High Standards for Condominium Managers
The CMRAO’s Core Competencies at Work
The following article was originally published in Summer 2022 of Condovoice and has been reprinted with permission from the Canadian Condominium Institute – Eastern Ontario Chapter.
As the condominium landscape across Ontario continues to expand, condominium management must keep pace. Today, a condominium manager’s role is so much more than a site supervisor or any sort of “desk job.” Individuals who only recently decided to pursue a career as a condominium manager, and those already established with many years of experience as managers, are dedicated and skilled professionals who must meet the licensing and education requirements of the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) to provide their services. Condominium managers are also very busy people tasked with a tremendous amount of financial, operational, and managerial responsibilities.
Developing the Competency Profile for Condominium Managers
In November 2021, the authority for setting education requirements transferred from the Minister of Government and Consumer Services to the Registrar of the CMRAO. In the two years leading up to this date, the CMRAO undertook an extensive process to prepare for this transition and worked with a host of industry partners to develop the first comprehensive Competency Profile for Condominium Managers in Ontario. This competency profile describes the minimum expectations (in other words, professional competencies) of an individual with a General Licence with the CMRAO.
Core Competencies – Accountability for Condominium Managers
In addition to helping the CMRAO define its new education program, the competency profile has many other uses, including the following:
- approving/recognizing academic programs for licensing,
- informing matters related to professional conduct, and
- assessing applicants for entry and/or reentry into the profession.
All General Licensees are ultimately accountable to meet these competencies throughout their careers. The CMRAO understands there are complexities involved with managing condominiums and expects a high standard from all licensees, whether new to condominium management or experienced veterans.
In total, there are 79 competencies grouped thematically under three categories and nine headings as showm shown below:
Condominium Managers Core Competencies in Action
In everyday condominium management, there are countless examples of managers using one or more of the core competencies.
Here are some real-world examples.
A condominium manager is often the goto person when a unit owner experiences an issue in their unit or with the common elements. As the day-to-day contact for the property, the condo manager listens to complaints, problems, concerns, and a host of other issues. When an angry unit owner approaches the condo manager with a complaint, the manager remains calm, listens attentively, and expresses empathy. These interpersonal skills are represented in the following competencies:
- Demonstrate a professional presence,
- Manage expectations in an empathetic manner,
- Engage in active listening, and
- Facilitate communication by demonstrating common courtesy and consideration in professional interactions.
While conducting a regular building inspection, a condominium manager notices that an area of a hallway is particularly cold, possibly resulting from inadequate operation of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
The condominium manager’s role here is addressed in competencies related to the physical building, including the following:
- Conduct general inspections of the property to identify maintenance and repair requirements; and
- Manage inspections, testing, maintenance, repair, and replacement obligations of the condominium corporation.
The manager then contacts industry experts to assess the HVAC system for issues. By conducting impartial and thorough interviews with prospective contractors the manager demonstrates another core competency: Analyze and present quotations and contracts to the Board of Directors to allow for effective decisions.
A condominium corporation has decided to refurbish its front lobby to make it more accessible and aesthetically pleasing. The condominium manager is asked by one of the board members to talk to his brother-in-law about being the general contractor for the project. The board member suggests that his brother-in-law would be able to do the job well, and at a great price.
The condominium manager politely and respectfully tells the board member that their brother-in-law may submit a bid for the contract and advises the board member that they should disclose the relationship to the rest of the board. The condominium manager also informs the board member that if they do not disclose the relationship to the rest of the board, then they, as a licensed condominium manager, will have an ethical responsibility to do so, consistent with the following competencies:
- Demonstrate honesty and integrity when offering or providing condominium management services,
- Recognize and disclose real and perceived conflicts of interest, and
- Recognize and act in the best interests of the condominium corporation.
As these three real-world examples demonstrate, it takes knowledge, skill, and hard work to excel in this growing industry.
Condominium managers are licensed professionals who work in a fast-paced and continually evolving sector. Condominium boards and owners should have confidence in those who manage their important investment. Condominium managers meeting these standards enhances the integrity of the sector and elevates the profession in Ontario.