What Training Does A Successful Property Management Company Need?


Many states require that property managers partake in industry-relevant classes and experience. However, only a handful of states require that property managers have a real estate broker’s license, even if the typical PM and real estate agent have different job descriptions.

So, why study up for this license? In short, it allows state-specific property managers to perform the following duties:
  • Advertise the availability of rental property
  • Prepare or discuss a property management agreement with an owner
  • Negotiate leases or lease terms
  • Show a rental property
  • Drive or accompany a potential renter to a rental property
  • Collect rent

To help you better understand property management in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., IKO breaks down the basic licensing and training required for success:


A real estate broker's license isn’t required to manage rental property, community associations, or condominium associations in Maryland, according to All Property Management. However, this license could help with gaining local business.

For more information about licensing requirements and new housing laws, please contact the Maryland Real Estate Commission or visit the Maryland Suburban Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM).


Because leasing and renting are considered real estate activities under existing Virginia real estate policy, a property manager who offers any variation of these activities needs a real estate broker’s license.

To be eligible, you must complete 180 hours of education (including 60 hours of the course "Principles in Real Estate"), pass the State and National Portions of the broker examination, and have been actively engaged as a salesperson for 36 out of the 48 months preceding application for licensure.

Note: Exceptions include a salesperson working under a real estate broker. Also, regularly salaried employees of property owners are exempt if their activities are limited to unit tours, leasing information, applications, security deposits, and rent collection.

Recently, the state implemented a licensure program for any community association management company. This means that any company offering services as a common interest community manager needs the Common Interest Community Manager License. For more information about the state's property management requirements, please contact the Virginia Real Estate Board.

Washington, D.C.

According to D.C. policy, a property manager is an agent for the owner of real estate in all matters pertaining to the leasing, renting, managing, marketing, operation, and maintenance of real estate.

“The term includes the physical, administrative, and fiscal management of any real property serviced by a licensee, or his or her employee or agent,” according to All Property Management.

A real estate broker's license isn’t required for a property manager unless they perform services related to the purchase, sale, loan negotiation, or exchange of the property. They must, however, pass the D.C. Property Managers Exam and obtain a property manager license.

Note: Those who hold a real estate broker's license don’t need to obtain a property manager license, as the broker's license is considered superior.

For more information about D.C. property manager requirements, please contact the District of Columbia Real Estate Commission.

Maryland, Virginia, and D.C.

As for training, many property managers in these areas have a government-issued real estate license and/or REALTOR® membership, as well as a relevant bachelor’s degree and/or the following voluntary titles and certifications:

Before you hire someone in these areas, it’s important to ensure that the company has proper licensing. Once you’ve double-checked their certifications, download our Property Manager Evaluation to find the perfect PM for your commercial space, condominium, and more:

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