Professional Designations for Property ManagersIf you’ve been a LandlordSource customer, newsletter subscriber, or blog follower for very long, you know that we have a high regard for NARPM®, (the National Association of Residential Property Managers). The founders and ongoing leaders of this organization are on a mission to promote education, networking, ethics, and advocacy within the residential property management industry. They’ve been around for over 25 years now and have done a great job elevating the property management profession.

One of the ways NARPM® accomplishes their mission is by offering designation classes. During the last couple of years, while serving on the board for the Phoenix Metro NARPM® Chapter, I have observed that these designations are under-utilized. I believe this is due to the standard “working IN my business, instead of ON my business” dilemma that many small business owners and independent contractors face. Property management professionals have a hard time dedicating the time needed to pursue this kind of accreditation. They are too busy fulfilling client needs and dousing fires. It’s not an uncommon story…

However, as you plan for the upcoming year, I’d like to encourage you to pursue a professional designation. Here are 5 ways a NARPM® certification will improve your professional outlook:

  1. Education – There is nothing more valuable than growing your professional skills and knowledge. Whether you have been a property manager for ages or you are just getting started in property management, there is always something new you can learn. Pursuing a designation forces you to be intentional about the learning process and gives you permission to make it a higher priority. If that’s all you got out of the process, it would be enough.
  2. Qualification – When you go through a designation program, your acquired knowledge is tested and verified. The organization requires you to submit proof of your participation and reviews it to make sure you meet the standards for the program. While this type of qualification process can be overwhelming and a little scary to some, it maintains the integrity of the designation program and challenges you to take it seriously and do your best.
  3. Validation – Once you complete a designation program, you are able to use the designation to market your business. This third-party validation is more trustworthy to potential clients and referral partners than anything you might tell them about yourself. It’s like receiving a diploma from a university versus printing one out on your home computer. The designation tells outside observers that you are serious about your profession, that you strive for excellence, and that you meet some specific standards.
  4. Differentiation – I’ve been on the sidelines of the property management profession and NARPM® on and off since 2004. During that time it seems like far too few property management professionals and companies take time to pursue professional designations. The good thing about that is that you and your business can stand out if you, your team, and your company earn these designations. The designations will elevate your company and may allow you to charge higher fees, get better clients, grow through referrals, and become a respected expert in the community you serve. Make sure you include these designations (and some explanation of what they mean) in your website and other marketing materials.
  5. Affiliation – There is a saying, “It’s hard to soar with the eagles, when you are surrounded by turkeys.” It’s funny and cute, but there is also a lot of truth to it. To become the property management professional you want to be, you should surround yourself with others who excel – hang out with them, learn with them. Earning a designation makes you part of an elite crowd of property managers. Within that network, you can share experiences, encourage each other through tough business situations, and continue to grow professionally. Who knows? You might even become a NARPM® instructor or mentor down the road.

As the New Year approaches, you still have time to set goals and make plans to take yourself to the next level. Here are a few suggestions.

  • If you are not a NARPM® member yet, look into joining this national property management association.
  • If you are a national NARPM® member, but do not participate in a local chapter, look for one in your area to visit and then get involved.
  • If you have never participated in any of the NARPM® training, look at their online courses and webinars. These are affordable and easy to attend.
  • Attend a live event, the Broker/Owner Retreat in Las Vegas or the National Convention in October – just visit NARPM for the most current details.
  • PURSUE a professional designation. This may take some time, but you can’t finish if you don’t start. If you are mid-way through a designation process – renew your motivation and get the ball rolling again. This will give you loads of self-satisfaction and will help you reap the benefits described above.

If you have already earned one or more professional designation from NARPM® or a similar organization, share your thoughts, experiences, and encouragement below.

Dee Allomong - Director of Marketing for LandlordSourceDee Allomong has over 10 years of experience in Internet technology and strategic marketing. You can reach her at

Disclaimer: LandlordSource does not represent the article content in this website as legal advice. It is shared information only and up to the reader to use this information responsibly, seeking legal advice as necessary to their business.