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B.C. facing a shortage of strata property managers, industry reps say

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British Columbia is facing a shortage of strata property managers, according to those who work in the sector.

In the next few years an exodus of nearly 50 per cent of property managers is expected due to retirement.

“We’ve got an aging demographic of property managers that are now starting to retire in the industry and this has caused a very urgent situation where property management is short of not only experienced strata managers, but strata managers, period,” said Chris Churchill, the president at FirstService Residential, a property management company.

According to the BC Financial Services Authority, there are currently 1,454 licensed strata property managers in the province, but Churchill, said less than half of them are actively managing portfolios.

“What we’re seeing is that the number of stratas is going up and the number of property managers is staying approximately the same,” added Jason Kurtz, a vice president and managing broker at Stratawest Management.

Churchill said the problem has been ongoing for the past eight to 10 years. To resolve it, he believes the industry needs support with funding, recruitment and training.

“If people aren’t well trained and not able to spend the time that is required to make sure that buildings are properly kept up, things will fall apart, hopefully not to a dangerous degree,” Kurtz said.

Having worked as a property manager for about two decades, Kurtz said it’s a career path many people don’t think about, but with starting salaries bet ween $60- and $70,000, he hopes getting the word out will help entice people to join.

“We’d love more people to consider this as a career,” he said.

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