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From the Summer 2022 Issue

President's Message

Why Do We Do This?

Message from the President || Katherine Gow, RCM

“I don’t know how you do it.” It’s the phrase I hear most, especially from our partners in condominium management, most often after a meeting with a particularly
fussy board. My day starts early and ends late. In between, there are emergencies, frustrated owners, teary managers, over-burdened contractors, supply shortages, illnesses – the list seems innumerable.

Condominium managers most often face these challenges with a smile. The adrenaline junkie in us seems to thrive on adversity. When you get a group of us together, there appears to be a neverending game of besting each other for the most outrageous tale (each of them true – you simply couldn’t make this stuff up!). But it all takes a toll.

Our mental health and that of our families can often bear the brunt. Board meetings and emergency calls often usurp family time, becoming infinitely more challenging through the pandemic. Tempers flared hotter and faster. Minor calamities became monstrosities as homeowners had nothing to do but be bothered by their neighbours or stare at the repair that couldn’t be scheduled. All while we cared for our own families, feared for our health and pitched in extra to cover those on the front lines who were sidelined by illness or quarantine.

Let’s be honest, everyone’s mental health was challenged. Despite our busy schedules, prioritizing our mental health and seeking out circumstances in which we can thrive is paramount to our happiness and success. It is no secret that a good property manager is worth their weight in gold, so now is the best time to discuss what your board or employer will do to make your employment more attractive to you.

As partners in managing their communities, your boards should consider a sustainable and healthy workplace environment for their staff. One where everyone pulls together for the greater good, and we can have respectful conversations about values and decisions that matter. Management can set the tone for the overall mental health of the whole condo community.

This is no career for the faint of heart. The boardroom becomes a battleground rather than a synergistic environment for positive change when it gets caught up in petty disputes, mindless blame games, and power trips. But the satisfaction of moving a community towards their vision is a joy for the passionate condominium manager.

Put simply; we love it for the purpose it gives us, for our impact in truly making one’s home better. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. Have frank conversations with boards and management firms to optimize your working environment for your mental health – it is in everyone’s best interest.

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