Advice for New Condominium Managers
Condominium Property Management can be an exciting and rewarding profession. In a single day you can find yourself building relationships, organizing a complex construction project, and navigating human rights or other legal matters.
The challenges in this field also come from having so much variety – you need to be skilled in many different areas. This does not mean however that you need to know everything to be successful! Consider the following:
In a previous blog, we reviewed tips to successfully transition to a new condominium property. As a manager entering the industry, you should appropriately introduce yourself, familiarize yourself with the governing documents of the Corporation, meet building staff and suppliers, review your action plans with the Board of Directors, and create a prioritized action list.
In addition to these tips, as a new manager it is important that you familiarize yourself with the various legal deadlines surrounding the Corporation’s year-end. For example, ensure you know when you need to hold the AGM, prepare the budget for the Corporation, update the Reserve Fund Study, renew the insurance, and circulate periodic information certificates.
As a property manager, you are not producing a tangible product for sale. Your service is your product. You’ll want to be known long-term as a manager that meets their obligations and provides service in a reasonable time-frame.
This means that phone calls and emails must be responded to promptly, but more importantly you must follow-up on unresolved matters to ensure they are completed to the client’s satisfaction. There are many tips and tricks that can be used to make this happen; but an old-fashioned action list can be a powerful tool.
Know Your Strengths
Everyone has areas where they are strong and areas that they are weak. Perhaps you have excellent mechanical knowledge, but lack computer skills. Or you communicate better in person than through written correspondence.
In knowing what area(s) you might struggle with, you can better plan your time and effort. Additionally, in being honest with yourself about areas requiring improvement you can develop your own personal improvement plan through education and experience.
Know Your Limits
It is important for a new manager to understand that they have an ethical obligation to ensure they are not providing advice that they are not qualified to give.
In this regard, a manager should never allow a client to rely on advice that they may provide if they lack the necessary education, credentials, or skill. From time-to-time, it may be difficult to convince a Board to spend extra funds on an engineer when undertaking a major project (as an example).
It is sometimes easier to try and make the client happy by giving in – but this never pays off in the long run.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
With so much variety in our roles and in dealing with so many different people, condominium property management can be stressful. In work, and life, it’s important to pick your battles and focus your energy where it’s really needed.
In my mind, this is the single most important piece of advice that can be given to someone entering this profession. If you worry about the small things, you can find yourself without energy to fulfil the rest of your role. Further, it can begin to have an impact on your personal life.
Pick and choose what you need to worry about wisely and do your best to leave the stress at the door when you head home after a long day.
Lyndsey McNally, R.C.M., is a Team Leader at Malvern Condominium Property Management.