If you are a property manager, or you are considering becoming one, there is a wide range of certifications that you can obtain to grow your business. Some of these are legally required, while others are an excellent way to go the extra mile and give your career the boost that it needs. 

So, if you want to level up your property management company and gain recognition in the industry, keep reading!

Property Management Organizations

There are many property management organizations that will offer their own set of certifications to professional property managers. Joining any of these reputable organizations can give you and your business a new level of respectability in the industry. 

Once you have officially joined and completed whatever certification courses that the organization requires, you will be able to use this new level of skill and expertise to market yourself and your company more effectively. You can even use the organization’s badge or logo on your website or property advertisements

These reputable organizations include the following:

The Institute of Real Estate Management

The IREM is an organization that runs internationally and includes a membership of over 20,000 hard working and knowledgeable property managers.

They offer property managers high-quality training, certification, professional development, and endless opportunities for networking with other property managers to grow your business and increase your revenue as a property manager. 

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The National Apartment Association

The NAA boasts more than 75,000 members internationally. This organization focuses heavily on philanthropy, and they are known to offer support and training to various owners and operators of apartment complexes. 

The National Association of Residential Property Managers

NARPM is an internationally recognized association of property managers who run single-family homes or small residential rental properties. Their sought-after certifications are recognized all around the world. 

The National Association of Realtors

The NAR is an association that dedicates itself to training and certifying property managers, all while offering a wide variety of professional development opportunities. 

What Is Required to Be a Property Manager

In the majority of states, a property manager is required to obtain a real estate broker’s license and Certified Property Manager certification. But how are these achieved, and why are they necessary?

Keep reading to find out:

1. A Real Estate Broker’s License or a Property Manager’s License

In most states, property managers are required to earn a real estate broker’s license or a property manager’s license in order to collect rent legally, negotiate leases, and list available rental properties. 

There are 10 states in America that don’t require these certifications to be a property manager, and three of those states will still require you to have a property manager license. 

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Both of these licenses will require you to go through coursework, classes, a large exam, and continuing education to continue to maintain the certification. 

2. Certified Property Manager Certification

While this certification may not be explicitly required by any US state law, obtaining this is the standard for any property manager who wants to be recognized as professional and reliable in the field. 

To acquire the CPM certification, you have to manage a resume of rental properties for at least three years prior to applying to the program. You must also hold a real estate broker’s license. There are many other mandatory courses, including a course in management ethics. 

Property Management Certifications to Grow Your Business

While the following certifications may not be required by law in order to be a successful property manager, they can help you grow your business and stay competitive in the industry. 

Residential Management Professional (Administered by NARPM)

Similar to the CPM certification, the Residential Management Professional certification holds a large degree of international recognition in the industry and it holds the same prerequisites. This certification can also be the first step in achieving even more sought-after certifications through NARPM. 

To qualify for this certification, you have to have already been managing at least 100 rental units for at least two years and hold a real estate broker’s license. 

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Master Property Manager (Administered by NARPM)

After achieving the Residential Property Manager certification, the next step is the Master Property Manager! This is the highest level of certification that an individual property manager can achieve through NARPM. 

Once you have already obtained your RMP certification and you have managed at least 500 rental units over five years, you can apply for this certification. After you have achieved the Master Property Manager certification, your company is eligible to become a Certified Residential Management Company.

Accredited Residential Manager (Administered by IREM)

Before going after a CPM certification, a new property manager should obtain an Accredited Residential Manager certification. This course is designed to help new property managers gain all the basic information that they need to know to be successful in the business. 

In order to be eligible, you must have at least 12 months of property management experience. You will also have to complete an ethics class, required coursework, and pass an exam. 

Certified Apartment Manager (Administered by NAA)

This certification is geared toward apartment property managers only. To achieve a CAM certification, you must have at least one year of property management experience. The certification also includes coursework that you will have to complete and a written exam. 

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Company Certifications

Certified Residential Management Company (Administered by NARPM)

If you or one of your staff has obtained an MPM, then your company is eligible to apply to become a Certified Residential Management Company. Your business must have 500 unit years of experience to acquire this certification. 

Accredited Management Organization (Administered by IREM)

Similarly to the CRMC, this certification is prestigious and it shows just how reputable your company is in the field of property management. 

While there is a long list of requirements to achieve this certification, in the end, it will be worth it if you want your company to reach its full potential and be known in the industry as a trusted property management company that goes above and beyond. 


Earning property management certifications is a great way to verify the skills, experience, and expertise you’ve gained in the industry. Even if you’ve already achieved the necessary certifications to become a property manager, you can always continue reading and learning to solidify your place in your field.