A lot of research has been published on community associations. Industry organizations regularly release statistics on salaries, community satisfaction, and other statistics. However, when we started researching the Management Companies that manage those communities, we were shocked at how little information was known about what those companies actually looked like.
That is how we were inspired to create a survey to poll management companies around the country and ask them to tell us what their company’s organizational structure looked like. We released the survey here on the TOPS CAM blog because we thought if we might find the topic interesting, so too would our readers. You did! And in addition to survey responses, we received a number of emails from readers encouraging us to pursue this line, and expressing an interest themselves.
Said one respondent, “I have always wondered how my company compares to other management companies, and that’s not information you can really find anywhere out there.”
When we created the survey, we set out to answer some big questions. Questions like,
- Do you have more managers than the average management company? Fewer?
- What percentage of most management companies is made up of accounting personnel?
- What are the key personnel that most management companies have in common, and where do you stack up?
In evaluating the survey results, we learned the answers to the questions we sought, and we also learned some new things that we weren't necessarily expecting to learn. Here are some of our findings, which may surprise you:
Executives Are In The Weeds
One of the stats we found most enlightening is that executives, even in organizations with very large portfolios (250+ communities) are still taking a hands on approach to their business. Overall, 64% of respondents reported that their company’s executive team is actively managing communities, and another 18% reported their executives manage communities in emergencies. While it is admirable that the executives know the business on that level, a leader cannot lead from behind. Executives - you need to start delegating! It's time to get out of the weeds and focus on the bigger picture - the success of your business.
Generalists > Specialists
When hiring staff, regardless of the size of the management company's portfolio, our survey respondents overwhelmingly favored generalists over specialists in nearly every employment category. For example, Bookkeeper over Billing Clerk or A/P Clerk.
The Golden Ratio?
Increasingly, individual managers have reported larger and larger portfolios. Conventional wisdom says that Management Companies are bringing on new communities, and dumping them into the laps of the managers without additional support. However, the data does not back up this theory. What we saw in the survey results is that the management team, and the organization as a whole is growing in proportion to the client portfolio.
The pivot from traditional management company team makeup is that the additional staff member may not specifically be in the CAM manager role. When accounting for all management staff (CAM Managers, Assistant Managers, Facilitators, etc.) the management companies from the survey reported a ratio of 4 communities for each member of the management team.
But it's not just the management team. Other departments are growing at a proportional rate too. For every 2 members of the management team, survey respondents reported hiring a new accounting team member. And from a holistic point of view, the number of employees in the management company itself is growing in proportion to the portfolio as well, at a ratio of 1 staff member for every 1.5 communities that are brought on board.
These are just a few of the things we learned. Want more? Download the full report!