From the Fall 2020 Issue
Commitment to Excellence
Becoming ACMO 2000 Certified
Capital Integral Property Management (CIPM) resulted from a merger of two companies in mid-2017 and one of our first goals was to obtain our ACMO 2000 certification so we would become the first company in Ottawa to do so. My partner, Dan Fried and I had wanted to obtain this certification earlier, but we were resource-strapped and just did not have the people and time to do it. Now having merged and effectively doubled in size, we were excited to be able to get going.
We contacted ACMO and then downloaded the certification requirements. We quickly realized that we needed a team to bring this to fruition! We dedicated Dan and our Director of Operations to focus full-time on going through each requirement and drawing up the necessary policies and documents. It was quite an undertaking as ACMO 2000 is an exhaustive framework for managing condominiums. We had been following the standards over the past years, more or less, but we did not have everything written down, or if we did, it was not very complete.
Additionally, going through this exercise forced us to step back and have another look at how we did business. It forced us to change and do things better. In the end, it took approximately four months to get everything together as per the requirements.
The next step was implementing these policies. We set aside two blocks of dedicated time to go through the policies with staff. At that time, we had about 20 staff members, so we decided that we would first circulate the policies and procedures so everyone could read them, then we would hold meetings to go through them.
Concurrently, where necessary, we changed our way of doing things to be consistent with the new policies. We had to improve processes in accounting, property management and create new roles and responsibilities. The act of creating the written policies and procedures highlighted the need to keep up with documentation after the initial push. After the meetings with staff, we had each member sign a document stating that they had read and understood the policies.
Since 2017, we have seen the benefits of being an ACMO 2000 company first hand. We tend to document our policies and procedures rather than simply making the decision and sending out a message with the change. This helps when new staff members join the team, and when there’s confusion on how to do something we now have an official document to reference. It has also allowed us to grow and smoothly transfer our way of working with site offices. Everyone does things consistently the same way - this makes life easier for all involved! Employees can also help in identifying problems and suggesting solutions. These are then documented and added to our policies.
ACMO 2000 certification is a best practice standard that has been vetted in the industry and represents the gold standard for condominium management. It gives us confidence that what we are doing and how we are doing it is not just “our” way – it’s the best way. The ongoing reporting requirements and periodic audits keep everyone honest and make sure we stick with it, not just in name but in practice. These also help improve the standards and keep the bar high. The ACMO 2000 standard of excellence aligns with our corporate values, and obtaining and maintaining our ACMO 2000 certification is a clear demonstration of our commitment to excellence to our clients.
Dan Fried, RCM, CSM, is CEO, Transition Team Leader of Capital Integral Property Management, an ACMO 2000 certified company. He sits on the CMRAO Discipline Appeals Committee and the Tarion Consumer Advisory Council.
Yawar Khan, RCM, is COO of Capital Integral Property Management. He oversees property management operations and also manages properties directly. He specializes in budgeting, financial reporting and reserve fund studies. Yawar is also a frequent public speaker at various condominium management conferences and seminars.