Bret Borg, CPM, is the president of Borg Property Services and the 2014 president of IREM Chapter 47/Greater Phoenix. The local chapter has 300 members, 10 percent of which are industry partners made up of real estate support and service companies — a position that has what Borg calls a “substantial waiting list.” Borg has been a member of IREM for more than 25 years and earned his CPM in 1993. According to Borg, the chapter’s main focus through 2014 is youth outreach meant to counter a projected talent shortfall in property management over the next five to 10 years.

Bret-BorgWhat’s something the RE community should know about IREM?
IREM is an international property management professional organization with members that span the globe. IREM provides so many benefits to its membership, as well as the entire real estate community. IREM is most known for its quality of educational programs, certifications, setting and upholding ethical standards in this industry. IREM is also very active politically in helping shape legislation affecting the industry. Each year, IREM teams up with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and lobbies all of Congress with a unified message on three mutually agreeable topics affecting the real estate community. This process has been hugely successful for members and non-members alike. I have personally been involved in this highly rewarding and educational process and am grateful to have had this opportunity.

What kind of challenges did IREM members face in 2013 and how did they overcome it?
Managing properties in this economic climate is an amazing challenge. Members continue to deal with the financial stresses of their properties and clients. Members use the knowledge obtained through IREM, in association with its industry partners and ethics, to navigate through these issues. Between IREM’s many tools available and networking with professionals in similar situations, we are able to excel when it matters most. After all, anyone can manage a property when times are good. It requires a knowledgeable professional to manage them well in good and bad times. IREM helps in countless ways.

How will the projected talent shortfall potentially affect Arizona’s property managers and RE?
IREM National posted some frightening property manager shortfall numbers in the near future. Although technology will make us more efficient, the personal touch, decision-making and relationships with owners and tenants will never be eliminated. Without a steady source of qualified property managers, clerical staff with be elevated into these positions before they are ready. Thus, there is a heightened urgency to have IREM get more involved with the youth through numerous university outreach programs. We must get our message out to potential property management professionals and inform them about our industry and tremendous opportunities.

Education is a very important focus of IREM. What is one of the most important changes in IREM’s educational efforts that has occurred this year?
IREM will always make education and ethics a number-one priority. That being said, more and more IREM classes are being offered online. The unfortunate reality of online classes is that you miss a very important experience — personal interaction with your colleagues.

What’s ahead for IREM in 2014?
The local Chapter 47 of IREM will continue to grow membership through support of its current membership while reaching out to the youth. We will further promote our associate member base as an inexpensive way to stay involved with IREM. The IREM Foundation and our issuance of scholarships will continue to be of paramount importance. We will also look into improved ways to communicate through social media. Although IREM is a serious and effective business partner, we will have fun in 2014.