CM Magazine Cover
From the Winter 2017 Issue

A Look into

the Future

Feature || ACMO Past Presidents

We asked past presidents of ACMO to ‘look into your crystal ball and, if you could predict the future, tell us what you see in store for the Ontario condo industry at large — and for ACMO in particular.’ Here are the intriguing responses we received.

Oh!!! wouldn’t it be nice if we all had a crystal ball and could foresee what the future would bring? Forty years ago we all dreamed of an association, licensing, designations etc. Here we are today with a very strong and well-respected Association, the RCM Designation, and the ACMO 2000 Corporate Certification and legislation all to protect the client. The ongoing development in the condominium industry will continue because of the shortage of land and affordable housing, as well as the desire for the carefree home ownership lifestyle. This will only bring about more need for well-trained, well-qualified managers. Is it possible that Condominium Property Management could eventually become a university degree program?....Yes it could! The more the industry grows the more training, qualifications, certifications are going to be needed to give the client base the security and comfort needed. Basically the sky is the limit for the industry.

Ron Outram, RCM (Founding Member)

With the many changes happening within the condominium industry, ACMO needs to look inward and define its role with a very specific and focused direction or it will find itself as just another association amongst many.

In my mind ACMO has been and should remain the premier source of education for property managers within the condominium community but to do so requires a further continuation and development of the materials and programs produced in the past. At the moment ACMO’s training manuals and programs are highly recognized within the industry as well as the entire community but these need updating and perhaps some courses made available to further the professionalism of the member companies, thus further educating the future managers of tomorrow.

ACMO 2000 was a great start but shouldn’t this process be further refined and promoted? How do we train managers to manage people and processes as well as communities? Wouldn’t this next step further develop the industry we have chosen to serve? How can we continue to set and uphold standards above the norm if we don’t take a firm position, set a goal and make it happen? The government has accepted the RCM course material as a starting point for licensing qualification but shouldn’t we be continuing programs to further set our own higher standards that lead towards developing better condominium communities within which people enjoy living? If we don’t, we become just another social organization. There needs to be a price to pay to be the best and the role to develop higher standards through education should be embraced by ACMO.

Today, we face a shortage of good managers and education plays a large role in filling that demand; however, where is the organization that is developing the leaders of these new managers and building stronger companies to support this growth? Maybe this is a new challenge for ACMO to embrace and further enhance its strength as the organization best equipped to strengthen the entire world of condominium management, not just individual managers. We have an opportunity to grow from within, as there isn’t a manager today that grows up saying “I want to manage condominiums when I graduate from school.” Perhaps we can help change that by developing courses designed to lead companies as well as the communities they serve. It can also create a fulfilling career path for those whose desires are to continue to grow.

I for one believe there is a real need for additional professionalism within the condominium industry and ACMO is well positioned to fill that need. ACMO has proven resources. ACMO has the best educational programs today. ACMO2000 is the only corporate standard within the industry today. The big question remains, “Is ACMO prepared to accept this challenge and move to the next level?”

Larry Holmes, CIM, RCM, FCCI, C.Mgr., Chief Executive Officer, Larlyn Property Management Ltd.

With the price of the rising housing market, condominiums are a great investment and home for young couples, singles and retirees. It’s worry-free living for those that are busy or who travel. Vertical living is a great way to be close to all that matters: work, play and transportation. I’ve heard many people say we are in the boom and the bubble has to burst soon – reality is that it hasn’t, and I personally do not think it will.

Condominiums change the cityscape and have helped to put Toronto on the map.

As a condominium manager, particularly an RCM, you will never be without a job. The changes in the legislation allow us to be seen as a professional and the salaries and recognition are bound to follow. I would like to encourage the non-RCMs who will be attaining your licence to take the final step and get the designation. You, do not take four years of University to say you graduated – you want the B.A. To management companies, I would highly recommend pursuing your ACMO2000; it allows you to put your business goals and processes on paper and helps you to share and implement them with your employees resulting in what you envision becoming a reality. Cheers to another 40 years ACMO, I am proud of the Association.

Laura Lee, RCM, Senior Property Manager, DEL Property Management Inc.

The Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario (ACMO) has recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. Its history is long and storied to be sure, but now the narrative will change. Not because of the amendments to the legislative act, we’ve seen that before, but because of the licensing of managers. The RCM designation has been the cornerstone of our profession. It is valued and respected not only by those who hold the designation but by other professionals in our industry such as lawyers, auditors and engineers. Condominium boards of directors have also come to understand the importance of hiring an RCM professional, one who will provide the necessary leadership and expertise they have come to expect. So with these licensing requirements fast approaching what does the future hold for this this ever-growing industry?

