When speaking about experiences living in a community association more often than not, there are war stories and complaints coming from all sides. But having recently attended a conference for Community Association Managers (CAM) I must admit I did not feel remotely close to a battlefield or to any conflict. The people I met and made acquaintance with were far from warriors, well perhaps to some extent they are, but only in the most positive of ways. When asked how my experience at the conference was ‘positivity’ is the word that comes to mind.
Committed to Excellence
When I am engaged to mediate a community association issue I already know that conflict has brought all of the parties to the table and each issue is important no matter how inane it may seem. What I discovered at the conference, surrounded by so many community association professionals, is their common commitment to excellence and doing their job to the best of their ability. This is not to say there was no exchange of war stories. Conversely almost everyone I had the pleasure of speaking with did have one or two to share but they were never spoken with anger or malice and ultimately focused on positive outcomes and success.
All Things to All People
So often we hear or read about CAM’s wearing many hats – this is true.
So often we hear or read about how CAM’s juggle many issues during the course of a day – this too is true.
So often we hear or read about the thin lines the CAM walks between to be all things to all people, homeowners, board members, vendors as well as their team and their superiors – all true.
So often we hear or read about how resourceful CAM’s need to be because as you and I both know they are expected to understand budgeting and finance; construction issues; limited legal issues, irrigation, asphalt… the list goes on and on and… is also true.
Continue to Learn and Improve
What I did see surrounded by all these CAM’s, who are on the forefront tackling major issues on a day-to-day basis, is their commitment to doing their job professionally with success and purpose. When war stories were shared they were accompanied with a slight chuckle, a shrug of the shoulders and followed by “what can I do?” The answer was always to do the best of their ability, the best way they know how and to make it work.
These professionals came together to improve and enhance their skills for the betterment of their communities and their companies. CAM’s joined industry partners and experts in their field who presented the latest updates and changes and trends that CAM’s regularly work with to maintain productivity and function in their communities. They spent the days at the conference in workshops honing their skills. For those new to the industry they attended courses learning the basic essentials of community management. Others learned about the latest updates in industry technology, online voting and sales and marketing among so many other important tools CAM’s use to keep their communities successful and operating effectively.
With the many positive experiences I gleaned from attending the conference I will end with the following: I saw the heart and soul of a CAM, the energy, time and commitment each one gives to so many so often and not always receiving the appreciation I hope to express and share in this brief article #dedication.