The community association management industry is growing. You may have heard that the industry is now worth upwards of 70 billion dollars, that it accounts for over 4% of the entire country's GDP (gross domestic product) or that over 20% of the US population live in community associations. [source]
In modern times, true growth is measured less by your physical presence in the world, and more by your cyber presence. That is, how much information is being made available on the Internet about the industry.
As a reader of the TOPS CAM Blog, I can only assume that you, like me, are hungry for CAM industry news and information. I have a collection of blogs, magazines and other sites that I read every week. They help me keep up on industry trends, learn about important changes in laws, pending legislation and relevant court cases. They also feed my hunger for new and innovative ways to live and work within the community association management industry. I try to share the articles that I find that I think people will enjoy via our social media channels, and in the CAM Mashup every week. But there is always more content every week that doesn't make it.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a post called 7 Top Community Management Insiders you Need to be Reading. Although several years have passed, every one of those industry powerhouses are still out there, writing great articles and keeping us up to date with the latest happenings.
But in the last several years, the industry has grown, and with that growth has come a whole new crop of industry insiders who bring a lot of knowledge and useful information to the table.
Today, I wanted to share with you 10 more industry insiders you should be reading (These are in no particular order):
Community Associations Network
I don't think I would be out of line to say that Community Associations Network provides the largest and most comprehensive news aggregator for the community association industry. If someone is talking about HOAs or Condos or Management companies anywhere around the world, you'll probably see it here first.
CAI Members Exchange
If you're a member of CAI (national or any chapter), and you have questions about anything having to do with the business of community associations, you should definitely be subscribed to the CAI Members Open Forum on the CAI Exchange. This is a largely unmoderated forum where CAI members can go and ask questions to get answers, sample files, and a ton of helpful advice from other CAM professionals. [Requires Paid Membership to Access]
Many vendors have industry blogs where they talk about topics near and dear to the hearts of CAM professionals, but Gladly's blog is in a class all it's own. Not only does Gladly publish snappy, well-thought out articles on their blog weekly, they accompany each blog post with a fun and relevant CAM industry related cartoon. I think the biggest complement I can give is to say I really wish I had thought of it first, because the cartoons transform easy to consume articles into something visually stimulating and fun to share on social media..
There are a lot of really great publications in our industry. Many of them have adapted to the new online model by publishing their past articles online for people to review. Habitat Magazine, which serves Co-ops and other community associations in New York City, stands head and shoulders above the rest, and not just because of all the tall buildings they features. Habitat publishes frequently, at least once a day, and often more. Their articles are interesting, unique and (mostly) relevant no matter what part of the country you're in.
Florida Association New Blog
I don't want you to think that vendors and magazines are the only good sources of information for community association management. Some of the best sources (and examples for what you should be doing!) come from management companies! Campbell Property Management of South Florida is a perfect example. They've combined their local area knowledge with their knowledge of community associations to create a combination blog and Q&A forum for local homeowners.
Be Property Wise
Another management company really doing it right is Wise Property Management, who, through a clever use of their company name, created the Be Property Wise Blog. The thing I like most about this blog is how well they've really nailed their reader persona. The blog speaks directly to board members, in their language, without speaking down to them. These articles are great to share, but again, also a great example for aspiring bloggers in this space.
Hignell HOA Management Blog
Just so you can see you don't have to have a management company in Florida to have a great management company blog, Let's move on to California, where the Hignell Companies is killing it with their community focused blog and copious set of free resources for board members. With articles that are dialed in to what board members need to know, this is another great example of how to do it right.
Better Condo Life
Focused specifically on condominium associations (although many of the articles apply to any community association) Better Condo Life is an independent blog created by a Condo Board Member. This gives the blog a unique perspective among the various sites on this list. The articles are well written, the site is clean and easy to read, and the author is passionate about promoting good condo living. That's a must-read in my book!.
Ask Mister Condo
If I were giving out an award for the most clever site on this list, it would be Ask Mister Condo. The Connecticut Chapter of CAI hosts this cute and helpful site where homeowners and board members can ask questions and they answer them. (Other CAI chapters take notice! This is how you build awareness!) They also host live Q&A sessions for CT chapter members, so there are always plenty of questions to answer. Over the years, they have built up a large repertoire of answered questions, so it's also a great resource to find answers to those obscure questions we all have occasionally.
HOA Leader is an interesting member of this list. An independent source of information on community association leadership, the private forum fuels thought-provoking articles and helpful tips from industry leaders every week. The site is self-supported, so you need to be a member to access the articles (after the 7 day trial), although you can access the helpful weekly tip emails for free. [Requires Paid Membership to Access]
Last Resource - A Great Tool to Read New Posts
Every one of these blogs offers some kind of subscription option to get notified via email when new posts come out. However, if you are like most CAM industry professionals, your inbox is already overflowing and you don't have the time to read every article as it comes in. I prefer to read industry news when I am just waking up in the morning, sitting down with my first cup of coffee. It helps me get into the right frame of mind for the rest of my day. To consolidate all of the blogs that I follow into a single source, I use a web tool called Feedly. If you are like me, I highly recommend this great tool to help you keep up with all of your news and info without having to waste a lot of time going hither and yon!
*Image credit: Nino Carè via pixabay
One more great industry resource is the annual CAMfire Conference in Orlando Florida! Join us for 3 days and nearly 50 classes on community association management.