When the winning Strata Community Manager at the 2018 CHU Strata Community Awards describes an outstanding example of high performance in their role – and it didn’t even make it into her application – you immediately understand why she won.
Lani Zaubzer’s entrepreneurial spirit, business acumen and innovative ideas won her the Strata Community Manager Award at this year’s awards, but the award failed to mention her modesty.
The StrataPlus Parramatta branch manager helped one committee successfully manage over one million dollars of remedial works which included raising over $800,00 in special levies.
“It was a stressful time for the committee,” Lani says.
“We ensured sensible decision-making and provided sound advice, supported by regular and effective communication to mitigate the impacts of construction on the residents.”
Lani believes the foundation of a good strata manager is a strong work ethic and a willingness to learn.
Lani has been learning all her life. She is a Licensed Practicing Strata Community Manager (Level 3) and a qualified solicitor. Her academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Law, Bachelor of Business, and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.
“Expert strata management and exceptional customer service can only be achieved by a knowledgeable, unified and superbly trained team. I lead from example from my own personal and professional development pursuits, however, I’m also committee to providing continual education and development programs for my team members at all levels,” she says.
Her work ethic is unbeatable.
When a crane from a neighbouring development fell onto two strata schemes within a co-operative that Lani manages, she cancelled her annual leave and jumped straighten into action.
“As soon as I got the phone call, I called the insurance broker. I attended the site and liaised with the owners, the building and development companies and we found temporary accommodation for the residents. We sent multiple communications to all owners and stakeholders to keep everyone informed.”
Every aspect of her 18 years of strata industry experience was also tested when her branch took over a scheme that was more than $280,000 in levy arrears.
“Many of the owners refused to pay their contributions as they had been living there for many years without having to pay. We held quite a few meetings onsite with owners, which at times went six hours, answering questions and explaining the concept of what they had bought into.
“I developed a debt collection recovery process with the committee and actively performed letterbox drops and door-knocks. It took an extraordinary amount of time and effort, but we eventually reduced the arrears.”
Strata Plus opened its Parramatta branch in September 2015 with a small number of schemes and employees. In the last 12 months, Lani and her team have increased lot numbers by 45%.
“We wish to be recognised as a market leader in strata and community management for the Western Sydney region. With a new phone app and individual websites for our schemes, we are already kicking goals in providing lot owner access to information easier and more transparent.”
Looking at the future of the industry, Lani worries about finding and retaining skilled strata managers and assistants.
She already has a solution.
“We have recently hired two employees with no previous background in strata management and placed them on a learning and development path to one day become strata managers.”
Clearly Lani has the energy, vision and innovative spirit that will take her places in the strata industry.