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Apartment manager certification key issue in 2000.

New York University will offer Registered in Apartment Management (RAM) Certification in a 13-session course this fall that will give residential property mangers the best preparation available for their important job. In the course of the last 29 years, so many people have taken similar courses that the number of apartment managers with the RAM certification has soared since the certification' s creation in 1971 to more than 10,000.

Certification for residential managers is at a crossroads today -- and it is more vital than ever because of the important role the managers play in the daily lives of buildings and residents. Managers have a hand in everything from how a building's public areas are cleaned and maintained, to the management of the buildings' budgets, which can reach several million dollars. Effective multifamily managers need training in such diverse areas as personnel management, marketing, applicant screening, rent-up and resident retention, risk management, pricing, lease enforcement, evictions, security, the physical plant, strategies for cooperatives and condominiums, recycling, waste disposal, government regulations, and incentive programs.

The financial health of every building depends on having well-trained, professional managers. More importantly, however, the safety of the residents, their property, and privacy depends on building managers as well. Our barbers and hair stylists are licensed and certified. Why do we expect less from the individuals with 24-hour, seven-day access to and responsibility for our homes, property, and families?

Our organization, The Associated Builders and Owners of Greater New York (ABO), has long been a staunch supporter of RAM certification for apartment managers. We offer RAM training in the New York area through our affiliation with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), which created the national program in 1971. The program's goal is-to accredit as many property managers as possible by providing uniform training and a high degree of professionalism to the field of property management. For more than 20 years the RAM certification program has been helping property managers reach new heights in education, experience, and ethics in the field of multifamily property.

Our affiliation with NAHB is crucial. We strongly believe in the need for a national registration program that tracks RAM-certified managers and documents their work history, possible criminal prosecutions, and career successes. Without such a program, cooperative, condominium, and rental buildings have no independent means of evaluating the professionalism and capabilities of managers they hire. The manager that takes a job at a New York building today, could be the same one who was fired in Atlanta last month due to unsafe or dishonest practices.

What does RAM certification consist of? Basic RAM certification offers property managers professional training in subjects that include the following applicant screening, rent-up and resident retention, budgeting, risk management, financial operations, rent setting and strategies for cooperatives and condominiums, management of maintenance and the physical plant and personnel.

RAM-certified managers also receive benefits such as recognition of their high degree of professional competence, affiliation with the National Association of Home Builders, eligibility to seek or maintain employment with housing subject to HUD's certification requirement, training at newly-designed multifamily management schools, weekly newsletters, the quarterly Multifamily Management magazine, and an annual directory of national membership. In addition, RAM-certified managers receive a certificate that identifies them as professionals certified for residential management.

I strongly encourage apartment managers to register for New York University's (NYU) RAM Certification course this fall. It will take place every Monday between Sept. 25 and Dec. 18. Call NYU at 212- 790-1344 for additional information.

The rest of the industry can support RAM certification by reminding legislators and policy makers how important professionalism and accountability are to the multifamily industry.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Sep 13, 2000
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