Where do property managers learn their stuff? They're not born knowing how to broker peace between feuding neighbors or who to call when the storm gutters are flooded, so they must learn their trade from other experts. There are a number of organizations across the country that specialize in training management professionals, either through institutional curriculum at universities and community colleges, or through independently-run programs that allow current and future property managers to work toward professional accreditation.
One such organization is the Institute of Real Estate Management, or IREM. IREM was founded in 1933 as a "source for education, resources, information and membership for real estate management professionals." According to the group's literature, IREM has 17,500 individual members spread across 82 U.S. chapters, eight international chapters, and several other global partnerships.
IREM's main mission is to promote ethical real estate management practices through its credentialed membership programs: Certified Property Manager (CPM), Accredited Residential Manager (ARM), and Accredited Management Organization (AMO) designations.
Since property managers are not required to be licensed in many states, IREM's professional credentials confer what the group's leaders hope is a standard of professionalism, ethics, and experience. IREM credentials let consumers know they're dealing with someone committed and capable, who's affiliated with a reputable organization with more than 70 years of institutional history.
According to Steven Friedman of Westgate Management in Trenton and former president of IREM Chapter 1 covering northern New Jersey, "Having someone in your company who has the CPM designation validates a level of professionalism throughout the real estate community."