Residential Estate Industry Journal 3 - Page 75

INDUSTRY FOCUS PAGE 73 succession planning Succession planning – A key imperative Historically, estate management is not something that one would typically regard as a lucrative career path. Very few estate managers in South Africa studied to qualify for that position. The majority found themselves in estate management after deciding on a career change, when they were employed to project manage a development and then found themselves with the added responsibilities that come with a community that has been fully populated. Although most excel at what they do, it takes time and experience to learn the intricacies that come with the job. Statistics show that around 90% of estate managers are male and more than 70% of those are over the age of 50, so if there was ever a time to take succession members of the estate management team have very specific jobs, and it is only the manager who is exposed to all elements of community management. So simply promoting the security manager or operations manager to the estate manager’s position is like beginning all over again. Every HOA should start identifying members of their management team who have the potential to grow into competent estate managers regardless of the job they currently perform. ARC plans to undertake a project that will encompass an industrywide audit of the current HOA management structure of our member estates. We plan to look at job titles, job descriptions, roles and responsibilities, planning seriously in this industry, it is now. and specific job outputs and key performance Experience tells us that when an estate loses a the current salary structures attached to the manager, the position is simply filled by another manager in the industry – or, if a manager is appointed from outside the industry, a large amount of time and money is needed to train that person in the specialised knowledge and skills required. Very little succession planning is carried out and very little has been done to standardise the roles and responsibilities of the estate manager so that when a homeowners’ association (HOA) appoints a new manager, it has a clear understanding of the appropriate indicators (KPIs). We also intend to look at different job titles and duties and to develop a detailed benchmarking for implementation industrywide. Apart from our efforts as an association to standardise this aspect of the industry, ARC urges its members to undertake their own internal staff audits with a view to reaching a stage at which anyone in the management team is capable of stepping into the shoes of the estate manager should the situation demand criteria. it. Clearly defined job outputs and KPIs, with It is clear from this that there are two main accountability among the management staff, as problems. Firstly, as an industry we have not clearly defined the roles, responsibilities, skills directly linked salary levels, will ensure more well as making it easier for a new staff member to transition into the team. and attributes that clarify the position. Secondly, we tend not to plan properly for an estate Jonathan Gilmour manager’s retirement or departure. The various