Strata stories: strata future looking great

If you want to glimpse an insight into what the future of the industry holds, look no further than Andrew Terrell – a young strata professional with experience, ideas and a positive attitude.

Like many in the strata industry, Andrew came to strata management after starting another career and finding it was not for him.

“I was an undergraduate Auditor working for PriceWaterhouseCoopers and saw what my future would be if I stayed within that role and organisation,” he says.

“It was pretty clear this was not what I was cut out to do but it had given me some great skills and a view that I wanted to work in property, after spending time auditing property funds.”

In 2008 Andrew started applying for property related jobs while studying to be a property valuer. One of the jobs he applied for was as a trainee strata manager and that was the start of his strata career.

“I worked for a few strata managing agents and enjoyed the opportunities to get to know the industry. The best move of my career was moving into a business development role. That’s where I found my passion.”

Now with Wellman Strata, Andrew recently facilitated the opening of a new office in Newcastle, which he says is currently small scale but there are good opportunities to be had. He is quick to attribute the success he’s having to David Wellman, his boss, and mentor.

“I like drumming up business and being trusted by David to open up a new office is a fantastic next step. The changes happening in Newcastle being brought about by residential and commercial development, the removal of the train line between Wickham and Newcastle and the University moving parts of its campus to the city centre are reshaping the city, which is positive for the strata management sector and Newcastle.”

Andrew’s approach to business development draws on his experience as a strata manager, referrals from owners and developers and good account management practices.

“Word of mouth is very important and has provided more than a few referrals. Property developers are now more reliant on the advice that a knowledgeable strata manager can provide to them and some good partnerships are evolving.”

Andrew is also the Chair of the new Young Strata Network, which was started this year with the support of the SCA (NSW) Board.

“Chris Duggan (SCA (NSW) President) was very on board and supportive of this happening. I knew what had happened in Victoria, where their network didn’t have the support and went it alone, so I was pleased to have the organisation on board.”

The YSN has so far had two highly successful events this year and more are planned.

“Having the SCA (NSW) Board support the YSN initiative means that we can offer young entrants into the industry mentorship, leadership and the chance to be involved in policy development. This is really a natural progression for an industry that is becoming more and more professional.”

Andrew says there are just a few things that need changing to really get the industry to that professional level.

“We need higher barriers entry to the industry which SCA (NSW) can be at the forefront of through supporting better education and stronger licensing requirements. The issues arising from trust funds disappearing is a nightmare and erodes any positive moves towards being a respected profession.”

Andrew does believe that change in the industry is picking up speed. He is possibly one of the drivers of it and if you don’t believe he is now, you can bet he soon will be.