By Marcy Kravit, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, CFCAM / Published March 2022
Editor’s Note: This is the final article in this series. To see all articles that have been published in this series, visit The CAM Employment Process Overview.
This series presents an overview of the CAM profession and the employment process, including the following:
The most important aspect in managing a successful community is to keep in mind that after hiring the manager, fostering a good relationship with the board takes time, patience, and effort from both parties involved.
Several factors can assist with fostering a positive relationship between the CAM and the board.
The board and/or management company should send out a formal announcement to the community introducing the new manager. You may want to share the new manager’s background, work experience, education, skills, etc. This builds positive expectations and sets the tone from the beginning.
It is important that the board meet with the manager for an orientation and strategic planning session. All will need to have a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities and expectations and prioritize the top ten items that are pending in drafting a wish list. Knowing the basics and establishing the expectations will help both the board and new manager hit the ground running! Discuss the hot topics in the community, pending projects, and staffing and schedule a tour of the community at the same time.
Here is a sample checklist of items the board and management may wish to include in an orientation package:
The board needs to give the manager their full professional support and time to get acclimated.
The board should act in an advisory capacity. All owner inquiries and concerns should channel through the manager, and the board should not give direction to staff. Following the chain of command is essential. The board president should give direction to the manager for day-to-day operations, and the board members should channel their requests through the president. This will streamline communication and avoid chaos and confusion. The manager is the experienced professional who can keep everyone’s emotions in check, ensure that the laws and governing documents are adhered to, call on the experts when necessary, and make sure that things don’t escalate.
Some board members may work offsite full-time while others may work from home. Does the board want to be notified as things happen and give the president the authority to make the decision in handling the day-to-day operational issues?
I recommend that the manager meet with the president on a weekly basis to review pending items and the president’s action items list. The president’s role as an overseer and “co-strategist” will assist the manager in establishing expectations and prioritizing. The manager should meet monthly with the treasurer to review the financials. The manager should engage and encourage the board members to communicate regularly with the membership. Transparency is critical. The manager and board members need to constructively address issues head on and, ultimately, be able to collaborate and work well together consistently and efficiently.
Board members and the manager collectively need to be good listeners and willing to work together to offer sound solutions, especially when it concerns sensitive issues. All can bring a fresh perspective. Board meeting agenda items need to be drafted by the manager and the president. Board members and management must have a can-do attitude and team mindset in bringing a passion, vision, and mission for the success of the community. I have first-hand experience watching and working with boardmembers for over 20-plus years. Some have been phenomenal based upon their knowledge, skills, background, and willingness to work with management.
In today’s world, boards and management are facing ever-increasingly complex and challenging matters. Boards and management need to consider the demographics of the members they represent, such as residents with geographical international diversity, differing political views, disabilities, differing religions, beliefs, gender, and age.
It is up to the manager and the board to create a culture within the board that facilitates the kind of strategic consideration needed in making educated business decisions. It is up to the manager and the board to build a sense of community, making sure that the community is provided the services necessary to make the property look great! The board should respect the manager’s time off and only call when it is a situation that involves “fire, flood, or blood!” Otherwise, it can wait! Both the board and manager should respect, care for, and have loyalty to one another in taking on their fiduciary responsibilities seriously. Together they will be successful in fostering a good working relationship for the community to flourish!
Marcy Kravit, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, CFCAM
Education Program Director
Marcy Kravit has 20-plus years’ experience managing community associations in South Florida. She has established a reputation as being passionate about service, driven by challenges, and undeterred by obstacles. Marcy is committed to providing five-star service and educating others in raising the level of professionalism in the industry. She works for Hotwire as director of community association relations. Marcy has earned every higher education credential offered by CAI and is recognized by Florida Community Association Professionals (FCAP) as a CFCAM. Marcy is a contributing writer to the Florida Community Association Journal (FLCAJ) and serves FCAP as their education program director.
This article is part of a multi-part series as an overview of the CAM profession and the employment process.