Property managers do well on their own, but they do even better when they can connect, learn, and invest together. A property managers association can provide these types of benefits. By being a member, PMs have access to the most current skills, professional certifications, and continuing education credits for their business. But how can you determine which property managers association is right for you?
Here are the five leading property management associations in the United States:
- National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM): NARPM is a professional organization that focuses on promoting ethical standards and education for residential property managers. It provides resources and support for property managers and landlords dealing with residential rental properties.
- Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM): IREM is an international organization that offers professional development and certification programs for real estate managers. It serves commercial and residential property managers, as well as asset managers and other real estate professionals.
- National Apartment Association (NAA): NAA represents the interests of the apartment industry and provides educational resources and advocacy for rental housing professionals, including property managers and owners.
- Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International: BOMA is a trade association that primarily focuses on commercial property management and advocates for the interests of building owners and managers. It offers professional development, resources, and networking opportunities.
- Community Associations Institute (CAI): CAI is dedicated to supporting community association managers, including those involved with homeowners’ associations (HOAs), condominiums, and cooperatives. It provides educational programs, publications, and resources for community association professionals.
The Selection Process
When choosing a property management association to join or work with, there are several important factors to consider. Here are some key considerations:
- Focus and Specialization: Different property management associations may cater to specific types of properties, such as residential, commercial, or community associations. Choose an association that aligns with your area of expertise or the type of properties you manage.
- Reputation and Credibility: Research the reputation and credibility of the association. Look for reviews, testimonials, and feedback from current or past members to get an idea of their experiences and the value they gained from their membership.
- Education and Training Opportunities: One of the primary benefits of joining a property management association is access to education and training resources. Check the association’s offerings, such as seminars, webinars, certification programs, and workshops, to ensure they meet your professional development needs.
- Networking and Community: A good association should offer ample networking opportunities, allowing you to connect with other property management professionals. Networking can lead to valuable business connections, mentorship, and collaboration opportunities.
- Advocacy and Legislative Support: Look into whether the association actively advocates for the interests of property managers and landlords. An association that is involved in legislative matters and supports its members in navigating regulatory challenges can be beneficial.
- Resources and Tools: Assess the resources and tools provided by the association, such as templates for leases, property management software discounts, legal resources, and industry publications. These can streamline your operations and save time and money.
- Membership Fees and Benefits: Consider the cost of membership and the benefits you will receive in return. Evaluate whether the fees are reasonable and if the association’s offerings justify the investment.
- Geographic Scope: Some associations are national or international, while others are regional or local. Depending on your needs and the nature of your property management business, you might prefer a broader or more localized focus.
- Code of Ethics: A reputable property management association should have a well-defined code of ethics that its members adhere to. Ensure that the association maintains high ethical standards and promotes professionalism.
- Online Presence and Accessibility: A strong online presence can indicate that the association is up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technologies. It should also offer convenient online platforms for accessing resources and engaging with other members.
- Membership Support and Engagement: Evaluate how responsive the association’s support team is and how engaged and active its membership community is. A supportive and engaged community can provide valuable assistance and knowledge-sharing.
Added Tips When Choosing PM Associations
Choosing the right property management association is crucial for property owners, real estate investors, property managers and landlords. Here are some more tips to consider when selecting one that will offer the best professional development opportunities.
Living near a major city is a big determining factor when trying to find out which property managers association is going to be a good fit for you. Maybe you want an organization that’s more commercial or business oriented if you’re looking to focus on managing commercial rental spaces.
On the other hand, some property managers specialize in residential real estate rentals comprising single or multi-family homes, townhouses, apartments, or condo buildings. There are property management associations specifically organized to focus on the needs of these property management specialists.
Living near a major city where a property managers association chapter operates will also keep you up to date with market conditions, competitive rent rates, renter demands, as well as other information that would be helpful to network about.
Investing clubs can be a great way to learn, share experiences, and be more successful together with the support of a group of people who are just as into investing as you are. Whether you’re interested in investing or new to the business, investing clubs might be a good way to go.
Check out property managers associations that feature investing clubs in your area to get the most from this resource of information. Local investment clubs can provide a better fit for the information and advice you’re looking for relating to properties in the area or your niche within the market. This can also be another great way to network with other professionals—all while getting advice and enjoying the educational benefits of such a group.
Education and Resources
Finding the right property managers association may also be based on your need for education and resources. Maybe you’re looking to learn more about property management whether it’s residential or commercial, or maybe you just need those continuing education credits to keep your business up to date and credible in this competitive market.
Getting into the business with someone who needs to be trained? What about resources for property managers and the challenges they face? The National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) is a great place to start looking if you need these types of things from a property managers association.
Founded in 1988, NARPM focuses on unifying and representing residential rental property managers with small to medium-sized portfolios. They have established a national footprint with over 5,000 members and most major cities have a local chapter.
Are You New?
If you’re just starting out with managing properties, you may want to consider finding a property managers association that will not only help build the credibility of your business but also to help you stay informed about this industry. Keeping up with news in the business of property management can be beneficial for helping you learn what’s out there.
Also, some property managers associations will list your business on their website—therefore directing more traffic and potential clients your way. You’ll also be able to build references or referrals with other property managers who you connect with via the property managers association. This can send even more business your way!
Connect With Other Professionals
Simply connecting with other property managers can be a great resource for you and your business. Discussing ideas, challenges, and potential real estate can be very helpful for your success. When trying to find a property managers association, look for one that features discussion boards as a way to connect with other property managers and ask for advice. There’s a wealth of information out there just waiting for you to find in these boards, where professional property managers like yourselves discuss questions, issues, and successes.
Do You Want Professional Certifications?
If you’re looking for professional certifications, consider a property managers association that offers courses that will get you or your business certified. These are the types of things you’ll be able to show that will add to your credibility when clients ask about your knowledge and experience. Moreover, this will also help you stand apart from all the other property managers out there trying to get clients.
Never underestimate the power of a certification for your business. Common certifications include Residential Management Professional (NARPM), Certified Manager of Community Associations (CAI), and Certified Property Manager (IREM).
Get your membership today!
Finding a property managers association isn’t difficult, although making the choice about which one is right for you can be a little more challenging. By considering such factors as location, investing opportunities, access to continuing education, certifications, and resources, you can make an informed decision about which one best suits your needs and aligns with your professional goals.