This is the clear message from the National President of Strata Community Australia, Erik Adriaanse (FCPA) (FPS).
“The Australian strata sector is a separate branch of the property industry and shouldn’t be confused with the broader real estate and property sectors,” Erik stated.
This statement is borne out with the rapid growth of Strata Community (SCA) Australia.
SCA currently has more than 3300 members who oversee, or manage, properties worth around $1.2 trillion.
It is also estimated that SCA members manage more than 1.5 million title lots throughout Australia. More than 26 per cent of all Australian dwellings are covered by strata or community title.
So what is strata title?
Strata title is an Australian innovation in property law that has been copied around the globe. Strata title allows individual ownership of part of a property (called a lot, and generally an apartment or townhouse), combined with shared ownership in the remainder (called ‘Common Property’ e.g. foyers, driveways, gardens) through a legal entity called the owners corporation — or body corporate, strata company or community association, depending on where you live and the type of scheme.
“SCA was established four years ago to unify and strengthen the strata sector,” Erik said. In 2012 a company was incorporated with a view of becoming the governing body of the strata sector, overseeing state basedchapters. Erik says this transformation will be completed in 2016.
Erik was a founding SCA member, as well as ACT delegate from 2012, and was elected National President in 2014.
“Our goal at SCA has been to unify the strata sector by linking property owners and managers with the suppliers of goods and services,” Erik explained.
“I’m delighted to report that SCA is now a highly professional body that represents the broader strata sector.”
SCA’s biggest achievements have been to achieve superior professional standards and education for the strata sector.
“Thanks to SCA, our members now have government endorsed training through CPSIC,” Erik said.
SCA has also been designing a Certificate III, Certificate IV and Diploma courses specifically for the strata industry, which will be significantly different from real estate courses
“In the strata sector, we found the real estate courses focused too much on the property industry, in other words, buying, selling and rental. We now have two courses specifically for the strata industry,” Erik said proudly.
“Now that we have a high standard of education and training, SCA members are well equipped to look after the strata sector.”
The strata sector is certainly growing in Australia.
There are more than 2.6 million strata lots across Australia equating to over 26 per cent of the population living in a strata dwelling. According to SCA, this figure will rise to 50 percent by 2030, bringing the total strata asset pool to more than $2 trillion.This is an important sector for Australia. “The strata sector is significant to the Australian economy through the enormous construction program associated with strata buildings and the ongoing goods and services that are required ” Erik outlined. According to Erik, SCA has set the following industry priorities:
• Enhance branding;
• Improve advocacy;
• Create new careers;
• Knowledge sharing; and
• Maintaining the standards of the profession.
One of the key tools to achieving these priorities is the implementation the following levels of SCA accreditation:
LEVEL 1 – Accredited Strata Community Manager (ASCM)
• Minimum of two years’ SCA membership and adherence to the SCA Code of Conduct plus Completion of Cert. III in Strata Community Management or approved equivalent
• Minimum of 24 CPD points acquired through attendance at ongoing professional development events in the preceding two years (minimum of 12 points per annum).
LEVEL 2 – Certified Strata Community Manager (CSCM)
• Minimum two years membership and adherence to the SCA Code of Conduct plus Completion of Cert IV in Strata Community Management or approved equivalent.
• Minimum of 24 CPD points acquired through attendance at ongoing professional development events in the preceding 2 years (minimum of 12 points per annum).
LEVEL 3 – Practicing Strata Community Manager (PSCM)
• Minimum five years membership plus completion of Diploma in Strata Community Management and 24 CPD points through ongoing professional development over two years.
LEVEL 4 Fellow Strata Community Manager (FSCM)
• Existing Practising Strata Community Manager(PSCM) plus
• Minimum of 15 years membership plus extensive record of service to the industry.
“In the ACT, if you ensure that your strata manager is a member of SCA, then you can be assured that they also have the appropriate knowledge and accreditation,” Erik said.
Erik says that SCA has also introduced an A100 ‘Introduction to Strata’ course from the USA (adopted for Australia).
“This means that there is now a pathway for people who want to make a career in the strata industry,” Erik outlined.
So why are Australians choosing a strata lifestyle?
“The main reason of course is that, for many people, it is a more affordable way to get into the housing market,” Erik explained.
He went on to say that strata title was also attractive for older people who want to downsize or simplify their lives.
“There is a paradigm shift in Australia about how, and where, people live. There is a growing acceptance that you might not have a big backyard, a clothes line and a pergola.”. But back to Strata Community Australia.
SCA is now the largest national billion dollar strata and community title sector in Australia.
• As the peak body for the strata sector SCA provides:
• thought leadership to the strata sector;
• Ongoing professional education;
• Government advocacy;
• An enforced processional code of conduct for its members; and
• Assistance with corporate governance issues.
Erik says that SCA has a major role to play in the property, tourism and accommodation sectors.
The Future of Strata Community Australia?
SCA has achieved a lot in the last four years, but it is not resting on its laurels, with a strategic plan to grow membership and deliver more services to members.
“We will be growing our Australian membership and setting up chapters in Singapore, and New Zealand in the near future,” Erik outlined.
If you are associated with strata title as an owner, supplier or manager, then Strata Community Australia is for you.