The CAM Employment Process

The CAM Employment Process

An Overview of the CAM’s Role

By Marcy Kravit, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, CFCAM / Published September 2021

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“The motivating force of the theory of a Democratic way of life is still a belief that as individuals we live cooperatively, and, to the best of our ability, serve the community in which we live, and that our own success, to be real, must contribute.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

Over the course of the next few issues, I will present to you an overview of the CAM profession and the employment process. After 20-plus years of managing community associations, I will share with you my insights into the profession, strategies, and best practices developed through trial and error; an overview of the roles and responsibilities of CAMs and boards of directors; and a creative and effective way to help you go beyond the core to take a deep dive into guiding you through the employment process.

Community association managers (CAM) play an important role in the success of operating the community association. Florida requires community association managers to hold a license. Part VIII of Chapter 468 in the Florida Statutes outlines the specifics regarding the best practices and professionalism that is required. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) specifies the requirements of all applicants that wish to obtain their license to practice community association management. The pre-license application requirements are as follows:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • All community association manager applicants must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 16 hours from an approved pre-licensure education provider within 12 months prior to the date of passing examination (Rule 61E14 -1.001, Florida Administrative Code).
  • An applicant must have a background check and fingerprinting as part of the licensing process.
  • Applicants must successfully pass the examination.
  • Applicant must pay all required fees.

The community association manager examination consists of 100 multiple choice questions based on entry level knowledge of state and federal laws pertaining to the operation and management of community associations, preparation of community association budgets, procedures for noticing and conducting community association meetings, insurance matters relating to community associations, management skills, and association maintenance.

The subject areas, the approximate proportion of examination questions in each subject area, and the sub-areas assigned to each subject area are as follows:

  • Law (20%)
  • Procedure (25%)
  • Budget (25%)
  • Insurance (12%)
  • Management/Maintenance (18%)

In addition, knowledge of the following Florida laws is required:

  • Chapter 399, Florida Statutes, Elevators
  • Chapter 468 Part VIII, Florida Statutes, Community Association Management (CAM) Law
  • Chapter 482, Florida Statutes, Pest Control
  • Chapter 493, Part III, Florida Statutes, Private Security Services
  • Chapter 514, Florida Statutes, Public Swimming and Bathing Facilities
  • Chapter 607.0125, Florida Statutes, Florida Business Corporations Act
  • Chapter 617, Florida Statutes, Florida Not-For-Profit Corporations Act
  • Chapter 715.07, Florida Statutes, Vehicles or vessels parked on private property; towing
  • Chapter 718, Florida Statutes, Condominium Act
  • Chapter 719, Florida Statutes, Cooperative Act
  • Chapter 720, Florida Statutes, HOA Act
  • Chapter 721, Florida Statutes, Florida Vacation Plan and Timeshare Act
  • Chapter 760, Part I, Florida Statutes, Florida Civil Rights Act
  • Chapter 760, Part II, Florida Statutes, Florida Fair Housing Act
  • Florida Administrative Code Chapter 61-20
  • Florida Administrative Code Chapter 61E14-1
  • Florida Administrative Code Chapter 61E14-2
  • Florida Administrative Code Chapter 61E14-3
  • Florida Administrative Code Chapter 61E14-4

As you can see, the amount of knowledge required by a CAM is extensive. As a licensed manager, it is essential to have a full understanding and a comprehensive overview regarding the roles and responsibilities you and the board fulfill in managing the community association. Community associations thrive and flourish in an atmosphere in which all are focused on the association’s expectations, needs, and wants. The successful outcome will be a positive one if all are willing to approach their roles professionally. Each party must have the patience and understanding to leave their egos at the door.

