A Comprehensive Guide to Being a Condo Property Manager in Toronto: Top Qualities to Look For

Have you ever been interested in what it takes to become a condo property manager in Toronto? Condominium management is a challenging and rewarding career, though it is not for everyone. If you have ever wondered what a property manager really does, and how you might become one, we have some guidance to help you determine if this might be the right career field for you.

What does a condo property manager do?

A property manager for a condominium complex can have a wide range of duties, depending on what the community and the board of directors specify. Note that it is ultimately the condo owners and their board who make the determinations as to what duties the manager should undertake.

Note that being a property manager can mean some unique challenges in balancing what is best for the condo community and complying with the law. The financial reporting challenges are some of the more nuanced, but there are also issues that might come up that can cause tension.

In one recent example that has been on the news, certain property management companies have been accused of bicycle theft due to the removal of bicycles from being tethered to privately owned signs by the building’s security staff. This kind of tension shows the difficult situation that a condo property manager in Toronto might deal with, in balancing interacting with the public against the desire to keep a clean and clutter-free condo property.

Aside from these kinds of situations, there are a number of other potential roles the manager might fill:

  • Repairs and maintenance. Most property management companies provide repair and maintenance services, keeping the condo property in good shape and having a cleaning crew go in regularly to clean and maintain both interior and exterior common areas.
  • Financial services. From the collection of fees to the issuance of financial statements, a condo property manager in Toronto should have exceptional organizational skills, as he or she is often the record keeper for the complex. This also includes paying contractors for their services and complying with all of the regulations regarding financial records and reporting.
  • Communications. Whether dealing with a resident’s concerns individually or issuing newsletters and memos about community news and updates, the property manager should be prepared to communicate frequently with residents about issues surrounding the management of the condo.
  • Resident relations. Going hand-in-hand with communications, tenant relations involves dealing with problems – handling complaints, clearing up parking issues, providing emergency services when required, and the like.

This list is just a small portion of the duties many property managers fulfill for their residents. It seems that a property manager must be an electrician, plumber, engineer and even a psychiatrist at times…..Do you have a condo property manager? What services does he or she provide to your community?

What kind of training should a condo property manager have?

Training and education are essential components of being a successful property manager in Toronto. There are a number of resources available for people contemplating a career in property management, both at the local and the national level.

The Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI) is one resource dedicated to excellence in the condo property management field on a national level. They offer the ACCI, or Associate of CCI, program. It designates individuals as experienced professionals in condo property management.

Individuals who have experience in property management of at least 3 years, and who have references and are in good standing with their local CCI Chapter, can earn this designation. The designation also calls for an exam reflecting skill and knowledge in property management, particularly when it comes to regulations and familiarity with things like the Condominium Act.

One resource specific to Ontario and property managers in Toronto is the Association of Condominium Managers of Toronto, of which ICC® CEO Steven Christodoulou is currently serving as president.

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 What are the ACMO requirements for a condo property manager?

ACMO has its own designation for skilled property managers, being the Registered Condominium Manager (RCM).  An RCM is expected to adhere to many standards in being a property manager, including:

  • Trust: Managing properties with honesty and integrity and adhering to a code of ethics.
  • Quality: Providing good service to residents and their boards, and collaborating effectively with vendors, owners, and boards to maintain good communities.
  • Standard of Care: Providing guidance and leadership for the staff members of the condominium community, ensuring proper organization of records, and enforcing the regulations of the community.
  • Knowledge: Maintaining ongoing education about condo property management and knowing current laws and regulations.
  • Experience: A minimum of two years of direct management experience with condominiums is required.
  • Value: Providing condominium communities with the best value for money from suppliers and contractors.

These are just a few of the values articulated by ACMO in what it takes to be good property managers in Toronto. Are you currently among the top property managers in Toronto? If so, ICC® Property Management is always seeking worthwhile candidates to become property managers. Share this article with someone you know who is interested in this unique career path!

What opportunities does a condo property manager have for advancement?

Within ICC®, we offer a number of advancement opportunities to become a senior property manager, if an employee is certified as an RCM. A property manager with ICC® has two years to become an RCM if he or she is not already upon joining the team, and ICC® offers in-house training specific to meeting the RCM requirements, which are going into effect as a legislative requirement for property management, most likely in the spring of 2015. These requirements include:

  • Joining ACMO as a candidate member,
  • Taking courses in Condominium Law, Financial Management, Administration, HR Management, and Physical Building Management,
  • Taking the RCM exam following the courses,
  • Having 2 years of experience as a property manager,
  • Submitting an application to become an RCM.

In addition, members must obtain 20 credits per year of continuing education to maintain the RCM designation.

Stay tuned for new legislation to be introduced in the Spring for licensing of Condo Managers.  We are very excited about this new level of consumer protection.  I’ve always found it absurd that you need a license to sell one unit but not to manage 300 units!!

If you have met these ACMO requirements, or a career in this field sounds interesting, contact ICC® today to discuss open positions within the company as a property manager. A unique and exciting job could await you!

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