Now is the time of year to reflect on the things and people for which we are grateful. Residents and directors of community associations could add to their “I am grateful for” list the managers who serve them and their associations.
Here are some of the reasons why:
Managers assist directors in handling hundreds of thousands up to millions of dollars worth of property. You warn directors who are about to make wrong decisions in managing those pricey assets. How hard it must be for you to watch directors make costly mistakes. Thank you for patiently working with directors to undo the damage.
Managers understand the documents and requirements of the law. Thank you for all the times you tell directors to get legal opinions before they proceed with an uncertain course of action. Whoa to the board who is too cheap to spend the money for attorney’s fees or that does not heed the advice of counsel.
Managers are bound by their license to be certain all the association funds are placed in the proper accounts. Thank you for all the times you keep the board from making terrible mistakes when they wanted to “move” money around from reserves to the operating account.
Managers have to look to the future and anticipate capital expenditures for balcony and concrete restoration. Thank you for the manager who will only work with an association whose reserves are fully funded.
Managers deal with people, pets, parking, and the pool all day long. Thank you for being a therapist, veterinarian, and parking and pool monitor.
Managers understand that rules enforcement is part of living in a community association. Thank you for reminding residents and directors that enforcement of violations is in the course of business and is not to be taken personally.
Managers know it is wise to move quickly to foreclose a lien or sue a resident for a rules violation. Thank you for stepping in and doing the hard work so residents do not lose the enjoyment of living in their communities.
Managers have residents call them all times of the day and night when they should be calling the police or locksmith. Thank you for all the times you answered your telephone and helped even when it wasn’t in your contract or job description.
Managers work hard during the off season to maintain the common area so residents’ investments will increase. Thank you for being able to come home to a beautiful community every fall.
Managers have to learn conflict prevention and negotiation skills. Thank you for the times you did not yell back at a resident who was having a bad day.
Managers take 20 hours of classes every two years to keep up with the new laws and changes in their industry. Even though we miss you when you are gone, thank you for keeping yourself current on community association management.
Managers know that with each election of directors, their contracts could be cancelled. Thank you for not bailing out on us when your future seemed uncertain.
Managers go over and above the requirements of exercising due professional care by taking a personal interest in our associations. Thank you for your good will and devotion to our community.
Managers interview and consult with experts, engineers, contractors, vendors, attorneys, and accountants. Thank you for doing that for us so we can enjoy the pool, golf course, clubhouse, and tennis courts.
Managers know how to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. Thank you for all the money you save us by your reviews and recommendations of our insurance policies and lawn maintenance contracts.
Managers know all the dates required by law for board meeting notices, recall procedures, and annual elections. Thank you for reminding us of those so we stay out of court.
Managers know and love their residents and take a special interest in them. Thank you for calling me about my mother and letting me know she wasn’t doing well so I could come help her.
Managers understand budgets, reserves, financials, and the difference between “fully funded” and “fully funding.” Thank you that we can depend on you and don’t have to know about such things.
Managers can often quote the statutes and documents verbatim. Thank you that we don’t have to know what 617, 718, 719, 720, and 721 are, or that the declaration contains restrictions that “run with the land”, or that the articles of incorporation and by-laws govern the business of the association.
Managers deal with many ethnic and religious groups, are often bilingual, and have to be aware of customs and practices of their overseas residents. Thank you for being a terrific international diplomat.
Managers sometimes have to act as the referee at board meetings and annual elections. Thank you for stepping in and reminding us to act like adults and be civil to each other.
Thank you for being our manager!
Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM, guides managers, board members, and service providers in handling daily operations of their communities while at the same time dealing with different communication styles, difficult personalities, and conflict. Effective communication and efficient management are her goals. For more than 15 years, Barbieux has educated thousands of managers, directors, and service providers. She is your trainer for life! Barbieux is the author of Boardmanship, a columnist in the Florida Community Association Journal, and a member of the Regulatory Council for Community Association Managers. For more information, contact Betsy@FloridaCAMSchools.com, (352) 326-8365, or www.FloridaCAMSchools.com.