Your Community Manager Is your expert. Turn to them with your questions, tasks, and goals. They can figure out how to get it done.
If your manager is a Certified Community Association Manager (CCAM), that means that they bring a lot to the table, more than you may realize. To achieve the CCAM certification a manager must take 36 hours of California-specific industry education. The course work includes 16 hours of HOA law, four hours of ethics-related course content and 16 hours focusing on community management principles and practices. Every three years the certified manager must take 30 hours of California continuing education, including attendance at law seminars and courses including financial management, insurance and risk management, personnel management, and additional ethics-related courses.
You wouldn’t go to your mechanic for a heart transplant or have a chef prepare your taxes. It pays to have a professional with the right experience and education for the job. A CCAM is certified in California laws and best practices and has hours and hours of continuing education. Young or old, if your manager is certified, they have the expertise required for the job. As with an attorney or CPA, you trust the professional to do their job and you trust in their expertise to do the job ethically, within the law, and with quality. If you tell the manager what you want done, you can rely on the fact that your manager has the skills and knowledge to accomplish the task efficiently and without the need for you to tell them how to get it done. After all, you wouldn’t take the scalpel from your doctor’s hand.
As a director it is your job, along with the other directors, to envision the path along which to lead your association. It is your job to set the budget (with assessment increases when necessary) and the priorities. It is your job to make important decisions, relying on the advice of experts. When doing this important work, you can place your trust in your Certified Community Association Manager, the expert that is just a phone call or email away. It’s the manager’s job to take the burden of how to accomplish a task off of the Board, leaving them the freedom to focus on the big picture. A successful manager will bring the expertise derived from their experience and education and make it work for your association. The manager can partner with the Board, providing guidance as they carry out the Board’s directives. Whether the task at hand is a reconstruction or painting project, a governing document revision, or simply working with a homeowner to resolve an issue, your manager’s success is your association’s success.
Every manager has stories of wellmeaning directors inadvertently bringing liability on the association by not relying on the advice of the experts. Every manager also has stories of forwardthinking directors and managers successfully working together to enhance, upgrade or course correct an association. This partnership can leave the association in a better place than you found it. You probably don’t need to reinvent the wheel, re-think every policy, or change every contract. All you may need to do is let your CCAM shine.
It pays to have a professional with the right experience and education for the job.
Dean Jackson, CCAM-HR is the Director of Project Management at Collins Management, ACMC.