By Jeffrey S. Lapin, CPM, DREI
Property Managers are a busy bunch. We are most often two steps behind trying to catch up with collections, lease enforcement, leasing space, overseeing maintenance and capital improvements, reporting to clients, etc. So it’s no wonder why we often neglect our own careers in the meantime. It’s easy to be so busy doing the job, taking care of the family and finances and so forth that we forget about our own development and advancement.
Are you investing in yourself? Do you set aside time each month to advance your knowledge and your career? Or do you, like most of us, just keep plugging along figuring all your good work will payoff someday with a better job, more money or whatever your personal goals are? I have a newsflash for those of you who fit that description – if you don’t invest in your own career through post-graduate education, professional development, certifications and training, no one else will do it for you.
I’m sure that you already know that, but I’m equally sure that you’re asking how you can fit professional development into your crazy schedule. The answer is IREM. IREM exists to help those of us in commercial real estate (multi-family, office, industrial, etc.) to invest in our own careers and advance in the industry.
Through a variety of local events and seminars, certification classes hosted locally for the national IREM organization, webinars and on-line classes and a great website that you have access to, IREM is there to help the busy property management professional invest in him/herself. The local events put on by your IREM chapter include luncheon networking and featured speakers on topics 100% relevant to the commercial property manager. They’re fun and a great way to meet fellow industry professionals from our local area. Networking is a crucial skill to have, especially when you find yourself “between opportunities”.
The CPM® and ARM® designations, awarded to IREM members who have successfully completed a set of curricular course work, are highly valued in our industry by property owners and those who make hiring decisions at property management firms. These designations say that you are not just a property manager but that you are a Property Management Professional who has advanced to the highest levels in our business. These designations can often differentiate you from other candidates for the same job or promotion.
Similarly, the on-line learning opportunities at IREM recognize the difficulty of attending events and classes. They allow you to learn on your schedule and to work toward those valued designations. The IREM website (www.irem.org) is a fabulous resource that gives members access to forms, procedures, articles from practitioners and other aids. And it’s FREE for members! And while these on-line resources are a great way to advance and learn, the personal interaction with fellow industry professionals at classes and events is priceless.
If you are interested in investing in your professional real estate career through IREM, I encourage you to visit the website and explore the options available. I also encourage you to visit your local IREM chapter’s website for local events and classes.
You will reap benefits far beyond your investment in yourself – I know I have.