How to Become a Property Manager in Colorado? (license| income| exam)


Property manager working on site with tenants

(**) 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.

Property management can be a rewarding career with great advancement opportunities. If you are thinking to become a property manager in Colorado, this is the perfect guide for you!

To become a property manager in Colorado, an applicant must be obtain a real estate license. The individual can be a employing broker or a real estate broker who works under the supervision of a broker. The real estate broker licensee is required to be at least 18 years old, complete 168-hour of pre-license education, pass a broker exam, submit an application, a fee and a background check to the Colorado Division of Real Estate.

As a property manager, your duties may include finding and screening prospective tenants for a property, negotiating the lease terms. You could also be responsible for rent collection, property inspection, maintenance, repair, providing updates, and communicating with the property owner.

In this guide, I will focus on the steps on getting a “real estate broker” license, which is the entry license level. So you may begin your property management career by joining a licensed brokerage firm. I will also cover the income updates and other FAQs 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 real estate 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. RealEstateExpress is a trustworthy real estate education provider. You may click here to see whether they offer pre-licensing course in your state. (**)

A Table Summary of Becoming a Property Manager in Colorado

EligibilityEducationExamFees
At least 18 years of age

Have a valid Social Security Number

Hold a high school diploma or equivalent
168 hours of pre-license courses



24 hours of continuing education every 3 year
230 minutes

154 questions

Required passing score: 60/80 for the National Portion and 53/74 for the State Portion
Pre-licensing courses fees – $240 to $360 (approximately)

Exam fee – $44.95

Application fee- $200

Background check fee – $30 to $40 (approximately)

E&O Premium – $229

8 Steps to Become a Property Manager in Colorado

real estate agent house showing

Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Hold a high school diploma or equivalent

Step 2: Complete the pre-license education

You will need to take 168 hours of pre-license broker education from a school approved by the CO Real Estate Commission.

The curriculum must include the following: (You may click on the links below to view the content of the courses)

Step 3: Pass the Colorado Real Estate Broker Exam

Real estate career studying

The Colorado Real Estate Broker Exam consists of two portions, the National portion and State portion. It consists of 154 questions and you’ll be given 230 minutes in writing it. The required passing rate is 60/80 for the National portion and 53/74 for the State portion.

The test is administered by the PSI Services. Before you can write the exam, you need to register at the PSI, which is the testing vendor. You may do so online through their website.

In there, you’ll need to submit the proof of pre-licensing courses completion. Also, there is a $44.95 exam fee, which could be paid by credit card.

At the day of the exam, make sure to bring along 2 forms of ID (not expired). They must include your name and signature, and at least one of them must have your photo.

Since this is a computerized test, you’ll know the score immediately once you complete writing it.

This examination is to test your knowledge and understanding of real estate law, principle and practices, and mathematics.

RealEstateExpress is an online school that I like. They offer pre-licensing courses and also have excellent exam prep materials. Their programs have a “Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee” in most of the states. That’s how confident they are. You may click here to view their courses. (**)

Step 4: Submit application to Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies

After you pass the exam, you have one year to apply for the license before it expires. Whenever possible, I would strongly encourage you to use the online submission. Not only this is the quickest and most convenient way, but less paper mailing is also good for the environment.

Here’s the link to the CO licensing website. The application fee is $485.

Step 5: Go through a background check

The Colorado Division of Real Estate is part of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, which responsible for issuing licenses to real estate salesperson and brokers. To protect the public interest, they will conduct a criminal background check on you.

You’ll need to submit the fingerprint through an approved vendor for a criminal history background check. You can do so through IdentoGO.

Step 6: Join a licensed property management company

After you pass the exam, you must work with a property management company who holds the managing broker license in Colorado. This is the firm who would sponsor your real estate license.

Keep in mind that not all brokerage provide property management services to their clients. Most brokerages focus only on the buy-sell side of the business. So make sure you find one that specializes in property management.

At the time that I’m writing this guide, I can see online job postings looking for property managers in Colorado. You may search through job forums such as ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, or LinkedIn.

