Real Estate Property Manager versus Real Estate Salesperson

by Hope Brenick, Broker and Instructor for Eagles Academy of Real Estate.

A real estate license is required in order to be compensated as a property manager. A salesperson must affiliate with a brokerage company in order to engage in property management and his contracts are done through the company, not through the salesperson alone.

Property management brings tenants and landlords together. You should screen landlords to be sure you are suitable for each other as well as screen potential tenants to make sure they are suitable for the landlord.

Typically, when a property manager represents a landlord, the property manager:

Becomes responsible for the oversight of the property and its condition.

Conducts inspections and orders maintenance, needed updates and handles damage repairs, becomes the basic accountant for the rents paid and expenses and provides financial reports to the landlord.

Ensures the property is kept in good repair as such to protects the tenant’s health and safety.

Property managers are typically paid by a percentage of the rent or a flat monthly rate.

The skills and traits required as a property manager are:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • A multi-tasker who is detail oriented
  • Great organization skills
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • A problem solver
  • Self-motivation

Indeed.com lists the average salary for a Property Manager in the United States as $51,318 as of April 29th, 2021.

A licensed salesperson who focuses their career on sales must also affiliate with a brokerage company and may not work on their own. While you may be considered “self-employed” you MUST affiliate and work through a brokerage company in order to be compensated. The Brokerage company is the true “AGENT” and everything must go through them.

A salesperson also must have the above skills and traits, however the relationship period tends to be shorter. A salesperson can represent either the seller or the buyer and depending on which they represent the roles will be different. A salesperson who lists the property for sale is responsible for determining the market value, advertising the property for sale and negotiating the offers to purchase with the seller and advising the seller on the differences on the offers. A salesperson working for the buyer will research the available properties listed for sale and determine if available properties match the buyer’s needs and wants and will send those to the potential buyer to select the ones they most want to see. A salespersonwill also guide the buyer through completing the offer to purchase documents and the financing process, if needed, and all the steps leading up to the closing.

The listing agent wants to obtain the highest price for the seller at the least cost and the buyer’s agent wants to obtain the lowest price for the buyer and the least costs to them.

The skills and traits required for the Salesperson include:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Network builder
  • Negotiation and problem-solving skills
  • Marketer of themselves and properties
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Self-motivation
  • Self-disciplined

According to Indeed.com the Real Estate Sales Representative (entry level) average base salary in the United States is $46,754 as of April 29, 2021.

Sales training can be found at most real estate brokerage firms, however training in property management is a little harder to find. The National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM®) offers training for property managers, owners and staff in residential real estate.  The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) offers training in commercial, multi-family and single-family property management.

Each specialty requires the complete understanding by the licensee of the laws and regulations governing the specific practice.  Many brokerage firms do not allow their salespersons to practice both specialties.  The key to being successful in either practice is training. 


Statements of fact and opinion are the responsibility of the authors alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of the organization. Any legal matters or advice mentioned herein should be discussed with an attorney, accountant, or other professional before use in a particular situation. EaglesARE does not endorse any advertisement on this site. All readers are responsible for their own investigation and use of the products advertised.