Top 10 Property Specialist Certifications
This article provides an overview of the top certifications available for property specialists looking to enhance their skills and knowledge.
Updated 17 min read
Certifications are important for a property specialist in the job market because they demonstrate a level of expertise and knowledge that employers look for when evaluating candidates. A certification provides proof of an individual's commitment to their profession and their dedication to staying up-to-date on the latest industry trends, best practices, and regulations. This can give employers confidence in their ability to manage properties effectively, efficiently, and safely. Furthermore, certifications can open doors to higher salaries or other career opportunities since some employers prefer or require certified professionals. Ultimately, certifications are a valuable asset for property specialists looking to stand out from the competition and gain recognition in the job market.
The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the top certifications for Property Specialists and explain how they can help enhance a property specialist's career.
What are Property Specialist Certifications?
Property specialist certification is a professional designation that is earned by completing a specialized course of study and passing an examination. This certification is designed to demonstrate a level of expertise in the field of real estate and property management, which includes understanding legal regulations, financial analysis, marketing, tenant relations, and more.
The goal of this certification is to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively manage properties. With this certification, property specialists can be better equipped to handle all aspects of a real estate transaction from start to finish. They will understand how to evaluate potential investments; analyze market trends; understand the legal implications of various transactions; develop marketing strategies; negotiate terms with tenants; create budgets; and much more.
By having this certification, property specialists can be more attractive candidates for prospective employers as they have demonstrated their deep knowledge in the subject matter. Furthermore, they are better prepared to handle any challenges that may arise during their work as they have a deeper understanding of the industry. Finally, having this credential provides individuals with access to additional resources and networking opportunities within their profession that can help them further their career prospects.
Pro Tip: Consider obtaining a property specialist certification to increase your credibility and expertise in the field. Many certifications are available, such as those from the National Association of Realtors or the American Society of Appraisers, and will demonstrate your commitment to staying current with industry trends and best practices.
Related: What does a Property Specialist do?
Top 10 Property Specialist Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Property Specialists today.
1. Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB)
Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB) is a professional designation awarded by the Real Estate Business Institute (REBI). The CRB designation is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and experience in real estate brokerage management. It is one of the most prestigious designations in the real estate industry, and it signifies that an individual has achieved a mastery of the business side of real estate.
The CRB program requires successful completion of three courses: Principles of Real Estate Management, Brokerage Management, and Professional Standards. Each course must be taken separately, and all three must be completed within two years. The courses are offered online or in person at various locations throughout the United States.
To obtain the CRB designation, applicants must have at least five years’ experience as a licensed real estate broker or manager and pass an exam administered by REBI. Applicants must also complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years to maintain their certification status.
The cost for obtaining the CRB designation varies depending on the courses selected and where they are taken. Generally speaking, each course costs between $400-$500 per credit hour, with a total cost between $1,200-$1,500 for all three courses combined. Additionally, there is an application fee of $250 to apply for the certification exam and a separate fee for taking the exam itself ($350).
2. Certified Property Manager (CPM)
Certified Property Manager (CPM) is a professional designation awarded by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). It is the highest standard of professional achievement in property management. The CPM designation recognizes individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge, experience, and dedication essential to the practice of real estate management.
To become a Certified Property Manager, an individual must meet certain educational and experience requirements and pass a comprehensive examination. To qualify for certification, applicants must have at least five years of full-time experience in property management or related fields, including two years in a supervisory role. They must also complete IREM's CPM Candidate Program which consists of two courses: Financial Decisions in Real Estate Management and Leadership & Strategy in Real Estate Management.
The program typically takes six to nine months to complete. The cost for the program varies depending on whether you take it online or in person; generally it ranges from $2,000 to $3,000 USD. Once you have completed the program, you will be eligible to take the CPM exam which costs an additional $500 USD. Upon passing the exam, you will receive your CPM designation from IREM.
3. Accredited Land Consultant (ALC)
Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) is a professional designation awarded by the Realtors Land Institute (RLI). It is the highest level of recognition for land professionals in the real estate industry. ALCs are recognized as experts in their field and are held to a higher standard of knowledge and experience than other real estate professionals.
It typically takes about two years to earn the ALC designation, depending on how quickly you can complete the necessary coursework and examinations. To become an ALC, you must first be a member of RLI and have at least five years of experience in land-related activities. You must also complete three courses offered by RLI: Principles of Real Estate Investment Analysis, Land Use Planning & Development, and Real Estate Finance & Investment Analysis. Once these courses have been completed, you must pass a comprehensive exam administered by RLI.