There are many property companies out there, but not all are suitable for you. As you start in this industry, it will help if you work for a company that could provide you with proper training and mentorship. And you would likely start out working as an assistant to a property manager.

Rather than having you reinvent the wheels, an established property management company can show you a standard procedure in working with clients.

Step 7: Obtain a E&O insurance

real estate agent getting E&O policy

According to the Colorado Division of Real Estate, all real estate licensees must obtain an errors and omissions insurance policy (E&O). This is to protect your clients against claims of your wrongdoing.

The Division is contracted with Rich Insurance Services LLC to providing this group coverage for brokers. I just checked on their website, for coverage of $100,000 per claim / $300,000 aggregate with $1,000 damage deductible, their annual premium is $229.

It seems the premium is calculated on a pro-rated basis, and it’s also subjected to the amount of coverage.

Step 8: Maintain a real estate license

Colorado has a three years license cycle. All real estate licensee need to renew the real estate broker license on or before December 31 of every second (2nd) year after issuance.

During each license cycle, you need to complete 24 hours of CE courses. The curriculum must include:

  • Three different versions of the 4 hours Annual Commission Update Course. (Total of 12 hours)
  • The remaining 12 hours can be any combination of elective credit courses

Here’s a snippet of what a property manager thinks about this career

“I’ve been a property manager for six years, and for three years before that, I was an admin and then an assistant property manager. Being a property manager is an excellent career. The schedules are long days but flexible. If you are a parent, you will be able to attend your kid’s functions as long as you are willing to work late to make up. It’s not a micro-managed industry, so you must have the drive and high standards all on your own, else you won’t last very long. The mistakes are bigger and cost more money than other real estate lines, but the pay is great, and you can create the life balance you need if you work at it.

My advice to someone wanting to get into property management is to learn everything you can as soon as you can. Take advantage of resources and lean on experience people’s knowledge and experience.”

– Nandi Cavil, Commercial Property Manager at Cushman & Wakefield

Here’s another post where you can read more on Nandi’s thoughts about the property management profession. In there, you can find my research and analysis on this career path and valuable insights from other property managers.

FAQ about being a Property Manager in Colorado

real estate career studying

How long does it take to become a property manager in Colorado?

It takes approximately five months to become a property manager in Colorado. Still, it largely depends on the time it takes you to complete the pre-license course, exam, application, and get employed by a licensed property management firm.

You may speed up in getting the real estate license by taking online courses. This way, you’ll have the flexibility to finish the pre-license education at a quicker pace. Online application submission will also eliminate the mailing time.

How much does it cost to become a property manager license in Colorado?

It costs approximately $833 to become a property manager in Colorado. That is the cost to get a real estate broker license and here’s the breakdown:

  • Pre-licensing courses fees – $240 to $360 (approximately)
  • Exam fee – $44.95
  • Application fee- $200
  • Background check fee – $30 to $40 (approximately)
  • E&O Premium – $229

I have a real estate license in another state. Can I become licensed in Colorado by applying through reciprocity?

Yes, you may apply through reciprocity. This way, you are only required to pass the State Portion of the broker exam.

Can the CO pre-licensing education requirement be waived?

If you are a licensed attorney, then you just need to take the “Trust Accounts, Closings & Record keeping Course”. (12 Hours)

Can a felon be a property manager in Colorado?

Although it is possible for an applicant with felony to obtain a real estate license and become a property manager in Colorado, it is subjected to the Division’s evaluation.

The Colorado Division of Real Estate would put into consideration of the applicant’s honesty, trustworthiness, character and integrity.

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.

However, before you invest your time and money into this career, you could submit a preliminary advisory opinion (PAO) to the CO Real Estate Commission. They will be able to determine the effect of the offense on licensure.

Here’s another post that covers how to apply for a real estate license with a felony record. In there, you’ll find practical ideas which could help your application.

How much do property manager make in Colorado?

