Six community managers from the Orange County division recently earned their ARM (Accredited Residential Manager) certificate from IREM, an international community of real estate professionals dedicated to promoting superior management through education. The ARM program requires an application, takes place over five days and is broken down into four courses: Managing the Physical Asset; Leadership and Human Resources Essentials; Investment Real Estate: Financial Tools; and Marketing and Leasing: Multifamily Properties.
“The biggest impact for me was that we were given the opportunity to take the course,” says Sherry Perez, community manager at Village Green. The ARM program comes with the hefty price tag of $850, but Essex, through their Education Reimbursement program, offers tuition reimbursement for employees looking to continue their education. The community managers that participated in the ARM program paid a total of $0 in tuition.
Sherry credits her former Regional Portfolio Manager (RPM), now Director of Culture and Engagement, James Anderson for encouraging her to take the course. James, an IREM certificate owner himself, reached out to his managers and got six of them to participate in the program. He is currently furthering his education by pursuing a certificate in Strategic Decision-Making at Stanford University. “That’s even more motivating,” says Sherry.
Even with a wealth of industry experience, 12 years to be exact, Sherry found value in continuing her education: “Sometimes people don’t know how important it is to continue to take classes. I look forward to more training.” A bit overwhelmed at first after seeing the size of her textbooks and with a full-time job, Sherry was ultimately more compelled by her desire for self-growth, “I felt taking this course would increase my leadership, self-knowledge, and better myself as a manger.”
Additionally, Sherry cherished the opportunity she and her colleagues had to learn from each other: “We got feedback, exchanged ideas and built a rapport with one another.” The course included detailed case studies and common issues that even had the most tenured managers learning new tricks. “Essex took care of us and our peers,” noted Sherry, “Other companies I’ve worked for didn’t offer the opportunity to further your education. I’m looking at more classes now.”