Six essentials when it comes to appointing a body corporate manager
Switching your body corporate management is easy. Selecting the right body corporate manager can be confusing and time-consuming, especially when comparing different service agreements to understanding what is included and what will incur extra costs.
You may also be looking for a body corporate manager with particular skills or a provider that can offer more innovative solutions such as the ability to manage maintenance requests online and track requests. To assist you with your decision, we have listed six essentials to consider when appointing a body corporate manager.To assist you with your decision, PICA Group has listed 6 essentials to consider when changing your body corporate manager:
- Establish what is important to your property
- Compare like for like when it comes to getting the best deal
- Ensure you have access to state legislation expertise
- Keep things convenient and manageable with adequate online services
- Find out what others have to say
- Engaging a body corporate manager is something all owners have a say in
Establish what is important to your property
Determine what are the most important aspects of managing the property and rank the items in order of importance as a committee. For example, your building may have defects that need to be rectified, so finding someone that has a good understanding of the relevant legislation and experience managing defect rectification might be on the top of your list. Or, your building might be an older style and requires more maintenance so appointing a body corporate provider with a maintenance background and an online work order system might be favourable.
Once you’ve established the criteria and determined your shortlist, compare the proposals or service agreements to ensure your needs have been listened to and the agreement adequately meets your body corporate requirements.
Compare like for like when it comes to getting the best deal
Services listed in the service agreement tend to be divided into those that will be done on the body corporate’s behalf under an agreed fee and services that will incur an additional fee.
While a low fee may be attractive, you might end up paying more if the fees and charges for additional services, and their associated disbursements (such as envelopes, photocopying) are high. Take the time to compare all the fees and charges as what looks attractive, may not tell the whole story.
Ensure you have access to state legislation expertise
Having someone with detailed knowledge of Queensland regulations, as well as any expected changes to the law, can make an enormous difference in the efficiency and cost effectiveness of an owners corporation.
The body corporate provider’s knowledge of the law might be tricky to ascertain, so ask questions like “how often do they hold CPD training for their body corporate managers?”, or “how are their body corporate managers briefed on changes to legislation and the impact of changes to a scheme?”. This will help verify whether they have the right processes and training in place to stay on top of legislative changes.
Keep things convenient and manageable with adequate online services
One of the most complained about issues within the industry is how long it takes for a body corporate manager to respond. This is often due to managers being bogged down by emails if there aren’t any self-help or automated systems to provide support services. The presence of an online portal for easy access to information can make a huge difference to a body corporate manager’s ability to respond in a timely fashion.
Easy online access can also provide owners with real-time documentation whenever they need, allow for committee members to view the body corporate’s financials, check the status of a request or a compliance obligation without having to go through the body corporate manager.
This frees up the body corporate manager to focus more time on servicing the committee, or to go beyond the “call of duty” to be proactive and recommend best practices and initiatives on lowering energy consumption or improving waste management.
Find out what others have to say
The key attributes that contribute to a successful body corporate manager are a combination of efficient systems, responsive management, the right processes, and well-trained and motivated staff. Ask for references from those who live in a similar sized building. Or have a read of their customer reviews to get a feel for how matters are dealt with.
Changing your body corporate manager is something all owners have a say in
If you’re looking to change your body corporate manager, you need to circulate the terms of the agreement out to all owners with a general meeting agenda and will need an ordinary resolution (50% of the eligible voters in favour) to approve the engagement.
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