The creation of NARPM® was not one single event or the effort of one single individual. It was born out of a need for more education, validation, networking and recognition for those individuals who were fee managers of single homes in the late 1980s. The management of this type of income property had in the past been left to the part-time activities of a real estate sales agent. The individuals that were managing single-family rentals were doing so with a little embarrassment, no outside education and often isolated from other agents doing the same type of management.
The introduction of the personal computer in the real estate office made for the opportunity to change all this. The computer was able to achieve a standardization of accounting workflow for property managers in all areas of the country. Second, the computer allowed a property manager to manage many more properties than was previously possible, and with fewer staff. This enabled more property managers to make the property management of single-family homes a career.
It wasn’t long after the computer started to become standard office equipment that Ralph Tutor of Real Estate Software, Inc. started conducting productivity seminars for property managers throughout the country. These seminars would bring property managers together to learn how to operate his company’s software.
The single-family home managers found common ground on all issues within their businesses, not just the accounting software. With Ralph Tutor’s help, in 1987, an organizational meeting was held for single-family managers in Dallas, Texas. The property managers in attendance elected Ralph the first president of the newly created non-profit trade association. Although the Association struggled on many fronts in the first year, it did survive.
The early leadership put several ideas in motion that remain our focus today. A newsletter was created in 1988 and was published three times per year. Today, the Residential Resource is published eleven times per year and has become an award-winning full color news magazine. The first national convention was held in November 1989. Annual Conventions have been held in various parts of the country since then. Midyear committee meetings give the national committee members a chance to work together on the projects started at the Conventions. The Association did not stop there.
By 1991, four one-day courses had been written, designed for the professional property manager of single-family homes. The list of courses available through NARPM® has been growing ever since. Members may elect to apply their coursework towards RMP® and MPM® professional designations. The Association also offers a designation (CRMC®) for firms that manage single-family homes, and others for support staff (CSS®), bookkeepers (CRMB), and maintenance coordinators (CMC).
Enhancing the ethical behavior of the membership has always been a basic principle for NARPM®. The Code of Ethics and Standards of Professionalism were formalized and adopted In 1994 at the New Orleans Convention, and have been amended several times since. These documents help educate our membership, both new and existing, on how a professional property manager should conduct business so that all parties in the landlord-tenant relationship are satisfied. NARPM® members know that ethical behavior is the right thing to do and that it sets the stage for increased business opportunities.
Membership in late 1988 totaled only 13 members. By 1989, membership had grown to 78 members, and by the fall of 1991, membership stood at over 150. The need had arisen to develop local leadership and structure. A system of chapters was set up. The growth and success of NARPM® has been and will always be dependent on the work done by our membership at all levels of the organization. By January 1997, membership had grown to almost 1,300 members with 34 chapters in place. In 2005, NARPM® breached the 2,000 member mark with 68 chapters. Today, there are more than 5,500 members.
The future is never certain. As long as NARPM® members contribute their expertise as they have done in the past, the Association will remain strong. New projects include the improved service to the membership through online services, along with the updating and creating of courses and publications for the membership and industry. NARPM® leadership looks forward to the challenges of guiding the Association in the 21st Century with the help of each and every member.