The cost to become an ALC varies depending on your membership status with RLI. If you are already a member, it will cost $1,200 for the three required courses plus the exam fee. If you are not yet a member, there is an additional $150 membership fee that must be paid before enrolling in any courses or taking the exam.
Once you have earned your ALC designation, there is an annual renewal fee of $100 that must be paid each year to maintain your status as an accredited land consultant.
4. Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) is a designation awarded by the Residential Real Estate Council (RRC) to experienced real estate agents who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement in residential real estate. The CRS designation is recognized as the symbol of excellence in residential real estate and is held by less than 4% of all Realtors® nationwide.
In order to obtain the CRS designation, an agent must complete a minimum of 30 hours of coursework, pass a comprehensive exam, and meet certain experience requirements. The coursework focuses on topics such as marketing strategies, technology tools, and financial analysis. In addition, agents must have closed at least 50 transactions or $20 million in sales volume within the past five years in order to qualify for the CRS designation.
The cost of obtaining the CRS designation varies depending on the courses taken and other factors. Generally speaking, it will cost between $500-$1,000 to take all of the necessary courses and exams required for certification.
Overall, obtaining the CRS designation can be a great way for experienced real estate agents to demonstrate their expertise and commitment to excellence. It can also help them stand out from other agents in their market and attract more clients.
5. Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS)
Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) is a professional designation awarded by the National Association of Realtors to real estate professionals who specialize in international real estate transactions. The CIPS designation is designed to give real estate agents, brokers, and other professionals an edge in the global marketplace.
To obtain the CIPS designation, applicants must complete five full-day courses, pass an exam for each course, and have at least three years of experience in international real estate transactions. The courses focus on topics such as global markets, international finance, cross-cultural relationships, and legal considerations in international transactions.
The cost of obtaining the CIPS designation varies depending on the provider. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 for all five courses and exams.
6. Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE)
Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE) is a certification program offered by the Real Estate Negotiation Institute. It is designed to help real estate professionals become better negotiators in order to increase their success in closing deals. The certification program takes approximately 10-12 hours to complete and includes an online course, exam, and post-course assessment.
The RENE certification program covers topics such as negotiation strategies, communication techniques, market analysis, and legal considerations. Upon completion of the course, participants will receive a certificate of completion as well as a RENE designation.
The cost of the RENE certification program varies depending on the provider offering it but typically ranges between $200-$400 USD.
7. Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR)
Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR) is a designation given to real estate professionals who have completed specialized training in representing buyers in real estate transactions. The ABR designation is administered by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC), an affiliate of the National Association of Realtors.
The ABR designation requires completion of a two-day course, which covers topics such as buyer representation agreements and contracts, working with buyers, and marketing to buyers. After completing the course, applicants must pass an exam to receive their ABR designation.
It typically takes about two weeks for applicants to receive their results after taking the exam. To be eligible for the ABR designation, applicants must have been practicing real estate for at least three years or have taken 30 hours of approved real estate courses.
The cost of obtaining an ABR designation varies depending on where you take the course and how many courses you need to complete in order to be eligible. Generally speaking, it costs between $500 and $1,000 to obtain an ABR designation.
8. Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM)
Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) is a designation awarded by the CCIM Institute, an affiliate of the National Association of Realtors. The CCIM designation is recognized as the global standard for commercial and investment real estate expertise. It is designed to provide real estate professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand and analyze complex real estate investments.
The CCIM designation requires completion of a rigorous educational program, successful completion of a comprehensive examination, and demonstration of professional experience in commercial investment real estate. The program consists of four core courses: financial analysis, market analysis, user decision analysis, and investment analysis.
It typically takes three to five years to complete the education requirements for the CCIM designation. To get started, individuals must become members of the CCIM Institute and pay an application fee. After that they must complete all four core courses within five years and pass a comprehensive exam administered by the institute in order to receive their designation.
The cost to obtain a CCIM designation varies depending on whether you are an existing member or not. For existing members, it typically costs around $2,500 in total fees which includes tuition for each course ($1,200 per course), exam fees ($450), annual membership dues ($150) plus other miscellaneous fees such as technology fees ($50). For non-members it can be slightly more expensive due to additional application fees.
