(**) Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning our company, JCHQ Publishing will get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, but at no additional cost to you.
To become a property manager in Alabama, you need to obtain a real estate salesperson license from the Alabama Real Estate Commission (AREC). You must be at least 19 years old, complete 60 hours of pre-licensing real estate courses, and pass the Alabama Real Estate Salesperson Exam with a minimum score of 70. You are also required to submit an application and a fee of $210 to the AREC.
I have been interacting with numerous property managers for many years. Typically speaking, a property manager’s duties would include finding and screening prospective tenants for a property, negotiating the lease terms. They are also responsible for rent collection, property inspection, maintenance, repair, providing updates, and communicating with the property owner.
If you are interested in knowing about the property management career in Alabama, this is the guide for you. You’ll learn about the steps to become a property manager in Alabama, income updates, career outlook, and FAQ about this profession.
But before we start, I want to give a brief disclaimer. This post is not intended as legal advice or state/federal property management training. It is for general information only. Please always follow your State laws and best practices.
When choosing a real estate school, I prefer one where you could take the courses online. This way, you could study at your own pace whenever and wherever. The CE Shop is a trustworthy real estate education provider. You may click here to see whether they offer pre-licensing course in your state. (**)
6 Steps to to Become a Property Manager in Alabama
Step 1: Meet the Eligibility Requirement
- Citizen of the United States or permanent resident alien
- At least 19 years of age
- Have a valid Social Security Number
- Hold a high school diploma or higher
Step 2: Complete the Real Estate Salesperson Pre-Licensing Education
You are required to take 60 hours of course which covers different real estate concept. It has to be completed with an approved education provider.
The Alabama Real Estate Commission has a page with all the approved course providers. It contains helpful details, such as the passing rate of each school and the number of students who took the exam.
But don’t just look at schools with a high passing rate. You also need to make sure that there had been a reasonable number of students. After all, a 100% passing rate with only one student does not tell you much about the course provider.
Step 3: Pass the Alabama Real Estate Salesperson Exam
The exam is to test your knowledge on the real estate topics that are covered in the pre-licensing education. Keep in mind that you’ll need to pass the state exam within 6 months after completing the course.
The test is administered by the PSI. To register, you need to complete their online exam registration and provide them with the required documents.
I’ll include more details about the exam in this post.
Step 4: Work for a Property Management Company
After you pass the exam, you must work with a licensed real estate broker who would sponsor your real estate license.
However, not all real estate brokers provide property management services to their clients. Most of the brokers focus only on the buy-sell side of the business. So make sure you find one that specializes in property management in Alabama.
Step 5: Register with the Alabama Real Estate Commission
Once you pass the real estate exam, the test center will provide you with an application. The Commission must receive the application, a $210 fee, and all required documents within 90 days of the examination date.
You’ll also need to submit a fingerprint for a background check. It is done through the approved vendor, Gemalto. The criminal record information will be sent to the Commission directly from Gemalto, but it will only be available for 30 days. Therefore, you should submit the application and go through the fingerprinting process on the same day.
Once the AREC issue your real estate license, you may confirm the status on the License/Registration Verification page.
Step 6 : Maintain the Real Estate Salesperson License
After the license is issued, you’ll need to complete 30 hours of post-licensing courses within the first 12 months.
As for the license renewal, you need to do it annually through the online portal. The renewal fee can be paid with eCheck or credit card.
During each license period, you need to obtain 15 hours of CE credits. The curriculum needs to include
- 6 hours of Risk Management
- 9 hours of approved courses
A Quick Table Summary of Becoming a Property Manager in Alabama
|Citizen of the United States or permanent resident alien|
At least 19 years of age
Have a valid Social Security Number
Hold a high school diploma or higher
|60 hours of pre-licensing course|
15 credit hours of continuing education every year
140 multiple-choice questions
Required passing score is 70
|Pre-licensing courses around $200 to $370|
Exam fee $73
Application fee $210
FAQ on property management career in Alabama
How much does it cost to become a property manager in Alabama?
It costs approximately $650 to become a property manager in Alabama. This includes the expenses to obtain a real estate salesperson license in Alabama. Here is the breakdown:
- 60 hours of pre-licensing courses typically range from $200 to $370
- Exam fee $73
- Application fee $210
How long does it take to become a property manager in Alabama?
