• Marcia Coppola, CMCA, AMS, PCAM

High-Rise vs. Portfolio Managers

Coming up in this industry over the last 15 plus years, you get exposed to many different types of people, walks of life, and communities. I have had the pleasure of working with a multitude of properties, including large-scale communities, single-family homes, and certainly, a luxury high-rise with a full staff. When comparing portfolio community association management to on-site high-rise management, one could ask, aren’t these two positions essentially the same? And in short the answer is not really.


Right now, I am currently employed as a High-Rise General Manager in the Wilshire Corridor. I have had the privilege of working in a beautiful community with an amazing staff. As a General Manager you get first hand experience in learning about the mechanics and the dynamics of how a high-rise building operates. You learn the intricacies of the various types of machinery that helps make the building run. You adapt to becoming an employer, wearing the many hats that are needed to run a staff of over 20 people. You build connections with the residents, getting to know them and their families. I quickly realized that working in a high rise community is comparable to running its own independent business, where the General Manger is at the helm ensuring success.


My life as a Portfolio Manager was very much long lived and I am thankful for all of the knowledge and experience it has given me over the years. Working in portfolio management, you quickly realize that multi-tasking and time management will become your greatest assets and talents. Managing a portfolio from an office gives you the advantage of being able to focus at your desk, while juggling the tasks your Boards have assigned to you. You get to know the quirks and nuances of your multiple properties and you adjust and work accordingly. As a Portfolio Manager, like a General Manager, one quickly realizes that your position is there to help contribute to both the Board and community to ensure harmony and success.


In retrospect, can I say that one position is better than the other, no. Each position provides its own unique set of experiences that I am thankful and proud to say is all under my belt.


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