Over the past couple of years I have delivered a series of education courses through Wisdom Learning on the subject of Strata Management. In addition to a Certificate II course which is delivered over an extended period of many months, we have also provided full day “CPD” courses aimed at real estate professionals who are not directly working in Strata, but who wish to increase their knowledge of the industry.
Most of the courses we run are attended by a large number of Property Managers. One of the salient outcomes from these courses is that Strata Managers do not adequately understand the challenges faced by Property Managers and (at the risk of ruffling a feather or two), Property Managers are very much in the dark about the role of a Strata Manager.There is history of conflict between these two groups of professionals, and I think its time that a ceasefire was agreed.
The two consistent complaints I hear from Property Managers about the Strata Managers they deal with are:
1. They do not return my calls or emails. and;
2. They always deny any requests we make
The first point is difficult to address. Ultimately, quality of service is patchy between businesses and individuals. However, the second compliant is often more complicated than it may appear to a Property Manager.
A Strata Manager works on behalf of the Owners Corporation at the direction of the Executive Committee. The decision to grant or deny a request is seldom a decision of the Strata Manager. In most cases, if a Strata Manager denies a request in the first instance, it is because the manager is not in a position to authorise it in the first place. It either requires approval from the committee or the owners, or it is something that is not as straightforward as it sounds.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, I have consistently found that Strata Managers do not have a fundamental understanding of what a Property Managers job entails. Strata Managers can often be heard making a throwaway comment suggesting that a Property Manager “does nothing” to manage the behaviour of a nuisance tenant. From an uninformed point of view, the simple response to a noisy tenant would be to just evict them. Of course any Property Managers reading this will know that such a solution is not readily available to them in such a straightforward manner. Even if the Property Manager wanted to take such action, there is an often complicated and protracted process.
Taking some time to learn a little more about each of our respective roles, including the challenges and obstacles we each face, will go a considerable way towards bridging the gap. I strongly encourage any Property or Strata Managers to attend real estate training that provides some insight into the day-to-day duties of your real estate “cousins” so that we can all better serve our clients.