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Business Observer Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 3 weeks ago

Economic Forecast 2020: Community Association Management 

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Heather Hamilton, president of Pinnacle Community Association Management
by: Grier Ferguson Sarasota-Manatee Editor

Real estate/Community association management

Heather Hamilton

President

Pinnacle Community Association Management, Sarasota

Company:

In 2017, Heather Hamilton and her husband, Jason Hamilton, were ready to make a career switch. At the time, they talked about a niche they thought wasn’t being served — management of smaller community associations. “We saw a need we could tap into,” Hamilton says. So they started Sarasota-based Pinnacle Community Association Management. Today, with 10 employees in its corporate office, it manages 67 homeowners and condominium associations, focusing on properties from eight to 180 units. The company’s clients are from Parrish to Manasota Key. 

Opportunities:

Pinnacle had a good 2019, says Hamilton, who declines to disclose specific revenues. “It’s a controlled growth. We don’t want to grow too fast.” She aims to build on the company’s success and bring on new clients in the year ahead. Most clients come from referrals but they’ve also gained clients through Google and the company’s website. Pinnacle also plans to increase marketing efforts to bolster those avenues. Hamilton says being a familiar face in the industry has helped Pinnacle grow, too. She previously was with another company, working with larger associations as a corporate community association manager in Sarasota. Prior to that role, she worked in hospitality for 15 years, an experience that’s come in handy. “This is a people business,” Hamilton says. “Customer service has to be at the core of your job.” The biggest customer service lesson she learned in hospitality she keeps in mind today? “You’ve got to put yourself in their position. You have to listen and you have to work with them to figure out what’s going on and get them through it.”

Threats:

Challenges ahead are more internal than external. “I think the biggest thing for us is the balance between technology and people,” Hamilton says. It’s key, she says, to find the right technology that fits in with the company’s culture and adds efficiencies but doesn’t take away from its personal touch. There’s lots of technology out there to aid the field of community association management, such as accounts payable systems, but Hamilton is careful not to overdo it. “We pick and choose who we partner with,” she says. “We want to make sure all of our clients aren’t just looking at a screen and that we aren’t just communicating at them.”

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