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  • Josee Deslongchamps

March 15 ~ Beware the Ides of March!



Yes - I am one day early... March 14...


Imagine that!

Being asked to "opine". Good word, yes?







Honestly, usually when I start to spew out "perspective", it is usually met with a lot of eye rolling and a soft muttering in the background: Lord, here we go again... who set her off THIS time?  :)


Thank you Condo Advisor for the opportunity to submit a Guest Blog article. As you may be aware, DES Services Inc. is quite new to blogging. Our new Blog - coincidentally called "condo manager's PERSPECTIVE" was created in late summer of 2019. It sat there for many months, un-touched - let's just chalk it up to "fear of the blank page".  


The onset of Covid-19 in Ottawa earlier in the week motivated a return to the Blog, out of a necessity to quickly reach out to ownerships.  You can find our earlier Blog post here.


If you have worked with me for any length of time, you will have heard me utter many "Josee-isms". Most of them are true!


You will have heard me say things like "I have been doing this too long - you can't possibly offend me..." This one is certainly true - but it never ceases to amaze me that people interpret this as a challenge. It-is-not-a-challenge people! Nevertheless, I am truly impressed by the relentless efforts and seemingly endless commitment to trying to prove me wrong! Thanks everyone, for trying :)


You will also have heard me say things like: "passionate about excellence", "we work where you live" , "competing priorities" and "difficult conversations with passionately angry people on a day when they are clearly not at their best". Those are all, of course, code words/phrases...


The work of property management and specifically condominium management is complex. It is finicky. No two days are alike...


Competing Priorities: A condo manager is constantly managing/juggling their contractual obligations to their own employer (in my case I am self-employed, so for me this is more about the work of managing our family-owned business), managing their firm's contractural obligations towards a condominium community, providing accurate and timely information/advice to their Boards to allow them to make sound business decisions, all the while trying to manage the seemingly endless expectations of the condominium ownership without incurring their Wrath [yes - capital W] when Owners' expectations fall squarely beyond & outside the scope of the manager's authority, ability and responsibility.   All this of course, while trying to steer everyone away from the precipice. Why is everyone ALWAYS playing right at the edge of the precipice??


Difficult Conversations / Passionate Dialogue

Certainly, the condo manager's job is at times - shall we say "difficult"?  We routinely deal with sensitive issues (rules infractions, enforcement, complaints, hoarding, pest infestations and other assorted public heath issues, and then there are the mental health issues) - all THIS - in people's own homes! The "passion" is understandable, if at times difficult to contain...


A good sense of humour, the ability to listen, a good sense of humour, the ability to speak openly and politely without judging/offending, a good sense of humour, an open-minded approach and willingness to investigate disputes and complaints fairly and to understand (or at least acknowledge) someone else's perspective are all crucial to the task.


Did I mention it helps to have good sense of humour? Most of us have stories that would curl your toes :) and all of us have survived our worst days... life goes on... It also helps if you are able to get over and beyond difficult events and hurtful words - holding a grudge is not conducive to proper management and excellence in service...


The Excellent work of the CMRAO

The CMRAO has recently released its competency profile for new fully-licensed condominium managers. The profile lists the 79 "basic" abilities and aptitudes which are expected/required from new licensees on the day they are licensed. The competency profile can be found at this link.


If nothing else, the Profile attests to the very important role of the licensed condominium manager in your Condo community.


The CMRAO, the CAT, ACMO and CCI (both National and various Regional Chapters) as well as all of the various Condominium Management Service Provider blogs and legal professional blogs - we all work in unison to provide excellent resources for members of the global condominium community: Owners, Board members and managers alike.


There is no doubt about it, condo management is not for the faint hearted, it is not (currently) a popular career choice, it is a difficult job which occasionally leaves you re-evaluating many of the choices you have made in life.

But then on other days, you walk onto a site and an Owner greets you with "Hey, Mama Bear!" and everything is right in the world again.


Blessings! (and wash your hands...)


J



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