Study Shows Rising Compensation Levels of Certified Property Managers and Candidates

Nov. 13, 2007
This study finds that real estate management professionals holding the CPM designation earned median total compensation of $103,000 in 2006

The Chicago-based Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) periodically surveys its Certified Property Manager® (CPM) Members and Candidates - of whom there currently are approximately 8,560 and 3,150, respectively, in the United States and abroad - to compile, analyze, and compare the most critical components of real estate managers' compensation and benefit packages.

The published survey findings provide detailed comparisons based on portfolio size, area of management specialization, and level and types of experience, and explain how each of these variables affects salary levels and the total compensation package. 

In the 2007 edition of the study, it was found that real estate management professionals holding the CPM designation earned median total compensation of $103,000 in 2006, primarily from base salary for their management duties, but also including additional income from sales and leasing commissions as well as other real-estate-related activities. By comparison, CPM designees' median total compensation was $95,000 in 2003, $83,000 in 1999, and $50,800 back in 1984. Those pursuing the CPM designation, termed CPM Candidates, earned $75,000 in median total compensation last year vs. $73,000 in 2003, $64,000 in 1999, and $35,000 back in 1984.

Other key findings of the 2007 edition of the study include:

Regionally, CPM designees and Candidates located in the Pacific Coast states earned the highest total compensation. In contrast, CPM designees in the Southwest earned the least, as did Candidates located in the Midwest/North Central region.

The average CPM designee is 49 years old, has earned a college degree, works for a full-service real estate or property management company, and averages 22.4 years of experience.

The average CPM Candidate is 42 years old, has earned a college degree, works for a full-service real estate or property management company, and averages 13.9 years of experience.

51.6 percent of CPM designees are male, whereas 62 percent of Candidates are female.

About 52 percent of CPM designees and 53 percent of Candidates, respectively, are employed by or associated with a property management division or firm of 50 or less employees. 

CPM designees typically hold executive or property manager/supervisor positions within their firms. In contrast, while many Candidates occupy more senior positions, more than 4 in 10 define themselves simply as property managers.

CPM designees and Candidates who characterized themselves as owners, partners, presidents/CEOs, and directors reported receiving considerably greater compensation than other respondents. On the other end of the spectrum, those in both groups who view themselves simply as site managers reported receiving the lowest levels of compensation.

CPM designees who work for development companies, full-service real estate companies, REITS, and investment companies typically receive higher compensation than those who work for other types of employers.

Office buildings account for the largest share of portfolios managed by CPM designees and Candidates, followed by conventionally financed apartments.

Salary and total compensation for CPM designees and Candidates usually increase with the number of residential units or commercial square feet managed.

Compensation for both CPM designees and Candidates typically increases as their age increases, up to age 60.

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