(**) 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.
As a property manager in Pennsylvania, your duties include searching for suitable tenants for a property, negotiating the lease terms, rent collection, property inspection, maintenance, repair, providing updates, and communicating with the property owner.
To become a property manager in Pennsylvania, you must obtain a real estate salesperson license from the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission. This requires you to be at least 18 years old, hold a high school diploma, complete 75 hours of pre-licensing real estate education, pass the PA real estate exam.
You also need to submit a Criminal History Records Check (CHRC), a real estate salesperson application, and a $97 fee to the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission.
The Pennsylvania Department of State is responsible for issuing licenses to real estate salesperson and brokers. They also have the duty to ensure public interest can be safeguarded.
If you are interested in knowing about the property management career in Pennsylvania, this is the guide for you. You’ll learn about the steps to become a property manager in Pennsylvania 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 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. (**)
- 7 Steps to Become a Property Manger in Pennsylvania
- A Quick Table Summary of Becoming a Property Manager in Pennsylvania
- How much does it cost to become a property manager in Pennsylvania?
- How long does it take to become a property manager in Pennsylvania?
- How Much do Property Managers Make in Pennsylvania?
- Practical ideas to build a property management career in Pennsylvania
7 Steps to Become a Property Manger in Pennsylvania
Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement
- Citizen of the United States or lawfully admitted alien
- At least 18 years of age
- Have a valid Social Security Number
- Hold a high school diploma or higher education
Step 2: Complete the pre-licensing education
You are required to take 75 hours pre-licensing courses from an approved education provider. The curriculum must consist of:
Step 3: Pass the Pennsylvania Real Estate Salesperson Examination
This examination is to test your knowledge and understanding of real estate law, principle and practices, and mathematics.
The Pennsylvania Real Estate Sales Associate Exam consists of 100 questions, and you’ll have 3 hours to write it. The required passing score is 75%. This exam is administered by PSI. The exam fee is $49.
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: Go through a background check
The PA Real Estate Commission needs to protect the public interest, so they will conduct a background check on all real estate license applicants.
To do so, you need to provide a Criminal History Records Check (CHRC). It must be dated within 90 days of the date the application is submitted.
Step 5: Submit an application to the Pennsylvania Department of State
Once you have passed the exam, you need to submit the application to the Real Estate Commission within 3 years. Else, you’ll need to re-take the exam.
You can the apply through the online services. In addition to the application, you also need to provide registration fee, exam passing score sheets and other necessary documentation.
Step 6: Work for a licensed 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 Pennsylvania.
Step 7: Maintain the real estate license
To continue working as a property manager in Pennsylvania, you must renew the real estate license once every two years. The license expires on May 31 of every even-numbered year.
The Real Estate Commission will send you a renewal notice approximately two to three months before the license expires. The renewal fee for a real estate salesperson is $96. You may do so at the PA Licensing System.
To ensure that you are keeping up to date with the real estate laws and regulations, you also need to complete the Continuing Education for each renewal period.
If you are renewing the salesperson license for the first time, you have to take 14 hours of CE, which includes:
- General Module (7 hours)
- Either the Commercial or Residential Module (Both 7 hours)
For subsequent renewals, you just need to complete 14 hours of continuing education that is approved by the Real Estate Commission.
A Quick Table Summary of Becoming a Property Manager in Pennsylvania
|US Citizen or lawfully admitted alien|
At least 18 years old
Have a valid Social Security Number
Hold a high school diploma or equivalent
|75 hours of pre-licensing course|
14 credit hours of continuing education every two year
Required passing score is 75%
|Pre-licensing courses from $223 to $370|
Exam fee $49
Application fee $97
How much does it cost to become a property manager in Pennsylvania?
It costs approximately $516 to become a property manager in Pennsylvania. This includes the expenses to obtain a real estate salesperson license. Here is the breakdown:
- Pre-licensing courses with exam prep is approximately $370
- Exam fee $49
- Application fee $97
There could be other expenses such as fees for a background check, traveling, E&O.
How long does it take to become a property manager in Pennsylvania?
It takes approximately ten weeks to become a property manager in Pennsylvania. But it also depends on the time it takes you to complete the hours pre-licensing course, exam, background check, application, and get sponsorship by an actively licensed Pennsylvania real estate broker.
You may speed up in getting the PA real estate license by taking online courses. This way, you’ll have the flexibility to finish the pre-licensing education at a quicker pace.
How Much do Property Managers Make in Pennsylvania?
Property managers in Pennsylvania make an average annual income of $100,491. It typically range between $87,236 and $115,613. (*) 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 Jan 29, 2021
Practical ideas to build a property management career in Pennsylvania
Tip#1: Obtain a 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 salesperson license, you may work under a licensed real estate 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, getting a real estate salesperson license is a “must”.
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. RealEstateExpress is exactly that! You may click here to check it out yourself. (**)
Tip#2: Network with other 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 Pennsylvania 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.
Tip #3: Keep up to date with the real estate laws and best practices
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 what their renters are looking for in a home.
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®.
- Managing Residential Properties (**)
- Managing Commercial Properties (**)
- Managing Condominium and Homeowners Associations (**)
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.
Tip#4: 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, software, many more.
To get a real estate broker license in Pennsylvania, you must:
- Be at least 21 years and have a valid SSN;
- Have at least 3 years of active real estate sales experience;
- Hold a high school diploma or equivalent;
- Complete 240 hours of pre-licensing courses from an approved education provider;
- Pass the Pennsylvania Real Estate Broker Exam;
- Provide a Criminal History Records Check (CHRC);
- Submit an application and a $169.50 fee to the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission;
- Maintain the PA broker license
I have more questions about the real estate license in Pennsylvania, where can I get help?
You could contact the State Real Estate Commission
- P.O. Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649
- Phone – (717) 783-3658
- Fax – (717) 787-0250
- Email: RA-REALESTATE@pa.gov
(**) 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 any notice, and not guaranteed to be error-free. For full and exact details, please contact the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission.
- Pennsylvania Department of State – Real Estate Commission (source)
- Pennsylvania Candidate Information Bulletin (source)
- FBI Identity History Summary Check (source)
- Salary.com – Property Manager in Pennsylvania (source)