Those managers currently holding the RCM designation will need to shoulder the profession while those who need to take the time to complete the courses required of them to obtain their licence will need to also hopefully take the time to look back at the history of this wonderful association and appreciate everything that our previous leadership, rank and file have put into ACMO. History can never be lost because it has been written, but it can be forgotten! My fear is simply that the 40-year history of ACMO which has seen the creation of the RCM designation, all of the educational components that fostered the professional growth of our membership, the socialization within the industry and the unique ability to be able to mentor each other through professional seminars and conferences will not be part of our future!

Some embrace change; many fear it. Change can be positive but no doubt it can also take us to places we really do not want to be. So as this condominium industry begins to write new chapters in its overall quest to provide consumer protection for those Ontarians purchasing or living in condominiums, and at the same time endeavour to elevate the level of professional management throughout the province, let us all look into that crystal ball and hope we see the changes that will make us all feel proud and wonderful about what we do. Here’s to our future!

Harold S. Cipin, MSc, Hons. BA, RCM, President and Chief Operating Officer, City Sites Property Management Inc.

ACMO has a proud history and the majority of members I have spoken to want to be part of a strong association that will provide the leadership, programs and services that has made being part of ACMO a must for professionals.

ACMO can continue to lead by developing advanced education courses for its RCMs and by providing a strong advocacy presence within the government. There is also an opportunity to provide services to its members related to the new code of ethics, discipline and appeals process. A significant challenge and opportunity is to provide more in-depth training and education to effectively manage shared facilities. These have become very complicated and additional education is needed.

As of November 1, 2017, our industry became a lot more complicated. Our clients want us to control costs and provide guidance through the myriad of new legislation. Companies must provide the resources to update their procedures and policies. Companies that already have the ACMO 2000 certification will be well positioned to meet these challenges.

John Damaren, RCM, Client Relations Manager, Maple Ridge Community Management, – An Associa® Company

I feel very privileged to share a few comments on the future of our profession alongside some of those past presidents of ACMO who have helped shape our industry and bring us to this exciting time. I have not seen any of the other comments as I sit and write this but I feel certain that every one of them includes the word change.

For the past 50 years this industry evolved under the watchful and protective eye of many of those men and women whose views you are reading in this magazine, but now it reaches maturity as a profession – and I believe that there is a huge difference.

As a profession we will be held to a higher standard, first by the public, then by our clients and finally by our peers. We will face more scrutiny on HOW we do things. The job of a condominium manager was about getting things done, and over the next five years I believe that there will be a greater emphasis on HOW things happen. That means we will have to work more methodically, and that means slower, and that means greater cost. “Policies” and “process” will become new buzzwords for condominium managers because of a greater level of oversight due to increased liability.

These may all sound negative but stop and consider this – with maturity comes respect. Those that successfully navigate this transition will benefit in the eyes of the public and they will be recognized as true professionals, whose views and advice will be received with the same sense of value as the other professions which we regularly interact with.

Dean McCabe, RCM, ACCI, AIHM, President, The Meritus Group

It’s the dawn of a new era for Ontarians in the condominium industry. Amidst all the changes in laws, regulations and licensing of condo managers, one thing remains constant … the demand for professional management is increasing and it is increasingly important for us to be able to attract and retain individuals who will enhance our community and our profession.

Greeks don’t have crystal balls to look into the future; we have Greek coffee cups. When I look into mine…I see that we are recruiting newly graduating MBAs as condo managers. NO, really, we are … six figure salaries are now the “norm” in our industry and NOT the exception. We’ve joined our industry partners in the “six figure club”… lawyers, engineers, accountants, even painters, plumbers and electricians. Our clients now believe that paying for quality pays dividends in the long run! They no longer trust the management of their single biggest investment to someone with no degree, no certification and no experience.

I see that every condo manager will have a licence. The elite will earn their RCM. We will see MBA students enrolling with ACMO to enhance their degree and further their careers as condo managers.

The highly sought after ACMO 2000 Certification will be the benchmark for quality condominium management because our clients see the value in quality products and services. Believe it or not, our clients realize that temporarily lower monthly maintenance fees may cost them a lot more in the long run!!

I see the condominium industry moving in the right direction. I see temporary hiccups along the way, but the road is clear for a positive new direction for our industry.

25 years ago I founded ICC and enjoyed much success in this profession because my Yiayia’s coffee cup at the time saw a bright future for me. Now my coffee cup sees a bright future for our young profession. I trust in it. My livelihood depends on it. You can bet on it!!

Steven Christodoulou, RCM, President and CEO, ICC Property Management Ltd.

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