History of the Community Manager
A community manager is tasked with keeping the community flowing smoothly. However, this isn’t a new position. The role of a community manager actually traces back to before the Great Depression, but the role has vastly changed due to the needs to the people and economy.
Prior to the Great Depression
Before the Great Depression, more people started to move into big cities, so they could be close to factories and other places of employment. The demand quickly increased, but there were few options for housing. As a result, property owners could get away with providing little in regards to improving housing conditions. Instead, they focused on collecting rent and only making crucial repairs.
During the Great Depression
During the Great Depression, things changed. People couldn’t afford their homes or even their rental properties. They started living with family members to save money, and many people’s homes went into foreclosure. This led to the development of the real estate management business. The Institute of Real Estate Management was founded, and people generally realized that community managers needed to have the right skills to do the job.
When the 1950s hit, people stopped wanting to live in big, noisy cities. Thus began the exodus to the suburbs, which lasted through the 1970s. Thanks to a better economy and more automobiles, people could commute more easily. More and more people also began renting apartments. The Baby Boomers, now graduating from college, didn’t want to live back home with their parents, so they turned to apartments instead. Divorce rates also climbed during these years, forcing divorced people to turn to apartments instead of buying homes.
The 1980s and Beyond
In the 1980s, the role of the community manager became more relevant. The economy saw a lot of ups and downs, so the community manager had to learn about sales and marketing to attract potential renters. By the 1990s, however, their role had changed again to meet demands. Now, the community manager had to focus on preserving and maximizing assets.
Community managers must have a lot of training, and their role in the community has evolved over time. Originally, they only needed to worry about collecting rent, but now their job requires many skills such as bookkeeping, sales, construction knowledge, law and many more.
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