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Ways Your Manager Can Provide Help

Thursday, 18th February 2016

Strata and Community schemes legislation in all jurisdictions limits the authority of the appointed manager. The manager only has the powers and responsibilities delegated to them in writing by the strata or community property. Important decisions are made by lot owners voting at general meetings and other decisions may be made by the appointed committee and office bearers. Essentially the role of the manager is an administrative one - of arranging meetings, recording meeting outcomes, record keeping, accounting and insuring the property and arranging property maintenance. It undertakes these tasks on instructions from the lot owners.

Having said that there are two kinds of management approaches:

  • The “helpdesk” approach which is reactionary by nature. The manager waits for instructions from the owners before attending to any issues. These instructions may come from general meetings, committee meetings, office bearers or individual lot owners.
  • The “aspirational” approach which is pro-active and seeks to attend to potential issues before they become issues that require remediation. The following is a suggested method of providing this form of management.

Lot owners make collective decisions based upon the advice that they receive from their manager. Here are the methods available to the manager to provide a pro-active, “aspirational” form of management – by providing leadership.

  • Work very closely with the owners, especially the office bearers and committee. Attend all committee meetings and provide advice pro-actively on all issues (whether on statutory, logistical, financial or property maintenance related issues)
  • Have an excellent working knowledge of the property (which may require frequent on site attendances)
  • Work with the Executive Committee to prepare 1 year, 3 year and 5-10 year plans (create a compelling vision for the future)
  • Manage the agenda for each meeting and provide all of the required background information ahead of the meeting, including a commentary on financial performance and position.
  • Ensure that the meeting produces actionable OUTCOMES. Owners want to see action rather than talk.
  • Communicate meeting outcomes to all owners in a concise and simple manner
  • Ensure that owners make sensible decisions about insurance placement, sinking fund maintenance plans, funding for future maintenance and investment of surplus/reserve  funds

Each corporation should determine which approach suits their needs best. The “aspirational” approach works very well for corporations of all sizes and complexity. The larger the community and the more complex the tasks the greater will be the benefit of adopting an “aspirational” approach. At the end of the day it is designed to achieve improvement in the quality of the services provided and a reduction in workload and stress for clients, committees and managers.


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