My own experience notwithstanding, it is amazing to read stories from readers about their treatment at the hands of strata managers. Personally, I believe strata managers are a redundancy because all they really do is grab cash for being the “professional” image of the Council. As readers know I have rather strong opinions about Councils so its serves reason that if you have a dishonest, uneducated Council your property management cannot be much better.
I’ve said before how there are some excellent strata managers out there but I believe suggesting they represent any more than 20% of licensed professionals is a push. The talented managers KNOW their stuff and as a result have a quiet authority which instills confidence. Because so many property managers were behaving badly by helping themselves to corporation funds, the Real Estate Council required strata managers have a license. Great. All licensing has accomplished is the “no liability” era of strata management and the Real Estate Council can believe they have provided a public service – like I said above, built in redundancy.
The test of a truly talented manager is in their service and their availability and of course their experience and knowledge. One thing should be clear here – experience can be bad thing if bad management goes unchecked. Brokers are extremely hesitant to discipline their managers because afterall managers are professional -owners are not. Ho Hum.
Where some Strata Managers appear to need education is practical conflict resolution and interpersonal communication, extensive education on the Strata Property Act and education on Robert’s Rules of Order or, “How To Run Annual General Meetings For Dummies”. I believe anyone can read a dry text and assimilate enough information to write a three hour course exam. The trick is in the application. I don’t believe the Real Estate Council is doing enough to make sure individuals get some practical training prior to handing out licenses and I don’t believe there is enough supervision on behalf of brokerages to manage their staff. In this regard the ” licensed professionals” are no better than the volunteer council members who direct them.
My “manager” is incapable of handling all the drama in my swamp. He doesn’t know swamp bylaws so he regularly contravenes them. He never comes out and does site checks. He doesn’t know how to read strata plans and worse doesn’t read the history of the place. What does the guy do? He demands strata fees, admonishes late payments and condescends to smarter owners at AGM’s which only serve to make him look as uneducated as he really is. His strength though is in the manner he abdicates the neutrality of his position in order to suck up to the imbeciles pulling his strings. If he gives Council what they expect they will continue to pay him. Money for nothing!
My Council is stealing my money from me under the auspices of the budget. You know what they say about associative guilt? My manager is just as big a thief because he is so useless and redundant.
How refreshing if council and owners had a professional they could trust to assist them individually and collectively to navigate strata living. How much more confident would owners be relying on their manager to properly administer their funds. How much more enjoyable would living in a strata be with all that transparency and accountability between owners, council and management.
I’m thinking the government should oversee strata managers not brokers. Brokers look at corporations as “doors” and the value each of those “doors” represents to the brokerage. Its all about profitability not accountability. The legislation is designed, I believe, to ensure accountability for strata owners. Volunteer Councils may be less inclined to control and manipulate strata managers if those managers were the face of government. Strata managers on the other hand will be less about ego and more about accountability to the ACT not their profitability or their delusional sense of importance to the affairs of a corporation. I bet the frustrations on both sides of the strata management issue will lessen once profit, power, and control are out of the equation..