Pros and Cons of a Career in Lease Administration
Lease administrators manage properties, communicate with tenants and senior management and enforce lease agreements. Learn about the pros and cons of a career as a lease administrator to make an informed decision about your future.
|Pros of a Lease Administrator Career|
|Minimal educational requirements (some employers require a bachelor's degree, while a high school diploma is sufficient for others)*|
|Relatively high median salary ($54,000, as of May 2014 for all property, real estate, and community association managers)*|
|Varied environment (work both inside an office and around the property)*|
|Opportunity to interact with a wide variety of people (tenants, management, staff, etc.)**|
|Cons of a Lease Administrator Career|
|Average job growth predicted (twelve percent from 2012-2022 for all property, real estate, and community association managers)*|
|May have to work long hours, including nights, and live on a rental property*|
|Addressing tenants about lease breaches and complaints may be uncomfortable*|
|Could require travel to multiple properties*|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **O*Net OnLine.
Essential Career Info
A lease administrator, sometimes called an on-site manager, is a property manager who enforces the rules and regulations listed on tenants' leases and who oversees the upkeep of a property or multiple properties. The job involves a combination of office work and interaction with potential tenants, current tenants and other members of the property management team and staff. Face-to-face discussions with tenants, senior managers, community leaders and other individuals are common in a lease administrator's day. These professionals may discuss the terms of lease agreements with new tenants, communicate with maintenance staff regarding property upkeep and address tenants' complaints. One issue issue that these professionals commonly address is nonpayment of rent. Other rental-related issues they may deal with include pet fees, parking regulations or tenants leaving the property without giving due notice. Lease administrators may also be involved when there are concerns about noise levels, conflicts with neighbors and damages to property grounds.
The clerical and administrative responsibilities of lease administrators may include drafting copies of property leases, updating leases, preparing financial reports and budgets, inspecting properties and analyzing leases to ensure that they follow state or federal housing guidelines. In addition, property managers generally maintain a database system into which they input rental amounts and copies of tenants' leases. The job may involve living onsite and being on call 24-hours a day, working late or traveling between multiple rental properties.
Salary Information and Career Prospects
Although salaries may vary between a lease administrator and senior members of the property management team, the BLS indicated that the median average salary of all property, real estate and community association managers was roughly $54,000, as of May 2014. The lowest 10% of earned an average annual salary of about $28,000 or less, but, in contrast, the highest 10% earned an average annual salary of $117,000 or more.
According to the BLS, jobs for property, real estate and community association managers were predicted to grow at an average rate of twelve percent from 2012-2022. Although the increase in the number of renters could create more jobs, the increased use of property management firms could mitigate this need.
Training and Education Requirements
According to the BLS, many employers may prefer a lease administrator who has a college degree in business administration or a related area, while others are willing to hire applicants who hold a high school diploma or its equivalent. Most of this, however, depends on the employer and the level of responsibility a property manager holds. For example, lease administrators who manage finances for properties or handle contracts must generally hold a bachelor's degree. Additionally, some states require that property association managers hold a license, while every state mandates that any managers who also buy and sell property be licensed.
There are multiple ways to train for entry-level positions in leasing departments. The most common way to become a lease administrator is to be hired as an assistant to a property manager. As an assistant, you may learn how to communicate with tenants and check on a rental property. The property management team may also teach you how to perform duties ranging from clerical responsibilities to determining whether or not tenants are adhering to their lease agreements.
What Employers Are Looking for
Most employers seek to hire professionals who hold a bachelor's degree in a business related area and who possess relevant experience. Other desired attributes may include the ability to understand and prepare lease agreements, strong communication skills and the ability to address clients about nonpayment of rent. The following job postings obtained in March 2012 can provide an idea of the qualifications employers seek:
- A Southern California real estate company seeks a lease administrator who can handle multiple properties and relay information to individual landlords. The lease administrator needs to draft leases for a variety of properties, maintain a database of rental income and address missed rental payments. Applicants must hold a bachelor degree, preferably in finance or real estate, and possess at least three years of experience in commercial real estate.
- A staffing company located in Maryland is hiring a lease administrator on a temporary basis. The individual needs to analyze and prepare leases, gather pertinent financial information for accounting and auditing purposes, handle tenant complaints and address lease violations, such as nonpayment of rent. A bachelor's degree in business or a related area and three years of commercial leasing experience are required.
- A Pennsylvania real estate company is looking for a lease administrator who can assess new leases. The lease administrator also needs to follow-up with tenants who miss rent, clearly outline tenant rights on new leases and provide management with pertinent information concerning tenants and the property. Candidates must posses a bachelor's degree in business, finance, accounting or a related area and at least three years of experience. Additionally, strong communication, interpersonal, organizational and problem solving skills are required.
How to Beat the Competition
To stand out among competitors when seeking jobs, you may want to add extra formal training to your background. The BLS notes that seminars and certification programs are often provided or are available for property management employees. These programs can expand your managerial skills and knowledge about the real estate industry. Capitalizing on these opportunities may also boost your career prospects or help you obtain a job, according to the BLS.
In addition, it may be best to invest in some level of education. The BLS indicates that individuals who hold a bachelor's degree in real estate, business administration or a related area should have the best job prospects. Many 4-year colleges and universities award these degrees. Classes you may take include economics, accounting, finance, real estate law and management.
Other Careers to Consider
If you're interested in similar careers with better job prospects, consider a position as a real estate broker or lodging manager.
Real Estate Broker
Real estate brokers locate potential buyers, handle negations between buyers and sellers and analyze all the necessary documents and paperwork pertaining to a property sale. To become a real estate broker, experience as a sales agent (or a bachelor's degree), licensure and a high school diploma are necessary. From 2010-2020, the BLS predicted that jobs for real estate brokers would increase eight percent, which is faster than the predicted growth for property managers. The BLS indicated that real estate brokers earned a median yearly salary of $59,000, as of May 2011.
Lodging managers ensure that hotels are operating properly, manage employees and attempt to ensure that guests are properly greeted and have a pleasant stay. They may also set room prices keep, track of earnings and handle guest complaints. Many employers mandate that lodging managers hold a bachelor's degree, but others require only a high school diploma or its equivalent. The BLS predicted that jobs for lodging managers would increase eight percent from 2010-2020, which is slower than average, but still faster than the predicted growth for property managers. As of May 2011, the BLS indicated that lodging managers earned a median annual salary of about $47,000.