Our insider tips to the questions you should be asking your prospective Strata Manager.
Good or bad, most people judge an entire strata agency on the working relationship they have with their strata manager.
We have prepared this short list of questions that you should be asking prior to making a decision to appoint a new Strata Agent.
What’s included in the monthly management fee
Most agencies charge a monthly management fee which covers agreed services. Works performed outside of the agreed services are charged as an additional fee. You can negotiate with an agency to have fixed price disbursements to give you a clearer understanding of how much your scheme will be paying per year.
How many buildings does your proposed new Strata Manager already look after
Your entire strata experience depends on this simple question. Most agents manage large portfolios, to the point where they can spend most of their time putting out spot fires rather than giving you the proactive service that you are looking for.
The Strata Manager that will be managing your building should at least hold a Certificate 4 in Strata Title Management. Ideally this would have been gained through a Tafe course. It is possible to get a Certificate 4 in Strata Management by paying to do a 2 week course. It is also a good idea to ask how long they have been with the agency.
When approaching a potential new agent, it’s a fair question to ask how much experience the strata manager has that will actually be managing your building and in case things do go wrong, how much experience they have in attending mediation and tribunal hearings.
How often are financial reports generated and are they delivered just the treasurer to the entire committee? Ideally this will be available on a monthly basis.
Service Level Agreements
Strata management is customer service. Your new agent should be able to provide you with time frames of when your requests will be actioned, emails replied to and telephone calls returned.
Your money, your input
It’s your building and you don’t necessarily want the Strata Manager to do everything, so it’s important to clarify how much input will you have in approving creditor payments and what level of input will the committee have when the agent is preparing the proposed budget.
When appointing a new agent, most will try to lock you in for the maximum period of 3 years. If the services doesn’t meet your expectations you are locked in for the term of the agreement, unless your scheme decides to pay out the remaining term of the agreement. It is a better option to sign a one year agreement and see how things go.