Trade associations are deeply woven into the American social fabric. With some going back to the 19th Century, associations have proven to be pivotal in networking, gaining access to continuing education, earning certifications, and much more.
According to the ASAE, by 2010 there were more than 92,000 trade and professional associations in the U.S. There are trade associations and organizations for every industry imaginable, including property management.
Why You Should Join Property Management Associations
Most associations, if not all, will charge an annual membership fee. And besides that, there are other fees and costs that are charged on members. So, you may wonder if joining a property management association worth your time and money. Absolutely!
Consider the following benefits you’ll enjoy by joining a property management association:
- Gives you networking opportunities with seasoned property managers and the camaraderie that goes on among members both online and in-person.
- Annual events such as Conventions and trade shows will offer you the opportunity to meet professionals across the industry.
- Allows you to earn property management certifications and other important credentials that will enhance your credibility.
- It will increase your visibility in the property management market and industry as a whole.
- Enables you to stay up-to-date with industry trends and news.
- You’ll get the chance to stay abreast with new or changing industry regulations and legislation.
- You’ll get very important exposure to the latest technology that will help you manage properties efficiently and gain valuable business information.
- The opportunity to receive continuing education.
- Access to industry resources that will enhance your management and leadership skills.
- Gives you access to a database of experienced job applicants when you need to hire new employees.
Now that the benefits speak for themselves, let's take a look at the top five property management associations that you should join while highlighting the benefits of each.
1. Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA International)
Founded in 1907, BOMA is one of the oldest associations in existence. It is a professional association for commercial property owners and managers. Besides the 88 local associations found across American states, there are 18 international affiliates of BOMA in different countries. As stated in the BOMA website, “its mission is to advance a vibrant commercial real estate industry through advocacy, influence, and knowledge.”
BOMA has a large membership base of more than 16,500. This comprises of commercial real estate professionals such as property managers, building owners and developers, leasing professionals, asset managers and more.
BOMA offers four membership options, namely:
- Local Association Members: With this option, you can join BOMA as a federated member through one of 90 local/regional chapters.
- Member-at-Large: This membership is for property managers, building owners, or other commercial real estate professionals operating in those areas that don’t have local chapters.
- National Associate Members: This membership is for suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors who serve the commercial real estate industry such as contractors.
- International Members: This membership is for property managers and other commercial real estate professionals who operate in International Affiliate countries.
BOMA Membership Benefits
- Delivers quality development programs geared towards meeting the changing educational needs. These programs include professional development courses, custom training programs for organizations, publications, monthly luncheons for local chapters, conferences, member directory, to name a few.
- Access to continuous professional development events such as the BOMA International Conference & Expo, on-demand webinars, and other events included in its annual calendar.
- You’ll enjoy the protection of your interests through legislative advocacy efforts.
- Influence local legislature owing to its growing membership and a strong, stable financial base.
2. National Association Of Residential Property Managers (NARPM)
NARPM was founded in 1988 as an association for residential real estate professionals, as its name suggests. It started with only 13 members at the time. Its basic principle is to educate members on how a professional property manager should conduct business to ensure all parties concerned in a landlord-tenant relationship are pleased.
One of its core functions of this 5,200 member-strong association is to “offer an effective, professional learning environment for owners of property management companies and their employees.” It focuses on providing education, resources, and tools for professional residential property managers throughout the U.S. who strive to learn, succeed, and build lasting relationships.
NARPM provides a permanent trade organization for the residential property management industry including real estate managers, agents, brokers, and their personnel.
It offers four membership categories, as follows:
- Professional Members: This category is offered to licensed residential property managers or owners who have gone through the NARPM Code of Ethics training.
- Associate Members: is a category for licensed residential property managers or owners who haven’t completed NARPM’s training fit into this category.
- Support Specialist Members: This category is for the NARPM members’ office staff
- Affiliate Members: For the companies that serve the residential property management industry.
NARPM Membership Benefits
NARPM will provide you with the opportunity to earn professional designations that will positively impact your property management business. These designations are achieved through accumulated experience, education, and participating in volunteer programs.
For example, some reputable designations that you could achieve as a residential property manager are Residential Management Professional (RMP) and Master Property Manager (MPM). Besides, your property management company could achieve the designation Certified Residential Management Company (CRMC) if an MPM heads it. Undoubtedly, adding a professional designation to your name and your business will immediately boost your credibility and marketing efforts thus achieving greater success.
Other benefits of being an NARPM member include:
· Opportunities to get educated on real estate matters, as well as other mentoring and discount programs.
