Are you wondering what is takes to become a commercial property manager? To get started in property management, we first suggest you research what a property manager does. If it sounds like something you’re interested in, it might be a good path for you.

Commercial property management can be a rewarding career for those who enjoy managing complex problems, working with people, and optimizing revenue streams. If you’re interested in getting started in commercial property management, here are some steps you can take. 

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Most people who have a career in property management didn’t start there, so anyone can get started if they follow these steps.


1. Gain knowledge and experience in real estate

Before becoming a commercial property manager, it’s important to have a solid understanding of real estate principles. Consider taking courses in real estate law, finance, and marketing. You can also work to gain experience in the field by interning with a property management company, real estate developer, or commercial real estate broker.

Browse the AQUILA Learning Center to learn some of the basics needed to get started.

2. Obtain necessary licenses and certifications

Many states require property managers to hold a real estate salesperson license, which involves passing a licensing exam and completing a certain number of hours of coursework.

There are various credentials that are prominent in the property management profession. It’s recommended that all management firms and managers have at least one of the following credentials in order to certify their expertise as a property manager.

Certified Property Manager (CPM®)

To achieve Certified Property Manager status, the applicant must have three years of experience prior to applying and have a real estate salesperson license. They are recognized as experts in real estate management. According to the National Association of Realtors, 70% of those who hold the CPM designation hold the highest management positions in their offices. This certification is administered by the Institute of Real Estate Management.

Real Property Administrator (RPA®)

The Real Property Administrator certification goes into detail on the operational side of the profession and is administered by the Building Owners and Managers Institute. All applicants must demonstrate three years of property management experience and complete various courses. This program teaches property managers how to maximize an asset’s income and minimize risk.

3. Network and build relationships

As with any industry, building relationships is key to success in commercial property management. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and seek out mentorship opportunities to meet other property managers and learn from their experiences.

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4. Develop strong communication and management skills

Commercial property management requires excellent communication and management skills. You will need to be able to communicate effectively with tenants, contractors, and other stakeholders. You will also need to strategically manage budgets, oversee maintenance and repairs, and handle legal and financial issues.

5. Start small and gain experience

When starting out in commercial property management, it’s often best to begin with smaller properties and work your way up to larger, more complex ones. This will allow you to gain experience and develop your skills before taking on larger responsibilities.

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6. Seek out professional development opportunities

Finally, to stay up-to-date with best practices and industry trends, be sure to attend continuing education courses, conferences, and other professional development opportunities. This will help you to develop your skills and stay competitive in the field.


In summary, getting started in commercial property management requires a combination of knowledge, experience, networking, and skill-building. By following these steps, you can begin to build a successful career in this exciting and dynamic industry.

Visit our careers page to view our open property management positions at AQUILA. Nothing open? Feel free to fill out our AQUILA Talent Network application at the bottom of the careers page.

Want to learn more about commercial real estate? Sign up for our monthly AQUILA Learning Center newsletter.

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Bradley Kidd | Senior Property Manager | AQUILA Commercial

Bradley Kidd

If you have a problem, Bradley has a solution. He’s AQUILA’s problem solver extraordinaire.

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