For those who are keen to learn how to select a strata management company, what makes a good strata manager depends on many factors. Typically, the owners corporation will submit a request for proposal (RFP) to various strata management service providers. When the proposals are received, they will assess the responses and choose a provider that best suits their needs. To help you make the best decision, here are 9 factors to consider when choosing a strata management company in Australia.
(1) Commitment and Dedication
Strata managers need to be committed and dedicated. Regardless of the scope of the services they provide, they should treat all customers with the same level of care. Responding to emails and phone calls on time, providing help when required and dedicating their time to make your job easier are key. If you sense the strata manager might be pre-occupied with other clients and not devote enough time to you, it might be wise to reassess their proposal.
Experience is crucial for a strata management service provider. All strata titles and owners’ corporations are different. It is vital the strata manager you hire has had appropriate and adequate exposure to dealing with different types of strata properties. Townhouses or units sprawled over land, or a tall building with many apartments, have different features which need to be managed effectively. Strata managers must be adaptable to dealing with matters in different circumstances on a daily basis.
Check the qualifications of your strata manager. However, remember not to judge a strata manager by the number or type of qualifications. Qualifications coupled with experience will help make a great strata manager. Ask questions to the strata managers and assess how knowledgeable they are of the matters they are required to deal with and how well they respond to different questions. Relevant knowledge about finance, commerce, residential and commercial properties, planning, liability, leasing and strata management is crucial.
(4) Service Levels
Documented service levels are vital in any services agreement. The service provider needs to make sure they are held accountable to agreed service levels. These levels are typically negotiated by the parties and will inform the recipient of the services in relation to how well the service provider is performing.
For example, here are common service levels:
- Responding to maintenance requests with a certain time frame;
- Mailing notices to owners in a particular format;
- Keeping common property clean and tidy;
- Renewing insurance policies on time;
- Liaising with owners in a professional manner;
- Directing the building manager to carry out works; and
- Attending meetings throughout the year.
In any service provider relationship, receiving reporting helps you make informed decisions. Discuss what reporting capabilities the service provider has. Reports can help you understand information, undertake analysis, identify trends, hold discussions with key stakeholders and much more. At Our Body Corp, our innovative cloud-based solution has reporting capabilities to suit your requirements. For example, our system provides financial reporting capabilities, meeting attendance records and minutes, outstanding maintenance issue summaries, and much more.
(6) Clear Terms
The terms of the agreement with your strata manager should be clear. Ensure that the service provider you choose has committed to documenting the terms of the agreement in a comprehensive manner. Be explicit as possible to ensure there is no debate about what the service entails. Ensure you understand what the strata manager proposes to include and exclude and what the costs are and additional fees. Sometimes, additional costs can be at fixed rates or charged on an hourly basis.
(7) Innovative Solutions
Seek a strata management service provider who strives to deliver innovative solutions. Providers that invest time, effort and funds into new solutions demonstrate a willingness to provide improved services to their customers. For example, our cloud-based solution keeps owners in control with a user-friendly and comprehensive tool that provides you with all information in a transparent manner which is backed by a team of professionals.
(8) Promoting Improvement Opportunities
Strata managers that make recommendations and promote improvement opportunities think outside the box. Instead of receiving a service with the ordinary inclusions you expect, partnering with a service provider who suggests different processes might help you improve the management of your owners’ corporation. Remember, your strata management service provider works with you. Together as a team, you can both share ideas to help you successfully manage your strata management obligations.
(9) Clear Expectations
Setting clear expectations helps give both parties to an agreement certainty of what to expect throughout the term. To avoid unnecessary arguments about the service, make sure you take time to discuss your needs and the capabilities of your service provider. Asking for too much may look good on paper but might not be practically feasible. Be reasonable with your service provider and understand what can and cannot be done.
At Our Body Corp, we are here to help. We strive to deliver leading services with innovative solutions. Our custom strata management cloud-based solution has been created and developed by experienced professionals who understand the strata management industry. We offer three packages which can be tailored to suit your needs and budget. All packages provide access to our technological solution that puts you in control of your strata management requirements at your fingertips with access to support when you need it.
Discover more online or call us on 1300 848 343.