As a community association manager (CAM), you play many roles in the HOA community. From helping the HOA manage the day-to-day operations, assist with requesting proposals, or managing contractors and vendors, a CAM’s role is vital to the overall function of the community. The key to being a solid community manager is by executing effective communication and keeping your community informed.
To better understand what a community association manager role is, let’s start by taking a deeper dive into the primary purpose of having a community association manager.
Due to the nature of the role, a CAM can sometimes be misunderstood. It’s pretty standard for people to assume that the community manager is the one behind all the decision-making or controls the board. Contrary to belief, it is the board of directors that largely dictate the final decision.
Often, an employer's position can be misconstrued simply because no one is expressing their primary purpose for what they are hired to do. When you work with multiple teams, the team needs to communicate their primary roles and purpose. When executed, the team can provide effective communication, which then allows the other teams to build a common purpose to reach their goals. Imagine being on a baseball team, but have no understanding of what each player's role is. For you to play your part in the game, you must first know everyone else’s roles.
Keep in mind that not everyone on the board of directors will be as informed as a CAM may be. You may also find that some members have little experience working in an HOA and are still in the starting phases of learning standard HOA processes. By allowing Q&A sessions, the boards and their homeowners cultivate an environment where they feel comfortable discussing questions that could result in misunderstandings later on. As an additional suggestion, allow members to schedule in-person or online chat sessions to gain more clarity and personalization.
The advantage of using online portals such as applications, e-mail, text, and websites comes with accessing multiple chains of communication. Online portals also allow members to be more informed about meetings, dates, and announcements. TownSq offers an application specifically made for communities and management companies that can allow a community manager the opportunity to communicate and connect with their community effectively. It can also help simplify the daily processes of being a CAM to focus on what’s most important.
A significant responsibility of the community manager’s job is to help with resolving conflict. A key to resolving conflict resolution is by allowing those in the conflict to speak their side, all while acknowledging. A CAM should always be transparent and open to hearing complaints without taking sides. Overall, when a dispute arises, a strong CAM will be able to make informed decisions based on the best interest of the community.
As a community manager, you may find yourself in situations where talking about financials can be sensitive. Regardless of a financial crisis that is good or bad, board members and homeowners should always be kept in the loop about the community's financial situation. If the community is not kept up-to-date on regular updates, an HOA is likely to build mistrust and strong accusations. When informing your community about financial situations, a CAM must be financially transparent. Be honest and open to answering questions as they come.
As a community association manager, you are responsible for keeping your community involved and active. Consider adding community events such as community picnics, game nights, or even meet and greet nights. Events can work as a great way to have members socialize outside the typical office setting. In an environment such as this, a CAM can also address minor concerns and raise attention to matters that may seek more guidance.
A community association manager’s job can be a 24/7 role. As a manager who sits between the board and management company, they are often called to take over after everyone has clocked out for the day. Community association managers are also known to attend board meetings, help address violations, and address any serious issues that could arise outside of regular business hours. To better inform the community, we suggest providing a daily schedule and hours that the CAM will be available. This includes a CAM primary contact and phone number for more emergencies. The CAM can also manage their time outside of work so that they are not overburdened.
To conclude, let’s recap the role of a community association manager and the importance of keeping their community informed.