Tips & Tricks

5 Types of Certifications and Licenses for Property Managers

February 18, 2024

Having certifications as a property manager can prove to be very valuable to your business, as it shows that you have industry expertise and authority. Not to mention that it’s always a good idea to invest in your education!

Depending on where you’re located, there may also be a mandate that you must obtain a specific license or certification, so be sure to check with your local real estate commission board for official regulations.

Let’s dive into the 5 types of certifications and licenses that exist for property managers:

  1. Real estate license
  2. Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA)
  3. Certified Property Manager (CPM)
  4. Residential Management Professional (RMP)
  5. Certified Apartment Manager (CAM)

1. Real Estate License (depends on the state)

Many states require property management companies to have a real estate broker license, which is especially necessary for marketing and rent collection.

Depending on the state, property managers working for a property management company may need a real estate license and not a broker license — although they may be required to work under someone with a broker’s license. Again, make sure to check your state laws for license requirements and details.

Even if a real estate license isn’t required in your state, it’s strategic to have at least one person in your property management company with an active license for when owners are interested in buying or selling their investment property.

2. Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA)

The Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB) awards the CMCA certification to those with the necessary skills and expertise to manage community associations, such as co-ops and condo associations. Being up to date with new and existing rental laws for respective municipalities and states is crucial for all members, who are required to keep this certification current.

3. Certified Property Manager (CPM)

An important credential for a property manager to have is the CPM certification. Becoming a Certified Property Manager requires you to complete a comprehensive course, and to qualify is an equally extensive process. To become receive your CPM, you must have strong, fundamental knowledge in all areas of the business. You must also have an active real estate license or have documentation that a license isn’t required for your state.

4. Residential Management Professional (RMP)

Property managers are always expected to conduct themselves in ethical and professional ways. The National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) offers certifications to prove just that. Here's how the RMP and CPM programs are similar:

  1. Must have an active real estate license
  2. Minimum 2 years of experience
  3. 25 rentals managed during the candidacy period

5. Certified Apartment Manager (CAM)

A property manager who specifically works with apartment rentals will benefit from completing a CAM certification program, which can be done online as well as in a classroom setting. At the end of the program, you must pass a cumulative exam to achieve accreditation.

The value of a property management certification

As you can see, there are many types of credentials that you can earn as a property manager. Being a property manager with any of these certifications means that you’ve been properly educated and trained, so you can be a great asset to your property management company and owner clients. Plus, you can be confident knowing that you are expertly trained at assisting your tenants, communicating with contractors and vendors, and maintaining your properties efficiently.

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