Residential Estate Industry Journal 4 - Page 41

THE FUTURE turn, ensures that the team have the best experience prevent the best employees from searching for greener, possible as a member of the HOA. more profitable pastures, but industry leaders, board After acquiring talent and investing time and money in training and development, one needs to retain that talent. Making an HOA a great place to work is not rocket science – you simply need to value people beyond their salary. Engaging and empowering staff all the way down to the lowest competency, communicating members and community managers do have the power to make their HOA a great place to work. Thomas J Watson Sr, Chairman and CEO of IBM was once asked if he was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600 000. His reply; “No. I just spent $600 000 training him. Why with anticipation and showing appreciation daily really would I want somebody else to hire his experience?” do help. According to Forbes, employees that change If the journey to success is paved in experience, then jobs every 24 months will earn 50 percent more over their career than if they stay with a company for over two years. This is even more alarming when you think that the 10 to 30 percent salary increase available on the open market is much more appetising than the standard five why not tap into the wealth of experience that sits within the current residential estate management teams? We approached some of the pros for their insight and comments, thank you to Willem Marx from Oubaai Golf Resort, Sarika Somai leading the way at Zimbali Coastal Resort, Steve van Greunen of Steyn City and Denise to seven percent annual salary increase with the same Sharp of the The Coves, the current ARC Chapter company. Unfortunately, there is no standard formula to Leader of the North West Province. WHAT SKILLS DO YOU THINK AN ESTATE MANAGER NEEDS TO BE SUCCESSFUL? Willem Marx - Oubaai Golf Resort There are the obvious skills needed to be an effective and capable estate manager. You must have a strong financial management background, including accurate budget preparation, expense monitoring and a solid understanding of the collection procedures and policies. The successful running of an estate requires a well-oiled and inspired team to operate, control and maintain all assets located in common areas as well as to manage vendors and contractors. An estate manager needs to effectively communicate with both the board and homeowners, address requests, demands and concerns, and facilitate community programmes and special events. You must be able to enforce the community governing rules and monitor the effect of statutory or regulatory requirements. There are many more activities that fill an estate manager’s day, and I am sure that most have the skills to do just that. However, I believe it is the skills and qualities that are not defined in the average estate manager’s job description that differentiate the successful from the average. Estate managers must be as transparent as possible. Transparency shows your integrity as a leader and builds trust with all the stakeholders within the community. If you lie about something or withhold information, you will jeopardise your relationships and lose the respect of those who invested in your estate. The more people you have actively participating in discussions and attempting to make improvements, the better. Never chastise a member for voicing an opinion respectfully, even if it goes against your original vision or isn’t well thought out. Disregarding someone for voicing an opinion builds resentment and discourages people from sharing their own new thoughts. If someone doesn’t agree with your management style or doesn’t like the direction you envisage, do not silence the member. Instead, listen to what they have to say, and ask questions. Why do they think so? How do you feel about that? Do they have a valid point? This opens dialogue and makes it easier to proactively identify problems and work together to create a mutually beneficial solution. Running an HOA is serious business. Services must be delivered, money must be collected, capital projects and day-to-day PAGE 39