March 15, 2022

Day in the Life of a Condominium Manager

Have you ever been curious about what it’s like to work as a condominium manager?  Whether you’re simply curious, or you’ve already begun your journey in the condominium industry, you may be surprised about what a “typical day” involves. We spent the day with ACMA professional Jen Martin, owner and broker of Square One Realty Condominium Management, to learn more.

Jen Martin began her career in marketing and administration for All Weather Windows before eventually moving through various industries such as machining, fabrication, customer machinery and composite materials. Looking for opportunities to volunteer and find flexible work, Jen turned to real estate nearly 20 years ago where she found her passion for condominium operations.

What are your current roles and responsibilities?

I’m currently the owner and broker of Square One Realty for Condominium Management and Economy Management for rental properties. As a broker for both Condominium Management and Rental Management, I oversee all the operations for our clients and support our staff and clients with their more complex challenges. I also devote time to the development and representation of the condominium management profession through the Association of Condominium Managers of Alberta (ACMA).

What made you want to become a condominium manager and begin your real estate journey 20 years ago?

Combining my passion for community living with the expertise I’ve gained navigating the challenges of owning a condo, this career seemed like a calling to me. Seeing how things could be done from the side of an owner, investor, resident and board member, it was exciting to know that so many people could benefit from calm and confident guidance through tough situations. 

Tell us a little bit about what an average day looks like for you.

The real answer is that there is no such thing as a typical day for a condominium manager. You may think you have it all planned out, but a condominium manager cannot plan for the unexpected. Some days, you may wake up to a tree having fallen on a car, a massive overnight snowstorm or a water line failing. The manager takes these things in stride and always has to know that when a calm period comes along, it’s time to make the most of those days with invoice reviews, communications to clients and planning meetings.

We like to do site visits either first thing in the morning or before heading home to make our days more efficient. Regular meeting dates with boards will also help stabilize the dynamic schedule. A manager’s outlook can truly change everything about their day. A long day ending in a board meeting or AGM could be seen as a trial, or it can be seen as the opportunity to take time in the middle of a sunny day to take a walk. It’s up to you!

What skills do you use most-often as a condominium manager?

The most common skill a successful condominium manager will use is self-leadership. Understanding the steps in gathering information, evaluating different possible decisions, communicating with stakeholders, and taking action, all rely on a manager’s ability to remain organized and steadfast. This also includes their ability to follow through, despite the distractions of individual owners demanding that their personal priorities take precedence.

How has technology changed the industry over the years and how do you stay informed?

Technology has been an evolution for Condominium Management. Going from notes, communications, financials and all operations in paper format, to cloud-based has totally integrated our management systems and has been a continuous development for Condominium Managers as well as our clients. As new technologies appear and the demographic of condo owners becomes more tech-savvy, staying informed and proactive has been a key to success in any Condominium Management firm remaining relevant to their clients. From industry publications, conferences, collaborations and service provider relationships, these supports have ultimately kept me informed throughout my journey.

What advice would you give learners who are interesting in becoming a condominium manager?

My advice is to hold tight and get ready for the ride of your life! This is a career like no other and what makes you a fit for any other profession will become an even greater strength for you as a Condominium Manager.

The clients that are a fit for what you have to offer are awaiting your support. Are you great at communicating? There are condo owners who are looking for a manager who can explain detailed processes to the owner. Do you love understanding how things are working from a mechanical perspective? You’ll find yourself learning about varying HVAC, plumbing, roof, balcony and sidings that will inform you on how to answer questions from owners. While you’re busy doing what you do best, you’ll gain all kinds of skills, experiences, relationships and perspectives along the way.

Inspired by Jen Martin’s journey as a condominium manager? You’re at the right place to get started! REDI Canada’s RECA-recognized pre-licensing program will set you up for success as a licensed condominium manager. Learn more about REDI Canada courses and partnerships with industry experts like Jen by visiting our webpage.

Need support planning your next steps in condominium and real estate management? Send us your questions at