A colleague called a strata manager recently to arrange the collection of books and records for a building that’s switching to Block Strata and the message went, ‘There’s no one here to take your call’. Yes, it was in business hours. No, there was no explanation for the abandoned ship.
Little wonder then that in the Griffith University 2015 Strata Title Conference survey of strata owners, ‘low quality strata management services’ was number 2 on the list of the most significant challenges confronting strata title living and management, second only to building defects.
In the discussion that followed it became clear the time honoured model for strata management has all but had its day. One respected elder put it this way, ‘the days of strata managers charging based on inputs rather than outputs has to end.’ This was a reference to the typical strata management pricing model based on charging for additional time and disbursements like photocopying and even sending email. As I put it, ‘people in this room must stop charging people for things they don’t ask for, don’t want and don’t need’.
At industry conferences agreement on problems is more common than agreement on solutions. There were the usual calls for more government intervention and education and my eyes glazed over. Government policy and learning doesn’t deliver reform, markets do.