From the Fall 2022 Issue
Gary Kennedy, RCM
Designation(s): RCM, OLCM
Company: Shore to Slope Property Management Services Inc.
Year entered the profession: 1987
Year RCM obtained: 2000. I was granted an exemption from attending school due to my work experience. I was building my business, which took up a lot of my time. Once the new regulations came into play, I scheduled my exam. While I got my designation later in my career, I’m very glad I did.
Mentor(s) in the industry: I started in property management at Cranberry Resort (now Law Cranberry Resort Limited) in Collingwood. They gave me a desk, a computer and a client list. I dove head first into learning about my clients and meeting the various boards of directors, asked a lot of questions and learned as I went along. I have built solid relationships with other property managers in the area and was never too shy to ask for help when needed. No one person stands out as my mentor; however, I do hope to mentor the up-and-coming PM’s on my team in the years to come.
What path brought you to a career as a condominium manager? I was working as a regional sales manager at the WaterBed Gallery and was quite successful. However, the writing was on the wall that waterbeds had issues and quickly lost their appeal. I had the opportunity to join the team at the former Cranberry Resort as a property manager, and I have never looked back.
How has your membership in ACMO helped you in your career? ACMO has grown so much over the years, and as Shore to Slope continues to grow, it’s been an essential resource for us to always be on top of industry trends, new regulations and continuing education. All of this combined gives us the confidence to always provide our clients with the best advice and most up-to-date knowledge in property management.
What is one must-have skill for a condominium manager? Why? Resilience and communication. Property managers face challenges daily, and we also deal with multiple personality types. In property management, we must meet challenges head-on and turn them into opportunities. Your ability to rise up to the challenge and quickly recover from the difficulties to face the next situation makes you a great property manager. Of course, communicating professionally and managing expectations is also key to successfully building and maintaining solid relationships.
Tell us about a personal success story on the job. Looking back at my personal success, I think about our first client who took a chance at changing property management companies and coming on board with STS back in the very early days. I’m proud to say they are still with us today, three decades after coming on board in 1991.
What’s your biggest challenge as a manager? Being everything to everyone. As the President of Shore to Slope, I try to make myself available to anyone who needs me. We are a smaller property management company, and over the past few years, we have grown our services into new and exciting opportunities, expanded our team, and grown our tech stack.
With change comes resistance and uncertainty. I have learned along the way that you are only as good as those around you. I am learning that in order to continue to grow, I need to empower those around me to rise up and take on some of the leadership responsibilities that have traditionally fallen on my lap. I have an incredible team, and I’m excited about the future.
What’s your favourite part of the
job? No two days are the same. Property management is anything but boring. I’m not tied to a desk from 9-5 pm, and there are always new situations from which to learn and grow. It’s an exciting and challenging industry.
Best business advice you ever received. Be a lifelong learner. Know your fundamentals and principles but remain open-minded for opportunities that may lead to a better or more valuable perspective. No matter your job, you avoid having the same experience every year.
Answer this statement – I am an RCM because… Today, a property manager needs only a general license to be compliant. However, proudly having the RCM designation offers me so much more in terms of knowledge base, continuing education and access to resources that keep me current on the most up-to-date challenges and opportunities facing our industry as a whole. It also lends property managers credibility.
Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself stepping back from the day-to-day front-line interaction with my lead client files to step into more of a mentorship role for our upcoming PMs. Ultimately, my goal is to guide and empower my team to not only grow as property managers and support roles but also to empower them to take on more responsibility within our team. Employees face many challenges in the working world.
Property management can be very challenging and with little outside praise. I want my team to know how much I value them and their time and as we grow, I want them to be rewarded for their hard work and dedication to our team. I feel fortunate to be surrounded by the people on my team daily.
What recent project that you completed can we highlight? There are quite a few projects that I feel proud of recently. However, starting a condominium management company in 1991, from my dining room table, with one employee (myself) and one client, into what it is today is what I am most proud of and grateful for. Shore to Slope, over the past few years, is now managing estate & commercial properties, and after listening to feedback from our clients, it now has an entirely new division in rental management.
I am proud of how far we have come and couldn’t have done it without my team’s dedication and hard work. That is what I am most proud of.