The Education and Knowledge Products (EKP) Committee plays a key role in driving the development and delivery of IREM content and learning offerings, which take many forms.
Historically, this group of committee members has guided IREM content, including our core certification courses, Journal of Property Management articles, publications such as the Glossary of Real Estate Management Terms, and episode themes for IREM’s podcast series, From the Front Lines.
In addition to our long-standing core content, IREM has begun to offer shorter-form learning over the last two years, which results in the learner earning a digital badge—the IREM Skill Badge. These completion indicators can then be displayed in the learner’s digital signature and professional profiles, such as on LinkedIn. The digital badge authenticates a real estate professional’s achievement in completing an IREM Skill Badge, and it’s available for supervisors, colleagues, clients, tenants, and prospective employers to see.
Digital badging has become increasingly popular over the last several years, as individuals engage in professional development of varying lengths and formats. While digital badges are typically known by their externally facing image design, they also contain metadata, or embedded information on the badges’ purpose and meaning. This level of information typically includes details such as the learner who earned the badge, the organization that issued the badge, what criteria were met to achieve the badge, whether the badge expires, and so forth.
IREM Skill Badges never expire and are career-advancing courses that cover a specific content area. They take about a half-day to complete in the self-paced environment. They‘re also video-driven, with our esteemed IREM instructors and industry experts teaching relevant content. They include activities and reflections, and a 50- or 100-question exam must be passed to earn the badge.
These badges allow property managers to build skills without the commitment or experience and portfolio requirements of, say, the Accredited Residential Manager (ARM), Accredited Commercial Manager (ACoM), or Certified Property Manager (CPM) certification programs.
Our early skill badges focused on the core competency areas in which property managers seek professional development—maintenance and risk management, marketing, and leasing. During the pandemic, a Managing Distressed Properties Skill Badge was released with significant adoption, as real estate managers dealt with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and sought new management opportunities for their firms.
Fair housing is for everyone
More recently, IREM has focused on providing new skill badges for a broad audience of learners. A low price point and self-paced format also make them suitable for entire teams to access.
The Fair Housing Skill Badge touches on all aspects of property operations, providing teams with consistent, clear policies related to Fair Housing laws. Learners are guided through real-life scenarios, and engaging self-paced activities increase their knowledge of Fair Housing compliance, protected classes, and common issues. All of this knowledge culminates in a more confident property manager who can better serve residents.
DEI opens doors
As part of our organizational value of inclusion, earlier this year, IREM was thrilled to release a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Skill Badge specifically tailored for the property management industry—the first of its kind.
This skill badge addresses critical components of diversity such as race and ethnicity, LGBTQ+ issues, gender, generational diversity, and employees, residents, and tenants with disabilities. It guides property managers and their teams in applying best practices for building equity and greater inclusion in both the organization and at the property level.
Skill badges for all
By the end of 2022, IREM will have eight skill badges to offer the real estate management industry. These digital badges are highly relevant for both early-career real estate managers, such as the Budgeting and Accounting Skill Badge, and for managers of all roles and experiences levels, such as the DEI and Building Technology Skill Badges.
IREM’s EKP Committee continues to help managers everywhere build their skills in various areas to meet the day-to-day and one-of-a-kind challenges of their industry.