How to choose a strata management company
Need to choose a new strata manager? Here’s what you need to know to choose the right company for the job.
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Choosing a strata manager for your building can often be a difficult task. Not only do you want to find a strata management firm that can promptly and effectively deal with any issues that may arise, but you also want their services to be as affordable as possible.
To help you choose the right strata management company, we’ve put together a handy guide. Whether you’re searching for a manager for a new building or your current strata manager’s contract is up for renewal, keep our tips in mind to help you make the right choice.
What does a good strata manager do?
A strata manager has a very important role to play in providing safe and successful strata living for all residents. A strata manager is employed by the owners’ corporation of an apartment block and acts on the corporation’s behalf.
Many people don’t realise that there are many legal requirements that need to be met when managing a strata apartment block. A good strata management company will ensure that the owners’ corporation has the proper insurance policies in place, hire cleaners and gardeners to ensure the property is properly maintained and ensure that common areas such as pools and gyms are also maintained to a sufficient standard.
Strata managers can also be called upon to act as mediators in disputes between apartment owners, ensuring that mutually agreeable solutions to any potential issues can be reached.
Factors to consider when choosing a strata management company
Make sure to keep the following factors in mind when comparing strata management companies and what they can offer:
- Price. Like many other things in life, with strata managers you generally get what you pay for. If a strata management firm charges a fee that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. At the same time, you should make sure that you’re only paying for services that you actually need and none that you don’t. However, while price is undoubtedly an important factor, it certainly shouldn’t be the only issue you consider when choosing a strata manager.
- How your money will be spent. Next, consider the company’s approach to financial reporting. How often will you receive updates on the management of the property, and in how much detail will the company explain where the owners’ corporation’s money is being spent?
- Location. It’s important to choose a strata management company based in the same area as the building. Choosing such a company will have many benefits. Not only will local companies have an in-depth understanding of the unique risks facing owners’ corporations in your area, but they will also have important contacts with local cleaners and tradespeople who can maintain your building. And if any problems arise that require urgent attention, a locally based strata manager will be able to attend to them much more quickly than a manager based on the other side of the city.
- Recommendations. A recommendation from someone you trust is often a whole lot more valuable than the slickest of marketing presentations prepared by a strata management company. Chat to friends and family members who sit on other owners’ corporations and see whether they can recommend any particular companies.
- Your expectations. It’s important to consider exactly what you want your strata management company to do. As well as insurance obligations and maintenance tasks, are there any other specific duties that need to be attended to? Make sure that any strata manager you consider is aware of your expectations and has the capabilities to meet them.
- References. Similar to recommendations above, the quality of a strata manager’s references can tell you a whole lot about the standard of service they offer. Ask anyone you are considering to provide references from other schemes they manage, and contact those references for more detailed information.
- Qualifications and experience. Does the strata manager have the necessary professional qualifications? Are they a member of industry associations and do they have professional indemnity insurance cover? You should also consider the experience a strata manager has, whether they manage any other buildings similar to yours and whether they can demonstrate suitable knowledge of any relevant legislation.
- Communication. Last but not least, don’t forget about the importance of communication. You want a strata manager who keeps you in the loop at all times and who can communicate promptly and clearly at all times, so make sure these are qualities you look for when choosing a company.
Finding the right strata management company
If you’re hunting for the right strata management company to look after your building, the best thing to do is compare the services offered by a number of strata management companies. Gather proposals from respected strata managers that are based close to your building. Compare their experience, qualifications, management services, communication skills and price to determine which company has all the features you’re looking for.
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