Condominium management may not be on the top of the list on career day, however this industry allows individuals from a variety of backgrounds to use their soft skills and grow through opportunities and learn from experiences. In this climate of increased automation, condominium management continues to require people, not machines, to perform these tasks as the human element will always be a critical component.
A primary component of condominium management is to provide quality customer service to our communities to meet and exceed the needs and expectations of the owners. The nuances of day-to-day operations and the soft skills required to deliver this service cannot be replaced by artificial intelligence which delivers what we all crave: job security. This is a people-oriented industry and therefore those who can do the job, and do it well, are in a fantastic position to grow quickly based on their talent, experience and willingness to learn.
Our working world is adjusting with quick and dramatic leaps in technology with the service industry going through an extreme shift in the way service is being delivered. Cashiers are being replaced by kiosks, restaurant servers are being replaced by tablets and traditional storefronts are being replaced by on-line mail order services. Those in the service industry provide a unique set of skills that help to create great condominium managers combined with industry related training through licensed management firms and courses supported by organizations including ACMO. Customer service is built on actively listening, analyzing and considering all options to develop a viable solution.
Those with a strong customer service acumen and critical thinking mind-set would be excited to know there is an industry with a limited supply of managers, an overwhelming demand and continual growth.
Ontario is leading the way in new Condominium construction and these newly formed communities need great managers.
For those who may have an interest in pursuing their career in property management, the journey starts with a Limited License through the CMRAO. From my experience, managers who do well have often started their careers in a customer service or an administrative capacity and have completed both mandatory and optional courses as they grow within the industry. Some management companies provide the RCM courses in-house and may cover the cost as well. This process ensures success as a manager gains valuable experience while completing their educational requirements at the same time.
Management companies that have a customer service team encourage growth with these representatives to become limited licensed building administrators. In this role they will gain experience while working under a general licensed manager eventually becoming a fully licensed manager after completing all educational requirements and providing 2,920 hours of condominium management service. We have seen this as beneficial to all parties: the individual as they are gaining experience and education simultaneously, the company as this path promotes loyalty and passion with the team, and to their communities as they are receiving customer service from a dedicated, hardworking and aspiring manager.
Prior to discovering this industry, I was enrolled in university and working in the service industry with a long-term goal to teach history and philosophy. One afternoon a vendor suggested condominium management as a career move because few of my friends who had graduated university were getting employment in their desired industry. I took this advice and was eventually hired at Maple Ridge Community Management in their customer service department where I refined many transferable skills and was then presented with an opportunity as a building administrator.
Over this time, I took advantage of the RCM courses at our head office taught by industry professionals and doubled up on my final two courses by completing them online through Mohawk College so I could write the RCM final exam as soon as possible. The opportunities in the industry were clear and plentiful, and I wanted to take full advantage of every avenue to educate myself and increase my exposure through ACMO and CCI events.
If you were to ask my friends and family, they would tell you I never stop talking about this booming industry and the opportunities that come with it. However, they also hear about late night meetings and see how I shudder at signs of bad weather. The job is not easy by any means, but if you pay your dues, show some grit and utilize transferable soft skills, I cannot think of any other industry that has a better return on investment.
Colin Ogg, RCM is Senior Property Manager at Maple Ridge Community Management.