Your community manager does not come to the office at 9 a.m. and leave at 5 p.m. They work until the job is done. They are required to have as much, if not more, knowledge than your attorney, CPA or any other professional that provides service for you. They service your needs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They attend board meetings and prepare agendas and the packets of information you receive before the meeting.
How do they do all of this and so much more? They educate themselves by attending courses provided by CACM, industry functions and seminars and by working with industry professionals on a daily basis. Additionally, they read everything they can get their hands on and constantly keep themselves and their communities current on the latest innovations related to their field.
As an example, to receive the designation of Certified Community Association Manager (CCAM® ), a community manager is required to do the following:
1. Be employed as a community manager for six or more months immediately preceding the date of application.
2. Successfully complete the required coursework below:
BASICS OF ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT
Some, but not all, of the topics discussed during the course include:
- The origins of CIDs and the future growth outlook
- The key roles of a community manager and various ways to build skills
- The roles and responsibilities of the board, officers, manager and outside experts
- Learn key financial reports and terms required in the daily financial operations of the association
- Learn the types of insurance coverage required to protect an association
CALIFORNIA LAW SERIES
This course explores the numerous laws that define California’s common interest developments (CIDs), financial management, working with experts, affiliates and meetings and records.
ETHICS FOR COMMUNITY MANAGERS
- Know the importance of ethics to the industry and each individual manager
- Understand CACM’s structure and how it supports the organization’s role in defining and enforcing ethical standards
- Understand CACM’s classes of membership and certification, as well as the related disclosures that are required
- Know the requirements of the Code of Ethics, including general and specific standards
- Understand the process for enforcement of the Code of Ethics, specifically the first steps for a member filing a complaint or responding to a complaint
3. Submit the CCAM application with the application and maintenance fees within three years of completing your first course.
Maintaining the CCAM Designation
Once the manager has earned their CCAM certification, the recertification process allows them to pursue continuing education tailored to their experience level and education needs.
The manager must recertify every three years, which entails the following:
- Earn at least 30 continuing education units (CEUs) every recertification period, inclusive of the following:
- Attend a minimum of one full CACM Law Seminar every three years (8 CEUs)
- Successfully complete one CACM Ethics-related course, either CMM130 or LDR500 (prerequisites apply), every three years (4 CEUs)
- Keep their membership and/or annual certification maintenance fees current
- Continue to comply with the CACM Code of Professional Ethics and Standards of Practice
In addition to the CCAM, managers have the ability to elevate their knowledge by earning specialty certifications including High Rise, Large Scale, Portfolio and New Development Management. As the ultimate achievement, managers can earn the Master of Community Association Management (MCAM® ) certification – the highest professional certification available for California community managers and a testament to their dedication to excellence.
A community manager is expected to have knowledge in more fields than the average person deals with in most of their lives. They care about their communities, the members in the community and the most costly purchase a person typically makes in their lives – their homes. Not only are they expected to be knowledgeable in many fields, they are responsible to impart this knowledge to board members as well as members of their communities.
Over the years, community managers have dealt with constant changes in legislation and rising expectations and demands from their clients. They are required to work more and more with municipalities. They need the knowledge and expertise of a lawyer, accountant, insurance specialist, contractor, landscaper, arborist, technology specialist and a professional writer … to name just a few.
We hope you have gained some insight into the world of your community manager and appreciate the many ways they help you manage your wealth!
Patty Garcia, CCAM is President of Millennium Community Management LLC in Santa Ana.