IREM Blogs

Is Your Team a Dream . . . Or a Nightmare?

July 02, 2019 | John Salustri


What are the characteristics of a successful property manager? How can those characteristics help unify and strengthen all of the management decision-makers involved in your property or properties? In other words, what goes into the creation of a Dream Team?

These are just some of the questions Robin R. Lay, CPM, CAM, RCM, poses in her Accelerator Webinar, “Cultivating a Dream Team,” now available on demand.

As we grow in our professional experience, there are basics that become second nature, basics that are good to refresh from time to time. Lay, who is the Chicago-based luxury condominium manager for FirstService Residential, AMO, in Chicago, starts here and provides a fresh perspective on such basic concepts as servant leadership, character and fiduciary duty.

It should be noted that, while her experience is based in the residential side of the market, the truths that she shares throughout the webinar are really applicable to all aspects of management.

She uses those basics as a stepping stone to explore the intricate and highly nuanced relationship that exists among association boards of directors, property managers and management agents. Throughout, she emphasizes that the “glue” here is you, the property manager. She illustrates this with a graphic showing the property manager literally between the other two groups.

“We’re the glue,” she says, employing an appropriate management metaphor: “We’re the key to turn the lock that makes success happen. Everyone is depending on us to get this done. The property manager is the person in the middle.”

Lay explores the essential characteristics and responsibilities of each member of that three-group team and explains why professional diversity is important among the board members. This, of course, sets the stage for the meat of the 45-minute presentation: how to build your Dream Team. Therein, she takes webinar attendees through a 10-step team-building process.

Among these steps is the necessity of possessing “The same Agenda and the same Agenda ONLY” (the emphasis is hers). Also included in this list is the need for everyone to avoid overstepping their bounds, or in her words, everyone needs to stay in their lane.

None of this means anything, however, without one essential ingredient: Passion. “You have to love it, you have to love what you do,” she says, “and be passionate about helping others, passionate about improving the quality of life of other people and serving others. This is true even in the face of challenges and when you’re dealing with difficult people.”

At the end of the day, regardless of the property type or the management structure, that passion is the foundation upon which a Dream Team is built.

Register for Cultivating a Dream Team,” to discover ways you can bring more focus and unity to the overall management of your property.

John Salustri is editor-in-chief of Salustri Content Solutions, Inc., a consultancy focused on enhancing the web and print content of clients around the nation. He is a regular contributor to JPM Magazine and a frequent blogger for IREM. Prior to launching SCS, John was founding editor of

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