There has never been a better time to enter the condominium management profession, as demand for licensed managers far outweighs the supply. As of 2021, there are almost 12,000 condominium corporations in Ontario, but only 3,441 licensed managers to service them. Whether you are a student in school, just entering the workforce, or considering a second career, there may be a place for you in condominium management. This page provides information to help you assess condominium management as a potential career.
As the name suggests, the role of the condominium manager (or company providing management services) is to "manage" the condominium community and exercise delegated powers and duties on behalf of the condominium corporation or its board of directors. The condominium manager is responsible for running what can be a multi-million dollar not-for-profit corporation, managing tens of millions in assets (the condo units), and requires specialized knowledge in building components, project management, finance, law, insurance, and customer service.
The management firm and manager provide operational, financial, and administrative support to the condominium community, including coordinating various services the condo requires, such as security, housekeeping, landscaping, mechanical maintenance, and fire safety maintenance, just to name just a few. A condominium manager's responsibilities may include some or all of the following:
The needs of a condominium community are varied and depend on several things, including size and type of condominium, age of building or buildings, demographics, the status of the building components (mechanical, electrical, etc.), workload, etc. In some cases, the condominium corporation will directly employ the manager, but often they will hire a condominium management services firm. The form of management service varies and should be tailored to the specific needs of each condominium community. Depending on the anticipated workload, this could range from simply providing a condominium manager on a drop-in or part-time basis to giving some combination of a manager assisted by a full or part-time administrative assistant, or assistants, and/or an assistant condo manager(s). Each plays a vital role in the delivery of service, summarized as follows:
This is the frontline of any management team. The administrator receives the first call on most questions, concerns, and urgent matters. The administrator may be able to address the problem directly. If not, they will need to forward the concern to the right person. The administrator may be responsible for the following:
Typically used in relatively larger communities, this position is typically a "step" towards growing into the manager's position. The assistant manager's function is to take away some of the responsibilities from the manager and supervise the administrator. An assistant manager has already mastered all skills required as an administrator and is being groomed to assume the responsibilities of a condominium manager.
Some condominium management companies are experts in "cluster management," consisting of one condominium manager taking care of several condominium communities from one central office. The condominium manager is present at the site only if and when necessary. This style is more suitable for those townhouse communities, where the workload is minimal, and the 'hands-off' approach works well.
Regardless of the managers and assistants providing front-line service to the condo, they could not function without the back-office support of the condominium management firm, including robust accounting, ongoing training/education/supervision, human relations, and senior management. In many cases, the condominium corporation doesn't work through a property management firm and hires the condo manager directly.
Many condominium communities are managed by one condominium manager only. As such, in addition to the responsibilities listed above for the administrator, the manager would also be required to:
The Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) is the body created to licence and regulate condo management companies and professionals. Education and work experience requirements to become licenced are set out under the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 (CMSA). All businesses and managers that provide management services to condos in Ontario must be licenced. The CMRAO issues three different types of licence:
Limited Licence – this is an "entry-level" licence for individuals new to the profession working towards their General Licence. Limited Licensees can only provide condominium management services under the supervision of a General Licensee.
General Licence – this is the "full licence" for individuals. General Licensees have met all educational and work experience requirements and can serve as a principal condominium manager and provide condominium management services without supervision.
Condominium Management Provider Licence – this is the licence for companies, partnerships, sole proprietorships, associations, or organizations providing management services to a condominium.
For more information on how to become licenced, visit the CMRAO website.
The Registered Condominium Manager (RCM) designation was established in 1983 by ACMO as a way for condominium managers to set themselves apart in an unregulated industry. The designation is supported by a rigorous educational program, a series of experience requirements and continuing education that goes beyond minimum licencing requirements. The RCM designation is a marker of a serious, well-prepared and dedicated professional committed to achieving and delivering a higher standard of service to their clients. A manager who becomes an RCM joins an exclusive group of skilled professionals recognized as experts in their field. The RCM is the gold standard in the industry. Visit the RCM Requirements & Application for more information.
Over and above the educational and work requirements to become a condo management professional, successful managers possess a variety of soft skills which serve them well, including:
It is not uncommon for people to come to condominium management as a second career from other complementary professions that utilize similar skill sets, including:
We asked some of our members to provide insight on why they would recommend condominium management as a satisfying career choice, and here are some recurring themes: