What makes an association manager really successful? Is it hands-on attention to each association in their portfolio, or their ability to point wayward boards in the right direction to solve their own problems? Do great managers have to know the name of every board member in every association they handle? Since each association community has its own personality and culture, maybe it's most instructive to ask managers themselves what they think separates the great from the merely good.
A Combination of Skills
Without clear lines of communication between board, management, and residents, even the most capable manager's abilities will be wasted.
According to Tom Garver, CEO of Condominium Management Services in Lindenwold, "A great manager's mission should be to provide the best service that they can to their clients, and for the residents to enjoy living in their communities as much as possible. Our responsibility is to work directly with the board of trustees, because they are responsible for the decision-making and maintaining of [the community.]"
According to Rick Fry of RCP Management in Princeton, "What sets a good manager apart is good two-way communication skills between a board and homeowners. A fairly common complaint in our industry is that there is a lack of communication. That's one thing that makes a manager stand out."
But it doesn't stop with just being able to communicate with the people you serve. Robin Habacht, a property manager and co-founder of Monticello Management in Leonia says that one-on-one attention, a hands-on approach, and excellent communication skills "all make for a great manager—but they must be combined with a genuine love for the interaction with people. He or she will educate owners, help them solve problems, and listen to them when they speak. His or her satisfaction at the end of the day is derived from knowing that he or she helped someone and made a difference."