If you live in a strata building and you’re on the management committee, it may come as a surprise to you that for many residents, a strata manager is not much more than a quarterly bill and a copy of the annual meeting minutes.
And if this is the case, perhaps that’s ok.
Perhaps it means your strata manager takes care of things so well, that the residents in your building don’t feel the need to complain about poor maintenance, worry about building finance, or fight with retail outlets about unnecessary noise.
But what it could also mean, is that your strata manager is not really accessible, or available or that they communicate so rarely residents don’t even know where to go if they have a problem.
Determining if your strata management is performing as well as it could be, can be difficult. It may be ticking all the necessary boxes, but that may indicate it’s just doing what it needs to in order to retain your business.
Great strata management is so much more than ticking boxes, so if your strata manager is falling into any of the categories below, it may be time to look for a new manager who will help your community grow and thrive.
1. Is your strata manager accessible?
One of the most frequent complaints we hear from new clients, is that they didn’t know who their point of contact was at their old strata management firm. For those who did know the strata manager, they didn’t know how to reach out to them; or if they could make contact, the response was slow at best.
While seamless delivery of service is a positive and means your residents are minimally interrupted with the management of their building or complex, it can also mean residents aren’t aware of what a strata manager can do to support or assist them, or they don’t know how to get that assistance when they need it.
A great strata manager makes themselves available and known to all residents so when they are needed, they are easily contacted.
2. Is administration efficient?
Everyone can make a mistake, but a strata manager who has poor organisation and record-keeping skills poses a significant risk. Under legislation, there are specific administrative tasks that need to be undertaken in a prescribed manner ― if they are missed or completed incorrectly, serious errors can be made.
A clear sign you need to look for a new strata manager is if required meetings, such as your annual general meeting (AGM) are late or poorly organised, minutes and records aren’t kept satisfactorily, and meetings to discuss ongoing needs aren’t made an option regularly.
3. Does your strata manager understand legislation?
Like most of the property industry, strata management is highly regulated, as is the way residents can live and work in strata buildings or complexes.
Residents often rely on their strata manager to advise them of relevant regulations, even if it’s just clarification of a by-law or two, when they need assistance.
If your strata manager does not have a clear understanding of legislation, and as such, doesn’t always act in compliance with it, or can’t provide required insights to residents, they may be inhibiting the ability of residents to fully benefit from their space or jeopardising the security of your building or complex.
4. Is financial management accurate and transparent?
One of the most important tasks for any strata manager is overseeing the issue of accurate levies to residents and ensuring those levies are paid. The annual budget for the building is determined based on expected income from resident levies.
If a manager isn’t effectively following up payments, the volume of fees in arrears can build to a point where expenses can no longer be met, which can effect everything from maintenance and safety to crucial insurance.
The strata management is also ultimately responsible for the transparent and ethical management of building finances, including making reports available to residents so they can easily determine how their money is being spent.
5. Is your building upkeep up to scratch?
Building upkeep and maintenance is a major part of a strata manager’s role, whether they oversee it from a well-equipped head office, or have a building or facilities manager on site every day.
A clear sign you need to look for a new strata manager is when maintenance and upkeep starts to slide. In fact, if it is reactive, rather than proactive, you are likely in for some serious challenges ahead.
A great manager has their finger on the pulse in any building or complex they manage. They understand, in detail, all of the regular maintenance that is required, can identify issues before they become serious and have them seen to by an appropriately-qualified and trusted professional, and oversee frequent inspections to identify and prevent future problems.
If you are looking for a new strata manager, you can read more about our strata management services, or reach out to us to discuss your needs.