Even the most successful property managers understand they don’t know everything, and with new developments happening in building technology, administration, and communication, a savvy manager will look to constantly learn about what’s new.
“This industry is evolving and managers need to stay updated regarding current trends,” says Carol A. Marcou, the chair of the Illinois chapter of Community Association’s Institute’s Legislative Action Committee (ILAC) and a community association manager for Vanguard Community Management in Schaumburg. “There has been an increased amount of laws pertaining to this industry that managers need to be aware of in order to manage properties properly.”
While networking with other industry professionals is an excellent method of staying up-to-date (and reading industry publications and attending trade shows like The Chicagoland Cooperator’s are also smart moves), the most beneficial way for a community association manager to learn, develop, and advance is to continue their education.
“The state requires continuing education to maintain your license,” says Dan Haumann, president of Advocate Property Management in Naperville. “The industry is very complex, and continuing education helps expand the knowledge of the manager, expanding their capability and capacity, which ultimately translates into an opportunity to increase their seniority and earning potential.”
Keeping up on management training is vitally important, as all Chicagoland property managers who oversee community associations larger than 10 units must be licensed, pass an examination, and complete training and continuing education. Licensing rules took effect October 1, 2011, and unlicensed management activity is a misdemeanor for the first offense and a felony for subsequent offenses.