Pamela Monroe, the organization president, said in a statementrecently that high-credentialed managers usually have theexperience needed to inject value back into distressed propertiesby protecting income streams, controlling expenses, positioning forbest return-on-investment and best-price achievement. "Simplystated, they know how to salvage, maintain, reshape and remarketwhat is expected to be an enormous pool of troubled real estateassets."

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Industry leaders agree. Rick Chichester, US president ofColliers International, tells GlobeSt.com that good managers areneeded more than ever, because, in this economic downturn, theindustry will be turning more toward basic fundamentals to evaluateproperties. "Owners are going to have to rely on propertymanagement more than ever, to really focus on managing propertythat will benefit the tenants," he says.

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The organization has been moving global in the past few years.Since 2004, the international rate of the organization's CommercialProperty Manager credential, has comprised more than 20% of thegroup's CPM approvals. Robert Toothaker, chairman of the RealEstate Management Corp. and CB Richard Ellis South Bend, tellsGlobeSt.com that the movement has really helped the organizationgrow to more than 18,000 individual members and 500 corporatemembers. Toothaker was the 2007 IREM president. "The internationalmarket has seen our training, education and certification, and hasrecognized that they need top quality people," he says.

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The level of interest varies by country, Toothaker says. Russiahas been on board since the 1990s, and has grown heavily in thepast decade. Eastern European nations are also showing stronginterest, including Poland. "There's refurbished product in theEastern Bloc countries where owners, not used to propertyownership, they're used to the state taking care of everything. Nowthey have a sudden recognition that they need someone to managethis stuff, someone who can handle preventative maintenance andstuff that's second nature to us here." He said he was at the MIPIMconference in Cannes, France when two Europeans made a strongbeeline for the IREM booth. "These two fellows from Romania hadGoogled real estate management, and every time our name came up.They wanted the education, and wanted it right away."

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Asia has also seen strong requirements for management training,Toothaker says. "Korea has taken off like gangbusters. We also haveofferings going on in China, where there's just tremendous amountof real estate. These fledgling democratic markets, the individualownership of real estate is new, and their need is enormous. Here alarge PUD project is, say, 2,000 units; while there a normalproject is in the 20,000 to 30,000 units. You have projects thatare the size of small towns, and they're never-ending. You passone, then get to another, and another, and another…"

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He says the Middle East, such as the strong cities as Dubai, isstill too young to realize its need for property management. "Allthe buildings in Dubai are new, and new buildings really take careof themselves for a while. After seven to 10 years, things aregoing to start to need repair, and they'll realize the need forgood management."

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