11 Qualities that Make a Great Strata Management Company
While every strata corporation has its own unique needs, and every strata management company has a unique way of serving them, there are a handful of qualities that any great company should have. And if they don’t, steer clear.
The right strata management company will deliver exceptional service while enhancing your property values, improving resident lifestyles, optimizing your budget, and minimizing risk to your strata corporation. The wrong company might not be able to service your community to the expectations you have set, and they may not have relationships with a network of vendors who can provide the most for your money. As a strata council member, your obligation is to preserve, protect and enhance your community, so it’s important to get the right information to make this important choice.
So what should you be looking for? Check out the top qualities the right strata management company should have.
Quality 1: Depth of Resources
When interviewing potential strata management companies, ask who will be supporting your strata manager. A skilled team of experts in various fields, including human resources, building warranties, technology, maintenance, and accounting should support each strata manager with advice and best practices to deliver the best service for your property. This depth of resources also allows your strata manager to focus on the day-to-day operations of the corporation and less on the administrative tasks.
Quality 2: Standard Operating Procedures
The best strata management company should have proven operational procedures which have been developed through years of experience. Ensure that the company has standard practices for every community or building they serve. These operating procedures should include preventive maintenance programs, regular audits of all contracts and vendors and a transparent financial system and safeguards, as well as solutions that enhance the value of your property and lifestyle of your residents.
Quality 3: Financial Transparency
Look for a strata management company with an internal financial management team led by chartered accountants. The best management companies will follow rigorous internal review and accounting protocols to promote financial health and stability of your strata corporation. They will also make sure that your council understands the current financial status of the corporation, so you are equipped to make important financial decisions for the future.
Quality 4: Vendor Relationships
Selecting vendors to work with your strata community is one of the most important tasks a strata council will need to agree on. A strata management company that has strong, long-held partnerships with quality service providers will be able to negotiate savings such as discounts on community purchases and lower rates on regular maintenance, while still maintaining a superior level of service.
Quality 5: Communication
Weak communication is one of the most often complained about issues in strata management. Look for companies with a 24/7 call centre and technology that allows you to get answers to your questions when you need them. When interviewing strata management companies, be sure to ask how they handle communication in the event of an emergency.
Quality 6: Attention to Detail
The right strata management company will provide you with a strata manager who knows that the little things can mean a lot. Paying attention to details about small things can make the difference between average and extraordinary service. A good strata management company will pair you with a manager that understands the neighbourhood and culture along with local laws to ensure your corporation runs smoothly and is a place all residents feel a sense of community.
Quality 7: Responsiveness
A variety of issues can come up in a community at any time, day, or night. The best strata managers know how to respond to issues big and small, from a problem with the gates at the front entrance to a weather emergency or an internal water leak and everything in between. Not only do they know how to respond, but they do so in a timely manner. Should fixing an issue become a larger project, a good strata manager will keep the council and residents updated on the progress of the project with expected completion dates.
Quality 8: Commitment to Training
Expert property management and exceptional customer service can only be provided by a knowledgeable, unified, and superbly trained team. Look for strata management companies that are committed to providing continual educational and development programs for their associates at all levels, including hands-on training and seminar learning sessions. A great strata management company will also provide council training sessions through in person events or webinars, so your council can perform at their highest level.
Quality 9: Transparency
It is very important that your strata management company operates in full transparency. The company should be able to provide you with disclosure on any affiliated companies it does business with. You should also ask this company about their financial controls. Your strata management company should provide an internal ethics hotline for associates to report and record unethical activities.
Quality 10: Accountability
Great strata management companies will be open-minded, collaborative, and continuously looking to improve their service offerings and customer service. Ask if your company will obtain candid council member feedback on a regular basis about how they are performing – and whether they will act as a result of that feedback.
Quality 11: Ability to Listen
Some companies may assume that because they have been in the business for years, they already know exactly what your community needs. A company with the ability to really listen and collaborate with your council will be able to customize their full-service strata management solutions and value-added services to meet your needs, achieve your goals and realize your community vision.
Take Your Time When Choosing a Strata Management Company
Choosing a strata management company to partner with to help manage the community you live in is not an easy task, nor should it be taken lightly. When looking for a strata management company keep the top qualities the company should have in mind and ask lots of questions. For more information on what you should expect from your strata manager, contact FirstService Residential, British Columbia’s leading strata management company.