Being part of a body corporate that is engaged in managing a portfolio of residential and commercial property can be a daunting task. The legal landscape is ever shifting, and the demands of tenants continue to become ever more complex as the property market expands and contracts. The diverse nature of tenants can also be a challenge – there are absentee owner / investors, owner occupiers and tenants, as well as infrastructural issues and financial issues that need to be deftly managed.
The beginning of being a leader when it comes to strata management is to master the foundations of what makes any successful business tick over and hopefully dominate a competitive market. Those who are in top management have to display exceptional leadership skills and perhaps most importantly have to master the art of clear and concise communication. Only by doing this will the body corporate be able to harness that most important of marketing tools – word of mouth. It is word of mouth that builds reputation and allows both the smooth day to day functioning of the body corporate but also has the potential to bring in new business. An excellent rapport with tenants will go a long way to ensuring that the body Corporate is successful.
These are the bedrock issues, however there are some other skills and organisational imperatives that will ensure successful body corporate management.
Be Organised and Aware
This is also part of being an excellent communicator and will allow the body corporate to head off any problems prior to them happening or at least escalating. Owners and tenants tend to be in flux all the time. They come and go on a regular basis. The better body corporate management practitioners will make sure that they keep track of this fluid environment. Make it a point to introduce yourself to both new owners and tenants. Keep notes on each interaction and above all do not wait until the annual general meeting (AGM) to make yourself known to all parties – that is the root of an antagonistic relationship.
Set Up the Correct Systems
When interacting with both tenants and owners be transparent about the limits of your responsibilities and also make sure to set up easy to understand and user-friendly systems for such issues as complaint filings and dispute resolution, repairs and responsibilities of all parties. One great way to ensure that you are seen as proactive and contributing to the smooth running of the property is to compile a list of frequently asked questions and guidelines that the parties can consult when in need of guidance.
Keep Up to Date
The legal frameworks surrounding the rights and responsibilities of tenants, owners and indeed the body corporate itself are constantly changing. Make sure you stay abreast – and let all parties involved in the property know about changes that may affect them.
By being a great communicator and ensuring that all parties involved are aware of their rights and responsibilities the task of body corporate management can be greatly simplified.