Property Management Certification - How to Become a Certified Property Manager

What are the top property management certification courses? Uncover the answer and learn how to earn your property manager certification.

CPM Certified Property Manager Certification

While there are a few well-recognized professional property management certifications in the United States and Canada, the Certified Property Manager CPM certification is arguably the most prestigious and well-respected.

For starters, it is the only certification program that is recognized by the National Association of Realtors, the largest trade association in North America with over 1 million members.

The CPM certification is awarded by the Institute of Real Estate Management IREM. IREM is a well-established association that offers property managers education, information and resources.

Becoming a CPM is a long and tedious process with many hours of training involved but it is the premier property management certification - CPM members are widely regarded as real estate experts and over 70% of them hold an upper management position.

CPM Certified Property Manager Requirements

Before applying for CPM certification, there are a few work and educational requirements that you will have to meet:

  • You need to have at least 3 years of property management experience.

  • The number and size of rental properties that you manage must meet their minimum portfolio requirements.

  • You have to hold a real estate license or show that you do not require one.

  • You have to be affiliated with the National Association of Realtors NAR.

Given these strict requirements, not everyone will be able to qualify as a CPM certification but you can always consider other property management certification courses with lower requirements and less guidelines.

How to Become a Certified Property Manager

If you do meet all the above requirements, then you can go ahead and apply for the CPM program from the IREM website. There is a non-refundable application fee of $160.

You will also have to sign up as a IREM member and join the local IREM branch (known as a chapter) for your city. You have to be interviewed and approved by the local IREM chapter before you can join it. There is also an annual subscription fee for an IREM membership.

Once you are approved as a CPM candidate, you have to submit 3 letters of recommendations to IREM. The next step is to study and complete their seven compulsory CPM courses. If you have the relevant real estate certification or degree, you may be exempted from certain courses.

During the course, you will be tested on your property management skills and have to pass an exam on professional ethics. Once you have accomplished all that, the final CPM exam will be all that stands between you and your CPM certification.


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