For a better understanding of the CAM profession for both the CAM and the board, I have outlined the responsibilities as follows:

I. Management’s Responsibilities

  1. Offer input and implement the decisions made by the board of directors within policies and guidelines set by the board—in conjunction with the community’s documents. Speak up on the “mechanics” of getting the job done so the board understands what is involved, both in terms of cost and time.
  2. Protect the health, safety, and welfare of the residents, employees, and guests. Coordinate and document in writing all recommendations pertaining to this task. Suggest drafting a strategic plan for the association and prioritizing and setting their goals. Maintain architectural control to enhance property values and protect the lifestyle of the community.
  3. Oversee and delegate tasks to outsourced vendor services and employees. Develop objectives for all employees pertaining to their responsibilities that contribute to the efficiency of the association’s operations. Build up employee morale.
  4. Designate one board member as the point of contact if the manager needs to seek guidance in order to carry out the day-to-day policies and procedures. This member will serve as the contact person in signing off on all contracts. This is usually the president.
  5. Perform only duties that fall within the scope of work of a licensed manager. Seek the services of professionals such as attorneys and insurance agents. Do not interpret the law, draft contracts, perform accounting or engineering, or carry out any licensed contractor’s work (plumbing, electrical, HVAC, elevator, pool service [must be certified]). Managers should take every precaution not to perform as if they are a professional of any kind unless they are duly licensed in that profession and hav authorization to perform in that capacity.
  6. Disclose the interest management has in any company bidding for a job. Obtain competitive bids.
  7. Maintain a positive and professional attitude and demeanor. Refrain from harassment, name calling, intimidation, derogatory remarks and comments, personal attacks, etc.
  8. Document advice and communications in writing.
  9. Encourage education for the board. Offer your experience and expertise. Serve as an educational resource by attending seminars and workshops, reading publications, and joining educational industry-related organizations. Encourage the association to fund participation in these organizations and seminars. The association will benefit.
  10. Protect the board from engaging in discussions that lead to personality conflicts, prejudices, or discrimination (age, race, gender, religious beliefs, disability status, etc.) by causing stereotypes of individuals or classes of people.
  11. Avoid offering legal advice. Avoid being heavy-handed and political. Avoid sharing confidential matters with members who do not have a fiduciary duty to the association. There is sometimes a temptation to justify a board decision. Avoid engaging in these conversations.
  12. Suggest alternative methods of communication. In addition to posting meeting notices, suggest that the board make phone calls and speak to unit owners, publish a newsletter, create a website, use questionnaires or surveys, establish email lists, and recruit volunteers to elicit responses from owners.
  13. Supervise, oversee, and give direction to all staff members. Act as the liaison between board members, staff, and residents. Conduct regular staff meetings. Complete the following tasks:
    • Attend regular monthly board meetings and annual meetings
    • Prepare management reports
    • Prepare monthly board meeting agendas and board packages
    • Prepare and draft association meeting minutes
    • Prepare and mail deed restriction violation notices
    • Administer requests for property modifications
    • Prepare and distribute meeting notices to members
    • Maintain a member roster
    • Maintain a renter, lessee, and resale list
    • Work with legal counsel
    • Review insurance coverage
    • Maintain files
    • Promote volunteerism and participation to new owners
    • Monitor maintenance contracts
    • Obtain bids
    • Report violations to the board
    • Process routine and emergency work orders
    • Coordinate with vendors on routine services such as pest control, trash removal, irrigation, landscaping, pool service, fire systems maintenance, security, and gate access
    • Maintain contractors’ licensing and insurance
    • Negotiate contracts
    • Implement preventive maintenance and a hurricane preparedness program
    • Perform routine property inspections
    • Receive quality professional and accurate recommendations on issues such as budgets, reserves, preventive maintenance, customer service, obtaining and reviewing insurance coverage, administration, governance, contracts, the law, and rules enforcement
    • Maintain communication with the entire board and keep them abreast of community business, ensuring that the residents and board members receive regular information regarding the association’s activities
  14. Allow the entire board to provide input regarding association business, policies, and procedures
  15. Be aware of the special safety needs of owners
  16. Propose all scheduled social functions to the board of directors
  17. Encourage volunteer participation

A wide variety of interests and agendas lead to differing attitudes toward involvement in the community’s business affairs. Board members, owners, and managers must share the responsibility in holding the key to the bright health of the community. Together they can provide direction in guiding the association in a positive manner. Respect, recognition, consideration, and appreciation can go a long way toward a professional, well-run community. With the right approach, all parties will display enthusiasm, respect, and skill in facing the challenges of establishing a successful association.

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 FCAP as a CFCAM. Marcy is a contributing writer to the Florida Community Association Journal 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.