NSW Strata manager charging fees for email and other comm

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by camp, 10th Jul, 2019.

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  1. camp

    camp Member

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    I know strata managers in general charge fees like they are the only one who can do the job, but is it common for strata manager to charge fees for not only sending, but receiving emails? $1.70 for each email.
    Also $37.50 for every 15 min block they are on the phone for matters related to our building?

    I've just gone through last quarter financial report, found >$1300 for email/phone comms, last quarter was reasonably quite, no major incident. This is on top of their 15k annual management fee. I thought comms should be part of management service they provide.

    Question: is it common practice to charge these fees? if yes, what's a reasonable fee per email, per 15 min phonecall?
     
  2. Michael Mitchell

    Michael Mitchell Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they bill as if they are lawyers and it's a crock. Strata managers require no licence, no training, do not operate a trust account, are not audited, great business if you're in it - licence to print money along with day care centres and commercial car parks. You do get what you pay for though, and in a lot of cases, you don't actually require a gold level standard of service and your scheme would be quite fine with a 3rd or 4th tier firm that is more reasonable and doesn't charge for a tissue every time you sneeze.
     
  3. camp

    camp Member

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    Not true, we don't get much from them, just the 'pay' part.

    Forget the gold, their service level is next to nothing.
     
  4. Michael Mitchell

    Michael Mitchell Well-Known Member

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    Depends how hard you ride them - complacency easily sets in if unchecked. I've had a fair bit of experience dealing with a number of different firms from small to large and also a range of different demographics of staff doing the work. The larger more established ones have better/nicer tools(software packages and portals etc) to assist managing the administration of the scheme where's the smaller firms may not have the $ to fund those things. Value from a strata manager comes in knowledge of the respective states' strata legislation, experience on how to apply the law, tools for them to manage the scheme, portals for owners to access information and deal with their body corp, dispute resolution capabilities (EQ in being able to deal with a wide range of personalities and achieve outcomes etc).
     
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  5. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    NSW OFT requires a licence & trust

    All of their fees should be listed in the contract between the OC & the Strata Manager.

    If you don't like them, they aren't performing etc then sack them at the next AGM.
     
  6. Michael Mitchell

    Michael Mitchell Well-Known Member

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    Ah ok, in QLD, they need nothing.
     
  7. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    But you don't need a licence for a gun up there either ;)
     
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  8. Car tart

    Car tart Well-Known Member

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    Sorry 33 years in business says you are wrong. Why not get a job as a strata managing agent and see what it’s like. Plenty of vacancies but no one wants the jobs. $150 an hour is no where near a lawyers fees.
     
  9. Michael Mitchell

    Michael Mitchell Well-Known Member

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    I'm not talking about as an employee, I'm talking about owning the business. Strata managers are leveraged probably more than property managers, with some having portfolios of 100 schemes and the business just keeps throwing them more assistants to deal with it all - some community relationship managers I know have 2-3 assistants working for them). High stress and attention to detail required, burn rate (churn) not as bad as in PM industry though. Each scheme ('client') is a higher value than compared to properties ('clients') in property management, for example one scheme's base fee might be $15-$20kpa, where's one property to manage may only be $2-5kpa. A good strata manager might be on around $60-70kpa, a good PM is similar, perhaps a bit less, but you can see how much more money the strata management model makes, and we haven't even touched on the ancillary services and the commissions on insurances and other professional services the ticket gets clipped on. Not uncommon for the insurance commission on the body corporates policy and referral fees for various services to generate more income than the base management fee itself.
     
    Last edited: 11th Jul, 2019
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  10. chrish

    chrish Well-Known Member

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    Definitely not common practice in WA.
     
  11. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    That's one helluva haircut compared to NSW. Add another $20-30k for any seniority, leadership or mentoring in the role.
     
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  12. Car tart

    Car tart Well-Known Member

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    Lol add another $100-$200k for the best managers in my office. Starting wage for unskilled is $80k and NO ONE applies for the many vacant jobs
     
  13. chrish

    chrish Well-Known Member

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    Wow, our strata manager costs around 15K. However, they usually manage several portfolios, so not working solely for us full time.
     
  14. Pumpkin

    Pumpkin Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Michael Mitchell - Do you have a good Strata Manager to recommend here in Brisbane? Thanking in advance.
     
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  15. Michael Mitchell

    Michael Mitchell Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I've had experience with a few, the view I've formed is basically companies fall into tier 1, 2, 3 etc, and you pay vs service accordingly, so your decision should be based around what does your scheme actually need. Eg. does your scheme actually need a top tier firm ("gold plated") or would level 2-3 be fine etc.

    Long story short, I find with big businesses the strata manager (often referred to as a community relationship manager) is highly leveraged (just the same as in a property management office) and the business will just throw more assistants at them to cope. When you can't pick up the phone and talk to your strata manager (eg. you get assistants who don't have the same level of knowledge or message bank) that ****** me off.

    Smaller businesses have the same or better expertise but less leveraged staff = more availability and more care, IMO. If you look at business called ACE Body Corp, they're a franchise model, from a company size perspective they're the 2nd largest entity however each franchise is a small business so you get that 'mum and dad' operator feel and price, but the expertise and corporate support of a large company.

    From a big business perspective, I've had good dealings with Capitol BCA for nearly 5 years now across multiple staff. That's the other thing, it's the person doing the work for you that really matters generally regardless of the company. Eg. a good person in a "crappy" company can still be great for you provided they're not hamstrung too much by the business eg. lack of resources or modern day tech etc.
     
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  16. Michael Mitchell

    Michael Mitchell Well-Known Member

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    I talked to one I know, she manages a portfolio of around 100 schemes and has 1 assistant, now if each scheme is paying $15-30k in annual management fees (based off a few I know), that's massive leverage for that business, insane (compared with property management industry where one 'client' may only be paying $1500-$5000 pa etc)
     
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  17. Pumpkin

    Pumpkin Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so so much for sharing, all good info and advice.
    I am with you about the person, not the Company. Have dealt with small company and dealing with the Boss directly is a hit-and-miss.
    For the other one we own, it has been with the same big Company and the first person was extremely good, but since the Company changed him with another person, all we get is pain!

    I love dealing with big companies since they (should) have better resources, but often they fail me because maybe we are not big/important enough.....

    Funny you mentioned ACE Body Corp; we thought of buying the Franchise once!

    Will ponder over this and talk to the others.

    Have a great week!
     
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  18. Tom Rivera

    Tom Rivera Property Manager Business Member

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    Be right back.... reskilling....!