Property Management Certifications You Might Consider

Obtaining a property management certification will increase your industry knowledge and improve your skills as a property manager or landlord

In a competitive industry like real estate, it’s integral to stand out. Obtaining a property management certification will not only fortify your knowledge but also improve your reliability and overall career.

Depending on what state you’re in and the role you’re playing, a license or qualification may be mandatory. Nevertheless, having a certain skillset next to your name is not going to hinder your success. If anything, you’re only going to increase your skill set.

Here are the essentials and booster qualifications you should investigate…

The Initial Qualifications You May Need

Some of the below certifications would be considered preliminary. It would be one or two of these under your belt before you look at further, more niche, certificates.

  • Real Estate Broker’s License or Property Manager’s License
  • Certified Apartment Manager (CAM)
  • Accredited Residential Manager (ARM)
  • Certified Property Manager (CPM)

Real Estate Broker’s License/Property Manager’s License

Most states require you (if you’re planning on being employed as a property manager) to have a Real Estate Broker’s License to deal with legalities such as handling rent, negotiating leases, and validly listing properties. Some states (such as Idaho, Maine and Vermont) do not require a real estate license to engage in property management. While other states (such as Montana, Oregon and South Carolina) allow property managers to work under a property management license rather than a broker's license.

You can also get a property management license at an institution like New York real estate school if you’re a salesman or secretary working under the property manager. A certificate would also be useful if you’re an agent or broker looking to expand your knowledge.

Certified Apartment Manager (CAM)

The CAM certification is suitable for anyone who wishes to be a manager of rental apartments. Awarded by the National Apartment Association (NAA) which has members around the globe tallying to 750,000 companies.

To qualify for the exam, applicants must have at least 12 months of on-site experience. On the easier side, there are only 40 hours of coursework to complete over 1 year.

Accredited Residential Manager (ARM)

Although CRM is the goal, the ARM certification is mainly foundational for the newer property manager. Gaining knowledge is the key to property management and the ARM is an excellent steppingstone to then go for the CRM.

The requirements for obtaining an ARM include:

  • 12 months of qualifying residential estate management
  • Completed coursework
  • Pass an ethics class
  • Pass the exam

Certified Property Manager (CPM)

Similarly, the ARM, this certification is awarded by IREM and is one of the most coveted certificates in the field. As such, the criteria to receive this level are extensive.

Being well-versed in every area of property management is a must and you must also provide either your real estate license or prove your locality does not require one to practice as a property manager. You’re also heavily encouraged to be invested in rental properties yourself.

Here are some other qualifications, that aren’t necessary but will make you a better breed.

Residential Management Professional (RMP)

Like the CPM, although you are required to have managed 100 or more units within the last two years. These licenses are distributed by The National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM).

To be awarded the RMP, one must:

  • Have a real estate license
  • Two years minimum experience
  • Managed 100 or more units in 2 years

As an internationally recognized and accredited organization, having a certification from NARPM on your name will give you an edge.

Master Property Manager (MPM)

Another qualification awarded by NARPM, the MPM is a step up from the RMP. This is the most prestigious certification that a single member can be awarded within NARPM. The two key prerequisites for attaining MPM are:

  • Acquired the RMP
  • Manage 500 units over 5 years

Upon receiving the MPM, your property management company is now eligible to be a Certified Residential Management Company (CRMC) under NARPM. To be deemed CRMC certified, collectively, your company must have at least 500-unit years of experience.

1-unit year = management of 1-unit for a year

Continuously Staying up to Date with Property Management Certifications

The knowledge should never stop. To become exceptional in the field of property management, whether that’s managing your own properties or others, one must learn the ins and outs of all sectors.

There is an abundance of further qualifications that a property manager can undertake to ensure their knowledge is constantly expanding. Some of these include:

  • Certified Apartment Supplier (CAS)
    – for new salespeople and assisting veterans of the industry enhance apartment
    community knowledge.
  • Independent Rental Owner Professional (IROP)
    – learn about energy efficiency, preventative maintenance, budget, and tax
  • Specialist in Housing Credit Management (SHCM)
    – offered for management professionals dealing with the Low-Income Housing Tax
    Credit program
  • Credential for Green Property Management (CGPM)
    – offered by the National Apartment Association Education Institute

Final Words

As we can see above, there are numerous property management certifications that could be of value in your pursuit of a real estate career. It might seem overwhelming, but the truth is it’s fantastic to see the niches that can be pursued in this space.

Spanning low-income residential assistance to certifying an entire company, the licenses available will allow the property manager to further their knowledge and give themselves that competitive edge.

It’s key to be aware of what the long-term goals are. Where do you want to be in five years? Once you have a projection or aspiration, it’ll be easier to decide what path and qualifications are right for you.

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