A community association manager is basically a person who manages the property and facilities that are used or owned by residents of a particular community. A community association manager is not an estate agent, but rather an overseer of the property management and maintenance, as well as a negotiator and is of great help in resolving conflicts within the community. This means that a community association manager interacts more with homeowners and residents rather than renters as it is with an estate agent. Among other things, community association managers are expected to be good with administration, as they are solely in charge of the properties on behalf of homeowners and residents. They take care of the maintenance of the community facilities and keep peace in the neighborhood by enforcing community rules and regulations and amicably resolving any conflicts that may arise, as well as guiding the residents to embrace harmonious coexistence within the community.
Depending on the community in question, community association managers may also be referred to as property managers. This is especially so when they deal mostly with homeowners and are mainly tasked with keeping the property prices high in the market through maintenance and improvement programs (Lore 38).
A community association manager's job entails accounting, property and facilities management, conflict resolution, peace keeping, and property maintenance. This means that community association managers are expected to evaluate and approve services that are required by the community such as cleaning, security, and other ground work. They are also charged with hiring maintenance personnel or contracting a firm to take care of that through outsourcing. They are also expected to collect necessary dues from the residents and maintain clear records, as well as make financial statements and budgets that should be presented to the association's board or even the community residents upon request (Tiegar 61). Community association managers are also required to act as negotiators and resolve any complaints that may be raised by the residents, as well as any conflicts arising within the community. This means that they are all-round managers who should be well versed in the community and its needs.
Education / training requirements
A college education is a basic requirement for this job, although it is arguably not so necessary in some settings. Small communities with fewer requirements may as well be properly managed without a college education, drawing from practical experiences and personal skills. For larger communities with more complex requirements, the basic knowledge required is in business administration, real estate management, and fluency in accounting and conflict resolution. This means that a bachelor's or master's degree in business administration, accounting or real estate management is advantageous for effective community association management. Also, a community association manager should be certified and licensed to practice depending on local requirements.
Required personal skills and competencies
Good community association managers should be well-disciplined and committed to their job. This means that they should be able to work without supervision. They should have good and effective communication skills that will enable them to pass across any relevant information effectively to all the affected members without causing misunderstandings. They are also expected to be available at all times, as their duties are not bound by time. Thus, they should be flexible and willing to work at odd hours just so as to achieve the community's objectives and carry out their obligations. They should have an insight and be able to solve complex problems without creating unnecessary commotion or panic among the residents. Community association managers should also be diplomatic in order to resolve conflicts in the neighborhood and maintain peace and harmony, as well as have good marketing and negotiating skills to deal with contractors on behalf of the community residents. They should be good managers, with an eye for good deals, viable solutions to prevailing problems, and efficient budget allocations ensuring that the residents and homeowners get a value for their money (Zichy and Bidou 157).
Trends and future outlook
More and more communities are organizing themselves and forming associations, thus, requiring community association management services. This implies that the demand for community associate managers is on the rise, and this trend is bound to continue well in the future with the increase in residential communities (Kerlin and Schneider 27). With this projected increase in demand, more and more people interested in a career in community association management are encouraged to study courses that are more relevant to the job including business administration, real estate management, and accounting. This is so as to make them more competent in the job market both now and in the future.
For the past few years, community association managers have reported an annual salary range of $ 23890 to $ 104400. While this range is undeniably extreme for one career, it is important to note that the pay is proportional to the duties of the community association manager. While a manager only takes care of maintenance services, they are subjected to a lower pay as compared to a community association manager whose duties entail overall business management, conflict resolution, and accounting. Being a relatively important job, this career offers good pay packages that are coupled with a number of bonuses and other benefits.
Geographical areas for best employability opportunities
Most, if not all, buildings require a manager. Commercial as well as residential buildings require efficient management and may need the skills of a community association manager for smooth operations. This means that a community association manager can find employment in cities, as well as suburbs. The key requirement is a building with many different occupants, and this is not necessarily limited by geographical location (Johnston 164). Most communities are located in the outskirts of cities, and most commercial buildings are in the center of the city. This implies that for this career, the possibility of employment is practically everywhere.
Specific companies / organizations related to this career
This career is mainly in the real estate sector; thus, most real estate agencies are able to recommend people for the position of a community association manager. It is, however, the association's board that is charged with interviewing, hiring, and even firing community association managers. Community association managers are in a better position if they have gone through the National Board of Certification for Community Association Managers and are certified as community association managers. This increases their value in the job market and adds a professional edge to the career.
How this occupation fits your lifestyle and values
A community association manager is basically an overseer of the community on behalf of its residents. They are expected to ensure that the community runs smoothly and everyone feels comfortable in it. Being an organizer by nature, this job fits perfectly into my values of creating a good environment.
Among other things, my desire to be a community association manager is driven by my love for organizing and creating comfortable conditions for others. I believe that as a community association manager, I will be in a position to directly influence how clean, safe, peaceful, and comfortable a community is.