How to Become a Property Manager in Canada

How to Become a Property Manager in Canada

Have you ever wondered who ensures that rental properties are well-maintained and tenants are well take care of? That’s where a property manager steps in, acting as the intermediary between landlords and tenants. 

 With the rising number of immigrants in Canada and the expansion of the Canadian real estate market demand for rental property, the demand for skilled property managers is rising. If you aspire to be a property manager in Canada, this comprehensive guide will provide you with the strategies.  

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    Key Skills to Become a Property Manager in Canada

    Communication and Marketing Skills

    Property managers must communicate effectively with property owners, tenants, and contractors and promote the brand and properties whenever and wherever required.  

    Negotiation Skills

    Negotiating contracts, leases, and vendor agreements is crucial for success in property management. A property manager with good negotiating skills brings much more than their counterpart.  

    Problem-solving and Proactive Attitude

    Property managers often encounter various challenges, requiring quick and effective problem-solving skills. It is better to be ready with the solution than to wait for a problem to arise. 

    Legal Knowledge

    Understanding Canadian provincial property laws and regulations is imperative to navigating potential legal issues.

    Technical Skills

    Tech savviness is one quality which sets an average, hard-working property manager apart from a smart-working property manager, as the technological innovations in this industry are reducing the workload while increasing the efficiency of property management processes.  

    Educational Requirements for a Property Manager in Canada

    Property managers usually possess a minimum of a high school diploma. College diplomas or bachelor’s degrees are common, particularly in business, administration, or real estate coursework. Larger companies or management agencies may require a degree and professional experience. 

     Educational requirements can also vary, depending on whether you have your own business or work as an employee of a company. If you choose to prepare for a career in property management by taking courses, you can consider studying subjects like property law, liability, business, real estate law, and communication. 

     Many colleges and universities in Canada offer property management, real estate, or business administration degrees. You can join institutions like the Real Estate Institute of Canada (REIC) and the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). 

     Property management certifications like the Certified Property Manager (CPM), Accredited Residential Manager (ARM) offered by the IREM, and Certified Apartment Manager (CAM) can elevate your market presence.  CAMs possess specialized skills in marketing, leasing, tenant relations, and property operations in the apartment sector.  

     Obtaining professional certifications, such as the Registered Condominium Manager (RCM) offered by Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) or Certified Property Manager (CPM) offered by IREM elevates your credentials and showcases your commitment to excellence. The Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI) offers the Leader of the Canadian Condominium Institute (LCCI) designation, which focuses on managing condominium properties. 

     You should stay updated with continuing education and attend workshops, webinars, and online courses. 

    Property Manager License and Certifications in Canada

    You don’t need a license or certification across most of Canada as long as you work directly for a landlord as a property manager.  

    However, you may need to be certified and licensed to manage regulated properties, such as condominiums and certain commercial properties, and anything else that is regulated and has a governing authority. Licensing varies by province.  

    A property manager holds the payments of their tenants and landlords, such as rent, deposits, etc. Thus, being licensed to operate as a property manager is mandatory in some provinces in Canada. A real estate license is mandatory for property managers in areas like British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. Ensure you complete the required courses and pass the licensing exam.  

     Provinces which need a license are as follows: 

    • Ontario  
    • Manitoba 
    • British Columbia 
    • Saskatchewan 
    • Alberta 

    How to Become a Property Manager in Ontario 

    The government of Ontario has declared mandatory licensing and qualifications for condominium managers and management firms. Property managers managing single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, and apartments do not require a license. 

    You need a license to manage condominiums and for businesses which provide condominium management services. The Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) issues three types of licenses for condominium managers:  

    • General License 
    • Transitional General License 
    • Limited License 


    A different license is issued to condominium management provider businesses. 

    How to Become a Property Manager in British Columbia (BC) 

    In British Columbia, property managers must hold a license issued by the BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA). They must enroll in the UBC Sauder School of BusinessRental Property Management Licensing Course. A managing broker must be hired, or property management businesses must obtain a brokerage license. 

    How to Become a Property Manager in Manitoba

    In Manitoba, the manager or a representative of a property management business must have finished the Principles of Property Management Course, which is run by The Manitoba Real Estate Association, before they can handle someone else’s property.  

     Proof must be presented that a property manager or property management firm has an interest-bearing trust account established with a bank, credit union, or trust company in Manitoba. They must also present a certificate of membership in the Real Estate Reimbursement Fund of the Manitoba Real Estate Association or a surety bond. 

    How to Become a Property Manager in Alberta

    A property manager needs to be licensed by the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA). RECA offers mandatory courses to be completed. According to RECA, the following acts are property management: 

    • Real estate leases, rentals, and real estate negotiations and approvals are all examples of offering to lease or negotiate real estate. 
    • Keeping funds obtained from the leasing or renting of properties 
    • Promoting, negotiating, or engaging in any other activity for the purpose of advancing any of the aforementioned activities, whether directly or indirectly 


    People or organizations who do not need  a property management license: 

    • A manager living on the residential property and working on-site 
    • When a non-profit organization manages the property of subsidized residential properties, its personnel or representatives 

    How to Become a Property Manager in Saskatchewan

    In Saskatchewan, property managers need to secure licensure under The Real Estate Act. A corporate entity that delivers property management services must have a qualified real estate broker. 

