As of November 2017, every condominium manager in Ontario is required to hold a valid licence issued by the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO). The licensing requirement offers many benefits for the condominium management profession including establishing credibility, providing oversight, and protecting consumers. However, in a post-licensing world, condominium managers may struggle to set themselves apart from their peers in the industry.
Here are four tips for setting yourself apart in a crowded industry:
Pursue a Professional Designation
Even with licensing in play, professional designations still have value. Achieving the Registered Condominium Manager (RCM) credential or another designation suggests you are a professional who is not satisfied with the status quo and will go above and beyond what is required in order to be better and achieve more than other colleagues in your field. You have chosen to pursue specialization or sit for an unrequired exam to demonstrate commitment to your chosen profession. Yes, it is extra work. Yes, it is difficult. However, these are the very reasons to pursue a professional designation, because not everyone can or will do it.
Take Continuing Education Courses
Every condominium manager is required to take the same education courses prior to being awarded a licence. But top professional managers strive for continuous learning opportunities and seek out ways to remain knowledgeable about industry trends and best practices. Policies, procedures, and building materials are almost constantly changing; being able to demonstrate competency in a changing environment shows that you are not stuck in the material you learned when you initially took a course, but rather you recognize the importance of evolving with new information.
Join a Professional Association
Professional associations are often the most underutilized yet most valuable resources available to managers looking to get ahead in the industry. The potential value in belonging to an association vastly outweighs any monetary investment required to join. However, it is not enough to simply join; managers need to become active participants in the organization to reap the full rewards of membership.
There are many opportunities to make membership in a professional association work for you:
Network, Network, Network – We are all familiar with the saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know that counts”, and networking is how you get to know the top people within an industry. Most associations understand the importance of making connections and will build networking opportunities into each event.
Education – We already discussed the ways continuing education can give professionals the edge in the industry, and professional associations often provide high-quality, relevant education for managers.
Industry Awards – Most associations offer annual awards recognizing leaders in the industry. Getting to know the award winners, or at least learning about their careers, can provide valuable insight into what it takes to rise to the top of the field. And who knows…maybe one day it will be you receiving the award!
Communications – The best associations strive to keep their members informed on the latest industry news whether it pertains to trends, best practices, or new regulations. Reading articles, blogs, eblasts, and newsletters published by the association and incorporating new ideas into your daily work will boost your credibility and set you apart as a leader in your company or organization.
Include Everything on Your Resume
Finally, show potential employers or clients that you are a rising star by including everything on your resume. Take an extra course to learn a new skill? Include it. Join a committee for your professional association (and become a contributing member)? Include it. Save your corporation money by implementing an innovative process? Include it. Some people find it difficult to toot their own horn, but your resume is your one opportunity to shine and show you are different from the competition. Be sure to phrase everything as an achievement that brought value to your position. Do not simply say you managed the day-to-day operations; tell them why the day-to-day operations ran more smoothly with you at the helm.
Your career is an investment, and it should be cared for as such. You won’t rise to the top without a proper strategy for getting there. Do you want to be considered a leader in the industry? Map out the steps it will take to achieve your goals and move forward. No one stands above the crowd by sitting on the sidelines.
Kristy Joplin is the Manager, Marketing and Communications for the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario (ACMO).
Article originally appeared in Condo Business Magazine, October 2018.