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Industry Insights of a New Condo Property Manager + an Innovative Approach to Education (Community+)

In college, I wrote a short essay for my Urban Planning course titled “Children Need Something to Look Up To”, where I analyzed the correlation between a city’s skyline and its effects on the citizens’ imagination, excitement, and desire to participate in the growth of that city’s culture and urban landscape – especially for its rising generation. In that essay, I reflected on how the opportunity to participate in The United Way’s Climb UP program (which gives participants the chance to conquer the CN Tower by climbing its steps all the way up) taught me and my class the power of tackling your goals in a slow and steady manner instead of rushing headfirst without fully counting the cost.

The program only existed because the city had this landmark tower to shape the imagination of our young minds while simultaneously shaping the skyline of the city.

After college, when I was thinking long and hard about what career field I wanted to go into, I discovered that there was a whole industry called “Condominium Management” which I had absolutely no clue was even a thing! I was instantly intrigued and wanted to know everything about becoming a Condo Manager. I thought to myself, “Wow, is it true that there’s an actual job that involves knowing, managing and stewarding everything related to these magnificent skyline-creating structures!?” I took all four licensing courses (at once!), applied for a job, and immediately got to work!

It has been two years since discovering and entering the industry, and while I still love the work and have managed to hold on to my enthusiasm, I can say that time has matured my thinking and removed a great sense of naivety from my person. From dealing with difficult board members, to resolving emergencies such as floods, to managing relationships with vendors of different competence levels, I have a hunch that I haven’t even scratched the surface of how complicated this industry can get for a manager!

Thankfully, the industry prides itself on its access to continued education, and credits towards this can be attained at the annual conference called “The Condo Conference”. This event allows vendors, managers, and board members alike to refresh and relearn lessons that may have been forgotten through the hustle and bustle of everyday business. Last weekend, I attended this conference for the second time, and got to participate in the trade show, classes, and detailed question-and-answer sessions.

The only difference between this year’s conference and last is the experience I’ve gained in between, and how that experience has made me appreciate the content discussed in the classes much more, in addition to helping me to understand how to better navigate the trade show. For instance, my experience dealing with condos that have a high volume of Airbnb rentals helped me better appreciate the lessons on insurance as well as the news of the government’s decision to introduce new tax measures on Airbnb, and VRBO hosts. My experience dealing with different types of vendors has helped me appreciate the efforts made by the vendors to capture our imaginations and possible business as managers- stewards of the daily operations of condo corporations.

Those in the condominium management sector know that the industry itself is tightly-knit, which makes it easy for managers to support one another because we are all facing pretty much the same types of problems – just different variations. Ultimately the job of a condo manager is to recommend to the Board steps to take that will increase the odds of property value growth for owners. The more access to resources and continued education that prove to be useful for us condo managers, the better informed we are to do our jobs.

Managing a condo is in no stretch of the imagination a walk in the park. It is a job that requires much patience, vast knowledge, and strong interpersonal skills. Conferences, industry-related, and company training, as well as continued education, are all accumulative intellectual assets that can act as strong support systems for a condo manager to navigate situations as diverse as the nature of the job.

Despite the rapid decline of the economic landscape of the western world, many young people are catching on to the power of education, knowledge and real estate. With that being said, many are only just buying their first properties and are drawn to the allure of Condominiums. New owners who are trying to beat the economic climate are also hustling through school, their day job as well as multiple other side hustles which are required to thrive in this economy; they do not have the bandwidth to pay detailed attention to the Condominium industry and all its moving parts.

As a new condo property manager, my desire to help other managers learn the ins and outs of the industry is one of the many reasons why I started the TikTok page @learnaboutcondos,where managers who are new to the business can get more detailed education on property and property management in an enlightened, entertaining and engaging manner. You are invited to follow the growing audience of managers and young entrepreneurs by following the TikTok page!

In my growing experience, there are two rewards of being a condo manager. The first is being able to better understand human behaviour. The second is to observe patterns on what makes a strong and beautiful structure such as a Condominium building to function well and add to the lifestyle and culture of its urban landscape. Urban planning is more than just understanding demographics and density; being part of the Condominium industry is helping me to understand that it is more about contributing to the imagination, comfortability and excitement that residents and homeowners have towards the urban landscape while using our position of stewards to foster these feelings.

The investors and condo owners of today are the children of yesteryears who sought inspiration in their skylines.

-Tobi Ogude Condominium Manager & Content Creator for Stratastic Inc.

(Edited by Stratastic)

P.S. Stratastic knows how difficult managing a condo is (even for an experienced property manager!), and we've got your back. Sign up now for free access to a variety of tools built to make your job more efficient and effective now!

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