Is it worth it getting certified as a property manager? The answer: it depends? While the courses themselves provide a lot of useful information, Landlords and Property Managers are not really the same job.

Landlords actually own property, while property managers are the people who actively manage these properties on behalf of the landlord. For smaller landlords, this may be the same person. Larger businesses and out of state landlords will often employ a property manager.

What does a Property Manager Do

The property manager’s responsibility will change depending on both jurisdiction and landlord, but usually involves:

  1. Renting out vacant properties
  2. Collecting Rent on behalf of the landlord
  3. Managing all issues surrounding the property (repairs, maintenance, improvements)
  4. Handling evictions
  5. Handling lease-ends, walk arounds etc

Does a Property Manage Need a License?

This question depends on the jurisdiction, so you’ll need to check both state and local laws. If you’re going to be involved in both the renting/selling on behalf of clients, then you’ll definitely need a real estate license.

Even if you’re jurisdiction doesn’t require specific licensing as a property manager, certification is still important. Below are what are considered the 5 best certifications and licenses for property managers:

Real Estate License

Most states require property management companies to have a real estate broker license, especially if the company is involved in collecting rent. If your company has a broker’s license, you may only need a salesperson’s license, as long as you are listed as working under the managing broker.

In states like Maine, Idaho and Vermont, property managers do not need to be licensed. Other states, like South Carolina, Oregon and Montana, recognize a property manager license instead of a real estate agent license.

To obtain a real estate license, check out the requirements of your state’s relevant agency. This is usually called a licensing board, agency or something similar.

Certified Manager of Community Associations

This certification was created by the Community Associations Institute, and is currently awarded by the National Board of Certification for Community Association Managers.

Certified members are kept up to date on local laws, and are required to undergo continuing education in order to maintain their membership.

Residential Management Professional

This certification was created by NARPM, the National Association of Residential Property Managers. This is probably one of the more highly recognized certifications for property managers. To be awarded this certification, you need to have a real estate license in good standing, 2 years minimum experience, and you must have managedĀ at least 25 units.

Certified Property Manager

Created by IREM, the Institute of Real Estate Management, this is one of the more difficult certifications to achieve. You must have significant experience in property management and investing, and show that you either have a real estate license or are not legally required to hold one.

Certified Apartment Manager

This certification is awarded by the National Apartment Association. It’s best for those who work in larger apartment buildings or for bigger companies with a portfolio. You are required to take a series of classes, complete a project and then pass a final exam.


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