To earn a professional designation — or not? This is a question I have been struggling with in my own business for quite some time. Some property management certifications are more costly and will take years to earn. Some designation programs fit your business better than others. It can be difficult to weigh the potential return on your investment between them, but the upside is tremendous!
Why Get Certified?
In some markets, especially metro regions, or markets where the competition is more dense, a property management certification makes a lot of sense. First and foremost, it is a key point of competitive differentiation. Certification shows your potential client that you have undergone rigorous courses of study and experience (on your own time) to become recognized as an expert in your field. This also helps you prove your track record of managing portfolios successfully, and making your owners more money!
Available Property Management Certifications
Most states require a real estate broker’s license, and some states require an additional property management license. But if you choose to pursue a professional designation as well, there are several to consider:
- If your focus is residential, the National Association of Residential Property Managers offers the Residential Management Professional (RMP) and the Master Property Manager (MPM) designations.
- Commercial managers may take a look at the Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management. This is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious designations in the industry.
- Lastly, if you are in the apartment business, the National Apartment Association offers a great designation called the Certified Apartment Manager (CAM).
If you are head-to-head in a sales presentation against a competitor that is not certified, this is a huge advantage for you!
Is Property Manager Certification Always the Answer?
As you can see, there is no shortage of opportunities to further your property management education. However, if you’re in a smaller market with less competition, like I am, you may not want to invest your time and resources into property management certification right away.
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While I advocate these great property management associations, and what they stand for, smaller companies or individual property managers should think about investing in their selling and relationship building skills. I have found great success in networking with other real estate agents, and local investors. Birds of a feather flock together!
Putting hands in hands will always be one of the best ways to grow your business. It takes contacts to get contracts! While key relationships will likely become the core of your business, there is no substitute for being able to sell, market, and promote your service. Like one of my mentors, Grant Cardone, always says, “If you can sell and close, you will never be without work, or without money!” We are salespeople, after all!
Earning a professional certification, or designation, will undoubtedly further your career. It opens the door for more branding possibilities, and will likely earn you more business in the long run as long as you can sell it. It may not be a fit for you right now, but I would certainly consider it down the road. By combining a quality education with great selling skills and massive amounts of action, you will put yourself in a position to ensure the long-term success of your company and dominate your marketplace. And who doesn’t want that?Read more on Team