If you've been successfully managing several rental properties for a while or would like to take on the management of other properties, you may be interested in increasing your marketability. One of the simplest and most effective ways to do this is to take the coursework and exams to become certified in one or more areas of property management. In fact, many localities will even require certain certifications in order for you to professionally manage properties in these areas. Read on to learn more about the different types of property management certifications available and which ones may be right for you.
What certifications and licenses are available?
Real estate broker licenses
In some localities, property managers are required to be supervised (or accountable to) a licensed real estate broker. Obtaining this license yourself will not only allow you to negotiate with prospective tenants but can give you a good backup stream of income if you lose a property.
Residential and commercial property management certifications
There are a number of different property management certifications accredited by national real estate organizations. Obtaining one or more of these certifications--usually available through online training and a short exam--can give you a leg up on any competition in the real estate market.
Apartment manager certifications
If you specialize in apartment rentals and management, you may find this certification more useful than others that are available.
Homeowners association certifications
If you find that many of the properties you manage are governed by a local homeowners association (HOA), you may find this certification handy when one or more tenants runs into problems with the HOA or has questions about his or her rights and obligations under the bylaws.
What are some benefits and drawbacks of these certifications?
As mentioned above, some certifications--like a real estate broker license--can allow you to operate without supervision, as well as allow you to explore a side source of income. Others will allow you to gain legitimacy in your field and perhaps command a higher wage from the property owners who utilize your services.
The only real drawback to obtaining one or more property management certifications is the time and money involved in the training and examination required. Although some certifications may be fairly straightforward, particularly if you've been in the business a while, others require months of study and expensive test preparation materials. However, this initial investment generally reaps great rewards in your management career, like at MGR Property Management Inc.