How to Become a Property Manager in Hawaii?

(**) 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 may be a fascinating and lucrative profession. If you’re considering working as a property manager in Hawaii, this is the ideal resource for you!

To become a property manager in Hawaii, an applicant must have a real estate license. The individual can be a “Real Estate Broker” or a “Salesperson” who works under the supervision of a broker. The applicant must be at least 18 years old, complete 60 hours of pre-licensing education, pass the salesperson exam, go through a criminal background check, submit an application and fees to the Hawaii Real Estate Commission (KREC).

But before you decide to pursue further in this profession, it’s important to know what the role of a property manager is. 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 salesperson” 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 FAQs about being a property manager in Hawaii.

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.

9 Steps to Become a Property Manager in Hawaii

Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement

  • U.S citizen
  • At least 18 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Have a social security number

Step 2: Complete the pre-licensing education

A student is glad that she took the real estate pre-licensing courses online

The pre-license consists of 60-hour with 18 sections. Here is the curriculum:

SectionTopicsCourse Hours
Total60 Hours

I just checked with an education provider and the course fee is around $250 to $454. Usually, the higher-priced package would come with exam prep which aims to help you pass the exam on the first try. It also better equips you with the knowledge necessary for your real estate practice.

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. (**)

Step 3: Pass the Hawaii Real Estate Salesperson Exam

A realtor is happy to pass the real estate exam and likes the exam preps.

The Course Completion Certificates are only valid for 2 years from the date of issuance. And you must pass the Hawaii Real Estate Salesperson Exam before it expires.

The Hawaii Real Estate Salesperson Exam consists of the National Portion (80 questions) and the State Portion (50 questions) with 4 hours of writing time. The required passing score is 70%. It is administered by PSI and the exam fee is $61.

Here’s a guide covering a lot more in-depth about the real estate exam. Be sure to check it out.

Step 4: Submit an application to Hawaii Real Estate Commission

After you pass the exam, you will receive the salesperson application at the test center. You must complete and submit it to the HREC within two years.

There is a registration fee of $382 for odd numbered year and $282 for even numbered year.

Once you have all the required documents and fee, you may mail them to: Real Estate Commission: DCCA/PVL, Licensing Branch, P. O. Box 3469, Honolulu, HI  96801

Alternatively, you may hand deliver to: Licensing Branch: 335 Merchant Street, Room 301, Honolulu, HI  96813

Step 5: Join a licensed property management company

Aspiring real estate agent getting training from broker

To activate your salesperson license in Hawaii, you must be affiliate with a principal broker. 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.

There are a lot of property firms out there, but not all are appropriate for you. Working for a firm that gives you with adequate training and coaching might be beneficial when you start in this profession. As a result, you’ll most likely begin 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 effectively.

At the time that I’m writing this guide, there are online job postings looking for property managers.

Here’s a page with a job search engine. You may check whether there is any opening position in your area.

Step 6: Go through a criminal background check

Since Hawaii Real Estate Commission has the responsibility to protect the public interest, all real estate licensees must go through a criminal background check. Whether a felon can obtain a Hawaii real estate license is subjected to case-by-case evaluation.

Step 7: Obtain a Errors & Omissions Insurance

The E&O policy is to protect your clients should they submit a claim against your wrongdoing. This is mandatory for all real estate licensees in Hawaii. 

You must obtain the coverage from a qualified insurance carrier.

Step 8: Maintain the real estate license

realtor checking the real estate license renewal and CE requirement in Kansas

All Hawaii real estate licensee must renew their license every two year.

Within 180 days after the Commission issue your license, you need to complete 12 hours of post-license education. This typically covers the required knowledge and skills for real estate practice such as completing contracts, listing agreements and handling of client funds. 

Furthermore, active licensees must take 20 hours of education during each license renewal cycle, of which includes:

  • 6 hours for the commission designated core course
  • 14 hours of elective credit hours.

The Commission may conduct random audits to verify the CE credit. Therefore, it’s better to maintain the CE records and proof of completion documents.

There is a renewal fee of $268.

So know your deadlines and don’t wait until the last minute to complete CE and renew your license. Failure to renew on time not only result in late renewal fee, but it can cause interruption to your business.

Step 9: Keep up with the Kansas real estate laws

In order to be remain competitive in the property management industry, it’s important to keep up with the latest laws and best practices. You may read over the following:

Here are some resources that could be useful:

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 Colibri is exactly that! You may click here to check it out yourself. (**)

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.

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  • How much do property managers make?
  • How to start a property management company?
  • Smart ways to streamline a property management business
  • Practical business practices for your daily operation (i.e. tenant screening, rental listing, property management software.)
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FAQ about being a Property Manager in Hawaii

Career seeker looking to become a property manager

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

It costs approximately $897 to become a property manager in Hawaii. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Pre-licensing courses – $250 to $454 (approximately)
  • Exam fee $61
  • Registration fee $382

The above are just the costs of getting the salesperson license. There could be other expenses involved such as E&O, MLS subscription, phone, internet, and office supplies, CE, and renewal fees. However, if you are employed by a property management company, they may pay for some of the expenses.

Also, you may want to invest into exam prep. This can increase your chance in passing the exam on the first try, so that you don’t need to waste time and money in retaking it.

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

It takes approximately 3 to 4 months to become a property manager in Hawaii. But it also depends on the time it takes you to complete the pre-licensing course, exam, application, and get sponsorship by a licensed property management company.

Can you apply the real estate license through reciprocity?

Hawaii are not reciprocal with any other state. But if you are a licensed salesperson in another state, you may qualify for an equivalency to the pre-license education requirement and/or the equivalency to the Uniform Examination.

However, you do not have to be a Hawaii resident to obtain a real estate license. Though, you still need to be employed and supervised in the manner which complies with Hawaii real estate law.

Can a felon be a property manager in Hawaii?

The Hawaii Real Estate Commission will consider the applicant’s honesty, trustworthiness, character and integrity. But whether a felon can obtain a Hawaii real estate license to become a property manager is subjected to case-by-case evaluation.

If you have any doubt, you may request for a preliminary decision before going through the pre-licensing course and exam. Here’s the request application.

Those with potentially disqualifying factors can apply to the Commission for a preliminary, non-binding decision and receive an indication of whether the Commission would approve an application before undertaking the expense of completing a prelicense course and taking the license examination. You may review and download the instructions and application to request for preliminary decision.

In there, it asks you questions regarding conviction, disciplinary actions, license suspended/fined/revoked.

If you answer “yes”, then you will need to provide the Commission with detailed information and supporting documents.

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 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 do I start a property management company in Hawaii?

As you developed the necessary skillset, 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, thus, lead to a scalable business model.

To become a real estate broker in Hawaii, you must:

  1. Complete 80 hours from an approved provider
  2. At least 3 years of salesperson experience in the previous 5 years prior to submitting application
  3. Pass the Hawaii Real Estate Broker Exam;
  4. Go through a criminal background check;
  5. Submit an application and fees to the Hawaii Real Estate Commission

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, you need to account for business insurance, staff’s salary and benefits, office rent, furniture, office supplies, software, many more.

If you are interested in starting a property management company, this is a MUST-READ guide for you! In there, I’ll go over step by step on how to get started, the tools to streamline your business and many more!

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

You may contact the Hawaii Real Estate Branch at for more details about the real estate license.

If you want to know more about being a property manager in Kansas, I invite you to check out the following articles: 

(**) 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.

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.


  • Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs – Real Estate Branch (source)
  • Hawaii Real Estate Commission – Candidate Information Bulletin (source)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics – Real Estate Agents (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.

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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