Managing residential or commercial properties for individuals or businesses is a complicated undertaking. It requires familiarity and expertise with several fields. For example, you could be expected to oversee subcontractors doing renovations, hire and manage service staff, maintain the budget, ensure security systems are maintained and repaired, schedule visits to the property, and even drive the homeowners' vehicles left behind while they lived elsewhere for a season. Extensive experience in managing hotels, resorts, or large private homes--as well as a good background in business administration--will be needed to study estate management.
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The field of estate management began to develop in the early 1930s. In 1933, the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) was founded. In 1936, IREM began offering courses and certificates. This effort by IREM brought more professionalism to the industry and helped to establish a standard of qualifications and ethics for the estate management industry.
Estate management term defined
The term "estate management" (sometimes referred to as property management) refers to managing property and assets while the property owner is alive. A property manager or property management company does this job, and their qualifications differ from that of the end-of-life estate planning generally handled by lawyers.
Because the field of estate management is so broad, it requires knowledge of many fields. For example, private home estate management involves household budgeting, personnel issues (hiring, supervising and terminating), maintenance management (indoors and outdoors), landscaping design and upkeep, contraction and supervising of experts (security and electronic systems, specifically) and oversight of expensive art and antiquities. Commercial estate management also requires knowledge of leases, commercial property laws and tenant rights.
You will need the academic ability to succeed in an estate management degree program. Since students seeking this type of education are expected to manage large budgets and be familiar with generally accepted accounting principals (GAAP). You'll also need people skills and be able to work with a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds and professionals.
Estate management education
A formal degree in business, real estate or property management is an invaluable asset for those contemplating this career path. Such degree programs are offered at many colleges and universities across the country. See resources below.
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