Most Important Property Management Certifications2018-12-21T14:43:09+00:00

Many people seem to have the understanding that a landlord and a property manager play similar roles when it comes to real estate management. This is not the case. Granted that their job descriptions do have some similarities, these two titles are entirely different.

Simply put, a landlord is a term used to describe an owner of property – a landlord can be a business or an individual. A property manager is a business or an individual hired by a landlord with a sole purpose of running and managing a piece of property.

Responsibilities of a Property Manager

A property manager answers to three individuals in the following order: first responsibilities are to the law, then to the landlord, and finally to all tenants in that specific property. If you are looking into how to become a licensed property manager, certain licenses and certificates are mandatory. Laws regarding your position and title vary from state to state, and it is up to you to do your research and find out what is required of you in the state you wish to practice in.

Thanks to modern technology, there are countless ways in which you can now screen tenants and collect rent more efficiently. This software will help you vet your tenants to ensure that they are not criminals and help source out their bank statements to make sure that they will be able to keep up with their monthly rent. Plus, it is completely free. No longer do you have to go knocking down doors collecting rent.

Importance of Management Licenses and Certifications

If you want to build a successful career in rental management, it is best to arm yourself with multiple certifications that will give you the authority and credibility you need to succeed. As mentioned earlier, always inquire about license and certification requirements in your state, city, or county.

Most of these certifications are available through online institutions – you will need to provide a few documents such as photo, address, phone number, previous experience, etc. For anyone looking to build a successful career as a real estate manager, ensure that you receive a real estate license and a CMCA.

Top 5 Certifications & Licenses for Property Management

Government Issued Real Estate License and REALTOR Membership

Many states in the US require property management companies to hold real estate broker licenses. This type of license is of high importance especially if a company will be dealing with rent collection, lease negotiations, and property listings.

For a property manager working in a real estate firm, you may only be required to get a real estate salesperson license. However, always inquire whether the firm you are working for has proper documentation.

Some states that do not require you to get a real estate broker license include Maine, Idaho, Vermont, Oregon, Montana, and South Carolina.

All fifty states require you to be licensed when conducting real estate transactions (selling or buying). This rule also applies in many countries worldwide.

NOTE: Real estate license is not the same as a REALTOR certification through the National Association of Realtors (NAR) albeit; you will need to join NAR as well.

Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA)

Awarded by the National Board of Certification for Community Association Managers (NBC-CAM), CMCA was created by the Community Associations Institute (CAI).

CMCA is ranked as one of the most important and useful certifications a broker can obtain. NBC-CAM adheres to the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) guidelines and plays an active role in providing all its members with jobs.

Members of this elite organization are kept up to date with latest property management laws applicable to selected states. Members are also able to build their network circles since they are introduced to like-minded people. For anyone pursuing a career in property management and wishes to manage other properties besides their own, then CMCA certification is just what you need.

Residential Management Professional (RMP)

RMP is awarded by NARPM (National Association of Residential Property Managers). RMP offers designations to certify ethical and professional standard of conduct for property managers, such as RMP is a bit similar to CPM in that each candidate requires a real estate license, a minimum of two years of experience, and has managed at least 25 rental units during your candidacy period.

Other NARPM certifications include:

  • Master Property Manager (MPM)
  • Certified Support Specialist (CSS)
  • Certified Residential Management Company (CRMC)

IREM (Institute of Real Estate Management) is the most highly regarded form of credentials in property management. It has strict rules and regulations and covers all aspects of real estate management. For you to become qualified, you will need extensive experience and training in this industry. You must also hold a real estate license or proof that you do not require this license in real estate from your locality.

IREM certifications include:

  • Accredited Residential Manager (ARM)
  • Accredited Commercial Manager (ACoM)
  • Accredited Management Organization (AMO)

Certified Apartment Manager (CAM)

CAM is awarded by National Apartment Association (NAA). For anyone wishing to venture into apartment rentals, then this is just what you need to obtain. CAM certifications can be obtained online or in a class where local and state affiliates schedule programs. You will need to attend classes, complete courses, and a project and pass all your examinations.

Other NAA certifications include:

  • Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor (CAPS)
  • Certified for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAMT)
  • National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP)

NOTE: All countries have their set of rules when it comes to apartment leasing. Read and research online before partaking in any real estate management.

In the United States, you will require an undergraduate level certificate program to be able to sit for certificates in property management. In most situations, you need to have either a high school diploma or a GED to be able to enroll for online property management certification or degree.