MHN interviews Michael Daniels, CPM, CEO of Cagan Management Group. He has been with Cagan for 25 years and currently supervises the Management Division in Illinois. He has earned the Certified Property Manager® (CPM®) designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management® (IREM®), and the Certified Manager of Community Associations® (CMCA®) and the Association Management Specialist ® (AMS®) designation from the Community Association Institute® (CAI®).
MHN: How did you get into the multifamily industry?
Daniels: My basketball coach in high school was in the rental property business and was looking for some assistance at his buildings. I started out by doing janitorial work in high school and moving on to painting and decorating during my college years. I had picked up the skills in a large six flat working alongside my father who owned it. Eventually as business and third party management picked up I was asked to help supervise and manage residents and vendors.
MHN: If you weren’t in multifamily, what would you be doing?
Daniels: I would be in the hotel or hospitality field. I feel my skills and attention to detail would be a good fit at a nice resort property.
MHN: Who has been the biggest inspiration during your career?
Daniels: My father and the time we had working side by side in his property and learning his common sense approach to dealing with issues. He joined me later on as our business grew as a project manager and his dedication and clear direction was a big influence on how I deal with client, residents and vendors today.
MHN: In terms of work, what keeps you up at night?
Daniels: The only thing that keeps me up at night is if I feel I let a client down and did not perform up to their expectations, whether realistic or not. I strive to prove I can get the job done and do not like failure—real or perceived.
MHN: What’s the best part of your workday?
Daniels: Getting a thank you or any acknowledgement of a job well done.
MHN: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Daniels: I see myself less involved with day-to-day management and more involved with mentoring, teaching and watching over my own properties
MHN: What advice would you give another that you wish someone would had said to you?
Daniels: Don’t worry, be happy, and take some time for yourself.