It takes approximately two to four months to become a property manager in Alabama. But it also depends on the time it takes you to complete the 60 hours pre-licensing course, exam, background check, application, and get sponsorship by an actively licensed Alabama real estate broker.
Can you become a property manager with a felony in Alabama?
The Alabama Real Estate Commission will put into consideration the applicant’s honesty, trustworthiness, character, and integrity. Whether a felon can get a real estate license is subjected to how the Real Estate Commission evaluates the case.
However, Alabama has one of the most stringent rules when it comes to issuing real estate licenses to applicants with a felony record. According to the info stated on their website, they require an applicant to:
- Not have been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude;
- Not have had a real estate application or license rejected or revoked in any state within the past two years.
But don’t get discouraged as everyone has a past. The most important is that you can demonstrate that you will serve the public in a fair, honest, and open manner.
Here’s an article that covers how to apply for a real estate license with a felony record. In there, you’ll find practical tips which could help your application.
Is there any exemption where managing a property does not require a license in Alabama?
Yes, there are a few exemptions where property management in Alabama may not need a license.
For example, you are managing real estate for your spouse, child, or yourself. Or you are merely performing general clerical or administrative duties for a broker while you do not physically show a listed property.
You may read over the Section 34-27-2 (b)(7) of the License Law for the list of exemptions.
The type of real estate activities you can perform is very limited if you are unlicensed. If you want to move up in the field, you should consider getting a real estate salesperson license.
Keep in mind that you should always follow the state laws and rules that govern property management activities.
Whom should I contact if have more questions about becoming a property manager in Alabama?
You could contact the Alabama Real Estate Commission. Below is their contact info:
- Address: 1201 Carmichael Way Montgomery, AL 36106
- Phone: (334) 242-5544
- Fax (334) 270-9118
To prepare for this guide, I also called them to verify some details. Their phone line is very quick. It took less than three minutes to transfer to the right department. The answers I got from them are very constructive too.
How much do property managers make in Alabama?
Property managers in Alabama make an average annual income of $94,179. It typically range between $81,757 and $108,352. (*) Your earning as a property manager would depend on your skills, knowledge and experience in managing the properties. The type and number of real estate in your managing portfolio may also affect your compensation.
At the beginning phase of your property management career, you could be working as an assistant for a property manager. So your earning could be limited at that time.
But once you have developed the necessary skillset and demonstrated your ability to work independently, there should be a significant improvement to your earning.
(*) Source: Salary.com Dec 28, 2020
Practical ideas to build a property management career in Alabama
Network with other real estate professionals
You may consider joining the Alabama Apartment Association. This allows you to connect with other property managers, thus learn from their valuable experience and share ideas with one another. You will also receive updates on the multifamily housing markets, changes to the laws and regulations.
Another group you may consider is the Alabama Association of REALTORS. It consists of mostly real estate salespeople and brokers. If you plan to run your own property management company, this can be a great referral source for your business.
Start your own property management company
Rather than working for someone else, you may consider getting a real estate broker license and start a property management company.
This allows you to hire other property managers with a real estate license. Thus, lead to a scalable business model.
However, running a company is very different from working as an employed property manager. You need to figure out all the different aspects of the business, such as marketing, branding, prospecting, hiring, training, and accounting.
The expenses will also be a lot higher. In addition to the broker license, you also need to account for business insurance, staff’s salary and benefits, office rent, furniture, office supplies, many more.
Here’s a post on how to get a real estate broker license in Alabama.
Focus on doing the right thing!
Becoming a property manager could be a rewarding career. Not only in terms of financial sense, but you also get the chance to interact with many people and work on different properties.
It is very fulfilling when you can help your clients manage their property and find the right tenants.
Yet, it could be challenging to find the balance between costs saving for the property owners while keeping their real estate in good shape. You need to keep in mind that honesty, hard work, and always putting your client’s interest first will eventually lead a long-term success.
I hope you find this career guide helpful. If so, please share it! Thanks!
If you are reading up to this point, I bet you must be interested in getting a real estate license. Your first step is to complete the pre-licensing courses. You should select one that has an excellent reputation and long-term track record of satisfying students. The CE Shop is exactly that! You may click here to check it out yourself. (**)
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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for general information only, and not intend to provide any advice. They are subjected to change without any notice, and not guaranteed to be error-free. Some of the posts on this site may contain views and opinions from individual not related to JCHQ Publishing. They do not necessarily reflect our view or position.