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An inspiring legacy

Bob and Gladys Beal show us there are countless ways we can contribute to the growth of an industry we all love.

By Cheryl Gray, CPM
Bob and Gladys Beal
Bob and Gladys Beal

Cheryl Gray, CPM, IREM President

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant. —Robert Louis Stevenson

This special commemorative issue of JPM honors Bob Beal, CPM, and his wife, Gladys, who inspired countless CPMs and ARMs throughout the 40+ years they were involved with IREM. The Beals continue to inspire future generations of real estate managers through their very generous gift made to the IREM Foundation. Read more about these pillars of the IREM community and how you too can contribute to the Robert K. and Gladys M. Beal Fund, which will support the Beals’ desire for IREM to prosper, lead, educate, create passion and endure in the field of professional real estate management.

In the more than 50 years that Bob spent managing real estate, he weathered many changes to our industry and relied on IREM and its resources to persevere. Today, with the novel coronavirus and rising international movements against racial injustice, we are presented with events that are impossible to ignore and that demand rapid and often sweeping change of our current practices. Like Bob, we can rely on IREM to be our constant through these times of change.

As property managers, we’re used to turning on a dime but, at least for now, we may feel like we’re perpetually turning, all the while striving to maintain our balance as some of us have begun reopening our properties. Balancing responsibilities is top of mind for several IREM members who are working on establishing coronavirus strategies to carry them through reopening phases. In Managing the Unexpected, one of the features appearing in this issue, several members share their initial experiences of managing the new realities that come with COVID-19. Property managers recognize their jobs are to manage and maintain the physical and financial health of their properties—but just as vital is taking care of the people connected to those properties, those who live in them, work in them and work in support of managing them. You’ll see how they put both at the forefront of coronavirus planning.

Amidst these new considerations, there are still permanent fixtures in our work, one being financial management. It’s a core principle at IREM; establishing sound financial practices allows flexibility to pivot priorities when needed—like now—because it provides a bedrock for all property management activities. Yet, despite its constant presence in our business, even financial management practices occasionally need to be adjusted to address what Steve Margerum, CPM, calls “outliers” in the feature Staying on Top of Budget Season. You’ll get some good tips for maintaining consistency and rigor in your budgeting process, even as world events turn those budgets upside down.

IREM remains a constant for those of us in the real estate management industry, and the Institute continues to grow and evolve to meet the needs of current and future generations of real estate managers. This is true for JPM, too. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the world’s move to a virtual environment. At IREM, we’re continually looking for ways to provide our programs, products and services in this new digital world. So, this commemorative issue of JPM will be the last one done in print. JPM will then be available in a digital-only format, which enables you to get the content, news and insights you look for in a quick and safe manner, anytime and anywhere. And by being paperless, it promotes green business practices.

Like Bob and Gladys Beal, I invite you to identify opportunities to inspire others to explore the benefits of a meaningful real estate management career. Whether you’re able to share a kind word with a young professional, exchange ideas with a colleague or donate to the Robert K. and Gladys M. Beal Fund, there are countless ways each of us can contribute to the growth and development of an industry we all love. You’ll be surprised how even the smallest action can reap tremendous rewards.

Cheryl Gray, CPM IREM President

Cheryl Gray, CPM
IREM President

the Journal of Property Management staff

Cheryl Gray, CPM, is 2020 IREM president and executive vice president at QuadReal in Toronto, Ontario.

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