A Matter of Style Manager Personalities Play a Role in Board's Success

 To be considered an effective manager, one must possess a plethora of skills  including the ability to inspire, motivate and handle multiple tasks at once.  In the end, building managers are only successful when they satisfy, or better  yet, exceed expectations—which can be difficult, especially when interpreting the varied personalities  that comprise most condominium boards.  

 “Every association has its own personality. The policies and procedures that work  for one association often do not work for others,” says Steve Cabaniss, vice president of the Management Division at Advance  Property Management in Glastonbury, Connecticut. “The manager really needs to listen to the concerns and needs of each community  and draw on their experience on how to handle the issues that come up in a way  that addresses the needs of the residents without violating the requirements of  their documents or state statutes.”  

 American management guru Peter Drucker sums up proper management in the  following way: “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” For many managers, deciphering information and determining best steps to  achieve goals often requires seeing the forest from the trees, a quality not  inherent in all managers or manager candidates.  

 “We don’t have the luxury of having one management style,” says Deborah Jones, PCAM, president of the Woburn, Massachusetts-based American Properties Team. “I believe it is up to my managers to take responsibility and figure how to work  with the board, because boards change all the time, or every three years. They  are our clients. So it’s not about style but communication.”  

 Inherent Qualities

 Since a board represents its residents, the relationship it maintains with its  management company is often transparent. For example, the way in which a  building operates—from the cleanliness of the lobby to the HVAC system to sanitation services—are all indicators to residents and possible future buyers. Board members often  have varied backgrounds and can sniff out managers that are not making the  grade. After all, they also live in the building.  

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