The Key to Effective Partnerships Between Strata Community Members & Building Managers | Owners Corporation Network

The Key to Effective Partnerships Between Strata Community Members & Building Managers

By Dino Biordi, Luna Building Management

  

People thrive through strong connections and partnerships - whether they are with family, friends, work colleagues or customers. A greater focus on creating meaningful connections and partnerships can provide us with a feeling of being part of something bigger than an individual alone, and, subsequently enhance the wellbeing of our communities. Respect for each person individually, and as a whole, encourages honesty in conversations about creating a framework, and inspires a greater likelihood of success for Strata schemes.

For the partnership between a Strata Committee and Building Manager to achieve success, we need to be clear about what that success looks like.

In addition to pre-established duties and by-laws, the management team will benefit if both time and careful consideration is taken before beginning the conversation.  It will also be helpful to implement some of the recommendations provided below.

 

Be clear about:

1. What kind of success you are looking for, and the methods required to achieve it. 

2. Guiding principles upon which to base the decision-making process.

3. Rules for partnership, in order to maintain harmony between the Strata Committee and the wider Community.

 

1. VISION

The vision provides an understanding of the kind of success you are looking for and the results achievable in 1-3 years’ time and beyond. It allows the Strata Committee to subsequently create a road map (decision making process) that will ensure that the correct goals are achieved, in line with the Owners Corporation. Strata Committees need to know what that success looks like for their community/building, so that they can clearly convey this message to their management team/partners. 

Some ways of creating a vision statement:

  1. A description of standards using levels i.e. the hotel ratings model.
  2. A description of what is most important/valuable to the building/community i.e. a community building centred around award winning gardens.
  3. A simple vision statement such as ‘Creating a safe and secure home beyond the front door.’

 

2. PRINCIPLES

Principles help management make decisions in line with a set mission and its goals and remove the emotional aspect of decision making. When formulating principles, be honest with yourself and ask what principles work best for your community? Keep in mind those things that work positively for the community’s greater good, basing your principles on what is good for everyone and not only for the individual.

 

Examples of principles: 

  • All decisions should be made in line with by-laws and supportive of the agreed goals. 
  • Play as a team - Don’t let the little things prevent progress when everyone is in agreement with the big things.
  • All Strata Committee members have a right to speak up.
  • Be clear on what the deal is - the more data you have, the better the decision will be.
  • Seek to promote thoughtful disagreement and meaningful discussions.
  • Endeavour to understand how the owner or Strata Committee member arrived at their opinions.
  • Think holistically.  When challenging a decision, always consider the broadest possible context.
  • Once a decision is made, everyone should support it, even though certain individuals may disagree.

 

3. RULES OF INTERACTION

Defining the rules of interaction will boost the Building Manager’s performance, making it more efficient and effective. This will create acceptable ways of acting and interacting, so that the Strata Committee Members and Building Managers do not have to spend time deciding what is appropriate in each situation.

Examples of some Rules of interaction:

  • Strive to understand each other and avoid conflict.
  • Try to integrate the needs of the individual along with those of the wider community.
  • Inform the Strata Committee Members and Building Manager/s if something goes wrong - rapid response creates a quick, positive and efficient resolution.
  • Do not seek to use the process to advance personal interests.
  • The incoming Strata Committee will continue to pursue the established set of goals.
  • Seek to acquire all possible relevant information before arriving at a decision.
  • Be respectful and reasonable and expect others to be the same.

 

Bringing the above core steps together will take longer than you might expect. However, once they are in operation, they will bring greater efficiency, reduced conflict and smoother running of the project.

 

What Members Say

"The whole strata community owes a huge debt of gratitude to you and the OCN executive. Much appreciated."

Robert, Darlinghurst

"I am very pleased with my membership of OCN, the discussions through sharing emails is very valuable in increasing my knowledge of strata living, the laws and EC responsibilities. I think I am better armed to tread the minefield of the managing agent responsibilities and the necessary action of the EC to monitor the contradictory interests of the agent."

Jim, Wollstonecraft

"I so appreciate being part of the OCN email forum. It provides a great opportunity for sharing ideas and learning"

Ingrid, Neutral Bay

"I must say that I have enjoyed and found consolation in the discussions that have been part of the email chain (forum). I did attend one general meeting and found that it was informative and the people "running the show" were knowledgeable and dedicated to the tasks that had taken on. In short, well done. You and the committee have and continue to support the Strata Community in a very professional manner."

Greg, Parramatta

"Nothing is easy in Strata World and we have been in building defects “mode” for some years – hopefully almost at an end but that process has been most demanding and difficult but again – greatly helped by the experience and wise counsel of other members of OCN."

Pat, St Leonards

"Keep up the good work, as many (if not most) strata schemes need your help, advice and representation at all levels of government."

Jann and John, St Ives

"I belong to OCN because of its professionalism.  I have found the meetings I have been to extremely well presented, to the point, and of course very topical and informative. Speakers on the whole certainly know their topic.  My role of Secretary last year was certainly assisted with the coverage regarding TPG & other subjects. Member newsletters are also of benefit as the topics are specific to strata matters."

Graham, East Balmain

I have enjoyed attending the quarterly OCN meetings and the exchange of emails between other Executive Committee Members and think OCN is playing an increasingly important role as a voice for strata dwellers and representing us at Government level. I wish the organisation continuing success in the future."

Pauline, Kings Cross

"The [forum] response to my question was amazing and really useful.  The OCN community is wonderful so thanks."

Jenny, Killara

"I would like to thank you all for the important effort that you are all putting in to look after apartment owners and tenants. It is so valuable and you are heroes. I would not have been able to deal with my duties as a strata chairman without your advice and assistance." 

Angela, Mascot

"The OCN is invaluable – many thanks."

Bill, Surry Hills

"OCN is proving invaluable"

Sue, Neutral Bay

"Thanks to all at OCN for your continuing efforts to keep us up to date with current strata information and advice...it has been very helpful to us"

Kate, Coogee

"When my wife & I first encountered a problematic Executive Committee I heard that OCN was a great help (from a Strata manager whom I knew) so we both joined and have gratefully used the on-line information sources. We continued to happily rely on OCN’s assistance when we progressed to Committee status & later as Chair & Secretary of our Committee. I still use OCN in my current role as Treasurer."

Peter, Chiswick

"Thanks to OCN for being such a rich resource of trustworthy information about strata matters."

Peter, Chiswick

"I wanted to extend my personal thanks for the very informative & interesting event today. The OCN team did an outstanding job in the organisation of this event & I enjoyed it thoroughly. The quality of speakers, the flow of conversation & interaction from the attendees - first class …& of course, the amazing Jimmy T - always a delight."

Sue, Epping

"OCN does a great job in providing a really valuable service to Strata owners."

Lois, Wollongong

"I am sure my appreciation of your good works is echoed by many in the Stratasphere. Keep up the good work."

John, Elizabeth Bay

"Once again, being able to discuss such things through this forum, helps clear the mind, puts things into perspective and helps one to understand their rights and to form a strategy if needs be. As a simple EC member trying to do what is in the best interests of lot owners, I truly value OCN and am grateful."

Pamela, Point Lookout

"The OCN is probably one of the best, most informed and most informative groups I have been involved with."

Alan, Maryville