What it means to be a CAM or property manager
When you purchase a home in a community governed by an HOA, a community association manager (CAM) will be your go-to person for any questions you have about how the neighborhood or community runs. They know everything you’d need or want to know about your HOA’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) and making sure owners follow them.
The CAM is also up to date on various HOA plans and issues running from planned capital improvements to whether or not residents are permitted to use charcoal grills on their patios.
Other aspects of their role are providing support to the Community Association board and oversight and guidance. They take care of management, budget, shared spaces, and services for the community. A CAM is also responsible for keeping current on local legislation and shares information with the CAM board or the community’s management company.
Now that we’ve more or less defined a Community Association and the duties of its manager, we should look at the HOA and what it does.
A community association manager (CAM) works at planned communities like condos, and co-ops, taking care of the shared properties and facilities. Community associations hire a manager or a community association management company to look after the day-to-day management of the association and the neighborhood.
What does a community association manager do?
The job of a community association manager is interesting in that the CAM provides expert guidance, high level service, and oversight to community associations' board members. He or she also looks after the business, administration, and operations of the association. The board members are volunteers, whereas the manager is paid for delivering services. Community association managers are responsible for executing the governing documents, with the goal to ensure a greater good for the residents.
The CAM plays an active role in running the day-to-day activities of the association, assisting with budgeting, and taking care of the common areas. The manager is expected to exercise a type of proactive approach to changes in relevant local laws and share the information with the board. The services of property managers also include bookkeeping, financial management, and internal and external communications.
Community association managers are responsible for identifying the requirements for repair, maintenance, and upgrade of shared areas and facilities, and work with contractors to meet those requirements. They oversee the vendor bidding process and supervise the contractors’ onsite, in addition to committing necessary resources, and tracking payments and invoices.
The CAM is responsible for providing administrative services to the board in terms of managing procurements, besides handling vendor paperwork and recordkeeping. It may also include online and face-to-face communication, in addition to creating presentations and correspondence materials like flyers, meeting reports, and handouts.
Financial management and assisting with budgeting
This involves helping the board with budget preparation, managing contracts, and preparing financial reports and statements. Tax preparation, working with attorneys, and selecting a CPA may also be part of the property manager’s duty.
Assisting with board meetings
This includes calling meetings according to the schedules, sending out meeting notices, providing essential reports and materials to the BOD in advance, taking meeting minutes, and collecting data for presentations about the problems that the residents may be facing.
Corresponding with homeowners
The manager’s responsibilities include direct correspondence with the homeowners through email and telephone, as well as newsletters, flyers, postal mail, and signs.
The board may ask the community association manager for assistance with making building policy decisions. It would help if you had high level skills in this area to grow in your career. Identifying service needs, managing vendor bids, and supervising the vendor service are other key areas where the property manager’s services may be required.
Other essential duties of the CAM include:
Collecting HOA and miscellaneous fees from the property owners
Doing site and equipment inspections
Ensuring residents comply with the rules and regulations
Resolving homeowners complaints and disputes
Ensuring compliance of all stakeholders with the association’s by-laws