The secret to a high performing Strata Manager

Whilst it’s true that the official role of the Strata Manager is to act on the instruction of the Owners Corporation, in practice this can lead to very unfavourable outcomes for all parties. Whilst the Strata Manager is not an owner and has no deciding say, a good one will be able to steer the owners to make decisions in the best interest of the building.

Years of experience of seeing the same dynamics play out over and over again, puts the Strata Manager in a strong position to know how a situation will most likely to play out. They are also not emotionally involved and have a neutral position with no ulterior motive. For example, a very common issue that occurs is illegal parking. The owners get increasingly frustrated and ask the strata to write breach of by-law letters to the offending resident. The letter is issued as instructed and the Strata company charges the building for their time accordingly. The offending resident is likely to screw up the letter and put it in the bin. This may happen repeatedly, whilst the frustration of the owners and bills from the Strata company are rising. The owners may finally have enough and put in an application with NCAT (government body that deals with disputes). By the time all of this happens, the offending resident has moved on and the cycle starts all over again.

An outcome focused Strata Manager on the other hand will, based on years of experience of seeing this type of situation play out over and over again issue the letter as instructed by the Owners Corporation. However, they will also get the Building Manager (or owner on-site if there is no Building Manager) to knock on the door of the offending resident and politely tell them to stop doing it or further action will be taken. Nine times out of ten this approach stops the behaviour as the resident is embarrassed about being confronted. The Owners Corporation doesn’t have to pay for issuing countless unread letters, the issue is resolved and everyone is happy (except perhaps the resident that has lost their free car space).

The biggest obstacle to allowing an effective Strata Manager steer the committee to achieve great outcomes is trust. There can be a natural distrust of Strata Managers. The cynic may question whether the real reason the Strata Manager recommends x contractor is because they are getting a kickback rather than being the best fit for the building. Whilst this type of illegal practice is possible, it is by far in the minority. Trust must be built up with the Strata Manager over time as with any long term relationship. You are after all trusting them to guide you on making decisions over what may be the biggest investment of your life.

A high performing Strata Manager will listen to the group of owners and steer them to make the best decisions for the building. They will use their experience in an outcome focused, proactive way to find solutions for your building. This combined with a trusting committee (built up over time) allows great outcomes for your building, without all of the personal stress.

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