Are you facing these
Common Strata Owner Challenges
If you are a strata owners or a committee member, chances are you have faced some of these challenges. We have compiled a list of ten challenges owners face frequently, according to our research and how we at Beyond Strata address them. Your awareness in these common issues can help in asking the right questions when selecting a strata management company or a strata manager to look after your valuable property.
1. Lack of communication and engagement from your strata manager
Through the use of our state of the art technology platform our managers are guided and monitored by key performance indicators (KPI) that are purely focused on their communication and engagement with your owners corporation. The KPIs set our benchmark and expectation on regular and ongoing engagement including but not limited to scheduled calls to chair persons/committee members, regular circulars/e-bulletins to members/tenants, onsite visits, face to face meetings and so on.
2. Lack of knowledge of your property and/or the Act from Owners Corporation Manager
All our managers at Beyond Strata must have at least 3 years of qualified Owners Corporation Management experience and must undergo an onboarding assessment to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and application of the Owners Corporation Act and Regulations prior to becoming a Beyond Strata team member. Our managers are provided with ongoing education and training guided by an in-house mentor who reviews their portfolio on a monthly basis.
3. Managing Disputes: parking, noise, breaking of by-laws, rubbish, repairs and maintenance of common property
At Beyond Strata we have found that the most effective way of managing disputes or breaches of by laws in your owners corporations is through informal mediation processes. When used effectively it can help in defusing and resolving emerging disputes amongst parties ‘early’ through personal discussions and negotiation between owners. Beyond Strata ensure our managers are trained and mentored in managing and handling disputes and grievances early before they became a larger more complex issue to resolve. For the minority of cases that are not resolved through informal means, as required by the Act, we initiate the formal dispute resolution or breach processes.
4. Inadequate long-term financial planning of Owners Corporation (through the creation of sinking fund plans)
The establishment of maintenance plans and maintenance funds, as per the Owners Corporation legislation, is mandatory for prescribed Owners Corporations in Victoria (i.e. an owners corporation which levies annual fees in excess of $200,000 in a financial year and/or an owners corporation that consists of more than 100 lots). In that Beyond Strata work closely with expert consultants who specialise in the creation of practical maintenance plans. These maintenance plans are monitored via our management platform enabling our managers to manage and project future maintenance, improvements, upgrades and replacement requirements ahead of time to properly plan for maintenance and financial requirements of the owners corporation, minimizing the risk to owners of unexpected special levies.
5. Poor arrears management and debt recovery
We find that effective communication and education for owners on what their Owners Corporation funds go towards has been the most effective way of getting owners to pay their levies on time. However, failing this approach, we ensure our debt management procedures are tightly managed and monitored through strict collection procedures. In that we are also mindful as a firm that owners can sometimes fall on hard times and encounter financial difficulties, for these genuine cases we are empathetic to those members and upon the instruction of the committee and/or owners corporation undertake to reach mutually beneficial agreements on managing their debts through entering into reasonable payment plans or lump sum payments. Lastly, after owners are provided with all the relevant information surrounding what their OC funds go towards and all their queries have been satisfactorily answered, yet they still remain in arrears, we would escalate the matter to formal debt recovery procedures which could ultimately result in action being taken by the OC through VCAT.
6. Poor financial management (including budgeting) and visibility
We use industry specialized fund management (Property Bookkeeping) system operated by experienced accountants. Our service level agreement (SLA) ensures daily reconciliation of bank accounts. We publish real-time fund balances and bank statements in the community portal for members to access establishing the highest levels of transparency. Our managers and finance teams are highly competent in guiding Owners Corporations in accurate budget forecasting to enable sufficient levels of funds are maintained in reserve.
7. Unsatisfactory standard of record keeping (minutes, resolutions)
We use in-house digitizing services to convert all paper documents into digital media. All documents are categorized and maintained in a data repository with multilevel security with a reputed storage management company. All these documents, that include for example communications sent to owners, occupants and committee, are accessible via the Community Portal on our management platform.
8. Poor repairs and maintenance of building common areas and facilities
We take a proactive approach to maintaining your owners corporation common areas through scheduled onsite visits and advanced scheduling of maintenance measures minimizing the risk of your building falling into an unsatisfactory condition. Further to this our incident dashboard in the management platform tracks and manages maintenance tasks that are reported by the committee or owners. This incident dashboard is accessible by members giving you valuable real-time insights into the status of each reported task including obtaining of quotes, approval of quotes and issuance of work orders through to completion, review of works and approval of invoices. Members are fully informed at every step of the process.
9. Owner requests are not actioned in a timely fashion
We use an industry first real-time Key Performance Indicator (KPI) system to monitor strata operations. Your requests are one of KPI’s we monitor. If any of these KPI’s are not meeting the internal service level agreements (SLA), a notification is sent to our senior leadership team. Further to this we have a compliant email address managed by senior leadership team, if things are not working as we promised any stakeholder can send an email to us about their concerns.
10. Maintaining professional conduct at meetings, including abusive or disruptive behaviour and personal conflicts
At Beyond Strata we know that an effective and efficient meeting where an Owners Corporation can achieve the best outcomes, is one where all members show respect and courtesy to their fellow members. This includes respecting members differing opinions on contentious topics whilst still appreciating that although they may have an opinion on a topic, ultimately the majority decision prevails. In that we ensure that we properly articulate to our committees the best ways to conduct themselves at meetings. In the event a member does become disruptive, our managers are trained on how to best manage the situation in a calm and fair manner. We believe in constant learning and development where we share our learnings with Owners Corporations to build collaborative strata communities.
Interested in how we can help your Owners Corporation become better at managing your property?
Contact Us Today