by Wendy Terry
originally published in the 2013 Spring Issue
Recently, Learning Curves spoke with Sonia Nerses at Access Business College (see advertisement on back page) which offers a diploma program in Property Administration.
What do property administrators do? Basically they co-ordinate activities related to the management of buildings. If you think of all the buildings in Toronto and the GTA—apartments, condominiums, retail malls, office buildings, senior residences, commercial and industrial sites, government offices—municipal, provincial and even federal—you will see the job possibilities are endless. In fact 51% of property administrators for Ontario work in the Toronto area.
Not only is there a broad labour market, but also in the age of part-time, contract work, 76% of property administrators work full-time. The average pay per year is around $57,000. For those researching labour markets for a Second Career application, property administrators have good employment prospects. If you also have a background in housing for older people or running a health unit, prospects are particularly good given the aging of our baby boomer population in Canada.
What qualifications do you need to take the course? According to the Employment Ontario website, you need grade 12 and some administrative skills. You may learn a lot of skills later, on the job, because often property administrators are trained on the job for the company they work for. You can get a leg up in this job market by taking a property administrator program.
Here is what you might do in a week: hire a building superintendent; rent or lease a property; prepare a contract for a cleaning service for one building and a security system for tenants; and look after the damage deposits. Whew! You can see why property owners value their administrators. Part of the day you could be in the office, the other part on site.
Sonia detailed some of the course material at Access that would help you get a job and quickly fit in as a property administrator are customer service, human resources, business law focused on the Residential Tenancies Act, the Commercial Tenancies Act., computer software applications for administration, bookkeeping and marketing.
Your fellow students could be internationally-trained engineers, customer service workers laid off in the economic downturn, baby boomers looking for a third career and so on.
What future opportunities would there be? For one thing you can be sure of stable employment as property management is not greatly affected by recessions nor can it be outsourced. Given the size of and growth of many property management companies you could move up into more senior or specialized positions fairly quickly.
Thank you Sonia for helping me see a good labour market amongst all the unstable ones for our readers to look into.