Whilst Property Managers and Strata Managers have different roles, they both act for the same client (apartment owners) in relation to their investment property. The Property Manager is responsible for the tenant, whilst the Strata Manager is responsible for the Owners Corporation and issues relating to the common property. The idea that the best outcome can be achieved for apartment owners with the Property Manager and Strata Manager working in silo’s is false. This is especially the case when complex issues arise.
Karen Joseph, Licensee of First National Real Estate Manly says “It’s critical that Property Managers have an understanding of the legislation that Strata Managers work with and the surrounding process. For example, if a tenant makes a noise complaint, the Strata Manager will have more leverage if the complaint details dates, times and descriptions of the issue and any information relating to other residents making a similar complaint.” It is much more likely that the Property Manager will achieve a positive outcome for their tenant (and thus the apartment owner) with a positive relationship with and understanding of the Strata Manager’s role. Understanding what is considered the Owners Corporation v’s Owners responsibility can be highly complex. Thus, Property Managers are regularly required to seek advice from Strata Managers to determine whether or not a repair item is the owners responsibility.
It is recommended that for any of your apartment investments, you check on the relationship that the Real Estate Agency has with Strata Management agencies and vice versa. Whilst industry banter is common, if it seems more of an unhealthy dislike for each other’s role, then it may be safer to steer clear. eg. ‘I hate all Strata Managers or vice versa’. It would be very difficult for the best outcome to be achieved for your investment property with this view.
Whilst some apartment owners are concerned about a conflict of interest with companies that provide both Strata Management and Property Management services, the truth is the benefits to the owner of Property Managers and Strata Managers working in harmony far out way any negatives. The key consideration is choice and disclosure. Whilst having a positive relationship is critical, being part of the same company is not as critical (although may make communication easier). Disclosure is important to ensure the company is being upfront and the owner is then able to make an informed choice about the best market competitive value offer they wish to undertake.
A positive relationship and understanding between Strata Managers and Property Managers is critical for achieving the best outcome for apartment investors. Whilst their roles are distinctively different, if the Property Manager understands the legislative framework that Strata Managers act under, they are able to communicate appropriately, make the Strata Managers job easier, and improve the likelihood of achieving a positive outcome for all parties.
If you are looking to engage a Property Manager that understands Strata Management services, we would highly recommend our partners at First National Manly (www.firstnationalmanly.com.au). Do your due diligence, do research and ensure you ask any Real Estate Agency you are considering, what their relationship is like with Strata Management Agencies.