How does managing a strata roll differ from managing a rent roll and should your real estate agency go down this road?
Strata is becoming more popular as medium and high-density housing takes over the suburban landscape. For real estate agents, this presents an opportunity to expand into strata roll management as well as traditional property management.
While strata roll management can be an excellent revenue generator, it is different from managing a rent roll. For one thing, you will be managing an entire complex instead of one or two units within it. Instead of managing tenant/landlord disputes, it will be more of a tenant vs body corporate scenario.
Here are some ways managing a strata roll is different from managing a rent roll:
It’s all in the details
As the strata manager, your role is to oversee the building’s owners corporation. The responsibilities of this job include keeping a record of each unit’s property manager, owner and tenant contact details.
You won’t be collecting rent but part of your duties will cover collecting quarterly strata fee payments. In terms of communication, you’ll need to send out regular missives about meetings, maintenance and misdemeanours, plus it is usually a strata manager’s role to run committee and annual general meetings.
The building’s overall insurance falls under your jurisdiction as strata roll manager. You’ll be expected to organise insurance, lodge claims and follow up on them.
Your role also includes keeping records about past work on the building, and logging minutes from body corporate meetings.
Finally, building safety and compliance fall to you. You may need to organise a cladding upgrade or have common areas reviewed by health and safety specialists to ensure they are safe for use.
Strata blocks include common areas and the strata manager is on call to take care of them.
This includes organising gardening and cleaning for the premises. You’ll be in charge of the repair and maintenance of features like garage doors (where the garage is communal), gym equipment, lifts and security systems. Then there are tasks like hiring painters or managing remedial repair teams to work on common property.
The budget for regular property maintenance will come from the building’s strata payments so you will need to work with the money you have or schedule a strata committee meeting to request and collect additional payments.
Managing a rent roll means dealing with tenant/owner disputes. Managing a strata roll tends to involve tenant/body corporate disputes.
Strata buildings usually have bylaws prohibiting unsocial behaviour like playing loud music late at night, smoking on the property or parking in visitor spots for extended periods. Unfortunately, tenants and even owners will regularly break these rules. You’ll be responsible for sending out reminders and communicating with perpetrators.
In some cases, you may be required to step in to mediate conflict between residents. You’ll also be a point of contact for residents who have suggestions or who wish to apply for permission to have a pet or make a change to their property.
The list of strata roll manager responsibilities is extensive and also includes things like handling keys and security passes, chasing overdue accounts, compiling records for tax purposes, countersigning cheques, managing accounts and even working with architects and building inspectors. You’ll be working on financial reports and making sure your service providers get paid.
While strata roll management seems like a big job, if you are well organised and have set costs for each task, you should find managing it rewarding and profitable. It is ideal if you are a people person with a flair for multi-tasking. You’ll find every day is different and requires a range of skills.
Once you have created a well-managed strata roll, you may look to expand your business by purchasing an additional roll. Alternatively, you may wish to sell your strata roll to another company seeking opportunities in this area.
BDH Solutions have been buying and selling rent rolls for over 30 years. Keep up with our latest listings here.