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The multi-faceted world of real estate management

It might seem daunting to get started in a property or real estate management career. But, the profession has many in-roads to get a foot in the door. Interested in getting involved, but not sure where to start? IREM Skill Badges can help you find your niche to get going in this exciting career.

Real estate managers are known to wear a lot of hats. They need to be well-versed in many different disciplines such as marketing, finance, leasing, human resources, and maintenance – and that’s just naming a few!

However, if you’re just beginning your career and are interested in the dynamic world of real estate, it can feel overwhelming to figure out a place to start.

The good news for aspiring property managers is that you’re not expected to be an expert in everything on day one. There are plenty of ways to gain experience on the job, while also utilizing your existing skills and education. In fact, a degree in real estate or academic focus on property management might not even be necessary to jumpstart your career.

Here are a few different entry ways into real estate:


Managing a property is likely going to be a bit dull if you don’t have residents or tenants  occupying the space. Knowing how to market your property to attract and keep those tenants and/or residents is key to generating revenue.

Those with a marketing background could apply the theories and strategies they earned in their education to marketing a property. What’s the unique value this property offers? What’s the going market rate for commercial and/or residential space? Who is your target demographic and what are the channels where you can best reach them?

Some skills and background you might need to get started in a real estate marketing role:

  • Digital marketing experience including social media, paid social advertising, internet listing sites, and others
  • Ability to create content across multiple channels such as email, web, and video
  • Knowledge of customer relationship management (CRM) systems and marketing automation to help nurture prospects through the process
  • Analytical skills to assess the local market and analyze marketing campaign performance

Being able to properly position your buildings in your market will help bring people in the door to generate revenue for the property owners and investors.


If marketing helps to get prospective tenants and residents in the door, then leasing is the work done to seal the deal.

Individuals with a sales background and strong people skills can succeed in a leasing career. You’re likely the first person a potential client will meet to introduce them to the property – whether that happens to be in person or through technology and digital tools (think email, virtual tours, and others). You’ll represent the property and all it has to offer, and work with prospects on the details around occupying the space.

Some skills and background you might need to get started in a leasing role:

  • Strong communication skills, including active listening and both written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to build strong relationships with prospective tenants and residents
  • Organizational skills to manage prospect requests and tours
  • An understanding of leasing procedures, strategies, and how to negotiate lease terms

A great leasing professional can make the difference between a thriving property full of tenants and residents, and one struggling with vacancies.


Good maintenance is critical to a building’s performance and a property manager’s ability to reduce loss and protect the asset. Maintenance is so much more than taking out trash and mopping floors – in fact, the best maintenance professionals are active participants in risk management planning, budget management, contract management, and emergency and disaster planning.

Some skills and experience you might need to start a career in maintenance include:

  • Creating maintenance and risk management plans
  • Identifying and selecting maintenance contractors, managing contractor work, and staff management
  • Understanding of mechanical systems and necessary operations to ensure strong performance
  • Knowledge of managing incident responses and insurance risks

Skilled maintenance professionals can ensure that properties run smoothly and are prepared for any and all risks.

Do you have experience in one of these areas above but want to understand how to get more specific training? You can gain real estate-specific marketing, leasing, and maintenance strategies and skills with an IREM Skill Badge. These resume-boosting courses enable you to build expertise and get a leg up as you launch your career. Learn more about available Skill Badges and stay tuned for new offerings!


I am very interested in gaining additional real estate-specific marketing, leasing, and maintenance strategies and skills with an IREM Skill Badge.


That's awesome! You'll find information about all IREM skill badges here: If you have questions about the courses, please send an email to, or call IREM's customer experience team at (800) 837-0706. Thank you for your interest in IREM!


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