Elite AgentOpinion

How strata managers can maintain success in both present and post-COVID worlds

Incorporating the latest technology whilst operating in this new-world of strata management is vital to future proof the role in an ever-evolving industry writes Shaun Meyrick.

Not exempt from the challenges of the ongoing global pandemic, strata management firms, like millions worldwide, faced their own challenges in 2020.

As a heavily competitive sector that requires a finger on the pulse, strata managers have been faced with changes to the fundamental elements of the industry, whether it be across service expectations, legislative requirements, technology options and more.

What are the challenges?

An industry reliant on face-to-face interactions forced into a remote work setting was a shakeup for many last year.

Typical onsite meetings and appointments were off the table as strata managers found themselves having to deal with the complexities of virtual committee meetings, and managing compliance and maintenance issues without being able to attend the site or even manage things from their own office.

This was further compounded by the impact on cash flow as a result of the crisis; communities with previously strong levy payment histories were suddenly in a weaker position to address increased cleaning and related costs.

The amount of Australians working from home presented a challenge with an increase of requests funnelled through to management each day.

There were also additional requirements for the maintenance of communal spaces and the need to create and adjust area usage rules and restrictions to ensure resident safety.

Add to this the changes to several state’s strata legislation and the disparity in state laws and on-ground restrictions, it meant that strata management firms, particularly those spanning more than one jurisdiction, had their work cut out for them in 2020.

How can strata management firms overcome these challenges?

With an effectively recession-proof industry, both in Australia and across the world, the opportunities presented by technology for improving strata operations efficiencies and customer service effectiveness are endless and while the industry is strong, competition has been heating up.

As with any industry, innovation in strata is essential to ensure management companies can stay at the forefront of service quality.

Specifically, it makes those who have embraced and implemented leading software platforms all the more resilient in situations such as the one we found ourselves in last year; undoubtedly more resilient and robust than those who have not embraced cloud-based and customer portal driven technology.

Transforming the day-to-day, effective cloud-based software can cut the time and effort required to complete routine administration and accounting tasks.

As we have been promised over the years, software automation has arrived in the form of invoicing of levies, management fees and disbursement costs. Online requests management is the norm.

Compliance requirement tracking and a market need for software services to be constantly updated in line with changes to local strata legislation.

The business landscape that strata managers must compete in is complex, task heavy and constantly evolving.

With a cloud platform, the level of customer service is maximised thanks to 24/7 self-service access, ensuring customer requests, community documents, levy statements, insurance details and more can be accessed at any time, improving overall convenience for committee members, landlords and tenants.

A fundamentally human-centric industry, taking back the power of time also allows strata managers to get back to basics, focusing on activities that build relationships, convert new business and retain current clients.

Reflecting on 2020, incorporating the latest technology whilst operating in this new-world of strata management is vital to remain competitive and future proof their role in an ever-evolving industry.

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