What Does RAM Mean in Property Management and How To Become One?
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What Does RAM Mean in Property Management and How To Become One?

Date Written: 09/21/2022

Last Updated: 09/21/2022


Property Management

There are numerous ways of learning property management. Getting more certifications or degrees sets you apart from competitors and shows you are dedicated to your field. Beyond a diploma from an academic institution, advanced credentials demonstrate your commitment to learning and growing in your field.

One of the credentials you should consider is RAM. But what does RAM mean in property management? And, how do you become one? This article will answer those questions and more, so let's dive right in.

The Importance of Credentials in Property Management

Nowadays, credentials are more important than ever for multifamily property management firms. According to a poll conducted by L.E.K., a leading global management consulting firm, 86% of executives in the property management industry consider employee credentials to be "very important." The advantages of earning a property management certification include the following:

Get the Groundwork in Place

Getting a certification will teach you all you need to know about your job, from regulations and practices to performance techniques and problem-solving. As a result, you'll have a far better grasp of what's necessary to do well in your profession.

Grow in Favor With Potential Employers

You'll stand out from the crowd once you've earned your credentials. It reveals superior skills and a serious dedication to the field of property management. In a recent poll, about half (54%) of property management firms reported a preference for hiring candidates with relevant credentials.

Make Progress in Your Career

Having a credential in property management shows that you are committed to your career and have the knowledge and abilities to succeed. According to 67% of the participants in a survey, employers often consider credentials when making hiring, promotion, or pay decisions.

What Is RAM?

RAM stands for Registered in Apartment Management, an extensive educational and designation program offered by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to property management professionals. Apartment, condo, and coop property managers can all benefit from having the RAM certification, as it is the most highly regarded and longstanding program of its kind.

What Is the RAM Program For?

Those who have earned the RAM credential have demonstrated proficiency in all facets of property management, such as marketing, maintenance, resident services, security, administrative and financial management, and fair housing, and have thus earned the right to be recognized as experts in the field. They have proven their ability to apply the skills and knowledge gained in the classroom to the real world, improving their professionalism and effectiveness.

The RAM certification can help propel your professional career by providing prospective employers and regulatory bodies with a quantitative evaluation of your knowledge and experience in apartment management.

What's in It for You to Become a RAM?

Obtaining the RAM credential shows that you have gone above and beyond in your education and training, have extensive knowledge and expertise in the field, and are dedicated to maintaining the highest levels of professional ethics in your work.

The expertise and dedication emphasized by RAM credentials are valued by building owners, condo and co-op boards, management companies, and other government authorities. These organizations, along with many others, are always on the lookout for talented individuals to fill crucial roles.

Here are some of the benefits of the RAM credential:

  • A press kit commemorating your graduation from RAM, complete with an official diploma and an example press release to share with local media.
  • Respected status as a competent professional amongst peers in the industry.
  • A spot in the RAM online directory.
  • The privilege of including the RAM name and logo on all promotional materials.
  • Training in every aspect of property management, plus options for further study and Advanced RAM Certification.
  • The opportunity to join RAM working groups and run for a seat on the RAM Board of Governors.
  • A chance to be named "RAM of the Year." 

How To Earn the RAM Designation

To get the title of "Registered in Apartment Management," you'll need to prove that you have met all the RAM Board of Governors' requirements for education, experience, and ethical conduct in the field. Among the necessary conditions are:

  • Minimum of two years experience in managing multifamily housing
  • Successfully completing a RAM Professional Profile with a score of 300 or higher
  • Score at least 70% on the national RAM Exam
  • Follow the RAM Code of Ethics

Tips to Become a RAM

Here are some pointers to help you attain the RAM designation while preparing for and taking the exam.

Before the RAM Exam

The RAM Course was established by ABO to give candidates a headstart on studying for the RAM Exam. If your local or state home builders' organization has a valid site license agreement from the NAHB University of Housing, you can enroll in the RAM Course through them.

The RAM Course is a comprehensive 40-hour in-class training that addresses all facets of property management, including:

  • Development
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Customer Service
  • Leasing and Resident Retention
  • Financial Management
  • Maintenance
  • Risk Management
  • Fair Housing
  • Military
  • Government Assisted and Insured Housing Programs

As an alternative, the NAHB University of Housing and Multifamily has introduced a self-paced online course to help more people in the property management industry earn the RAM certification. This option is an additional resource for studying for the exam and does not take the place of the standard 40-hour RAM course.

During the RAM Exam

You can improve your exam performance by applying the following test-taking strategies:

  • Take the time to read and follow the instructions as closely as possible.
  • Use time wisely. Keep moving on with your exam. Make sure you don't spend too much time worrying about a question you can't answer.
  • At a minimum, read each question twice. This clarifies the nature of the problem and the answer sought.
  • Before making a decision, read all of the choices carefully. Only one of them (the answer) is right; the others are there to distract you. Common misunderstandings that can sound plausible to a student taking the RAM exam who does not have a firm grasp on the subject matter are often found in the wrong choices.
  • Read each answer choice cautiously to look for hints at possible solutions. For instance, take careful note of conditions like EXCEPT, LEAST, and NOT, since these may provide crucial hints to the correct answer. When one of these terms appears in a question, it indicates that three choices represent a "yes" and that the fourth option, "no," is the answer.
  • If you came up with multiple possible answers, rank them in order of quality and pick the one that best addresses the question posed by the stem. Review the options with a critical eye for detail.

The Bottom Line

Standing out is crucial in the cutthroat real estate market. There is a lot of weight in a property manager's qualifications. Gaining credentials is an excellent way to bolster your knowledge, credibility, and professional opportunities. It speaks about your skill level, experience, and what aspects of the profession you specialize in.

Earning the RAM credential is a great way to demonstrate your competence and suitability for a career in apartment management. This article has shared several tips to become a RAM. If you’ve been thinking about getting this designation, we hope that we have pointed you in the right direction.

In addition to pursuing this certification, you should explore tools that can help you streamline your property management processes. Learn more about our ExactEstate property management software and schedule a demo today.

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