A strata manager is, comprehensively, an administrator. Strata managers are tasked with the running of the owners’ corporation, which is formed through the gathering of a group of unit or building owners to create one governing body. Strata managers oversee the day-to-day operation of buildings and residential communities in a given area.
Now that your body corporate has come together and made the decision to begin the search for a strata manager, or has found one and is considering taking them on, what should you expect from them? What makes the ideal strata manager?
A good strata manager will come qualified for the job. Being qualified encompasses a number of things. First and foremost, they must have the know-how; not only of the position itself, but also of the local area as well as the laws governing the locality. Other qualifications include:
A valid operating license issued by the relevant authority.
Valid insurance coverage that is current and comprehensive.
Experience is a valuable tool. Having some time as a strata manager is important as the role demands that the strata manager be a person who wears many hats. A lot is required of a strata manager; they are an accountant, enforcer, record keeper, supervisor, legal expert, liaison, and many more. Therefore, having enough experience not only gives the manager the tools they will need to be efficient at their role, but also exemplary and a valuable asset to the strata community as a whole.
A few key points to consider when thinking about experience is the type of community that they are familiar with. In addition to type, size also matters. Your potential manager must have had occasion to run a community that is of a similar size to the one you are inviting them into so that they are not over, or certainly underwhelmed.
Ideally, your strata manager should be locally based. This not only gives you greater and easier access to your community’s main administrator, but it also certifies that they are familiar with your community’s locale. Having extensive local knowledge makes them more likely to be conversant with local quirks and oddities, and how to work around them. They are also knowledgeable about the people you need to know around the community’s environs that can be useful to the better running of the strata like tradesmen and local officials.
Strata managers do not operate free-of-charge. They are, in essence, employees of the owners’ corporation. This means that they do expect compensation that is negotiated at a fair and comparable rate to other professionals in the area. The price you are willing to pay to hire on a strata manager determines the calibre of manager that your strata takes on. You must also be aware of the financial status of the owner’s corporation as a whole. Hiring on a strata manager whose pay will take up the majority of the strata’s available funds is not a wise choice.
The best that can be done in this instance, is to find a workable mid-point between a manager whose fees cover all the pertinent requirements of your strata and a workable fee.
A good strata manager is a vital extension of a comfortable living community; therefore care must be taken in making a proper selection.