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International Community Association Manager Day – Meet the Managers!

International Community Association Manager Day

The Community Association Institute (CAI) recently announced the first-ever International Community Association Manager Day, which takes place today, June 13th! We\’re sharing the stories and experiences of our biggest users in the field to celebrate it!

What is International Community Association Manager Day?

International Community Association Manager Day is dedicated to celebrating community association managers who serve homeowners associations and condominium associations in the United States and worldwide. 55,000 managers in the United States and many thousands more worldwide lend their expertise to help boards successfully operate and govern their communities. CAI research studies show that community associations continue to be a preferred place for millions of individuals to call home. According to CAI studies, resident satisfaction is increasing every year, with 89% rating their experience as positive. Additionally, 85% of residents who have had direct contact with their managers rate it as a positive experience!

Meet the Managers

Here at Pilera, we work with amazing community managers who work tirelessly to build successful communities and create great association living experiences for residents! To celebrate this day, we share some of our client\’s unique stories, lessons they\’ve learned along the way, and their advice for those looking to start a career in community management.

Norm Patton, Community Manager at Solomons Landing Condo

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How long have you been in the community management industry?

I have been a Community Manager for 2 years.  This was my first job after Retiring from the Navy and Air Force after 20 years.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve encountered in the industry and how did you overcome the challenge?

This being a resort community tied in with it being a 25 year old property have been a challenge. When I took over the job from someone who really didn’t make any adjustments or improvements in the last 10 years was tough. A lot has to be done to bring this community current with technology and innovations.  The way we communicate electronically is way better now than it was.  Everything before me was done via paper and very slow and unorganized. Getting residents involved with committees and hosting events that were never held before was slow in the start.

It is also difficult as a manager because you often serve two competing bosses.  I am hired by a management company that like to have control over what and how I do things, but I also serve a revolving Board of Directors that want things a certain way and finding a way to balance both entities is a daily stressor.

What is your favorite part of being in the community management industry? Is there any story or memorable experience that you wish to share?

Being able to balance office work with being outdoors and seeing residents face to face is a plus.  I have 49 acres of Marina and Nature combined with problem-solving on a daily basis.  There is something new each and every day.

This is a simple and insignificant story but, The day I started, there was a work order for a broken grill flame ignition that was about 3 months old.  Residents basically had to light the grill with a lighter.  I asked why it was not fixed and the maintenance worker said that the part that was broken was really difficult to find and that they had ordered a brand new replacement grill at around $1,000 but it was on backorder.  I researched the part and found it within a few minutes but as I was looking at the part, I decided, I would go look at the grill myself.  I went there and found that all it needed was a new AA battery. I swapped it out and was able to cancel the order of the new grill. I learned really fast that many issues have a very simple solution.

What advice would you give to new community management professionals? 

There is always another way to solve a problem.  Residents like the main things to stay the same overall but they also like to see new things that have your personality attached.  IT shows them that you care about the community and that you aren’t just doing a job.

Take as many “little wins” as possible.  Do the small things to help a resident whenever you can, even if it isn’t your job.  Because one day you won\’t be able to help them with something that is out of your control and it helps soften the negative interactions that are inevitable when they have the positive ones to remember. You can never please everyone all the time.


Sarah Metcalf, Business Manager at Pelican Cove Condo Assn., Inc.

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How long have you been in the community management industry?

I have been a Florida Licensed Community Manager for Nine years; however, I have had prior experience managing 159 Bank Branch locations.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve encountered in the industry and how did you overcome the challenge?

Unit Owners understanding what is Community Property and the ever changing and emerging Information Technology (IT).  Most unit owners get confused and use the generic term IT when they have issues that could be from their cable networking system, WIFI, or Phone system.  This could include their personal browser or email account.  IT is anything related to computing technology, such as networking, hardware, software, or the Internet.  I recently had someone complain they could not access our website only to discover their browser networking system was down.

What is your favorite part of being in the community management industry? Is there any story or memorable experience that you wish to share?

Every day brings a new challenge. Just last week I had a unit owner coming in with their cell phone in hand, expressing to me their internet was not working and she had made an appointment and was attempting to confirm the appointment.  She started showing us a string from a conversation that she had been having with an ‘IT person’ at the cable company.  After reading for a minute I expressed to her that she was having a conversation with an AI.  She asked what that was and I explained it was Artificial Intelligence.  She said no, and went to another sent message and said his name was BOT.  Everyone in the office started laughing, and I explained we were not laughing at her but the situation and hoped she would find it humorous after her situation was fixed.  A BOT is a software application that is programmed to do certain tasks, she was communicated with a “Chatbot”.  After the laughter stopped, one of our front office staff offered to stop by her unit on the way home and she discovered the unit owner was hitting the INPUT button on the remote instead of changing the channel.  An easy fix.  But this is one of the many reasons I am in the business.  I like the feeling of knowing either myself or staff can ultimately help our residents daily.

What advice would you give to new community management professionals? 

1. Patients, be willing to listen to unit owners to a degree.  2.  After time, you get better and it gets easier.  At first you will be overwhelmed, bullied even, but it will be a great learning and growing experience.  There will be continual problem solving and work arounds you need to figure out.  You will get occasional hate mail because someone is not in compliance or behind in the maintenance fees and that will never change, just accept it as human nature.


About Pilera

Pilera Software is the premier community and property management software that has helped thousands of community managers enhance communications, improve customer service, and manage compliance and operations. To learn how Pilera can help to improve efficiency and reduce costs, book a personalized demo

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