How to Start a Career in Property Management?

Working as a property manager can be quite lucrative in Thailand. Typical earnings for residential property managers can range from about 59,700 THB to 176,000 THB. Naturally, the more experience you have, the greater the range of services you offer, and the location of the properties you represent will have a significant impact on salary.  

It is however a good career to focus on as the Thai real estate market is consistently active, with the exception of the Covid-19 pandemic era that has affected most industries. As the economy reopens, you can expect to see a resurgence in demand for estate agent and property management services.  Condominiums have particularly grown in popularity as foreigners can more easily purchase them compared to other landed properties that only allow for leasehold agreements. 

Property management work can be challenging, but also very rewarding. Let’s first take a look at what services are rendered by professionals in this field. 

What Does a Property Manager Do?

  • Find and Screen Tenants – this is the most important role of a property manager. It is how they make money for their landlord clients and by extension, earn through commission or fixed fee. Ensuring that the properties they manage are fully occupied year-round is the best way to make the most money. Screening tenants is also important. They need to ensure they have the necessary leave of income to keep paying rent comfortably and are of good character to avoid conflicts. 
  • Collect Rent – the property manager will act as an intermediary in dealing with the tenant so the landlord does not have to. This includes ensuring they make payment of rent as agreed upon. Many property management companies collect the rent on behalf of the landlord, take their commission or fee and forward the rest to the landlord. This is particularly helpful to landlords who may be based overseas. 
  • Maintenance Work – this service ensures that the property is kept in good condition for the continued comfortable occupation by tenants. Maintenance work can vary widely from regular gardening services to emergency repair works following a storm. Property managers should be familiar with different tradesmen or repairmen that can properly carry out the works required at a competitive cost. 
  • Record-Keeping – property managers should also be able to keep good records related to the tenancy and upkeep of the property. this will come in handy when it comes time to file and pay taxes. For landlords that live further away, such record-keeping helps assure them of the property manager’s honesty. 
  • Legal Adviser – there are various applicable laws and regulations when it comes to owning and renting a property in Thailand. Much of this information can be accessed online, but it can be simpler to work with a property manager with the requisite knowledge that can better advise on what to do. 

Steps to Becoming A Property Manager

There are no fixed requirements to become a property manager. You do not need to have a license or undergo specific training. For those considering this career as an ex-pat, you will however require a suitable work permit and visa. This lack of requirements means that you will often encounter a wide range of competencies in the field of property management. 

Those that have knowledge, training, and experience in accounting and real estate law tend to have an edge over others. This is because they can offer a wider range of services than just finding tenants and collecting rent. Those that have experience in construction and similar work are also well placed to deliver maintenance services. 

If looking to join this industry, seek work in an established property management company. This will provide you with on-the-job training in the various aspects of the job. You can also opt to pursue training in accounting or real estate law. This will make your services more valuable to clients that need services based on these specialities. 

Because the real estate business is a thriving industry in Thailand, you can also find several courses including masters’ programs devoted to this training. They can help broaden your knowledge and expertise in various niches including property development, surveying, and real estate management. Earning certifications can help boost your resume when looking to attract clients to your property management company, and when seeking employment. 

In seeking to find a job, reach out to professionals that you know in this sector. They will be better placed to inform you of possible openings. You can also lookup property management companies in your area and reach out directly to them. Another option would be to sign up on online job sites, check out their listings, and set up notifications for such job opportunities. 

Qualities Needed to Succeed in Property Management

1. Negotiation skills

This is a handy skill to have when dealing with everyone including landlord clients, tenants and technicians. You need to be able to resolve conflicts and find compromises that will leave everyone satisfied. This is a delicate balancing act, but you prove to be good at it, will have no problem retaining clients.

2. Organization

There are many tasks to be carried out when you are a property manager. You may need to collect rent, check on the condition of a vacated condo, arrange for servicing of the generator, pay local taxes on behalf of an overseas landlord, and much more, all on the same day. You need to be able to fulfil your duties in an orderly manner so nothing goes unattended or unduly delayed.

3. Tolerance

Property managers that are responsible for collecting rent and maintaining properties often require a tolerant attitude. Conflicts between neighbours, delays in making rent payments, and many other issues can cause problems. How well you calmly handle even the most provoking of situations will affect your reputation and success in this business.

4. Communication

There is a lot of communication that is required in this job. With the tenant, the landlord, local authorities and repairmen, to name a few. You need to have good people skills that allow you to get your message across as is suitable. This will help maintain a good and collaborative relationship with everyone you need to interact with when carrying out your duties.

5. Firmness

Given the many problematic situations property managers can find themselves in, it is ideal to have a tough attitude sometimes. When dealing with combative tenants and rule-breaking co-owners, you need to have firm resolve. Even as you balance compassion and responsiveness, there will be situations that will require you to take a harder line.

6. Local Knowledge

You need to be aware of local laws and regulations as regards property management issues. You also need to know local repairmen and technicians that will take care of repairs and maintenance work. Familiarity with the surrounding areas in which the properties are located will also be helpful when marketing to prospective tenants.

7. Accounting acumen

This is an added benefit mentioned before. From the tenants to invoices from repairmen, it is important to be able to track income and expenses so that the property owners can get a clear picture as to the value their investment is bringing in.

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