9. Real Estate Exchange Specialist (REES)
Real Estate Exchange Specialists (REES) are professionals who specialize in the exchange of real estate. They are knowledgeable about the IRS 1031 exchange rules and regulations, as well as local and state laws that affect real estate exchanges.
It typically takes between two to four weeks to become a REES after completing the necessary training and passing the exam. To become a REES, you must first complete an approved course of study on 1031 exchanges and pass an exam administered by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The NAR also requires applicants to have at least three years of experience in real estate transactions or related fields.
The cost to become a REES varies depending on the state you live in, but it typically ranges from $200-$500. This includes the cost of taking the exam, as well as any additional fees associated with becoming certified.
Once you have passed your exam and been certified as a REES, you will be able to provide advice and guidance to clients looking to engage in 1031 exchanges for their real estate investments.
10. Green Designation for Sustainable Development and Construction
Green Designation for Sustainable Development and Construction is a certification program that recognizes organizations and individuals who demonstrate knowledge, experience, and commitment to sustainable development and construction practices.
The Green Designation is awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and requires applicants to complete an extensive course of study in green building principles, including energy efficiency, water conservation, materials selection, indoor air quality, and site design. The program also includes a comprehensive exam that tests applicants’ knowledge of green building practices.
The process of obtaining the Green Designation typically takes between three to six months depending on the applicant’s prior experience with green building principles. Applicants must first register with the USGBC in order to gain access to the online study materials. Once registered, applicants will have access to various learning modules which cover topics such as energy efficiency, water conservation, materials selection, indoor air quality, and site design. After completing all of the modules and passing the comprehensive exam with a score of 75% or higher, applicants will be eligible for the Green Designation.
The cost for obtaining the Green Designation varies depending on whether or not an applicant has already completed LEED-specific training courses or not. For those who have not taken any LEED-specific courses prior to applying for the designation, there is an application fee of $350 plus additional fees associated with taking each module ($50 per module). For those who have already taken LEED-specific courses prior to applying for the designation, there is only an application fee of $150 plus additional fees associated with taking each module ($50 per module).
Do You Really Need a Property Specialist Certificate?
The answer to this question depends on your individual situation and goals. For those who are already in the real estate industry or plan to become a property specialist, obtaining a Property Specialist Certificate is likely to be beneficial. This certificate will demonstrate that you have taken the necessary steps to gain knowledge and experience in the field of real estate, which can help you stand out from other candidates when applying for jobs or promotions. It can also provide you with access to special resources, such as exclusive conferences and seminars, which may be helpful in furthering your career.
For those just starting out in the real estate industry or considering entering it, a Property Specialist Certificate may not be necessary. Depending on your goals and interests, you could consider obtaining certifications in related fields (such as mortgage brokering or insurance) or taking courses at a local college that offer an introduction to real estate principles. These options may help broaden your understanding of the industry while providing more specific skills than what would be gained from a general Property Specialist Certificate.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether obtaining a Property Specialist Certificate is right for you. Weighing the benefits against the cost and effort involved can help you make an informed decision that best fits your needs.
Related: Property Specialist Resume Examples
FAQs About Property Specialist Certifications
Q1: What is a Property Specialist Certification?
A1: A Property Specialist Certification is a professional certification that recognizes an individual’s expertise in the field of property management. It demonstrates to employers and clients that the individual has the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage residential, commercial, or industrial properties.
Q2: What are the benefits of obtaining a Property Specialist Certification?
A2: Obtaining a Property Specialist Certification can help individuals demonstrate their commitment to their profession and enhance their job prospects by demonstrating their knowledge and expertise in property management. Additionally, it can provide them with access to exclusive industry opportunities and resources.
Q3: What qualifications do I need to become certified as a Property Specialist?
A3: The qualifications required for certification vary depending on the certifying organization, but typically include knowledge of property management principles, laws, regulations, and procedures; ability to analyze financial statements; familiarity with marketing principles; understanding of risk management strategies; strong communication skills; and experience working with tenants or customers.
Q4: How long does it take to obtain a Property Specialist Certification?
A4: The length of time it takes to obtain a certification depends on the certifying organization's requirements. Generally speaking, certification programs require applicants to complete coursework or training, pass an exam, and meet other requirements such as work experience or continuing education hours.
Q5: How much does it cost to get certified as a Property Specialist?
A5: The cost of obtaining a certification varies depending on the certifying organization. Generally speaking, fees may include application fees, exam fees, educational materials costs (if applicable), and other associated costs.