Hiring a Property Manager

Property Management Qualifications and Certifications: The Ultimate Guide

For property owners and investors seeking a reliable partner in the complex world of real estate, understanding the certifications and qualifications held by a property manager can help identify top-quality candidates. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the credentials that define a top-tier property management team. From industry certifications to specialized qualifications, gain insights into what makes a property management company stand out. Elevate your property investment journey by making informed decisions and selecting a partner with the right expertise.

Property Management Qualifications: Educational Requirements

Property managers commonly pursue a bachelor's degree as a foundational academic requirement. While various majors are applicable, degrees in business, real estate, finance, or related fields are particularly beneficial. Coursework often includes real estate principles, property management, leasing strategies, and relevant legal aspects.

Additionally, some educational institutions offer specialized programs in real estate management or property management. A comprehensive understanding of business practices, finance, and real estate law equips property managers with the knowledge needed to navigate the complexities of their role. This academic foundation provides a solid framework for making informed decisions, understanding market trends, and effectively managing residential or commercial properties.

Professional Property Management Certifications & Licenses

For property owners seeking competent and trustworthy management, understanding common certifications can help make an informed decision. In most states, property managers are required to hold a real estate broker's license, or to be a licensed realtor employed by a broker. Apart from this, there are no formal property management licensure requirements; however, a variety of organizations offer membership, education, and, in some cases certification.

A property manager may hold a Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation, signifying proficiency in asset management. The Residential Management Professional (RMP) certification highlights expertise in residential property management. Accredited Residential Manager (ARM) designees excel in multifamily property management. Additionally, the National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP) certification ensures proficiency in leasing.

These certifications showcase a manager's commitment to industry standards, ethical practices, and staying abreast of the latest trends. When evaluating property managers, recognizing these credentials provides assurance that your investment is in capable hands. Read more about these and other common certifications below.

Organizations Offering Property Management Certifications

property management qualifications inline

Building Owners and˚ Managers Association International (BOMA)

  • Property Administrator Certificate (PAC)
  • Property Management Financial Proficiency Certificate (PMFP)
  • Facilities Management Certificate (FMC)
  • Building Systems Maintenance Certificate (SMC)
  • Real Property Administrator (RPA) 
  • Facilities Management Administrator (FMA)

Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)

  • Certified Property Manager (CPM)
  • Accredited Residential Manager (ARM)
  • Accredited Commercial Manager (ACoM)

National Apartment Association (NAA)

  • National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP)
  • Certified Apartment Manager (CAM), Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor (CAPS)
  • Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAMT)
  • Certified Apartment Supplier (CAS)

National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM)

  • Residential Management Professional (RPM)
  • Master Property Manager (MPM)
  • Certified Residential Management Company (CRMC)

National Property Management Association (NPMA)

  • Certified Professional Property Specialist (CPPS)
  • Certified Professional Property Administrator (CPPA)
  • Certified Professional Property Manager (CPPM)

Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA): Serving the commercial real estate industry, BOMA has more than 17,000 members and 92 chapters within the U.S. Through BOMI, the Independent Institute for Property and Facility Management Education, BOMA offers the Property Administrator Certificate (PAC), Property Management Financial Proficiency Certificate (PMFP), Facilities Management Certificate (FMC), and Building Systems Maintenance Certificate (SMC) programs, as well as the Real Property Administrator (RPA) and Facilities Management Administrator (FMA) designations.

Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM): Affiliated with the National Association of Realtors, IREM boasts 80 chapters in the U.S. and 18,000 members worldwide. Dedicated to "maximizing the value of investment real estate," this organization offers Certified Property Manager (CPM), Accredited Residential Manager (ARM), and Accredited Commercial Manager (ACoM) certification programs.

National Apartment Association (NAA): NAA serves the multifamily housing industry, including apartment building owners, developers, and managers. Through the NAA Education Institute (NAAEI), the NAA offers the National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP), Certified Apartment Manager (CAM), Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor (CAPS), Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAMT), and Certified Apartment Supplier (CAS) designations.

