What Does A General Manager Do?

I am often asked what I do for a living. And my reply is, “I am a General Manager for an HOA.” But since a majority of the population in the state and in the country does not live in an HOA and does not know how one functions, the frequent response I get to my statement is, “Oh, you are in charge of the landscapers.” I say, “No, it’s more than that…” but, after spending 10 or so minutes trying to explain how an HOA works and what I do, I notice the individual who asked the original question is gazing into the Twilight Zone. So I just give up and agree with them.

Unfortunately, some of our residents, although they live in an HOA, still do not know what their management team does. So, let’s start with the General Manager or GM. The most important word in General Manager is “general.” I must be able to balance the perspectives of all department managers that report to me while executing directives from the Board of Directors. My reports are: Assistant General Manager, Director of Facilities, Director of Lifestyle/Fitness, Director of Security, and Director of Food & Beverage.

The General Manager runs the Association, with oversight from the Board. I make dozens of decisions each day. If you want to be at the nexus of strategy and action, this is the place. My iPhone is often crammed with crises when I awake, but I am jazzed by the multidimensional problems I deal with — from financial, to human resources, to resident issues, all within a space of 60 minutes. There is no better job for me.

In a nutshell, I am responsible for the management of the Association’s operations and resources, and I exercise authority over all operations and resources in an efficient and financially sound manner consistent with the policies and procedures approved by the Board of Directors. I attend all Board and Committee meetings every month. I am responsible for the preparation of the annual operating, reserve, and capital budgets, coordinating these efforts with the Board of Directors and the Finance Committee.

And most important, I stay in contact with the residents and cooperate with their requests when feasible, always listening to suggestions, complaints, etc., and passing on information from various sources to the Board of Directors.