The next generation of strata management businesses need to embrace technology but not to the detriment of good customer service. At least that’s the view of Rod Smith, Director and Owner of The Strata Collective which won the award for best small Strata Community Management Business at the 2018 CHU Strata Community Awards.
“Companies need to continue embracing developments in technology that simplify administration activities, but should never lose sight of the most important aspect of any strata management business – the human touch,” Rod says.
“We invest time to form genuine relationships with our clients, to ensure the communities we manage live efficiently and harmoniously. Why do we do this? Because no amount of modern technology can make a person feel like they are being really looked after when compared to being there in person.”
Rod has been in the industry for over 15 years.
“My first job in the industry was scanning invoices,” he says.
“At a lot has changed since then, but the fundamentals of good quality customer service remain the same. If you spend time with your clients at their property, you get the chance to build genuine relationships and provide valuable feedback.
“The role of a good strata manager requires more than replying to emails and sitting through meetings. Face-to-face meetings are the backbone of relationships and successful collective decision-making.”
Rod was previously the general manager of a large strata management provider in Sydney.
“I’m so grateful for the opportunities and experience afforded to me by others. But I always had a dream to have my own business, and finally the timing was right to take the plunge.”
So how does a company that’s only 18 months old win the award for best small strata management business when the competition has been around for years.
“We’re big on customer service but also fresh ideas,” he says.
“We charge a fair, fee-based service that’s determined by the amount of service required to manage a building. Clients get true visibility on what it will take to manage their community effectively and we get a chance to add value to their strata.”
The results speak for themselves. Due to outstanding growth, The Strata Collective is hiring a trainee strata manager to learn the ropes, just like Rod did 15 years ago.
“We are regular contributors to Look Up Strata and LinkedIn, where we try to provide unique ideas and suggestions to problems that many consider to be unsolvable. The news site on our website is popular and already one of the leading and most informative tools in NSW.”
Rod is big on ideas but also perspective.
“I used to think that nothing less than perfection was acceptable, but I’ve since learned the difference between excellence and perfectionism.”
The strata industry is challenging and the stress can impact on your mental health.
“I still shoot for the stars, but these days I’m comfortable with wherever I land.”