How to Become a Property Manager in Ohio: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Become a Property Manager in Ohio: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Become a Property Manager in Ohio

Becoming a property manager in Ohio can be a rewarding career path, but it involves several steps and requirements. Property managers in Ohio are responsible for tasks such as finding and screening tenants, lease negotiations, rent collection, property maintenance, and communication with property owners. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of becoming a property manager in Ohio, covering eligibility, education, licensing, and practical tips for success.

7 Steps to Become a Property Manager in Ohio:

Step 1: Meet the Eligibility Requirements

Before pursuing a career as a property manager in Ohio, you must ensure you meet the eligibility criteria:

  • Be a citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Possess a valid Social Security Number.
  • Hold a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Step 2: Complete Pre-Licensing Education

To become a licensed property manager in Ohio, you need to complete 120 hours of pre-licensing education. These hours should be distributed as follows:

  • Real Estate Principles and Practices (40 hours)
  • Ohio Real Estate Law, including instruction in civil rights, housing discrimination, and desegregation issues (40 hours)
  • Real Estate Appraisal (20 hours)
  • Real Estate Finance (20 hours)

After completing the courses, you have ten years to submit your real estate salesperson application and find a licensed broker to sponsor your license. However, it’s recommended not to wait that long if you’re serious about starting your property management career.

Step 3: Work for a Property Management Company

Upon passing the exam, you must work with a property management company that holds a managing broker license in Ohio. It’s essential to find a brokerage specializing in property management, as not all brokers offer these services.

Step 4: Undergo a Background Check

The Ohio Real Estate Division conducts background checks on all real estate license applicants to protect the public’s interest. To complete this check:

  • Schedule an appointment with a Webcheck user to have your fingerprints taken.
  • Ensure both state and FBI fingerprints are submitted to BCI&I (Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification) using the specified reason codes.
  • Provide a valid government-issued photo ID during your appointment.
  • Have the results sent to the Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing.

Background check fees typically range from $60 to $80.

Also Read: How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Ohio

Step 5: Submit an Application to the Ohio Department of Commerce

Before taking the Ohio Real Estate Salesperson Exam, you must submit a License Examination Application to the Department. This application includes personal information, education details, date of birth, and the broker you’ll be working with. Your broker will also need to sign this form. Along with the application, you must provide an $81 exam fee and official transcripts or completion certificates for your pre-license courses.

Step 6: Pass the Ohio Real Estate Salesperson Examination

The Ohio Real Estate Salesperson Exam assesses your knowledge of real estate law, principles, practices, and mathematics. Administered by PSI, the exam consists of 120 multiple-choice questions, and you must achieve a passing score of 70%. Results are available immediately after the exam.

Step 7: Maintain Your Ohio Real Estate License

To maintain your real estate license in Ohio, you must renew it every three years. The Division accepts renewal applications within 60 days before the license’s expiry date. The renewal process includes:

  • Submitting the renewal application.
  • Paying the $182 renewal fee.
  • Providing proof of completion of continuing education, which includes 20 hours of post-licensing classes in the first year and 30 hours of continuing education courses every subsequent renewal period. These courses must cover Civil Rights, Core Law, and Canons of Ethics.

Keep your course completion certificates for at least six years for audit purposes.

FAQ on a Property Management Career in Ohio:

1. How Long Does It Take to Become a Property Manager in Ohio?

It typically takes four to six months to become a property manager in Ohio, depending on the time it takes to complete the 120-hour pre-licensing course, pass the exam, undergo a background check, submit your application, and secure sponsorship from a licensed Ohio broker. Online courses can help you complete your pre-licensing education more quickly.

2. How Much Does It Cost to Become a Property Manager in Ohio?

The approximate cost to become a property manager in Ohio is $1,140, which covers the real estate salesperson license. Here’s the cost breakdown:

  • Pre-licensing courses: Approximately $999.
  • Exam fee: $81.
  • Background check: Approximately $60 to $80.

3. Can You Become a Property Manager with a Felony in Ohio?

Applicants with a felony may not obtain a real estate license if the Ohio Division of Real Estate deems the offense too severe, particularly if it impacts the applicant’s honesty, trustworthiness, character, and integrity. Each case is evaluated individually, and the Department may request additional documentation and explanations regarding the incident.

4. Are There Exceptions to the License Requirement for Property Managers in Ohio?

Yes, there are exceptions. Property owners do not need a license to manage their own properties. Additionally, community association managers or condo association managers in Ohio do not require a real estate license.

Building a Successful Property Management Career in Ohio:

Tip #1: Obtain the Ohio Real Estate License

While some property management activities can be conducted without a license, having a real estate salesperson license is essential for performing key property management tasks, such as renting, listing, negotiating rental agreements, and rent collection. If you aspire to advance in the field, obtaining a real estate license is a must.

Tip #2: Network with Other Real Estate Professionals

Consider joining organizations like the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) to connect with other property managers, learn from their experiences, and stay updated on housing market trends and regulatory changes. The Ohio REALTORS group, consisting mainly of real estate professionals, can be a valuable referral source if you plan to start your property management company.

Tip #3: Consider Starting Your Own Property Management Company

Instead of working for someone else, you may explore the option of obtaining a real estate broker license and launching your property management company. This allows you to hire other property managers with real estate licenses, leading to a scalable business model. However, running a company involves various aspects, including marketing, branding, hiring, training, and financial considerations.

To obtain a real estate managing broker license in Ohio, you typically need:

  • At least two years of active real estate sales experience in the past five years.
  • At least two years of post-secondary education or equivalent credit hours.
  • Completion of 120 hours of pre-license courses from an approved education provider.

Ohio Real Estate Broker Exam.

  • A background check.
  • Submission of a Broker Exam Application along with a $135 fee to the Ohio Division of Real Estate.
  • Completion of 30 hours of continuing education and meeting license renewal requirements.

In summary, becoming a property manager in Ohio involves a structured process, including meeting eligibility requirements, completing pre-licensing education, working with a property management company, undergoing a background check, passing the state exam, and maintaining your license through continuing education and renewal.


Becoming a property manager in Ohio can be a fulfilling career choice, offering opportunities to work independently or with established property management companies. By following these steps and staying informed about industry trends and regulations, you can build a successful and rewarding career in property management. Remember to continually expand your knowledge and network with other professionals in the field to enhance your chances of success.

You can also Hire a Professional Property Management Experts like Ron Dahlhofer in Ohio Real Estate Market.

If you’re considering a career in property management, Ohio provides a robust framework to help you achieve your goals. With dedication, education, and the right connections, you can embark on a prosperous journey in this dynamic industry.

For more insights and updates on property management careers in Ohio, consider subscribing to industry newsletters and associations. Stay informed about the latest trends, regulations, and best practices to excel in your property management career.

Remember that the information provided in this guide is subject to change, and it’s crucial to verify all requirements and procedures with the Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing or other relevant authorities before taking any steps toward becoming a property manager in Ohio.

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