Our CEO Tony Johnson wrote the following article regarding the relationships formed by a Strata Manager and how they can and do assist your Body Corporate. This Essay was a finalist for the 2021 Essay Award at the SCA Strata Community Association awards in November 2021.
Managers of Strata Corporations are experts in managing Strata and Community developments. Each Corporation can elect to be self-managed and do it well. However, having an organisation with the knowledge and skills to properly care for a property can be more efficient and save owners time and money.
The basic role of a management company is to provide the Body Corporate with administration and maintenance services for common property. However, a good Manager will add value by handling disputes between owners, contractors and even tenants.
The services provided by a strata management company are significantly enhanced by the established relationships they have with suppliers and other professional networks. To take excellent care of a strata property, managers will engage with professionals whom they have built rapport and understand the services they provide.
As with any relationship, these connections take time and effort to cultivate and evolve. The end goal is to build trust and mutual respect. These two-way relationships assist to ensure that those third parties have a clear understanding of the Strata industry. What’s more, great working relationships improve overall productivity and can help reduce maintenance costs.
Taking relationships seriously enables your strata manager to produce win-win outcomes; they act as a point of connection to all the services your property requires.
Tradespeople and the care of your development
Keeping on top of general maintenance means regular engagement with tradespeople for a broad range of tasks. Having the expertise and experience of a Strata Manager will help ensure the right skilled tradesperson are contacted for quotes and that the best results are delivered.
Reliable and skilled tradespeople can be challenging to find but are worth their weight in gold. Maintaining strong professional relationships with tradespeople is a key responsibility of managers. These connections allow any issues to be dealt with quickly, effectively and amicably. A great strata managers will build a strong, trusting and transparent relationship with tradies and subsequently clients who can be confident in their high standards.
When establishing new relationships with tradespeople, strata managers will know to request past client References, transparent costing and proof of relevant insurances/licenses. Owners with less experience may not ask for these things or not fully understand the information provided. By allowing a Strata Manager to care for their property using these trusted relationships, Owners are protecting the value of their properties and ensuring that Residents and Tenants have a happy and safe environment.
Insurers and providing adequate coverage
The insurance industry has various niches including the Strata or Community Titled coverages which can incorporate subsidiary covers such as Fidelity and public liability. A Manager needs to understand each of these policies and covers and each Insurer has different agreements and products to offer. The differences between the policy offerings are important and so are the claims. The polices between Strata Managers do not change, however the advantage to having a manager is knowing what cover is required for your particular property and whom to speak to get the right qualified responses. In addition, through networking and associations, a Manager should know which Tradespeople have completed similar work in the past for a specific Insurer and have established connections with the various Assessors and Advisors to assist with your policy and claims.
Insurance is a product that individuals never want to have to use but need to have available. Therefore, insurance providers typically don’t have regular contact with their individual customers which means it’s challenging to form strong working relationships. A good Manager will ensure these associations develop through regular contact, networking and of course experience.
Strata managers manage many different properties and therefore have regular contact with their insurance providers given that they will be handling more incidents. Their professional relationship with insurance providers adds value to their service. This may include using a Broker or going direct to obtain pricing for the owners.
Naturally the most important relationship a Stata manager has is with the unit owners. Strata management is about people, understanding, empathising and working to achieve results together and communicating to everyone. The Key above all else in these relationships is Communication.
To ensure superior communication and a strong relationship, a Strata Manager will keep comprehensive records, provide access to detailed information, and respond promptly and efficiently to all queries.
Strata managers also provide a great, neutral point of contact for owners to consult when issues occur. Navigating disputes and varying opinions can be tricky, but great strata managers possess the necessary communication skills and professional attitudes to ensure challenges can be managed as smoothly as possible and preserve relationships between as many unit owners as possible.
Ensuring harmony between owners means that strata managers will
- Professionally communicate the rules to owners and tenants
- Altering rules and implementing resolutions at the direction of the Owners as necessary, and in the best interest of the property.
- Mediate disputes between owners and tenants, neighbours, and other vested parties. These include issues involving noise, parking, damage, pets and more.