By Jim McMurry / Published January 2017
A long-time source of information and service in the community association management industry, Lisa Pinder has been involved in the profession from many different angles over the last 35 years. She has spent the last dozen years in her current position with CondoJobs Recruiting Service assisting community associations and management companies in their search for licensed community association managers.
“My goal is very simple: to help associations and management companies find managers,” says Lisa Pinder, CondoJobs Director. “Of course, this works for managers too, since they are the ones who fill the jobs. When an association needs a manager, they contact me, and I find out what skills and background they’re looking for and the salary range and benefits they’ll provide. I help boards understand the manager’s role and responsibilities and realistic salary guidelines.”
The job is a perfect match for Lisa as the daughter of two association managers, Ivor and Marcia Thomas. “We moved to Florida when I was 11,” Lisa recalls, “and shortly after we arrived, my dad got a job doing maintenance work at a condominium and worked his way up to become a manager. My mom worked her way up from the cleaning side to become a manager, also. We joke that at the dinner table we spoke ‘condo.’ Discussions at our house were on the latest rules and regulations, concrete restoration, and preventive maintenance.
“The main reasons for a job opening are new board elections and manager burnout. The average tenure for a position in Florida is three to four years; that’s not good for associations, the industry, or managers. Lisa identifies the reason for manager burnout: “It’s a very tough job. Managers take communities’ problems and solve them; some people will be happy with how they’re solved and others won’t. In some associations the owners may be tough and want to shoot the messenger, and some may be abusive. In fact, the biggest complaint from managers is micromanagement by board members.”
Lisa’s experience goes beyond CondoJobs. She is also the former Editor of Managers Report—now FLCAJ. She traces that experience, “By the time I was in college, I was the secretary at the upscale, oceanfront condominium in Palm Beach that my father was managing. He joined the local Palm Beach Community Manager’s Association and eventually became president,” she explains. “As people called the office with the same questions over and over, Dad decided to start an eight-page newsletter, Managers Report, out of the condominium office to share information so managers and board members didn’t have to re-create the wheel. Everyone had the same problems but didn’t have an effective way of communicating with one another.” When Advantage Publishing purchased the magazine in 2000, Lisa stayed on as editor, eventually taking over CondoJobs in November 2003.
When it’s time to hold interviews, Lisa offers a variety of board services. “If they desire, I’ll set up appointments, do pre-interview questions and reports, and set up a conference call with the board to talk over management options and considerations. Since the board is a volunteer group, I’m helping them through a process they are not familiar with in some cases.
“On the manager side, if they need career counseling, help with their resume, or advice on interviewing, I provide that. Believe it or not, every now and then, some managers will show up at an interview in blue jeans or text on their cell phone during the interview. Some truths are universal: professional behavior and attire at an interview are always required.”
Lisa’s goal is not just filling a slot, but facilitating a long-term solution for both parties. “An ideal relationship is good for both sides and will last,” she points out. “For a good fit, it needs to be determined whether the manager’s management style, personality, and experience are a good match for the community. You should work through that together in the interview phase, when everyone is getting to know each other. Everybody needs to be honest and straightforward—the board about challenges and the mana-ger about their experience. If you don’t have honesty on both sides during the interview, it can cause problems down the road,” she adds.
The bonuses of Lisa’s job are numerous, though. “It’s fun. I get to work with some really great people all over the state of Florida. Helping people all day long is a remarkable thing to be able to do. If I do my job well, everybody is happy,” Lisa points out.
I grew up in this industry. My parents were both community association managers and are now retired. My youngest brother is still a CAM. I have been working in the industry for my entire adult life; it’s been great.
What I Love About My Work
I like helping people. In this job, I am able to help the board members find managers when they need them, and I am able to help people get jobs. Jobs are so important to people, and I like to be a part of helpful solutions for them.
My Interests Outside of Work
I enjoy spending time with my family outside of work. We like to go camping, fishing, bike riding, and taking day trips to beaches and parks around Florida. I like to take photos everywhere we go, but my favorite is to take photos at the beach, especially at sunrise.
My Most Satisfying Personal Accomplishments
My most satisfying personal accomplishments are my three daughters. Jessie, 27, is a high school science teacher. Sarah, 23, is a professional photographer. Amy, 16, is a high school honor roll student. I love them so much, and I am so very proud of them!
My Next Project
I would like to publish a book of my beach and ocean photos.