property manager stands in the doorway holding a lease and handing keys over to a new tenant

Property managers help rent homes to tenants

Last updated 22 March 2019