Property managers in Colorado make an average annual income of $101,111. It typically range between $87,771 and $116,325. (*) 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 May 27, 2021

Here’s salary guide you may be interested. In there, you’ll find the income figures for residential and commercial property managers. What makes one earn more than others? How do education, experience, and certification play a factor in earning?

I have more questions about the Colorado real estate license, whom should I contact?

You may contact the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Division of Real Estate.

  • Address: 1560 Broadway, Suite 925, Denver, CO 80202
  • Phone: 303-894-2166
  • Fax: 303-894-2683
  • dora_realestate_website@state.co.us

Practical Strategies for Aspiring Property Managers in Colorado

Property manager inspecting properties

1) Obtain the real estate license

Although there are certain activities you may perform without a real estate license, the things you can do are very limited.

Once you have a real estate license, you may work under a licensed employing broker in providing key components of property management. For example, rent, list, negotiate property rental agreement, rents collection.

If you want to move up in the field, it is essential to get a real estate license.

2) Get enhanced education on property management

Getting education on property management

You could be feeling lost when starting in this field. One of the best to equip yourself to get the proper education from a trusted provider. 

You may also consider taking the following courses to equip yourself with the property management knowledge. They are offered by Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). IREM is an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®.

Even though they are not part of the pre-license education requirement, your enhanced knowledge will help to set you apart from others in the industry.

3) Stay up-to-date with the real estate laws

Property managers are constantly tasked with new responsibilities and challenges. With the rise of online rental applications, environmental health and safety requirements, it’s important for property managers to be up-to-date on real estate laws and regulations.

For example, can you charge an application fee? Is it okay to run a background check on to prospective tenants? What happen if the tenants violate the lease agreement? Who will be responsible for the maintenance, repair or damages?

Here are some real estate laws and programs you should become familiar with:

ResourcesDescription
12-61-101(2a, 2b)Real Estate Broker Licensing Laws
HB19-1106Rental Application Fees
Title 38, Article 12Tenants and Landlords

Furthermore, here’s a pdf file that covers Landlord/Tenant. It covers many common topics such as what is a lease? what happens to the lease if the rental property is sold? security deposit, subleases and assignments, term lease, foreclosure.

4) Network with other real estate professionals

Property managers networking with real estate professionals

You may consider joining the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). This allows you to connect with other property managers, thus learn from their valuable experience and share ideas with one another. You will also find updates on the housing markets, changes to the laws and regulations.

Another group you may consider is the Colorado Association of REALTORS. It consists of mostly real estate professionals. If you plan to run your own property management company, this can be a great referral source for your business. They also have great resources such as the classes, events, housing reports and industry updates.

Since you are reading up to this point, I bet you must be interested in becoming a property manager. If that requires you to get a real estate salesperson license in your state, your first step is to complete the pre-license education. You should select one that has an excellent reputation and a long-term track record of satisfying students. RealEstateExpress is exactly that! You may click here to check it out yourself. (**)

So that’s all I have to share for now. Do you like this guide? If so, please share it.

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 RealEstateCareerHQ.com may contain views and opinions from the interviewees. They do not reflect our view or position.

(**) Affiliate Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. Our company, JCHQ Publishing will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking on the link. Please understand that we include them based on our experience or the research on these companies or products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through the links. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Reference:

  • Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies – Division of Real Estate (Source)
    • Broker applications, Documents and Fees (source)
  • Colorado Real Estate Candidate Information Bulletin (Source)
  • RISC – Pricing & Available Coverage (source)
  • Salary.com – Property Manager in Colorado (source)
  • NARPM
    • Colorado Springs Chapter- Residential Property Management Functions (source)
  • Colorado Association of REALTORS (source)

Jacob Coleman

Jacob is a content writer and a real estate investor. He has experience working with different real estate professionals throughout the years. (i.e., appraisers, real estate agents, property managers, home inspectors.) In order to build a career you love, Jacob believes not only you need a thorough understanding about the profession, but you also have to find out what type of jobs could match your personality, lifestyle and expectation.

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