Chapter 2

How to Become a Property Manager for Vacation Rentals

It is best to not only take a course on property management but also on vacation rental management. This will provide you with more information regarding what needs to be done and the specific tools you are going to need when you do become a vacation property manager.

By taking these courses, you can easily find out whether or not this is the right career for you to go with. With the right training, as well as a management course, you can not only get hired through a vacation property management company but you can also start your own property management business with the right business classes.

Become a Certified Property Manager

In some U.S. states, you’ll have to be a real estate professional that has been certified by the National Association of Realtors, have their Realtors License and attend at least two IREM Chapter meetings or events within a year. Once you get your CPM or Certified Property Manager approval, they also have to have an interview and then also be approved by the local IREM Chapter for the area. That’s when you’ll be given their CPM certification.

In order to get a Realtors License, you’ll have to go through the pre-licensing course, as well as taking the test. Once the test is taken, you then need to pass to obtain the license. The property information has to be something that the person understands and knows in order to pass and become certified to sell and buy homes. Becoming a part of the National Association of Realtors is also highly recommended, as this shows you’re a professional in the real estate field.

You have to learn the ins and outs, the regulations, insurance, safety, and rules that go into not only selling and buying homes but also vacation properties and short-term or long-term leasing. These specifics are required to ensure that the person is able to handle all of the regulations and paperwork that is required depending on the transaction that is going to be made between the people that are selling, buying or renting the property.

Property Management License

A property management license is a type of license and certification that is required to operate and manage a rental property. This license varies depending on the management and route that the person takes to obtain it.

Types of Property Management Licenses

Depending on the route that the person takes to obtain their licensure, a different license will be given. All of them certify the individual to do a different type of management within a building or for a number of properties. There five different types of property management licenses are:

  • Real estate license
  • CPM certification
  • CMCA certification
  • RMP certification
  • CAM certification

Although not all property managers in the vacation rental industry need licenses, there are several certifications you can get to boost your resumé:

  • CPM is a property management certification given to someone once they have gone through the necessary requirements needed to fulfill the management position requested. Usually, these consist of the property management courses. By obtaining this property management license, you’re real estate certified and able to buy and sell homes. You will have to go through schooling, certification classes, and courses, as well as obtain a bachelor’s degree in order to qualify for this type of certification since they have to become a realtor prior to becoming a property manager that is certified.
  • RPA is another type of property management certification that an individual is able to obtain. This stands for Real Property Administrator. It is given through the Building Owners and Managers Institute and for those that want to get into property management on their own. This is done instead of having to become a real estate agent or go to college to qualify. This is an ideal way to fast track to the success road and be able to maintain a number of properties without having to get a bachelor’s degree in order to do so. This helps many become property managers in a shorter, easier way.

Do You Need a Real Estate License for Vacation Rental Property Management?

Yes and no, depending on where you are located. Each U.S. state has its own regulations for how they would like vacation rental properties managed by a professional. Some prefer that this training is done, while others state that other types of certification and licensure would be acceptable to allow the person to do the management of the buildings or properties.

It is best to contact your local office where you reside or are going to be working in to find out if they require a real estate license for your particular area. They will be able to provide you with a better answer to this question and ensure that you have the necessary information for that particular area.

Some places require the individual to have this license so that they understand the realty laws and regulations that govern that particular area. However, other areas do not state that it is a must.

How to Get a Property Management License?

As we have seen, if you’re looking to become a property manager, you might have to look into getting a property management license. You would have to undergo a series of courses and tests in order to become certified. They are tested on a number of factors including real estate, accounting, marketing and other important areas where the knowledge would go handy when managing properties.

Usually, some places require a person to not only be certified but also to hold a real estate license. This is done through schooling and certification with courses. The schools that offer these licensure courses and tests vary with each area, but asking a higher education school can provide more information on what is available in your area.

Every area is different in their requirements and some area might only require the person to have a high school diploma. Others might hire an individual if they have a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, real estate or finance.

Obtaining a property management license is all about going through training and schooling to become certified in that area. Others might have to go back to college, online classes are offered, to obtain the degree required for becoming a property manager and knowing the appropriate rules and regulations for the housing market.

Property Management without a License: Exceptions and Regulations

In some areas, property management can be done without the use of a license. Some places allow a person to start working for them in agreement of putting them through the necessary courses to do the framework for becoming licensed as a property manager for the near future. Either way, it is important to know that in some instances, as well as some places, licensing for a property manager is not always required.

Short term rentals and vacation rentals in some states do not require the owner or manager to have a property management license. In many of the states, no associations or requirements need to be met. In these instances, the person managing the properties just have to know the current rules and regulations for the area and their rental properties. Other than that, they do not need to go through extra schooling or courses or take tests to become certified or licensed in order to practice as a property manager. They can be hired without a license or manage their own property rentals.

In any case, before starting your property management company or offering property management services, we recommend consulting your local Government office about certifications and licenses you may need to run your business.