With multifamily buildings, who is in charge of the property and how well those people are trained are critically important factors in the successful operation of the community. Board members are a part of this management class, which is often shepherded by a competent property manager. But all property managers are not equal in their abilities and knowledge, and the smarter ones try to bridge the gap.
The best property managers stay current in their industry by keeping abreast of new developments in building technology, administration and communication. While networking with other professionals is a way to stay up to date and reading industry publications like New England Condominium also helps, few things are better for a manager’s professional development than taking continuing education courses.
Opportunities abound, since there are many classes and enrichment programs available to New England’s property management professionals. These programs are not only an industry requirement for some (Connecticut-based property managers must be licensed) they also help improve one’s professional skills. Maintaining certain professional accreditation with industry associations such as the Community Associations Institute (CAI) also necessitates taking such classes.
And to professionals like David Barrett, director of operations at Crowninshield Management Corp. in Peabody, Massachusetts, continuing education is essential to both competency and career advancement. “You may not get hired from a lot of these companies unless you have designations,” says Barrett, who holds the property management designations of CPM, ARM, PCAM, AMS and CMCA. “Nowadays, it’s a competitive work environment with the unemployment and economic situation the way it is. Property management is a complicated trade and it involves a lot of different aspects, from financial management to facilities management, construction and rents. It’s very diverse. And if you’re going to be a professional at it continuing education is essential.”
Connecticut is the sole state in New England with licensing requirements for property managers. Managers are required to pass the Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB) and the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) examination, according to the Community Associations Institute (CAI). To get the CAM license, the fee is $60 for the application plus a $200 initial license fee. For more information about these and other Connecticut licensing requirements, please contact the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection or visit www.ct.gov/dcp. Renewals are $200 annually.