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Property Management Certifications that Give You an Edge

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Do you have property management certification?  If not, you may want to consider it.  Certifications can go a long way in showing people that you have the proper training and education to be a responsible property manager.  Interested in learning more about property management certifications?  Check out our quick guide below for more info!

Who certifies property managers?

There are a number of prominent organizations around the industry that offer property management certifications.  Some of the largest and best known are the National Apartment Association (NAA), the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), and the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM); there are many more, but those three are usually considered to be among the most important, and their certifications are widely respected.  If you’re interested in certifications beyond what’s mentioned in this guide, those organizations are a great place to start looking.

Besides the actual certifications, being a member of one of these organizations at all will lend you and your company an air of credibility.  You’ll also have access to the wealth of resources and opportunities that such groups are able to offer their members.  Consequently, joining one of the organizations listed above is likely well worth it for most property managers.

Are certifications absolutely necessary?

Not exactly — no certifications offered by the organizations listed above are legally required, so it’s technically possible to get by without any.  However, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.  Being certified can be a huge boost to your credibility and earning potential, so it’s much better to have them.

Also, while it’s not the same type of certification, most states require you to have either a real estate broker’s license or property manager’s license to be able to handle rent.  With a license like that likely being required anyway, going on to attain and maintain additional certification makes even more sense.

So what certifications are the best?

There are many good ones, but we’ll highlight two here.  One of the biggest is Certified Property Manager (CPM), which is offered by IREM and is often considered the industry’s very best.  To qualify, you’ll need to manage properties for at least three years, take several required courses, and pass two exams.

Another to consider is Residential Management Professional (RMP), offered by NARPM.  It’s another good one because it’s recognized nearly as widely as CPM and has similar requirements.  It’s also a great option because it’s the first step toward achieving NARPM’s Master Property Manager certification, one of the most prestigious in the field.

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