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AMO firms - setting the standard in property management for 75 years

Seventy-five years ago, IREM® certified the first 162 real estate management firms as Accredited Management Organizations, or AMOs. Since that time, property management firms seeking AMO® accreditation must meet certain standards for operations and service, from following and enforcing established company policies, to applying strict financial controls, providing adequate staffing, and maintaining a safety and security process.

Over 500 firms hold this prestigious accreditation, putting them at the top of the list for reputation, fiscal stability, exceptional management, and, above all else, ethical conduct. Several of these companies shared how the AMO certification has made a difference to their businesses, their employees, and to their clients. Here’s what they said:

Why seek AMO certification?

“I can’t think of a better way to embody credibility than through AMO certification. In the case of my current company, we wanted to show our dedication and commitment to being among the best in our industry… anywhere, in spite of being a new firm with a new approach to real estate management.  The AMO designation gave us credibility and confidence.” Barry Blanton, CPM®, Blanton Turner, AMO®

“Achieving AMO recognition is the 'gold standard' of excellence, upon which we can grow and enhance our firm’s tenant-centric style of property management. Our company’s approach is to be the leader in our peer group of medical office building owners.  We want to be the medical office building owner of choice to our healthcare partners, current and future.” David Domres, CPM®, CCIM, Physicians Realty Trust, AMO® 

“I was 23 when I got into property management, and I knew then one of the only ways to distinguish myself was through education and certification, and I became a CPM® (Certified Property Manager). When I started my property management company, I followed the same approach and knew it needed to be an Accredited Management Organization. As an AMO, we set ourselves apart in our experience, education and ethics. It also sets standards for our industry. Our newest clients recognize our standards and professionalism, and what we bring to the table.” Branden Barker, CPM®, CCIM, CSM, Barker Property Management & Commercial Real Estate, AMO® 

“We’re passionate about IREM’s focus on ethics and integrity in this industry, and felt AMO certification was a great way to showcase our commitment to the same ideals.  Also, we recognize that being an AMO firm showcases our commitment to our associates, the industry, and our clients.”  Jonathan Tucker, CPM®, Cortland, AMO® 

“Our company was motivated to seek AMO certification because although we’re a smaller firm, we were already operating under the guidelines and principles of an AMO firm (a dedicated, ethical, professional property management team with strong leadership and a sterling reputation), so completing the certification seemed only logical. Our staff deserved the validation that comes with industry-recognized standard of excellence and recognition for building trusted relationships with owners/tenants, and delivering strong performance results.” Kristy Carter, CPM®, LEED GA, Browning Investments, AMO® 

Has becoming an AMO firm changed your company’s relationship with owners? With tenants or residents? Employees? If so, how?

“We haven’t used a method to gauge this, but I do know it’s impacted our internal culture in that our people are showing how proud they are working for us. Our turnover of personnel is minimal, and many new hires have been referred by existing personnel to support our growth. COVID-19 has also shifted our focus to communication and, thanks to the resources IREM makes available to AMO firms, we found a lot of material that quickly assisted and allowed for more informative and quicker response times that our clients, tenants and residents have expressed appreciation for.” Rose Evans, CPM®, ARM®, ACM, Ayre & Oxford Inc., AMO®

“Yes, becoming an AMO pushes us daily to design, develop, and execute standard operating procedures that are best in class for the benefit of our employees, shareholders, and communities in which we do business, and for our healthcare partners.” David Domres

“Being an AMO firm has certainly changed the way our team feels about how we do what we do. AMO designation gives us a professionalism that in a way is beyond reproach, and it allows us to think outside the box of convention because we aren’t giving up that expectation of professionalism as we strive for innovation, collaboration and creativity.” Barry Blanton

And finally, do you intend to maintain AMO certification?

“Yes, we do intend to maintain our AMO status. We believe it shows our team members are ready to deliver service to the highest standards.” Rose Evans

“Absolutely. Maintaining the AMO is as important to me as maintaining the CPM. As long as my company is in existence, it will be an AMO. Don't ever think it's too soon or too late to consider going down this path. Taking the AMO coursework early after starting my company changed its trajectory. It was easy to make adjustments and set up best practices. Also, your dedication to your field and commitment to going above and beyond in your education will be recognized as you grow your client base.” Branden Barker

“Being an AMO firm is just the beginning. The partnership with IREM and its programs unlocks pathways to additional opportunities to further advance your team’s development, and your mission.” Jonathan Tucker

“Yes, we intend to maintain our AMO certification.  It’s a sound business strategy to have credentials that are internationally recognized symbols of ethical leadership and a well-managed property certified by IREM, the world’s strongest voice for all things real estate management.” Kristy Carter

“Simple answer, yes, we plan to maintain our AMO certification.  IREM continues to advance and evolve the resources available to AMOs to push operational excellence.” David Domres

“We have every intention of maintaining our AMO certification. I’ve been in this industry since 1980, and the highlight of my career was to receive a REME Award and to be named 2016 AMO of the Year by IREM.  It meant more to me than any personal accolades have meant, because it was an acknowledgement of my whole team, and acknowledging my team means more to me than any personal recognition ever could.” Barry Blanton

There you have it. These exceptional firms share common values of a commitment to operational and service excellence, and enjoy the respect that accompanies recognition as an industry leader. While so much has changed in property management over the past 75 years, one thing hasn’t – the enduring value of AMO certification.

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