· Attending the NARPM Annual Convention which is one of the most significant expos for property managers.
· Participating conferences that include enlightening talks, education sessions and networking forums that will boost your professional development.
· Earn nationally recognized designations for different
· Attend events held in every state that create an opportunity to network and access the associations’ resources.
3. The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)
The ICSC was established by seven enterprising professionals in a downtown Chicago hotel back in 1957. More than 60 years later it has grown to a vibrant global community of more than 70,000 members extending across 100 different countries.
According to its website, its mission is to “ensure the retail real estate industry is broadly recognized for the integral role it plays in the social, civic and economic vibrancy of communities across the globe.” Among its core values are service, integrity, teamwork, and diversity. The main objective is to grow your career, your company, and the real estate business as a whole.
ICSC offers various membership categories based on such factors as the type of work you do, where you work and your level of education. You’ll be able to choose one among the different membership categories they offer.
ICSC membership can be beneficial for any property manager as it opens the door to information, innovation and new connections. Moreover, it offers a centralized source of information for its members. This enables them to network, access resources and builds their businesses. Being an ICSC member will help you grow your property management business.
ICSC Membership Benefits
- Meet some of the major influencers of the real estate field and get the chance to build crucial relationships with them.
- Get discounts to attend the nearly 200 annual meetings and conferences that ICSC holds.
- Gain access to a centralized source of information that includes valuable research and industry data that can help you make informed decisions that will propel you to success.
- Network and share best practices with industry leaders and experienced property managers.
- As you engage in more and more ICSC programs, activities, and initiatives your membership value increases exponentially.
- Other benefits include getting exhibition spaces during expos, travel packages, access to publications and other products and services
4. National Apartment Association
NAA is a leading voice in the rental housing industry that represents more than 81,000 member companies and the 9.6 million rental housing units they operate globally. NAA serves more than 150 affiliates. Its mission is “to serve as a trusted, preeminent resource for all stakeholders in the rental housing industry through advocacy, education, and collaboration. It envisions a world where rental housing is a valued partner in every community.”
To join NAA, you have to contact a state NAA affiliated organization in your locality to request a membership application. After submitting your completed application form together with the required dues, you automatically become an NAA member.
On becoming a member, you become entitled to a comprehensive range of strategic, educational, operational and advocacy resources available to apartment industry professionals.
NAA Membership Benefits
- Access to broad-based education and career development programs that are only provided to members. This education includes countless tools and resources for the property manager, their companies and job-seekers alike.
- Through the Open Door program, you’ll enjoy a substantial collective purchasing power and get discounts from top retailers and service providers.
- You’ll connect and network with top apartment home developers, suppliers, and other management professionals during the association’s annual conferences and expositions.
- Enjoy the Legal Assistance program which protects all members by addressing critical industry issues in courtrooms across America.
- Access unique membership services that include opportunities for career enhancement, volunteer leadership, and community involvement.
5. Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)
Founded in 1933, IREM has grown to be an international force of nearly 20,000 individuals who have come together to advance the profession of real estate management. It supports its members through every stage of their career through training, professional development, and collaboration.
IREM Credentialed Membership:
- Certified Property Manager
- Accredited Residential Manager
- Accredited Commercial Manager
- Accredited Management Organization
IREM Non-Credentialed Membership:
- Associate Members: For industry professionals who aren’t yet ready to commit to a credentialed membership.
- Academic Members: For professors of industry-related subjects.
- Student Members: For full-time college students
- CPM Candidate Members: For industry professionals actively engaged in the process of obtaining the CPM designation
IREM Membership Benefits
- You’ll get access to an unlimited supply of resources to help you improve at your real estate career and earn more business.
- You’ll get access to education that will propel you to become a more respected and marketable property manager.
- As a member, you’ll benefit from incredible discounts to this flexible professional development with classroom and online courses.
- You’ll get to meet influential market players and network with them thus laying the groundwork for future business opportunities.
Unity is Strength!
Trade associations are a living testimony that there is strength in numbers. No wonder many property managers have seen the benefit of joining not just one, but several associations. Membership to associations provides the industry with a voice both in the media and with policymakers everywhere.
The five property management associations we have discussed in this blog are open to members throughout the country and some even globally. However, there are many other local and renowned property management associations that could be an excellent fit for you. And the reason is that local organizations tend to have an in-depth knowledge of regulations and business dynamics that impact on property managers in that area. That said, it’s worth researching to establish which associations would be the best for you.