It must be true that the Internet is starting to change the way people shop; Gerry Harvey and his mates from the big end of retail are starting to whine about poor holiday season trading and are about to launch a major advertising campaign to have GST applied to overseas purchases made on the net.
Harvey normally gets what he wants but I cant help but think this campaign is a little too late and in any event a bit futile. The high aussie dollar has no doubt helped the trend to shopping on the net but there’s more to it than that -convenience and not having to deal with inane banter from shop assistants who really couldn’t care less, appeals to me. This Internet thing seems here to stay and retail therapy is just another thing to be had on line.
It made me wonder over the Christmas break how much longer it will be before strata management too gets a rude awakening from a true net based strata service provider? I’m not talking web access to download the latest minutes and financials or to log your change of address details. I’m talking full service strata management online with a Facebook type interface that connects the owners and service providers in a strata community in a way that is tailored to the real needs of the owners and occupiers; ‘How do I apply for pet approval?’, ‘How do I get approval for renovations?,’ ‘Where can I learn on line about the history of this complex ?‘, ‘What are our levies spent on?’, ‘ What is the policy on collecting late payment ? ‘ What do others think about taking action against our builder to fix the leaks and cracks?’ ‘Does anyone know a good baby sitter in this area?’
The attempts to date to use the net for strata management have focused on one-way information download. The handbrake has been the cost of labor to populate the site. Facebook apparently started as a way for students to make contact with each other at college. Maybe the strata equivalent will grow out of something as basic as this that is not presently being addressed by strata managers?