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Licenses and Furthering Education

As a professional in the multifamily industry, I want to take my career to the highest possible level. I am getting in gear to begin a graduate program, working on becoming a licensed Real Estate salesperson, and doing as much as I can to learn and stay active. My position right now is not directly in line with property management (but closely tied), however I have worked as a leasing manager, assistant property manager, and property manager in the last 3 years.

My question to those experienced professionals out there: What source of education, certifications, and licenses do you believe to be most helpful in the world of multifamily management? How do you decide what educational institutions/programs to pursue? Any suggestions for a young professional looking to grow and become a leader in the industry?

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Nikki - Great questions! A couple of answers or at least suggestions that I would like to lend to you.
First - Are you getting a masters AND your real estate license at the same time?
My first take on this is that you are trying to get all of the education that you can so that you can appear more valuable to employers. I don't see a bio, so I don't know what city/state you are in. In some cases, it is a requirement to have your RE licensure in order to lease apartments. If that is not the case for your location, I would recommend that you pick EITHER the masters OR the RE license.

Another bit of advice about the multifamily housing industry: If the career path that you see for yourself is in operations (i.e. leasing, assistant manager, manager, regional, VP...) then NO amount of licensure and/or education is going to get you there faster than experience and proven success in your positions. Please note that I am not saying your licensure and education are useless - quite the contrary as they can provide you with the ability to take a more well-rounded approach to your work. However, this industry relies heavily on a proven track record when it comes to moving up. The fact that you have served in so many positions in the last three years can tell potential employers one of two things: 1) This gal Nikki has got it together! or 2) This gal Nikki needs to slow her roll and get some experience before I put her in a leadership position.

One thing I always tell my protoges is "Let experience happen and don't try to fast-forward your career."

As far as the credentials that potential employers in this industry are looking for: NALP, CAM, CAPS. These are nationally recognized designation programs that are geared specifically to the operations side of multifamily housing. Check in with your local apartment association for guidance on these designations. And best of luck!

  Amy Abdallah, MS HRD

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