8 top property management organizations & landlord associations to join – Part 1

Robin Young
Robin Young | 10 min. read

Published on June 13, 2017

Are you considering joining a property management organization or landlord association? We think it’s a smart move–and here’s why:

6 Reasons to Join a Property Management Organization or Landlord Association

  1. You’ll have access to continuing education and resources
  2. You’ll gain the opportunity to earn property management certifications and other credentials to differentiate yourself from the competition
  3. You’ll get to network and share knowledge with your peers
  4. You’ll stay up-to-date on industry news and changing regulations
  5. You’ll get exposure to the latest technologies, tools, and vendors
  6. You’ll gain access to a pool of experienced applicants and job boards when it’s time to hire someone new

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Property Management Organizations & Landlord Associations: Our Top Picks

With these benefits in mind, are you ready to find out which property management organizations and landlord associations we recommend joining? Here are our first 4 picks.

Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)

IREM’s website:

Who IREM is for:
Real estate managers for residential and commercial properties


IREM’s members:
20,000 individuals and 570 companies

IREM membership benefits:

  • Professional development courses (online & in-person), online resources, publications, income/expense analysis tools, conferences, member directory, job board, certifications, scholarships & awards, professional discounts
  • Find more information: Membership Benefits | IREM

IREM chapters:

  • Domestic chapters: 80 chapters across 47 states
  • International chapters: 15 chapters across 6 countries
  • Find more information: Chapters | IREM

IREM conferences:

  • Annual conference: IREM Global Summit
  • Regional conferences:
    • 5 annual events: Northeast, South/Southeast, West, Midwest, Canada
    • Find more information: Regional Events | IREM

IREM certifications:

  • Certified Property Manager (CPM): For property managers & asset managers with large portfolios
  • Accredited Residential Manager (ARM): For residential site managers of small to mid-sized portfolios
  • Accredited Commercial Manager (ACoM): For commercial site managers of small to mid-sized portfolios
  • Accredited Management Organization (AMO): For real estate firms
  • IREM Certified Sustainable Property (CSP): For properties undergoing sustainability initiatives
  • Find more information: Credentials | IREM

IREM memberships:

  • 4 credentialed types:
    • Certified Property Manager, Accredited Residential Manager, Accredited Commercial Manager, Accredited Management Organization (see Certifications section above for details)
    • Find more information: Credentials | IREM
  • 4 non-credentialed types:
    • Associate Members: For industry professionals who aren’t yet ready to commit to a credentialed membership
    • Academic Members: For professors of industry-related subjects
    • Student Members: For full-time college students
    • CPM Candidate Members: For industry professionals actively engaged in the process of obtaining the CPM designation
    • Find more information: Membership | IREM

Should you join a property management organization? Find out on the #BuildiumBlog! Click To Tweet

National Apartment Association (NAA)

NAA’s website:

Who NAA is for:
Apartment industry professionals


NAA members:
72,000 across 170 affiliate organizations

NAA membership benefits:

NAA chapters:

  • To join the NAA, you have to join your local Affiliate Organization
  • Find more information: How to Join | NAA

NAA conferences:

  • NAA Education Conference & Exposition:
    • Held annually in June
    • 65 educational sessions for apartment industry professionals
    • Trade show with over 800 exhibitors
    • Find more information: Education Conference & Expo | NAA
  • NAA Student Housing Conference & Exposition:
  • NAA Capitol Conference & Spring Governance Meeting:
  • MAXIMIZE Conference:
    • Held annually in October
    • Speakers, educational sessions, and networking opportunities for asset management professionals
    • Find more information: MAXIMIZE Conference | NAA

NAA certifications:

  • Certified Apartment Manager (CAM): For property managers hoping to increase their community’s net operating income
  • Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technician (CAMT): For maintenance professionals
  • National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP): For leasing professionals looking to learn how to attract, qualify, and sign prospective residents
  • Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor (CAPS): For property managers looking to learn how to recruit & retain employees, analyze & report finances, oversee management agreements, and more
  • Certified Apartment Supplier (CAS): For supplier partners seeking in-depth knowledge about apartment community operations
  • Independent Rental Owner Professional (IROP): For apartment rental owners looking to learn about budgeting, taxes, maintenance, finding & keeping tenants, and more
  • Specialist in Housing Credit Management (SHCM): For affordable housing managers seeking in-depth knowledge about the Low-Income Tax Credit program
  • Credential for Green Property Management (CGPM): For property owners and management companies looking for in-depth knowledge about the HUD Office of Affordable Preservation requirements
  • Find more information: Credentials | NAAEI

NAA memberships:

  • All membership info depends on which Affiliate Organization you join. You become an NAA member by joining your local chapter.
  • Find more information: How to Join | NAA
Landlord associations: Are they worth joining? Find out on the #BuildiumBlog! Click To Tweet

National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM)

NARPM’s website:

Who NARPM is for:
Real estate managers of smaller residential properties, as well as agents and brokers


NARPM members:

NARPM membership benefits:

  • Publications, conferences, professional development courses, mentorship, certifications, member directory, free advertising listings, discussion boards, professional discounts
  • Find more information: Membership Benefits | NARPM

NARPM chapters:

NARPM conferences:

