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How CPM® certification launched my real estate management career

By Jasmyn Sylvester, CPM®, property manager at The Shopping Center Group, and two-time Upbeat Site Furnishings grant winner

“Using all of your resources wisely is key for growth, which opens up success. Unfortunately, most don’t realize this, and the door for opportunity stays closed.” - Lincoln Patz

Someone once told me, “Wise people ask for help when they have the resource available to them. It doesn’t make them weak; it makes them smart!” Those who become property managers more than likely happened upon this career path. Not many have sought out the controlled chaos that is property management, but once it grabs you, it’s difficult to let it go. Property management has proven to be a very promising opportunity for those seeking a career in which each day differs from the other.

About seven years ago, my now husband introduced me to the woman who would change my life forever, Dr. Debbie Phillips, CPM®, and an IREM Regional Vice President. She’s taken me under her wing, and mentored me throughout my career. Dr. Debbie is the reason why I’m an IREM believer. It was through her I understood the opportunities available to really take my career to new heights. It’s one thing to just be in the field, but it’s another to be a viable real estate management professional. I quickly understood that to do so, I must obtain CPM® certification.

That’s when I discovered the Upbeat Site Furnishings grant contest. The program was created to help people like me accelerate their careers in property management by providing $1,000 grants to be used to fund tuition and fees for IREM education. Since I was already working towards earning CPM® certification, winning the grant would help me complete the requirements.

I gave it my best shot, and won! The following year, I submitted again and won another grant, which afforded me the opportunity to finish the last step in my CPM® journey. Because of the Upbeat program, I was able to accomplish a major goal in my professional development.

Since obtaining my CPM®, and being recognized as a two-time Upbeat Site Furnishings grant winner, I’ve had the honor of becoming president-elect of my local IREM chapter in North Florida, as well as Chair of the IREM Diversity Advisory national committee. I’ve had the opportunity to build long-lasting professional relationships that have drastically enhanced the trajectory of my career. These achievements have also motivated me to advocate for the property management career path, and for IREM education.

The prestige carried by the CPM® certification, combined with the recognition I received from Upbeat Site Furnishings, places me in a class of the most qualified real estate management professionals. Now I’m finding more opportunity to reach the next professional level.

I’m a strong believer in the Upbeat Site Furnishings partnership with IREM. Not only have these organizations been a resource for my professional career, now I’m a walking billboard for anything related to them. I’ll continue to sing the praises of this unique collaboration.

The 4th annual Upbeat Site Furnishings grant contest is open for submissions. Budding real estate managers are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to receive a $1000 grant toward an IREM course or exam fee in 2020 or 2021. Submissions will close June 5.


I have been managing real estate for over 15 years now and would love to get my CPM! I would greatly appreciate any info as to how to applying for the grant. Thank you for your time!


Hi Kelly! Its great to have you interested in the CPM! The Upbeat Grant program typically accepts applications in the spring -- if offered again we'll be sure to distribute information about it so you can apply. In the meantime, the IREM Foundation offers scholarships for those members seeking certification, so we encourage you to check out that as an option! Thanks and Happy New Year!


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