In 2010, NBC-CAM and its affiliate, Community Associations Institute (CAI) signed a letter of intent with South African housing authorities to develop a partnership that will enable the South Africans to take advantage of an education curriculum, professional credentials and best practices created by NBC-CAM and CAI.
Johan Kruger attended the CAI M-100 Essentials of Community Associations Management course and sat for the CMCA examination, earning certification in December 2010. Throughout this process, Johan “learned that the South African developers did very good research and used the United States as a reference. Very good ideas from the United States were included in some of the developments, especially concerning lifestyle improvements. In South Africa, most of the estate managers (community association managers) are employed by the association itself and the association management companies are very small.”
“It is a huge opportunity for us in South Africa to obtain an internationally recognised qualification. Although I have a university degree in commerce and have been in this position for almost 10 years, I sensed new respect from the board and the members. The CMCA credential assisted me in getting a broader perspective of the industry,” said Johan. Johan adheres to his mantra of “keep it simple and make it happen,” when managing his 879-unit Pecanwood Estate, which includes such amenities as the first Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course in the nation, a boat club, health spa, gym, tennis courts and a recreation area. The name, inspired by the grove of pecan nut trees on the property, has established a benchmark for the golf courses in South Africa. Moreover, the development also served as a catalyst for the tremendous growth in the area, creating the need for an expert community association manager.
Before joining the staff at Pecanwood Golf and Country Club as the marketing manager in 1999, he worked in event and venue management, organizing and promoting sporting events and rock concerts at stadiums. Soon, he was promoted to assistant estate manager and progressed from there to estate general manager in 2002. He continues to enjoy the interaction with the residents and staff. “It is also an amazing experience to see the estate develop (houses and landscaping) and reach maturity,” he said.
Johan echoed the sentiments of community association managers across the world, saying: “The biggest challenge for me is to manage the expectations of residents. If something is not working, it has an impact on all the residents.” Prior to taking the CMCA examination, Johan made a trip to the United States to tour several American associations. He concluded “that the problems are the same globally, but the solutions are local.” Johan’s experience also proves that, throughout the world, running a community association is like running a business: the best way for the homeowners to protect their investment is by hiring a qualified, board-certified CMCA.