As a profession, community association management has only been around for 50 years or so. But though it is relatively young, the profession has made tremendous strides in that short time, as have the communities that have benefited from having professional teams managing their property.
But what can we expect for this profession in the coming years and how will it influence how residents live? Community Associations Institute, a trade organization dedicated to building better communities, brought together industry experts to weigh in on these questions. We have paired those findings with some insight from our industry experts to give you a list of factors that will influence the future of this growing industry. 
Below, are some areas of focus for the community association management industry. 

1. Industry awareness

Outside of the community management industry, there is very little knowledge of what community managers do. In fact, many Board members still aren’t familiar with the benefits of partnering with a professional, experienced management company. These benefits include streamlining operations, enforcing policies, maximizing efficiencies, and enhancing property values. In many ways, the profession of community management, is at the heart of a well-run community. Thus, residents stand to benefit when their association decides to partner with a professional community management company.

As awareness of the industry continues to grow, so too will the demand for excellent community managers. This is not only good for Boards and residents, but for the managers themselves who will work harder to meet the demands of this evolving profession. 

2. Emerging talent

In recent years, we have seen the popularity of common-interest communities grow. As a result, the demand for highly-skilled community managers has grown as well. Current openings are being filled by experienced professionals who combine a breadth of knowledge, astute business sense, incredible people skills and knowledge of local laws and regulations.  But as these individuals reach retirement, a new generation of community managers will be required to meet this growing need. Thus recruiting and training new community managers is more important than ever.

Management companies will also need to recruit subject-matter experts to support these community managers. This includes professionals in the accounting, legal, and project management fields, to name just a few.

3. Professional education

The community management industry is already rich in certifications, but there is always more to be done. To accommodate the rapidly growing industry, community management companies will need to offer continuing education and training programs similar to FirstService Residential’s School of Professional Development. These internal programs allow associates to complete online courses and/or instructor-led webinars designed to advance skills and knowledge, enhance service delivery and further personal career goals.
With more knowledge comes the opportunity for more specialization, which in turn gives these associates a competitive edge in the industry. Plus, consider the value of a management team who is always learning, kept up to speed, and evolving with the changing times – that level of expertise would be a true asset to any community.
The community management industry will continue to grow and change, but with the right planning, we can meet the demand and continue to add value to the properties we serve and the lives of the residents who live there. For more information about community association management, contact FirstService Residential, North America’s leading residential community management company.
Tuesday August 16, 2016