How would you like to win $15,000 for a common property makeover? Well, this became a reality for Queensland’s Mermaid Beach local, Elle Smith, after winning PICA Group and Body Corporate Services’ annual makeover competition.

From February until March 2020, PICA Group and Body Corporate Services (BCS) decorated the public transport systems of Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne, giving communities the chance to win a common property makeover, on us.


Some of the BCS and PICA Group competition ads that wrapped state transport systems.


We got to speak with this year’s winner. “Winning is great! We’re a small four lot block about 20 seconds away from the beach so we’re fortunate, but being so close to the water makes erosion and cleaning a big thing for us. Our block was built in 1977, so, while it is structurally sound, being an older block means maintenance is a priority,” said Elle.

“We need to fix things like the erosion and salt on some of the windows and doors, and some of them need replacing. That kind of stuff is noticeable, and we don’t have a lot of money in the fund to just do it normally. There are also some tiles and flooring in the entrance that need some attention, $15,000 on repairs and maintenance will breathe a bit of life back into the place,” said Elle.

For Elle and her committee, winning the PICA Group makeover competition hasn’t just meant a significant helping hand in tackling some of the repairs and maintenance for the property. The experience with BCS and PICA Group has also led to a new straightforward world of community living information.


Makeover winner, Elle Smith, outside her beachside four-lot block.


“Since I entered the competition, I started following BCS and PICA Group on Facebook and across social channels, and the information produced is actually really useful. I have now had several occasions where I thought, oh wow, I didn’t know that.

“It sounds silly, but you don’t know what you don’t know when it comes to community living and multi-owed properties. Straightforward information is often missing or hard to find, but BCS and PICA Group are providing it. There are so many people that own property, pay money to a management company and don’t understand what it’s about or what their entitlements are. It’s great to see a group putting it out there.

“Because I’m an owner, I guess I’m interested in the topics, and I highly recommend using their information. It helps fix those moments of uncertainty where you think should we be doing this? Initially, the thought of joining the committee was daunting, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it, but with the right information, it doesn’t seem as complicated,” said Elle.


Elle’s quiet block on Queensland’s coastline is ideal. Good friends live across the landing, neighbours bring in each other’s bins, and it’s not uncommon for the entire property to join in together for a game of cricket on the lawn.

“It’s very laid-back, but we are with a management company that’s pretty hands-off too. As owners, we have often sourced our own contractors without checking things like insurance or certification, and that’s a risk. I think after some of the information I have seen from BCS and PICA Group, we will be a little more conscious going forward,” said Elle.


As Australia’s leading property service provider, the BCS and PICA Group family network aim to enhance community living by putting the right information at the fingertips of owners and committees. To enhance where you choose to live and invest, you can download helpful guides from our comprehensive community living library.