By John Ganoe, CAE, CAMICB
When thinking of homeowner associations, condominiums or cooperatives many people overlook the evolving complexities of community association management. Before hiring a community association manager it’s important to understand the breadth and depth of what running a business entails, which is precisely what community association managers do.
A knowledgeable and committed community manager holds the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) credential. This is an important distinction. As a board member, trustee, or volunteer leader working with your association or cooperative, you have fiduciary responsibilities that obligate you to make decisions that may have a profound financial and social impact on your community. Receiving professional and accurate advice and guidance on issues such as reserves, maintenance, insurance, budgets, governance, contracts, the law, and rules enforcement can mean the difference between prosperity and chaos.
By taking and passing the rigorous CMCA examination, a CMCA has a proven and solid understanding of the business operations involved in being a community association manager, including:
- Customer service,
- Financial management,
- Facilities maintenance,
- Human resources,
- Insurance; and,
- Legal and reserve funding
Further, CMCAs must comply with continuing education requirements in order to maintain their credential. This is done through a process called recertification and is the cornerstone of best practices in the credentialing industry. Recertification is an ongoing process designed to promote and prove continued competency in the community association management profession. This competency is demonstrated through participation in continuing education in the field of community association management by participation in at least 16 hours of continuing education coursework every two years.
Maintaining High Ethical Standards
Due to the importance of community association managers' professional responsibilities, CMCA’s must adhere to very high Standards of Professional Conduct, which govern their professional activities. These Standards of Professional Conduct range from understanding laws applicable to community association management, to being knowledgeable on association policies and procedures, to carrying out fiduciary responsibilities, and participating in continuing education coursework. Abiding by these Standards of Professional Conduct help protect consumers and associations that hire community association managers.
A Community of Motivated, Educated and Dedicated Professionals
To locate a CMCA in your city or state, simply visit the CAMICB directory of Credentialed professionals: https://www.camicb.org/find-a-cmca. Here you will find a wide community of professionals who often interact with one another at networking events, continuing education programs and industry conferences. This strong network of CMCAs provide one another an opportunity to share innovative ideas, best practices, support and guidance. Every housing community is unique; more experience and more knowledge are invaluable as CMCAs actively work to provide the best possible service to your association.
Linda Warren, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, of The Warren Management Group sums it up nicely, “Owner expectations have changed dramatically over the past 30 years. Managers understand they may not have all the answers but as a CMCA, they know where to find the right resources, thanks to a powerful network of experts to help answer the tough questions.“