With today's ever-changing building codes, laws and technology, a managing agent's job is becoming more complex than it was several decades ago. Today's agent has a multitude of responsibilities, including supervision of all aspects of the building, managing contracts, budgets, tenant relations, and more.
A good managing agent should be a well-rounded leader who is familiar and up-to-date with the inner workings of their building and the changing codes and laws, as well as someone who possesses great interpersonal skills.
Although there have been vigilant efforts on the part of some industry players to introduce a bill requiring the licensing of property managers in New York State, there is currently no such legislation on the books. However, to gain ownership of their roles and insight into the roles of their supporting staff, managing agents are voluntarily heading to the classroom; attending seminars and continuing education offered by professional and trade associations, often in conjunction with local academic institutions.
"There was an explosion of managers with the development of co-ops and condos after World War II, but many knew nothing about managing a building when they got their job, and they often did damage," says Dick Koral, director of The Apartment House Institute's Division of Continuing Education at New York City College of Technology. "Today with rising costs of maintaining buildings and as technology goes forward, to keep the buildings affordable and afloat, managers have to understand the mechanics of buildings and procedures for maintaining these costs."
Margie Russell, executive director of the New York Association of Realty Managers (NYARM), says she has also noticed that even upper-level managers are enrolling to prepare themselves for management positions that include greater responsibility, managing more and larger properties.