Association management, in the broadest of terms, is defined as the operation, control and oversight of real estate. Most association managers would agree that definition is just a starting point, however.
There are many facets to the demanding profession of association management , including managing the accounts and finances of the real estate properties and participating in or initiating litigation with tenants, contractors and insurance agencies. Litigation may be considered a separate function, set aside for trained attorneys, but an association manager will need to be well informed and up to date on applicable municipal, county, state and federal Fair Housing laws and practices.
One major role of an association manager is that of liaison between the board of directors or board of managers, the property owners and residents and the personnel required to keep a property attractive, safe and functional. Good communication is a must for this “thinking-on-your-feet” position, which also requires understanding the processes and systems utilized to manage all aspects concerning property including acquisition, control, accountability, responsibility, maintenance, utilization and disposition.
Real estate experts agree that good communication skills are vital for an association manager, but there are other character and professional traits that are equally important.
“It’s important for an association manager to have patience, time management skills, poise under pressure and knowledge of the association’s governing documents,” says Denise Lindsey, vice president of business development for Signature Property Group in North Brunswick, New Jersey. “Every day these skills are applied while speaking with residents, boards and vendors or while managing the daily activities of the site, such as the pool or social clubs in the clubhouse or when discussing matters with legal counsel or the auditors.”