With multifamily buildings, who is in charge of the property and how well those people are trained are critically important factors in the successful operation of the community. Board members are a part of this management class, which is often shepherded by a competent association manager. But all managers are not equal in their abilities and knowledge, and the smarter ones try to bridge the gap.
The best association managers stay current in their industry by keeping abreast of new developments in building technology, administration and communication. While networking with other professionals is a way to stay up to date and reading industry publications like The Nevada Cooperator also helps, few things are better for a manager’s professional development than taking continuing education courses.
Opportunities abound, since there are many classes and enrichment programs available to association management professionals. These programs are not only an industry requirement for some, they also help improve one’s professional skills. Maintaining certain professional accreditation with industry associations such as the Community Associations Institute (CAI) also necessitates taking such classes.
While some states do not require managers of community associations be licensed, according to CAI, to professionals like Jaclyn Olszewski, the education coordinator for the New Jersey Apartment Association (NJAA), continuing education is essential to both competency and career advancement. “With an industry that's constantly evolving and changing, designation is just a great way to provide the managers with more knowledge and tools to help them make decisions on a daily basis at the properties,” Olszewski says.
Association managers must wear many hats in their jobs, and this means having a strong understanding of the different facets the position entails. “The marketplace needs are always changing, so in order for managers to really stay on top of changes, they really need to keep up educationally,” says Sharon Peters, public relations manager of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), a national organization headquartered in Chicago.