Are You Missing Out on IREM? An Interview with Clarity Commercial Founder Mel Schultz, CPM®

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If you’re serious about your property management career, membership in the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) is absolutely essential. It’s your gateway to building relationships with peers, and industry partners as well as training on the innovations happening in our industry here in Minnesota and around the world. No other real estate group does it better than IREM! Clarity Commercial Mel Schultz, CPM®, is here to tell you why.

What is IREM?

IREM is an international organization of real estate management professionals. We have more than 20,000 members across the globe and more than 330 members in the Minnesota chapter alone. IREM’s tagline is “those who manage to make a difference,” and the organization’s mission is to support property managers through education, professional development, and collaboration with other industry professionals.

IREM welcomes college students, young professionals, and industry veterans who want to advance their career in property management. If that describes you, I’d love to hear from you!

Mel, you’re passionate about what IREM does. How did you get started in the organization?

Quite simply, without IREM, I could not do my job as a property manager up to my personal standards and those of my industry. Today, 80 percent of the contractors I partner with are supporters or members of IREM. It’s given me the opportunity to build relationships here in Minnesota and across the country, including Texas and California.

I joined my local chapter when I started in the property management industry in 2003. I earned my Certified Property Manager (CPM®) designation in 2007. By then, I had experienced the value of membership first hand and joined several committees, attended multiple events, and served on my chapter’s leadership team, which led to the role of president in 2014.

In 2015, I was asked to join the national governing council for IREM —what an honor! I was privileged to serve as the Regional Vice President of Region 9. Region 9 covers the IREM Chapters in Minnesota, Illinois, and Wisconsin for a 2-year term:  2016 and 2017.  Currently I serve as a Member-At-Large on the National Executive Committee.

Wow! That sounds like a big role. What do you like most about serving the organization at the regional level?

Being RVP is said to be “the best volunteer position in IREM!” Volunteering at the regional or national level gives you a deep understanding of why IREM is the Leader in Real Estate Management Industry.  I able to work with leaders from each chapter in the region (as well as leaders across the world) and help them improve how their chapters are run and ultimately, to help them grow their chapters.

It also offered me a good look at what IREM does to support its members on a global level. IREM is heavily involved in lobbying for policy that affects the real estate industry. It also provides ample opportunity for personal and professional growth.

Can you describe some of those opportunities for personal and professional growth through IREM?

Sure! In addition to a variety of recurring and annual events to help members build their skills and make connections. IREM offers four designations. These are designations members volunteer to pursue that indicate they implement industry best practices in their property management business.

The flagship designation is the Certified Property Manger designation, or CPM®. It is for individuals who are property management professionals. This is the designation I pursued in my early years with IREM. It unlocks the opportunity to serve on leadership within IREM.

In addition to CPM®, IREM offers Accredited Residential Manager (ARM®) and Accredited Commercial Manager (ACoM) for individuals. The Accredited Management Organization (AMO®) designation is for companies. It requires a company leader to have the ARM® or ACoM accreditation.

How can property managers learn more about IREM or join the organization?

Attend one of our events! On April 4, a speaker from the national council will speak on the value of the CPM® and how property managers can earn it. It will be held at Minneapolis Event Centers on St. Anthony Main in Minneapolis. You won’t want to miss it!

Of course, you can always reach out to me or Minnesota chapter president Charles Meadows. I’d love to share how IREM could help you take your career to the next level.