Designation & Specialization in Property Management
Property Management is a more popular real estate service than ever before, with several professional designations that allow agents to showcase what specializations they may have.
As liaison between owners and tenants, a professional property manager must have people skills, in depth knowledge of fiduciary responsibilities and legal requirements, expertise in showing property and negotiating lease terms, an ability to manage time and juggle a variety of tasks, and knowledge of how to deal with construction contractors, service personnel, city officials and the public at large. Adaptability is often the name of the game.
Although the requirements vary from state to state, most have minimum requirements that govern leasing and overseeing property, collecting rents and negotiating leases, and acting on behalf of an owner or investor.
Here’s an overview:
- CPM is typically the most recognized certification. Standing for Certified Property Manager, it is awarded by the Institute for Real Estate Management (IREM). Anyone who earns this designation has a highly respected credential. The IREM also has additional specializations for residential and commercial managers.
- The National Association of Residential Property Managers awards credentials that are recognized across the field; requirements include ethical and professional standards, minimum experience of at least two years and 25 rental units, and an active real estate license. The MPM stands for Master Property Manager, and a CRMC designates a Certified Residential Management Company.
- The National Apartment Association awards a CAM — Certified Apartment Manager designation, with additional specific certifications for managers who choose to specialize in apartment rentals. Courses are available online and are scheduled by state and local affiliates. Among the designations are NALP (National Apartment Leasing Professional) and CAPS (Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor).
- CMCA — An emerging specialization — that of being a manager for community associations, this designation is awarded by the National Board of Certification for Community Association Managers. It maintains an active network to keep members updated about local requirements, and also requires continuing education on the part of all members. The CMCA is considered a valuable certification for anyone interested in this new field of real estate management.
If you are an owner/investor with a single property, you may be wondering if you’ll need the professional help of a property management company. The available data often shows benefit for those who understand the time and headaches saved by using professional management services. If you choose to employ a third-party liaison, you’ll want to look for a manager with the right credentials and a track record of success.