The Young Manager

Community Associations Institute (CAI) is the international organization that supports the community association management industry.  Tidewater is a member of the Chesapeake Region Chapter.  Below is an article titled The Young Manager that I submitted for their magazine, the Beacon…

“Good morning! My name is Gianna Rahmani and I am here taking the fast track to my PCAM®. I am the Director of Operations & Marketing at Tidewater Property Management in Owings Mills, MD, and I have been in property management for over a decade now (since 2001). And, no, I was not in diapers when I got my first job in this industry!”

I am young, and I am Asian – quite the combination for being mistaken as a little kid! And so, nine times I’ve used this standard introduction (or some variation thereof) at the opening of each CAI course I’ve taken when the proctor goes around the room and asks each person to introduce themselves. Because frankly, my career in Real Estate started as soon as the law allowed – I turned 18 and so it began. Now, I am proud to say that I have completed the M-100, all 200-level courses, the M-310 for Management Company Administration, and the notorious PCAM® case study.

I don’t mean to scare anyone, but even for someone that has always been studious like me, that PCAM® case study was a true whirlwind. The 30 days following was like a mourning period – I felt like I should have worn black the entire month, not talking to anybody and not participating in other extracurricular activities, up until the due date when I drove down to CAI’s headquarters to deliver my “book”. The relief I felt when I received notification of passing was like no other.

But compared to the challenges of being a young manager, the PCAM® case study is nothing! I mean, who takes little kids seriously? What I am thankful for most is that my bosses see past my youthfulness. They realize that young managers are ambitious, energetic, and motivated. They are technologically savvy, go-getters, thinking out of the box and bringing in fresh ideas. Their downfall? Lack of experience.

And what is it that everyone in property management says, even when they have been in it for 20 to 30 years? That they are still learning. There is always something new that they have never before encountered or even heard of. Property management is that kind of business. You can take as many courses as you’d like, but it is a “learn from experience” career.

So here is some advice I would like to give young, or simply inexperienced, managers in order to be successful:

  1. Find a balance between being mature and acting your age. You don’t want to be someone you’re not. Again, who you are brings many positive qualities to the table. But make sure that you are mature enough to know that business is business, and it comes before anything else. Take your job seriously and people will come to respect you for it and, in turn, take you
  1. Accept the fact that you don’t know everything. It is impossible and, quite frankly, unnecessary. Your job is to surround yourself with the people that can give you the answers – bring the experts to the table and ask them the right questions. Show appreciation for the people that support you and give credit where credit is due.
  1. Admit when you make a mistake, then take responsibility and learn from the experience. Nobody is perfect and nothing has earned me more respect than following this rule. Just remember to do all you can to fix it and prevent it from happening again.

So whether you are young, or young at heart, focus on these three tips and I promise, heads will be turning.