(**) 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.
Montana is one of the few states that have licensing requirements to be a property manager.
To become a property manager in Montana, you need to obtain a Property Manager License from the Montana Board of Realty Regulation. You must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent. You are also required to complete 30 hours of pre-licensing property management courses, pass the property manager license exam, submit the application and fee.
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 Montana, this is the guide for you. You’ll learn about the steps to become a property manager in Montana, 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.
7 Steps to Obtain a Property Manager License in Montana
Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement
- At least 18 years of age
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent
Step 2: Complete the Pre-Licensing Education
You need to complete 30 hours of property management course from an approved education provider. The course should cover real estate leasing principles, real estate leasing law, professional conduct, Fair Housing, American Disabilities Act, Lead-based Paint, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Megan’s Law, Trust Accounts, Ledger Entries and other related topics.
I just checked with an education provider. Their course fees are approximately $550 to $750 depending on which program you select.
Step 3: Pass the property manager license exam
The Montana property manager exam is computer-based and it is to test your knowledge of the property management topics covered in the pre-licensing course. The exam consists of 70 multiple choice questions and you’ll have 2 hours of writing time. The required passing score is 80% or higher.
Here’s the Montana Property Management Exam Content Outline
- Americans With Disabilities Act
- Fair Housing
- Landlord Tenant Law
- Lead Based Paint
- Leasing Principles
- State Licensing Law
- Trust Account
To register, you need to complete their online exam registration and provide them with the required documents. It is administered by the PSI and the exam fee is $106.
To increase your chance of passing the exam, you should spend more time studying topics that have a greater weighting.
Furthermore, cramming for the exam is ineffective. Instead, you should study for 45 to 60 minutes, then take a break. Concentration tends to wander if you study for too long. If possible, focus on studying only one to two topics per day. But be really good at it.
Step 4: Register at the Montana Board of Realty Regulation
You’ll start off by creating an account through Montana Department of Labor and Industry online portal. In there, you need to fill out the application and pay the $105 application fee. (non-refundable).
The application consists of 5 parts:
- Application Type
- Applicant Contact Information
- Professional License Verification
- Personal History Questions
Keep in mind that pre-licensing course must be completed within the past 24 months, while the exam was passed within 12 months.
Step 5: Decide on your employment path
In Montana, there are two ways to work as a property manager.
First, you may be employed by a a licensed property management company, where you may enjoy the steady income, employee’s benefits and fixed schedule.
Here’s a page with a job search engine. You may check whether there is any opening position in your area.
On the other hand, you could start your own property management company. You’ll get the satisfaction of creating something from nothing and making it profitable, on your terms. Your profit depends upon how hard you work and how efficient your business is. If you have a good scalable system to run a profitable business, you can actually get ahead of where you would be if you were working for someone else.
Step 6: Maintain the property manager license
You need to renew your license annually. The renewal period is September 1 through October 31. You may do so through the online system. There is a $130 renewal fee and can be paid by credit card.
Furthermore, you must complete the 12 hours of continuing education. This is to ensure that you are keeping up to date with the real estate laws, regulations, and best business practices.
- Before the first renewal date, you must take 4 hours courses in property management trust accounts
- By the second renewal, you may complete the CE courses approved by the board.
To avoid interruption to your property management practice, don’t leave the renewal until the last minute.
Step 7: Keep up with the Montana 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:
- 37-51-601 License required to manage property
- 70-24-201 Rental agreement — terms and conditions
- 70-24-202 Prohibited provisions in rental agreements
- 70-24-203 Agreement not to permit receipt of rent free of obligation
- 70-24-204 Effect of unsigned or undelivered rental agreement
- 70-24-205 Extension of written rental agreements
- 70-24-301 Duty to disclose name of person responsible
- 70-24-312 Access to premises by landlord
- 70-24-303 Landlord to maintain premises
A Quick Table Summary of Becoming a Property Manager in Montana
|At least 18 years of age|
Hold a high school diploma or equivalent
|30 hours of pre-licensing course|
12 credit hours of continuing education every year
|70 questions with 2 hours of writing time|
Required passing score is 80% or higher
|Pre-licensing courses around $550 to $750|
Exam fee $106
Application fee $105
FAQ about Becoming a Property Manager in Montana
How much does it cost to get a property manager license in Montana?
It costs approximately $861 to get a property manager license in Montana. Here’s the breakdown of the costs to get the property manager license:
- Pre-licensing courses around $550 to $750
- Exam fee $106
- Application fee $105
However, if you were setting up a property management company, the cost of getting a property manager license is only part of the expenses. There is also other office expenses such as business registration, salary of administrative staff, business insurance, office lease, furniture, equipment, software subscriptions.
How long does it take to become a property manager in Montana?
It takes about 3 to 4 weeks to get a property manager license in Montana. But it also depends on the time it takes you to complete the 30 hours of pre-licensing education, exam, application, get employment or register for your property management company.
Can you get a property manager license with a felony in Montana?
The MT Board of Realty Regulation will consider the criminal history of the applicant. On the application, it will ask you to disclose whether you have ever been convicted, entered a plea of guilty, or had prosecution or sentence deferred? Any pending complaint, investigation, or disciplinary action related to any professional license you hold?
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 Montana?
You do not need a property management license if you are merely managing your own properties. A broker’s license is also not needed for managing a community association.
Whom should I contact if have more questions about the Montana property manager license?
You could contact the Montana Board of Realty Regulation:
- Address: Board of Realty Regulation, PO Box 200513, Helena, MT 59620-05130 Center St NE, Suite 100, Salem, OR 97301
- Phone: (406) 444-6880
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How much do property managers make in Montana?
Property managers in Montana make an average annual income of $44,158. It typically range between $33,327 and $51,633. (*) 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: ZipRecruiter Jan 24, 2022
So how much can you really earn as a property manager in Montana? Besides salary, do companies offer other benefits? Also, will managing commercial or residential properties make a difference to your earnings? If you want to find out, here’s the perfect income guide for you!
Practical ideas to build a property management career in Montana
Tip#1: Network with other real estate professionals
You may consider joining the Montana Landlords Association Inc. This allows you to connect with other property owners, thus learn from their valuable experience and share ideas with one another. You will also receive updates on the rental housing markets, changes to the laws and regulations.
Another group you may consider is the Montana 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 #2: 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 can check out the following:
- Chapter 70-24 – Residential Landlord Tenant Act
- Chapter 70-25 – Residential Security Deposits
- Chapter 70-26 – Residential and Commercial
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.
Here are more incredible resources to learn about the Montana property management career!
If you want to know more about being a property manager in Kansas, I invite you to check out the following articles:
I hope you find this career guide helpful. If so, please share it! Thanks!
(**) 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.
- Montana Board of Realty Regulation
- PSI – Property Manager Examination Candidate Information Bulletin (source)
- Montana Real Estate Program Candidate Handbook (source)
- Montana Property Education (source)
- ZipRecruiter- Property Manager Salary in Montana (source)
- Salary.com – Property Manager Salary in Montana (source)