Community Association Management - Professional Outlook
Community associations are organizations formed by the residents of planned neighborhoods, cooperatives, or homeowners in a closed residential community or real estate property. The organization is tasked with running the day to day operations of the community and taking care of the common areas for the greater good of every resident. The residents elect volunteer board members from within the neighborhood to run the association.
As the needs of the neighborhood and combined property grow, so do the work, responsibilities, and challenges for the board members. Most volunteers dedicate little time to the association because they either don’t have enough time or lack the necessary real estate skills. As such, many homeowners organizations turn to estate and community association managers or management companies for help.
A property manager specializes in the management of different communities and real estate properties. They possess the essential skills, experience, and knowledge of running planned neighborhoods. The organization gives a salary to the manager in return for the provision of specialized management services. Here's a detailed community association management professional outlook for the aspirants who want to enter this real estate sector.
How Much do Community Association Managers Make?
On average, estate and community association managers make $50,000 per year in the United States. However, the salary differs based on different factors. For example, the most experienced and skilled CAMs make about $73,000 per year. In contrast, those with medium experience take home $50,000 a year. Newbie community managers start at $37,000 per year on average.
When it comes to the Florida real estate and property sector, an experienced CAM earns $70,000 on average. The salary varies depending on the years of experience, qualifications, and skills. The salary of CAMs also differs throughout the state. In some cities, salaries for real estate professionals are higher than others.
In any case, if you are an entry-level real estate professional or property dealer with no experience, you should be realistic in terms of salary. You would start at a lower salary, but as you gain experience and improve your management skills, your salary would grow exponentially.
What do Community Association Managers do?
Homeowners' association managers do a range of duties, including:
Guiding and consulting with the BOD in performing their work
Provide outlook to the board on important real estate and combined property management matters
Executing the governing laws, rules, decisions, and policies
Performing transactions, financial management, record keeping, and administrative tasks
The board is tasked with making decisions, whereas the estate and community association managers oversee the maintenance of the common areas, property, and assets. Homeowners' association managers communicate with vendors, arrange contractor services to undertake necessary work, collect HOA fees, make payments to service providers, resolve complaints and conflicts, and interact with homeowners. They also work to keep the books of accounts updated. The board may also task them with facilitating meetings.
What Makes a Good Community Association Manager?
Estate and community association managers, also known as homeowners association managers, need to have the knowledge, skills, and experience of running a combined property successfully. In fact, the CAM is the cornerstone of a successful HOA. The board relies on the knowledge and skills of the manager for decision making.
To be a good manager, you need to have top-notch communication skills. You have to communicate regularly with the board members, homeowners, and service providers. The BOD will assess your communication skills and knowledge of the real estate property industry during the hiring process. Your listening skill will also be taken into account because it is an essential element of your communication skills. Many residents will approach you with complaints and concerns. As such, you have to listen to them with patience to address their problems.
Next, you need to exhibit conflict resolution skills. There would be times when conflicts would arise between different residents. Community association managers have to remain calm and keep the conflict from escalating in such situations, instead of yelling at or mishandling the parties involved in the dispute.
Another essential quality of good homeowners association managers is to have a vast knowledge of the association’s bylaws, rules and regulations, and policies. Besides, you must have the skills and know the methods to implement the rules and regulations. You must also keep yourself aware of any changes in the federal and state laws governing community associations and the property real estate sector.
How do you Become a Community Association Manager?
The requirements for becoming a CAM differ from state to state. In many states, homeowners associations prefer to hire managers with college degrees or at least a high school diploma. Some states also require vocational training for CAMs, whereas others require the manager to have a property real estate license.
It would not be wrong to call HOA managers as the jack of all trades. There is not a particular career path that leads you to become a CAM. Many states don’t have any prerequisites for interested people to enter the community associations field.
While most states don't require estate and community association managers to have professional certifications, having one can give you a competitive edge. It can also help you negotiate a higher salary.
When it comes to managing community associations in Florida, the state regulates the sector relatively stringently. You need to have a license to work as a property manager in Florida. And getting a property management license in the state requires the applicants to:
Be at least 18 years old
Get the approval of the state application
Undergo a full 16-hour CAM course approved by the state of Florida
Pass the state licensing test
The good news is that anyone who meets these requirements can qualify for the Florida CAM license. You do not necessarily need to be a resident of Florida to get a property management license.