National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM): An organization dedicated to supporting "the professional and ethical practices of rental home management," NARPM was founded in the late 1980's to serve managers of single family homes. With over 3,000 members nationwide, NARPM offers education and certification, including the Residential Management Professional (RPM), Master Property Manager (MPM), and Certified Residential Management Company (CRMC) designations.

National Property Management Association (NPMA): NPMA is focused on continuous learning and the ongoing exchange of knowledge among property management professionals. Offering a variety of classes in both campus-based and online formats, NPMA also offers three levels of certification: Certified Professional Property Specialist (CPPS), Certified Professional Property Administrator (CPPA), and Certified Professional Property Manager (CPPM). You do not have to be a member to gain these certifications.

Evaluating a Property Management Company

A property owner navigating the landscape of property management must have a well-defined approach when evaluating potential partners. To assist you in making an informed decision, here's a comprehensive guide to assessing certifications and qualifications:

Checklist for Property Management Qualifications, Certifications, and More:

When embarking on the journey to select a property management company, a comprehensive checklist can be your compass. Begin by scrutinizing their certifications, such as the distinguished Certified Property Manager (CPM), Residential Management Professional (RMP), Accredited Residential Manager (ARM), and National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP). These certifications serve as benchmarks, assuring that the management team possesses the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate the complexities of property management.

Next on the checklist is evaluating the company's industry experience. Consider the number of years they have dedicated to property management and inquire about their specializations. Whether it's residential, commercial, or multifamily properties, a firm grasp of their expertise aligning with your property type is crucial for effective management.

Client testimonials serve as valuable indicators of a property management company's capabilities. Dive into reviews from property owners with portfolios similar to yours. Real-world experiences shared by peers offer insights into the company's performance and reliability. Additionally, explore case studies showcasing successful management endeavors, providing tangible evidence of their ability to handle properties with proficiency.

Expert Resource: To help keep your criteria in one handy place, we’ve created a To help keep your criteria in one handy place, we’ve created a free checklist that you can download and reference during your property manager search.

By diligently checking these aspects off your list, you lay the foundation for a partnership with a property management company that aligns seamlessly with your needs and expectations.

Questions to Ask Potential Property Management Partners

Beyond asking for certifications, testimonials, and their specific expertise, you should find out more about a property manager’s approach to doing business. That includes their preferred communication channels, how they find new and engage with existing tenants, keep you in the know about finances, and maintain your property, just to name a few.

Expert Resource: For a more detailed questionnaire, review our list of For a more detailed questionnaire, review our list of 25 questions to ask a potential property manager.

There are also a few considerations that some owners often miss in their selection process. Here are the big ones:

Emergency Response Plan

A robust emergency response plan is an important piece of responsible property management. Engage in a discussion to comprehend their procedures for handling emergencies and crisis situations. Evaluate the depth of their contingency plans and inquire about their track record in managing unforeseen events.

A property management company's ability to navigate crises efficiently is indicative of their resilience and preparedness, crucial qualities that directly impact the safety and well-being of your property.

Technology Integration

The contemporary landscape of property management is significantly influenced by technology. When assessing potential partners, explore the technology they employ for effective property management. Inquire about software, communication platforms, and data analytics systems that streamline their processes.

Equally important is evaluating their ability to provide transparent communication and real-time updates through these technological integrations. A tech-savvy property management company not only enhances operational efficiency but also ensures you stay well-informed about the status and performance of your property in real time.

By systematically addressing these considerations, property owners can confidently align with a property management company that not only holds the right certifications but also demonstrates a commitment to excellence in service quality. Making an informed decision at this stage sets the foundation for a successful and mutually beneficial partnership.

Property Management Requirements by State

Want more information about what the specific requirements are for property managers in your state? Visit our Property Management Requirements page.

Get your property managed today
Tell us what you're looking for and we'll connect you with our network of property managers in minutes.
We found 15 property managers in Boston, MA 02110