You’ve worked hard to establish yourself in a new career in commercial real estate. You’ve received great on-the-job training, and you’ve even started pursing professional development to enhance your knowledge. Now…how do you prove that you’re ready to take your career to the next level?
The answer to opening new doors in your career could be as easy as four letters. At long last, the commercial real estate industry has a professional certification that provides early recognition for foundational knowledge and guides the next generation of property professionals toward greater career success: the Certified Manager of Commercial Properties™, or CMCP™. The CMCP is designed for early-career property professionals who want a competitive advantage in the workplace, and—as readers will shortly see—it’s also already proving valuable for supervisors looking for the best and brightest talent.
THE GENESIS OF CMCP
In 2018, BOMA International and BOMI International partnered to conduct an exhaustive job task analysis of the commercial property management profession. Out of this analysis came a competency model and body of knowledge for the profession. Not only did this analysis map out the facets of the property manager role, but it also revealed that there was no clear professional development path for emerging professionals who wanted to grow in their careers. BOMA and BOMI, as industry leaders in commercial real estate education and training, knew they were uniquely positioned to fill this market need and immediately set out to do so.
After nearly a year of groundwork, BOMA and BOMI Certification, Inc., announced the creation of an independent credentialing body, the Commercial Real Estate Certification Institute, affectionately known as CRECI. CRECI (pronounced CRESS-ee) launched in July 2019 with its CMCP certification, which has been designed to steer professionals toward greater responsibility and recognition in their commercial real estate careers.
Unlike designations, which are education based, certifications like the CMCP are competency based. To obtain a designation like the Real Property Administrator (RPA), for instance, students receive their course book, participate in classes and eventually test the knowledge they’ve gained in these courses. On the other hand, a certification has qualification requirements and a competency-based exam, but no prescribed courses. So, how does that work for the CMCP?
HOW TO APPLY
To achieve the CMCP certification, candidates first must qualify and apply. Candidates need to meet minimum relevant professional experience requirements. How much experience is required depends on an applicant’s educational background: Someone with a four-year degree needs one year of property management experience; a candidate with a two-year degree needs two years in the field; and an applicant with no degree needs four years of experience. CRECI reviews and validates applications using academic transcripts and employment verification.
Candidates also are required to have at least 30 hours of verifiable continuing education or training in commercial property management from any source. One great source is BOMA and BOMI’s new online CMCP Exam Prep Course. More on that in a moment.
Other sources of qualifying training could be: BOMA International’s Foundations of Real Estate Management, classes from BOMI International and those offered by BOMA local associations. Candidates also can look to real estate licensing courses; corporate training programs; and those offered by other associations in commercial real estate.
Once candidates meet the CMCP requirements and apply, they’ll receive approval to take the CMCP’s competency-based exam. After passing the exam, they’ll be able to use the CMCP certification after their name.
PREPARING FOR THE EXAM
The CMCP exam is based on rigorous standards and ongoing research. Exam questions reflect the aforementioned body of knowledge necessary for a successful career in commercial property management and the latest industry best practices. Questions fall into a number of competency domains:
- Business of the building, including accounting principles; financial management and reporting; and lease management and execution;
- Building operations and management, which involves building systems; contract strategies; property management; project and contract management; security; risk management; capital projects; regulatory and voluntary compliance; and ethical best practices;
- Building relationships with owners, occupants, staff, vendors and asset managers; as well as professional networking; civic involvement; and media relations; and
- Integrated competencies, including innovation, service orientation, organization and communication.
As previously mentioned, candidates must have at least 30 hours of commercial real estate training to qualify for the exam. One way to both fulfill this 30-hour requirement and prepare for the exam in one easy step is to take BOMA and BOMI’s CMCP Exam Prep Course. It’s a self-paced course conveniently offered online, complete with practice exams and quizzes to test knowledge both before and after the course. The digital course book is comprised of seven sections reflecting the domains of the CMCP exam and features functionality to allow students to search, highlight and create study aids, such as digital flash cards.
HOW DOES THE CMCP HELP YOU?
First and foremost, the CMCP provides property professionals with early-career recognition and independent validation of their skills and abilities. Having those four letters after their name instantly communicates a property professional’s ability to be an effective property manager with a strong understanding of the responsibilities of the role. It also increases their value to their companies, signaling to employers that they have the potential to advance and grow. And, it demonstrates their commitment and dedication to their profession.
But, it is current CMCPs who can best speak to the value of the certification. Mick Newell, CMCP, CPM, is a property manager for Washington Holdings in Seattle, who earned his certification in July. "The CMCP sets me apart from other property managers and gives me the confidence and knowledge to more effectively communicate with owners, tenants and prospective tenants at my building," he says.
Liliana Leon, CMCP, an assistant general manager with JLL in Chicago, agrees. "The CMCP gives my employer and clients the confidence of knowing they’re receiving the best managerial representation and expertise available. My hope is that this certification will bolster my résumé for years to come, provide confirmation of my industry knowledge and increase my earning potential."
WHY EMPLOYERS LIKE THE CMCP
Supervisors also are finding that the CMCP is a great tool to make sure their entire team excels and thrives. The CMCP can assist employers with onboarding new property managers and assessing both industry knowledge and career potential, uncovering areas where more training and experience may be needed. It also can help evaluate a property manager’s readiness for new responsibilities and career advancement, as well as identify employees who are serious about a career in commercial property management and may be candidates for additional investment in training and education.
Most important for an industry looking to attract and retain the best and brightest talent, the CMCP helps boost employee retention by identifying a career path in commercial property management and providing early recognition for achievement and knowledge.
TAKE THE NEXT STEP
For early-career property professionals, the CMCP can serve as an important distinction in their careers and provide that extra advantage in the workforce. It’s an opportunity to show employers what you know and the skills you offer. If you want to add significant value as an employee and move your career forward, then earning the CMCP certification is a must.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, learn more about the CMCP certification at www.creci.org.