Property Manager vs. Community Association Manager: What’s the Difference?

Property Manager vs. Community Association Manager: What’s the Difference?

One of the most common misconceptions among homeowners is the idea that Property Managers and Community Association Managers are one and the same. While they might share a few specific responsibilities, they are distinctly different professions. This distinction is important to make as it can cause serious problems when state legislatures pass laws that affect the industry based on this false assumption.

Property Manager

Property Managers spend most of their time dealing with tenants and reporting directly to the owner of a rental unit or units. The properties they spend their time on range from apartment complexes to vacation homes. Their day-to-day responsibilities include collecting rent, showing vacant units to prospective tenants, and arranging repairs for items inside the unit. Their main focus is to ensure that the maximum number of properties are rented with the highest possible revenues.

Community Association Manager

Community Association Managers on the other hand, are hired by the Board of directors of an association and work for the Board and the homeowners. They can manage every type of community, including condominium associations, homeowner associations, and resort communities. The Board provides them with their responsibilities within the community as a whole, which can vary based on the management agreement and governing documents. The primary functions of the Community Association Manager include developing and executing budgets, presenting financial reports to Board members, site inspections, upholding governing rules, dispute resolution, and common area maintenance. Common areas include pools, parks, entrance gates, tennis courts, and other amenities. Various vendors and service providers are contracted and paid by the Management Company to ensure smooth operations.

The Difference

Tasks shared by Property Managers and Community Association Managers include basic maintenance duties such as trash removal and pool upkeep, but the similarities end there. Community Association Managers oversee and direct all aspects of running the business and therefore must have a comprehensive knowledge of the business operation and all applicable laws. This knowledge base is what separates them from the property manager and allows them to personally ensure that an entire community operates as efficiently and successfully as possible.