Taking strata management that extra mile
Just like buyers and investors looking for that extra something-something in their next investment, so too should developers when looking for experienced strata management.
Offering such a service is Port Melbourne-based Victoria Body Corporate Services (VBCS), part of Smarter Communities, one of Australia’s largest strata management companies.
VBCS senior business development manager Greg Cates says one of the distinguishing features that sets VBCS apart from its competitors is their willingness to take strata management that one step further.
“Over the years, we’ve seen firsthand some of the common frustrations from developers and owners once they move into their new homes,” says Cates.
“Confusion from residents over who is responsible for what, combined with waiting for responses can be major pain points.
“We knew there had to be a better way to help our developer clients help their clients, the owners.”
With the blessing from a developer Cates has worked with since 2013, VBCS pioneered an innovative approach to strata management.
“To my knowledge, this was a first in Melbourne. We placed a strata manager on-site full time for about four months when Precinct 1 of this development was released,” explains Cates.
“To say the office for strata management and the building manager in this complex is 5-star is an understatement.”
One of the apartments was converted into a fully-equipped office space, so the office has all the bells and whistles of the other apartments and townhouses in the precinct.
“The purpose of placing an on-site strata manager was three-fold: we could easily address and instantaneously respond to queries as they arose, saving time and virtually eliminating any frustrations from owners.
The added bonus for us was that we now had a face, we weren’t the faceless manager behind a telephone or laptop.
“The response from residents was astounding. They were grateful for the assistance moving into their new homes and extremely appreciative having strata professionals on-site to answer their queries.
“We were there to help them when they needed it.”
Cates explains that the face-to-face interaction allowed VBCS to educate new owners on strata management, demonstrate the functions of the role and introduce them to the building manager while on site.
“This has helped to reduce confusion over roles and moving forward any queries should be directed to the correct manager for faster response.”
“The learnings we gained and could share with the developer from on-site strata management was priceless for everyone involved: the developer, the residents and for us,” says Cates.
Cates says that no amount of careful planning can beat the firsthand experience on the ground in the final product.
“It’s only then that you can really see how the dream has come to life and whether any enhancements could be incorporated for future development stages.
“When we’re on-site, we are literally learning every day. Sharing our learnings with the developer so alterations could be made for Precinct 2 was incredibly rewarding.
“Perfecting perfection so the end result is even more profitable for everyone just makes good business sense.
“But more than that, it means the end functionality of the property makes sense for the residents, makes life easier for them. When they are happy, and the community is happy, that drives demand,” says Cates.
“When demand is high, this drives price. It’s win-win for all.”