    The following tasks, but not limited to, fall under property management: 

    • Offering to lease, leasing, approving, or negotiating 
    • Accepting or negotiating a lease 
    • Real estate rental 
    • obtaining rent or keeping funds received in relation to a property lease or rental properties 

    How to Become a Property Manager in Nova Scotia

    The Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia (IPOANS) provides courses to help people learn how to manage properties. 

    Gaining Practical Experience to Become a Property Manager in Canada

    Internships and Entry-Level Positions

    Internships and entry-level positions are the gateway to gaining practical experience in property management. These opportunities allow newbie property managers to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world scenarios.  

     Internships offer a structured learning environment where individuals can immerse themselves in the day-to-day operations of property management. Working alongside seasoned professionals, interns gain insights into tenant relations, property maintenance, and financial aspects. 

     Whether as an assistant property manager or a property coordinator, these roles expose individuals to diverse tasks, contributing to a holistic skill set. 

    Mentorship Opportunities

    Seeking mentorship is a strategic move for those aiming to navigate the complexities of property management. With their wealth of experience, mentors provide guidance, share practical insights, and offer a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities within the industry. 

     Identifying experienced professionals willing to mentor is the first step. This can be accomplished through networking events, industry associations, or even online platforms dedicated to mentorship. 

    Job Search and Application Process to Become a Property Manager in Canada

    Identifying Opportunities to Become a Property Manager

    Utilize online job portals and platforms such as Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor to find property management positions across Canada. Make sure to visit the websites of reputable property management companies directly. Often, they post job openings on their career pages before listing them on external platforms. 

     Leverage professional networks, both online and offline. Attend industry events, join property management forums, and connect with professionals on LinkedIn to discover hidden job opportunities to become a property manager. 

    Crafting an Outstanding Resume for Applying to Property Management Companies

    Highlight relevant experience, such as previous property management experience, emphasizing achievements and responsibilities. Clearly outline your communication, negotiation, and problem-solving skills. Tailor your resume to align with the specific needs of the property management industry. 

     Mention relevant certifications and educational background, emphasizing any property management courses or degrees. During the interview, provide examples of challenges you’ve faced in previous roles and how you addressed them. 

    Building a Professional Network to Become a Property Manager in Canada

    Networking in the Industry

    Networking within the property management industry is not just about meeting people; it’s about establishing meaningful connections that can open doors to valuable opportunities. Engaging with online and offline professionals contributes significantly to gaining practical insights and knowledge. 

    Industry Events: A Networking Goldmine

    Attending industry conferences, workshops, and seminars provides a platform for networking. Interacting with experienced professionals, industry leaders, and fellow aspirants offers a chance to exchange ideas, seek advice, and discover potential mentorship opportunities. 

    Professional Associations: A Hub for Connections

    Joining property management associations creates a structured environment for networking. These associations often organize events where members can connect, share experiences, and stay updated on industry trends, creating a network beyond immediate circles. 

    Use of Technology and Software for Property Managers in Canada

    No property manager nowadays can keep up with their busy schedule unless they use technology and specialized software built for property management. Adapting to technological innovations has become necessary for the dynamic real estate industry.  

    The software must cater to Canadian and Provincial rules and regulations. Specialized software, such as MiPropertyPortal (MIPP), helps you in many ways with its features, such as: 

    • Property Management Accounting and Reporting 
    • Online Rent Application (Free) 
    • Tenant Screening 
    • Accounting & Reporting 
    • Online Rent Collection 
    • Online Vacancy Posting and Renting 
    • Lead Management 
    • Automated Lease Creation 
    • Automated Provincial Forms 
    • Property Inspection 
    • Maintenance Tracking 

    Click here for a free demo of MIPP, and let us handle and automate the tasks so you can focus on other important matters. Property managers can focus on other business areas while saving money and time by using property management software. 


    Becoming a property manager comes with dynamic roles and burdens, but it is financially rewarding, and you get to meet various people throughout your career. Property managers maintain vibrant living and working conditions for tenants by keeping a property well-managed. They also assist property owners in optimizing the return on their investments, benefiting all sides equally.  

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    To become a property manager, having a background in business, real estate, or property management is beneficial. However, practical experience and strong communication skills are equally important. 

    While not mandatory, obtaining certification, such as the Registered Condominium Manager (RCM) designation, can enhance your credibility and open doors to advanced roles. 

    Stay informed about local regulations by regularly checking government websites, attending workshops, and connecting with local real estate associations. 

    Property managers oversee day-to-day operations, handle tenant relations, ensure property maintenance, and navigate legal aspects such as lease agreements and evictions. 

    The timeline varies, but obtaining relevant education, gaining experience, and obtaining necessary licenses typically takes 2-4 years. 

    Challenges include tenant disputes, property maintenance issues, and staying abreast of evolving legal regulations. 

    A formal education is beneficial, but practical experience and certifications can compensate for lacking a formal degree. 

    With the growing real estate market, property management offers lucrative career opportunities. 

    Networking is crucial for career advancement, providing opportunities for mentorship, job referrals, and staying updated on industry trends.

    Absolutely. Internships provide hands-on experience and can lead to full-time opportunities. 

    Extremely important. Many employers vet candidates using LinkedIn to ensure your profile is professional and up-to-date. 

    Strong communication, problem-solving, and technological skills and a deep understanding of property management regulations are highly valued. 

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