“Above and beyond”, “Going that extra mile”, “Just putting in the time”, “Going through the motions”! Timeless clichés to be sure, but are any of them applicable to you as a condominium manager? The landscape of condominium management in Ontario has changed significantly in these past 18 months and none more so than for the men and women who actually manage condominium corporations day to day. So how do we in the industry, or perhaps more importantly the client Boards of Directors, distinguish the difference between the superstar manager and those who are simply just average?
It starts with commitment. It is not difficult to recognize those managers who are more than “9 to 5”! It’s not about watching the clock, it is about being committed to getting the work done in an organized and professional manner without putting limitations on time. It’s about making the time onsite productive and meaningful. The superstar manager is proactive not reactive. They take the time to think about what has to be done and how exactly they are going to go about completing the task. They research, consult and ask others to assist if required. There is attention to detail to make sure that their management reports are concise, accurate and presented in a timely fashion. Taking pride in your work and in your accomplishments is a strong indicator that you exhibit the traits of a superstar!
Then there is the age-old debate as to whether or not condominium management is a career or simply a job. To the average manager perhaps the answer is quite simple. Others would suggest that the superstar managers have fought long and tirelessly to have our profession recognized as a rewarding and stimulating career. Lawyers, auditors and engineers have come to recognize and appreciate the knowledge and expertise managers bring to the overall success of the industry in general, and to the client corporations we all manage on a daily basis. Before licensing there was a time that corporation boards would specifically ask that their onsite manager be an RCM! Why? Because these boards recognized the difference between those managers who viewed their time at the building as simply a job and those who took ownership and showed that they truly cared.
It’s not just about coming in early or staying late. It’s about taking the time to listen, to make those who have come to talk with you feel that their time was just as important as yours! It’s about managing your time effectively to include building inspections, first hand confirmation that the trades have completed their work properly and not just taking their word or invoice as proof. It includes attending conferences, seminars and other forms of continuing education. Being current and staying current definitely contributes to that difference.
And what about all of the management companies, old and new? Are there differences there as well besides their size and number of employees? Management companies regardless of whether or not they are ACMO 2000 certified should also make the commitment to provide qualified personnel and professional service. Management companies need to take the time to properly recruit and train their staff to ensure that the service they purport to offer is in fact exactly that! It is a tough challenge today, but it is essential that these companies avoid taking the easy way out. The profession can not afford to take the easy way out for our future, and our reputations depend on making the right choices today.
So, are you prepared to “go above and beyond,” to take the necessary steps to have a career as a “SUPERSTAR” manager? As k those who already have. Chances are they will tell you that by doing so it identified their career. It has been challenging and no doubt difficult at times yet extremely fulfilling and rewarding. You too can make the difference!
Harold S. Cipin, M.Sc., Hons. BA, RCM is president and Chief Operating Officer of City Sites Property Management Inc., an ACMO 2000 certified management company. citysitesmanagement.com