  • NARPM Annual Convention & Trade Show:
    • Held annually in October
    • 2017: October 16-20 in Orlando, FL
    • Workshops that count toward certifications
    • Trade show attended by over 900 residential property managers
    • Find more information: Annual Convention & Trade Show | NARPM
  • NARPM Broker/Owner Retreat & Trade Fair:
    • Conference and trade fair for designated brokers, company owners, regional managers, and major decision-makers in property management companies
    • 2018: April 9-12 in Las Vegas, NV
    • Find more information: Broker/Owner Retreat & Trade Fair | NARPM
  • NARPM State Conferences:
    • State-specific speakers, workshops, and networking opportunities
    • 2017: Southern States Area Conference (June 28-30) & Florida State Conference (September 14-15)
    • Find more information: State Conferences | NARPM
  • Find more information: Conferences | NARPM

NARPM certifications:

  • Residential Property Management Professional (RMP): For property managers looking to grow their business, and who have managed 100 units over a 2-year period
  • Master Property Manager (MPM): For property managers who have already achieved their RPM designation, and who have managed 500 units over a 2-year period
  • Certified Residential Management Company (CRMC): For leading property management firms
  • Certified Support Specialist (CSS): For property managers’ administrative support staff
  • Certified Maintenance Coordinator (CMC): For maintenance staff in the residential property management industry
  • Certified Residential Management Bookkeeper (CRMB): For bookkeepers in the residential property management industry
  • Find more information: Certifications | NARPM

NARPM memberships:

  • Professional Members: Licensed residential property managers or owners who have completed the NARPM Code of Ethics training
  • Associate Members: Licensed residential property managers or owners who haven’t yet completed NARPM’s training
  • Support Specialist Members: NARPM members’ office staff
  • Affiliate Members: Companies serving the residential property management industry
  • Find more information: Membership | NARPM

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Community Associations Institute (CAI)

CAI’s website:

Who CAI is for:
Association board members and other homeowner leaders, community managers, association management firms, and industry vendors


CAI members:

CAI membership benefits:

  • Professional development courses, resource library, publications, conferences, supplier relationships
  • Find more information: Membership Benefits | CAI

CAI chapters:

  • 62 chapters across nearly every state, plus Canada, the Middle East, and South Africa
  • Find more information: Find a Chapter | CAI

CAI conferences:

  • Over 1000 annual events across all chapters
  • CAI Annual Conference & Exposition:
    • Educational sessions, networking opportunities, and vendor expo
    • 2017: May 3-6 in Las Vegas, NV
    • Find more information: Annual Conference & Expo | CAI
  • Large-Scale Managers Workshop:
  • Advocacy Summit:
    • Discussing community association issues with members of Congress
    • 2017: September 27 in Washington D.C.
    • Find more information: Advocacy Summit | CAI
  • Community Association Law Seminar:
    • 2018: January 31 to February 3 in Palm Springs, CA
    • Find more information: Law Seminar | CAI
  • CEO-MC Retreat:
    • A retreat for CEOs and senior executives in the community association industry
    • 2017: October 11-14 in San Diego, CA
    • Find more information: CEO-MC Retreat | CAI
  • Individual trade shows for many chapters–check with your local chapter for more information
  • Find more information: Conferences & Events | CAI

CAI certifications:

  • CAI is affiliated with the Community Associations Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB), which awards the following certifications:
    • Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA): The only internationally accredited certification program for association managers, administered by the CAMICB. There are over 17,000 CMCAs worldwide.
    • Association Management Specialist (AMS): An intermediate-level designation for community association managers
    • Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM): The highest professional recognition for community association managers
    • Large-Scale Manager (LSM): A specialist designation for Professional Community Association Managers working in large-scale communities (those with 1000+ units and operating budgets of over $2 million)
    • Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC): For association management firms
    • Community Insurance & Risk Management Specialist (CIRMS): For community association insurance professionals
    • Reserve Specialist (RS): For reserve study experts (those who have prepared 30+ reserve studies in the last 3 years) with experience/education in construction management, architecture, or engineering
    • College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL): A collective of distinguished attorneys working to educate associations and other attorneys about community association law
  • Find more information: Certifications | CAI

CAI memberships:

  • 4 main levels:
    • Homeowners, Board Members & Community Leaders: Gives board members and others within an association access to resources and networking opportunities
    • Community Managers: Gives association managers access to resources and networking opportunities
    • Management Companies: Gives association management companies access to resources and networking opportunities
    • Business Partners: Gives vendors that work with community associations direct access to potential customers
    • Find more information: Memberships | CAI
  • 4 other membership types:
    • Multi-Chapter Membership: Allows companies in areas that are served by multiple chapters to join several at a discounted rate
    • National Corporate Membership: Allows companies with national franchises or local representatives to affiliate and network with all CAI chapters for a flat rate
    • Student Membership: Allows students currently enrolled in accredited colleges to gain access to industry resources
    • Public Official Membership: For employees of lobbying organizations or entities that provide advocacy services
    • Find more information: Additional Memberships | CAI

Which property management organization should you join? Find out on the #BuildiumBlog! Click To Tweet

Liked this post? Check out Part 2, where we reveal which 4 organizations we recommend for those in the commercial, vacation rental, and affordable housing niches.

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Robin Young

As Buildium’s Senior Researcher, Robin leverages her background in social science research and interest in real estate economics to identify trends in the rental market. She combines intensive market research with insights gleaned from surveys of property managers, renters, and rental owners to examine topics like shifting renter demographics, the housing affordability crisis, and the transformation of property management during the pandemic. She's best known as the author of the annual State of the Property Management Industry Report.

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