The demographics of community managers are changing as the demographics of the country changes. More women and minorities are moving from the support staff to management staff, including property management company owners, like me!
In some areas of the country, these changes may take some getting used to; however, in states like California and Florida, these changes seem consistent with the multi-cultural environment we live in everyday. The biggest change is that more women and minorities are occupying “the big chair”. We serve as the managers in large and small scale common interest communities throughout the country with varying budgets, projects, repairs, staffing, vendor relations, dispute resolution, inspections, and a myriad of other ad hoc tasks that pop up during the day. With each successful season serving owners and directors at common interest communities by women, or people of color, the easier it is for others like us to be considered for open positions.
In one interview for a property we were short-listed for, I was actually asked if being a woman was a hindrance relative to my interaction with outside vendors (construction, landscaping, electric, plumbing, etc.). Read: The manly trades. I replied “because I’m a woman? To which he replied “well, that’s not exactly what I meant, but yes.” It hasn’t presented a problem in the past, so I don’t anticipate a problem in the future. Further, at one of our properties I recently completed 12 major projects in one year all on time and all were at, or under, budget. Would you like to speak with that Board President about our successes this year? I answered.” We got the account, and my gender is a non-issue!
Rather than being offended, I chose to take the opportunity to highlight our accomplishments rather than getting twisted about his question. Keep in mind that some older board members are from a different era, and they need to be educated on the way the world works in this century!
Endeavor to persevere.
Tanoa Lynne Poirier is the Managing Principal at Poirier Enterprises Inc., specializing in the management of community associations, commercial and investment properties, and individual residences in South Florida.
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