With the events past now under the bridge, it is time to consider building a new perspective for the management of Huntly Wynd.
The question that comes to mind is this: Is there a better way to manage a strata corporation?
Just what are strata property management services*? Generally, a strata property manager provides assistance to a strata council (strata corporation) such as:
- handling paperwork (record keeping)
- overseeing a meeting
- taking minutes
- handling communications to and from owners
- preparing budgets and financial statements
- paying corporation bills
- collecting strata fees or accounts receivables
- entering into contracts and arranging services for the corporation such as insurance, landscaping, electrical services, maintenance, etc.
- hiring and supervising employees hired by the strata corporation
- providing emergency contacts and services
What the property manager CAN NOT do*:
- be biased for or against an owner with respect to bylaws or rules contravention
- determine if a person should be fined
- determine the amount of the fine
- determine if a person should be reprimanded for any reason, or
- denied access to facilities
- spend corporation money for general or specific expenses
(Note: *condensed from provisions of the BC Strata Property Act)
Next: How much are the services of a Strata Property Manager worth? According to statistics provided by the Real Estate Council of BC, property management services range from $25 to $40 per month per unit. In the case of HW, this means anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000 per month.
Are we getting our money’s worth having the services of a strata property manager? Do we have an alternative?
Let us answer the first question. Unfortunately, there are no existing measurements for evaluating the competency of strata property managers.
Our only recourse therefore is to use a rule of thumb: Has the management of the strata corporation (HW) been relatively and reasonably been below, at, or above expectations? If we are spending $30,000-$48,000 annually for all the services enumerated above, is it worth it?
And now for the 2nd question: Do we have an alternative? Of course, we do!
Routine monthly tasks include accounting, record keeping, processing receipts and disbursements as well as handling communications to and from owners. With an automated system, data processing, and online services, these tasks could be handled in a cinch – by a single person – part time. No rocket scientist required here.
In addition, we have in our midst, many owners whose professional expertise combine exceed all the skills necessary to oversee the operation and administration of a strata corporation. Does that give you some food for thought?
However, the idea of “self management” requires an entirely new paradigm. A new way of doing things. It means having a community that embraces the challenges and rewards of accomplishments. A community that excels in honest communication and mutual respect. A community that builds on the idea of neighbours helping neighbours. A community with a healthy social interaction.
Are all of these possible?