What does it really mean to work with a Californiacertified community association manager who is a part of the California Association of Community Managers (CACM)?
The manager you hire for your homeowners association may be independent, part of a small company or a large corporation. No matter how many or few are employed at that business, a manager who is a member of CACM is backed by thousands of professionals who are always available for consultation and advice.
CACM AND THE CCAM DESIGNATION
CACM is a specialized, professional association that supports professionalism and standards of practice in the California community association industry.
When you hire a manager with a Certified Community Association Manager (CCAM) designation through CACM, you have a professional who is well-educated, well-informed and wellconnected. This one person who works with your board of directors has a wealth of knowledge at his or her fingertips. But this manager is not alone. CACM has a network of nearly 3,000 professionals who share insights, solutions and expertise with one another.
EDUCATION SHARED AND PASSED ALONG
The initial courses for achieving the CCAM designation are extensive. Maintaining the CCAM certification means continuous education through hours of training and seminars each year. These are courses and events that deepen a manager’s knowledge and elevate his or her level of expertise. Fellow managers with decades of experience often teach these courses. Group discussions offer opportunities for enriching one another’s understanding of and experience with specific situations.
A WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE AMONG PEERS
CACM’s membership network allows managers to find cutting edge trends and innovative approaches for the issues that face California HOAs. Anytime there are emerging issues, CACM members are testing ideas and coming up with creative solutions that benefit the entire network.
Thinking of installing an electric vehicle (EV) charging station or allowing golf carts in your community? Your manager can connect with dozens of others who have worked through the details of the set up and can offer guidance.
Wondering if filling in your unused swimming pool or converting the tennis courts to a dog park is cost-effective and workable? There are professionals all over the state who have managed just such a transition.
A WIDE VARIETY OF EXPERTS
CACM does more than bring together management professionals to network and brainstorm solutions to community challenges. CACM members also include a vast array of subject matter experts who share information with the membership statewide. With a couple of mouse clicks, managers can get in touch with insurance brokers, reserve study experts, construction defect attorneys and a wide variety of specialty vendors and consultants for advice regarding all matters HOA.
Anytime there is new legislation or case law that affects HOAs, the CACM professional network is plugged in and managers are kept updated. Members are informed of what HOA-related legislation is in the pipeline, which has been enacted, and which has been clarified through court cases. This allows your manager to help you keep your association legal, your actions within bounds and your decisions proper.
COLLABORATION AND DISSEMINATION
How does this vast array of individuals keep in touch with each other? CACM offers a variety of vehicles to share knowledge.
Members receive copies of CACM’s Law Journal, which contains articles written by HOA attorneys addressing current legal matters. CACM’s Vision magazine is delivered to members as well. Each issue explores a theme or subject that is examined from multiple viewpoints, offering creative ways to approach resolutions.
Newsletters provide an additional form of communication with all CACM members throughout the state, as a more immediate communication tool to keep managers up to date on vital industry information.
CACM has an online discussion forum that enables members to check in with others throughout the state and discuss specific issues, ask questions and offer innovative solutions member to member.
Seminars and conferences offer additional opportunities for managers to connect more personally with other managers, as well as industry experts, consultants and contractors who generously share expertise with one another.
Managers who are part of the CACM professional network have access to much more expertise and experience than is listed on their résumés. Their pipeline to knowledge and advice increases their value as a resource over and above the ability to handle day-to-day operations. You and your fellow board members can rest easy knowing that your professional manager and the CACM network are on the job for your association.
Lori R. Storm, CCAM, is a District Manager with FirstService Residential California, LLC, in Gold River.