Every successful strata management agency needs a strong support function, and Network Pacific get theirs from Simone Firns. Her tireless efforts across multiple areas have been recognised at the 2018 CHU Strata Community Awards, where Simone won this year’s Support Team Member Award.
Simone’s job title is Personal Assistant to the Director and General Counsel, but it’s the work she does above and beyond her official duties that sets her apart.
“I often carry out tasks that are not within my scope,” Simone says.
She’s not wrong. In the last 12 months, Simone helped the maintenance team speed up the processing of maintenance and repair requests, assisted the company with its ISO:9001 quality assurance certification, managed the debt collection process, streamlined processes, supported at tribunals, resolved committee disputes, and moved clients from paper-based to electronic communication.
As the saying goes, you can’t really teach someone how to be a hard worker.
“I just like helping people to the best of my ability, to make sure we get the result we want for the client and for the company. I genuinely care about my colleagues,” she says.
“I try to reduce their workload, to free up their time for business development and client services.”
Her hard work has helped the agency attract more clients and achieve a client retention rate of 98.5%.
But Simone knows that hard work can only get you so far in the strata industry.
“I participate in professional development activities to grow my knowledge and provide the best level of service possible,” she says.
In the past year, Simone completed authorised representative courses, first aid officer training, and an advanced conveyancing intensive workshop.
Simone’s talents are rare and it’s clear she possesses knowledge outside of general corporate support.
“I attend manager training each week with our general counsel to discuss current legal issues, retail leases and domestic building contracts.
“The in-depth knowledge allows me to provide high level support to both our General Counsel and Director, but also to guide our clients through complex issues and processes,” she says.
Explaining complex issues to clients in easy-to-understand language is important to Simone.
“I recently managed a committee dispute, communicating with every one of the 110 property owners to explain the issue in detail. Because of my knowledge of the Owners Corporation Act, I understood all the issues and was able to clearly communicate this to the owners and the committee.”
It may come as no surprise that Simone aspires to have her own strata management portfolio.
“In the coming 12 months, I will undertake further courses in strata management and continue to learn about the legislation, to ensure I provide excellent service to my clients.”
It’s probably not the last time we’ll see Simone nominated at the CHU Strata Community Awards.