Interview with Joel Just of CAMCO Nevada
CAMCO is one of Nevada’s largest management companies and currently manages over 300 communities throughout the state of Nevada. We pride ourselves on being large enough to service our clients, but small enough to have local decision makers.
J. David Rauch: "What are your thoughts on the cause and prevention of the Surfside, Florida condo disaster?"
Joel Just: "This one haunts every HOA manager. We all have HOA boards that take pride in “not raising assessments”. Nothing in our industry is less expensive today than it was a few years ago. Inflation this year will be 4-5%. So, not planning on increases in an HOA budget leads only to reducing service, under serviced equipment, or pushing capital improvement projects."
J. David Rauch: "What are the main changes that you or your company have made in your business due to Covid?"
Joel Just: "HOA management has been deemed a critical business. That is a blessing. We get to work. However, conducting business without meetings, personal interactions, or homeowners coming through our doors has been a challenge. Zoom, Team, and GoToMeeting are now the norm. Even when meetings can be in person, we will continue to have hybrid meetings. Managers didn’t have drive time or room prep time. They could work in their office or living room. Homeowner participation has gone up. Having the technology available to our managers has been a challenge."
J. David Rauch: "Do you have any advice for vendors on how to reduce community managers job pains especially with Covid lingering?"
Joel Just: "My personal philosophy is Management Companies can’t succeed without good vendors. Be prompt and responsive, be honest in your dealings with the HOA, and provide value for the service. It really is vendor101."
J. David Rauch: "There has been quite a bit of purchasing of management companies by bigger companies (roll-ups). Do you see this practice continuing in our industry?"
Joel Just: "Yes, we personally have done 9 acquisitions in the past 5 years. However, “Big Management Companies” is a sliding scale. In some circles CAMCO is a big company. I do think small management companies, less than 100 HOA’s, need to think about scale. Efficiencies and alternate revenue streams come with size."
J. David Rauch: "If you could give one piece of advice to others in this industry, what would that be?"
Joel Just: "I always say our industry suffers from “enough.” Managers, CEO’s, Owner’s limit growth when they have enough. Most of my career was in high tech. The industry moved fast. Competition changed every 3 years. We could not slow down, or you lost ground. I left another large Management Company that never had enough. Their target was 12% growth. So, if you grow less than 12% annually you are losing ground. We are currently looking at 4 acquisitions this year. I have not seen “enough.'"
J. David Rauch: "What do you like doing in your spare time; hobbies; passions; other?"
Joel Just: "My wife usually schedules activities with no cellphone service. We hike, camp, canoe, kayak, and ski. During COVID we have been in the Western states, but we miss international travel. Philanthropy is a core value. I support The American Cancer Society Real Men Wear Pink Campaign, Donate Life Donor Walk, and a family non-profit group."
J. David Rauch: "Are there any issues that we have not mentioned that you’d like to discuss?"
Joel Just: "I believe in work life balance for myself and my team. Stay safe, take care of your health, devote time to your family, community, and charitable organizations."