MANAGING THE MANAGER

The amount of hats that a community association manager often has to wear is amazing. Simultaneously, he or she needs to serve as the number cruncher, interior designer, police man, collection agency, master of ceremonies, complaint department, tech expert, unit owner liason and of course chief cook and bottle washer.  All the while performing each and every function with a cheerful and professional appearance and ALWAYS looking as if you have every situation under complete control, even if nothing is.  Throw in the fact that managers are often dealing with a Board member or two who simply doesn’t trust them, but really doesn’t have a reason for doing so, and you can see that the life of a Florida Community Association Manager isn’t all flowers, rainbows and those annoying little yellow smiley faces that everyone seems to be putting in their texts and e-mails these days.

Despite the daily grind, most hang in and accomplish their professional objectives each and every day without complaint.  But how do you know that they are doing their job well.  Perfect attendance isn’t enough.  How does one judge the performance of your manager?

You may think that one way to judge their performance is to see if expenses have been kept in check.  I would agree that a good manager should assist the association in saving money wherever possible.  But suppose assessments remain steady yet the place looks terrible?  Suppose the manager convinced the Board to be penny-wise and pound foolish?

What about maintaining protocol at meetings and in the association’s office?  A manager who is somehow able to bring order to chaos, whether at Board meetings or in the association’s office is worthy of a Noble Peace prize.

Here’s a real hard task.  Having the ability to tell your Board that they CANNOT take an action that the manager knows to be illegal because it violates a provision of Florida law or the governing documents.  Layers have a saying that it’s often times more important knowing what not to ask, rather than knowing what to ask.  For managers, it may be more important to tell the Board what they can’t do, rather than what they can do.  So the question is…..has the manager kept the Board out of legal quagmires or is the Board involved in more and more lawsuits because of alleged misdeeds?

These are just some criteria we may use when evaluating the performance of the managers who manage.  Perhaps the best criteria though is to simply look at the faces of all of the residents in the community since the manager started working there.  If their typical frowns are turning upside down and they are beginning to look more and more like those annoying little yellow smiley faces I mentioned earlier —— make sure you don’t let this manager slip away.

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