Finding Happiness As A Community Manager

Tips for Longevity, Sanity, Happiness

and Some Success as a Community Manager

How do we last; stay sane; are we really happy and how is success measured in community management? Aren’t they the $64,000 dollar questions?

Are we measured by the amount of clients you manage, your Board of Directors, your company or co-workers? In an industry full of Boards who are ever changing and moving the bull’s eyes, how do you know when you have success?

Is client retention success? It would appear that the longer you have a client, the better you must be, right? Well not always, so the first tip is not to become complacent. You must always approach your clients with fresh eyes, being pro-active and looking for improvements or that next project coming around the bend. Try not to be lulled into thinking you know everything about your communities because you have been managing them for years and years.

Anticipate questions. What questions, additional information, contractor or background can you bring to a Board meeting in anticipation of what is on the agenda? Take that extra step. How satisfying will it be when you hear, I guess you didn’t think to bring, and you open your folder and hand over the additional information?

Know your Boards. Yes, easier said than done. Does your Board like to streamline or long drawn out reports; once a week communication or once a day; email or phone? All of these seem simple, but mistakes are made when we don’t recognize the wants and needs of our Boards. Or when we don’t listen to their direction and think we know what is best for them, even if they don’t. Yes, we must always give the proper advice or recommendations, quote laws or acts or be the conduit, but if your Board still wants to take the slow boat, after you have tried and tried to show them the speed boat, then it is our job to gas up the slow boat. Each Board is a mold and our job is to figure out that mold and then work as best as we can within it.

Don’t just do your job, do your job well and do a little bit more than your job requires you to do each day. If you only do what is necessary to get by that is how your career and job will go also. The perception of you as an employee will be someone who does not have initiative or is not willing to take the additional steps to get the job done. Your work product will suffer and be average at best. Provide the extra report, make the additional phone call, write the letter, and meet your residents. Continuing to enhance all of your skills and job knowledge will make you a well rounded, pro-active manager.

Published in Association Times: August 2008