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On-Site Apartment Managers: Is This Career Right for You?

Apartment Complex

On-site apartment managers, or resident apartment managers, live in the apartment complex they manage. Although their responsibilities vary from company to company, they generally collect rent, lease apartments, perform minor cleaning and repair work, and make sure that the apartment complex is quiet and peaceful. They may also oversee maintenance and cleaning staff.

The experience needed to become an on-site apartment manager depends on several factors, including the size of the company and state law. Some positions require significant experience, possibly including a property management license. However, many others are entry-level. These positions require very little experience; it is possible to become an on-site apartment manager with no previous management experience (although some supervisory experience may be required) and no professional license. Entry-level managers usually oversee relatively small apartment complexes.

The Perks

Compensation varies from company to company, but on-site apartment managers often receive a free apartment, a monthly salary, and bonuses. The monthly salary can be nominal or quite significant, depending on the size of the complex and the experience required.

Taking an entry-level position is a great way to gain management experience. This experience can later be used to help people get higher paying apartment management jobs or other jobs that require management skills.

Many on-site apartment management jobs, especially entry-level ones, are considered part-time. These jobs are great for people who have another part-time job, students, people who work from home, and stay-at-home parents. Many positions are also open to couples, allowing two people to split the responsibilities.

The Drawbacks

The main drawback to being an on-site apartment manager is that you are never off duty. Tenants may call you at any time with emergencies that require your immediate attention. Even worse, tenants may call you late at night or early in the morning with issues that are far from emergencies; based on my own personal experience, most tenants ignore posted office hours.

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One of the advantages – a free apartment – can also become a disadvantage if things go wrong. If you are fired or decide that it is necessary to quit, you lose both your job and your home.

Finally, the actual work of an apartment manager can be far from pleasant. As an apartment manager, you may be in charge of keeping the apartment complex clean and quiet. This means that if someone spills a soft drink or vomits in the hallway, you need to clean it up. If a tenant decides to throw a noisy party, you need to deal with it.

What to Look For

If you are interested in becoming an on-site apartment manager, there are several things that you should consider. First of all, you are looking for an apartment, so you need to consider everything that a regular apartment hunter does. Do you like the apartment? Is it in a safe area? If not, you may have to deal with problems like vandalism or even squatters trying to live in your garage on a regular basis.

You should also consider the company. If the company is dishonest, you will often be put in situations that make you feel like a slumlord. Look for an honest company with a good maintenance staff. Also ask whether the company hires a cleaning staff when tenants move out or if you will be responsible for cleaning.

Finally, you should consider the tenants. The amount of work you will be required to do is proportionate to the number of units you will manage. Additionally, you should determine whether the majority of your tenants will be young professionals, families, students, etc. For example, if most of your tenants are students, you will probably need to deal with first-time renters who are unaware of some of their basic responsibilities (yes, I have been asked questions about changing light bulbs and paying bills other than rent). Whether or not the tenants are allowed to own pets is also important, since pets can lead to problems like noise and fleas.