8 Things to Consider When Choosing a Strata Manager

Our insider tips to the questions you should be asking your prospective Strata Manager.

Good or bad, most people judge an entire strata agency on the working relationship they have with their strata manager.

We have prepared this short list of questions that you should be asking prior to making a decision to appoint a new Strata Agent.

How many buildings does your proposed new Strata Manager already look after

Your entire strata experience depends on this simple question. Most agents manage large portfolios, to the point where they can spend most of their time putting out spot fires rather than giving you the proactive service that you are looking for.

What’s included in the monthly management fee

Most agencies charge a monthly management fee which covers agreed services. Works performed outside of the agreed services are charged as an additional fee. You can negotiate with an agency to have fixed price disbursements to give you a clearer understanding of how much your scheme will be paying per year.

Qualifications

The Strata Manager that will be managing your building should at least hold a Certificate 4 in Strata Title Management. Ideally this would have been gained through a Tafe course. It is possible to get a Certificate 4 in Strata Management by paying to do a 2 week course. It is also a good idea to ask how long they have been with the agency.

Experience

When approaching a potential new agent, it’s a fair question to ask how much experience the strata manager has that will actually be managing your building and in case things do go wrong, how much experience they have in attending mediation and tribunal hearings.

Reporting

How often are financial reports generated and are they delivered just the treasurer to the entire committee? Ideally this will be available on a monthly basis.

Service Level Agreements

Strata management is customer service. Your new agent should be able to provide you with time frames of when your requests will be actioned, emails replied to and telephone calls returned.

Your money, your input

It’s your building and you don’t necessarily want the Strata Manager to do everything, so it’s important to clarify how much input will you have in approving creditor payments and what level of input will the committee have when the agent is preparing the proposed budget.

Agreement terms

When appointing a new agent, most will try to lock you in for the maximum period of 3 years. If the services doesn’t meet your expectations you are locked in for the term of the agreement, unless your scheme decides to pay out the remaining term of the agreement. It is a better option to sign a one year agreement and see how things go.

What Type of Property Should You Start Out Flipping?

Now, you’ve heard me say it before, and I’m going to say it again, money makes money. I don’t want you to forget that. I want you to prove to yourself that you can work hard, stay frugal, and save $50-$100,000. For all of you guys and girls who have saved $50-$100,000, you’re probably wondering what to do next.

Where would it be advisable for you to contribute this cash?

You’re taking a gander at a wide range of properties and there’s a ton of masters out there pitching their own jibber chatter. You’re dousing up a ton of data, you’re doing your examination, you’re viewing the recordings, and you’ve most likely burned through six to a year (if not longer) on the sidelines considering what you ought to do and how you ought to do it. Yet, learn to expect the unexpected. You folks need to make a move. I require you to make a speculation. I require you to accomplish something at this moment.

Sitting on the sidelines will just give you an establishment to take in the essentials of how to do certain things; it will never give you educational experience. Careful discipline brings about promising results. In the event that you contribute, regardless of the possibility that you wind up losing cash, you will gain quite a lot more from losing it than spending another six to a year or longer perusing on the web gatherings, watching recordings, and going to courses.

Presently, what sort of arrangement would it be a good idea for you to do?

I have no cracking intimation. This is my conviction: when you’re beginning your land tries, minimal measure of cash you can contribute will break even with minimal measure of hazard. In this way, if that implies purchasing a D-class property in a harsh zone for a couple stupendous, so be it. I’m a major adherent to making a move, putting your cash where your mouth is, and gaining from the experience whether it’s great or terrible. Gain from the experience. Comprehend where you turned out badly. On the off chance that you turned out badly, ensure you don’t rehash those same slip-ups. Take what you realized, recreate it, and go into another arrangement. Simply don’t commit similar errors.

How about we simply say, speculatively, you’re taking a gander at getting one of these very economical properties. Have the mentality that you will light a match and that cash will go poof, however that will be your learning knowledge. I’m glad to state that I lost over a large portion of a million dollars when I began my excursion as a land speculator. I call it my Harvard level of land. The lessons that I gained from those misfortunes have empowered me to be the land financial specialist that I am today. They’ve Empowered me to be the business person that I am today.

I am presently running two organizations that are doing a great many dollars in income. So when you lose on that D-class property, getting your feet wet and beginning your trip in land, those misfortunes, and the lessons from those misfortunes, will shield you from rehashing botches when there are more chips on the table. Consider it that way.

Conclusion

What kind of class property you should take a gander at flipping? I for one figure you should perceive what you’re alright with. Take a gander at how much cash you have spared. Perceive how certain you feel in your capacity, and the capacity of your encompassing group of systems and after that, I say contribute minimal measure of cash. Why? Since that will liken to minimal measure of hazard. I trust that bodes well. I trust you delighted in this article and don’t hesitate to leave any inquiries underneath.

More Home Inspection Surprises

When inspecting homes, ordinary doors can provide a surprise. Some doors lead to rooms, some doors lead to a dark void, and some doors are curiously locked. Sometimes you get all three.

I was inspecting a large vacation home north of Cashiers, North Carolina, on a fast running creek. It was full of boulders, twists and turns, and waterfalls. The drive to the home was narrow and steep, leading to a heavy gate. The remote the agent gave me worked, and the gates slowly opened on complaining hinges.

The house was beautifully built into the side of the granite ledges, with stunning floor to ceiling windows. Although the home had a small footprint – perhaps 1500 square feet – two stories towered upwards, taking advantage of the very steep lot. The home had been foreclosed on, and was now vacant.

The first part of the inspection on the first floor revealed no anomalies. I started up the stairs to move upwards and noticed a closet door with a deadbolt lock. When you see something like this, owners are usually trying to protect something. Normally I note in the report that I could not access the closet or room, but in this case the bank was the owner and I doubted that they knew anything about this locked door.

I quickly got on the phone to the real estate agent.

“I’ll call the bank,” she said.

Three minutes later the phone rang.

“No one has a key to that door. If we did I’d say enter and report what you find. Can you pick it?”

“I’m no locksmith. No problem, I’ll put it in my report,” I said and hung up.

But I was curious.

I ran my hand across the top of the door trim which is where I “hide” a key. My fingers encountered an object with Velcro stuck to the trim. A key! I put the key in the lock and tried rotating it. It worked! Leaving the key in the tumbler, I turned the knob and opened the door.

A black void.

I pulled out my flashlight and aimed it into the area. A black metal circular staircase came into view. Now I felt like Nancy Drew. I started slowly down the narrow stairs and began to hear the sound of water. When I reached the bottom, my feet were on an uneven stone floor and I was in a room about six by six feet with two more doors in the walls. I looked around for a switch. I found it on the opposite wall. I flipped the switch and light filled the room. I was amazed to see that the walls were carved into the cliff.

One closet was a tiny space with an electrical box. The other door was locked with a deadbolt like the one upstairs.

“Oh! I left the key upstairs,” I said to myself. “Shoot, I’ll have to go back up and get it.”

I went back up the circular staircase to retrieve it. I moved back down the stairs to the locked door. The key worked, and I opened the door. I was in a very narrow passageway. The walls were solid rock and I could see the furrows where blasting caps had been used. I was feeling a little claustrophobic. Should I keep going?

The sound of water grew stronger as I moved slowly down the cavern path. After traveling 12 feet, I was suddenly outside! The waterfall that was visible from inside the home was directly in front of me.

What a surprise! Never underestimate what might be behind a locked door.

Lisa is a North Carolina licensed general contractor and home inspector, and the home improvement columnist for the Clay County Progress. She has designed and built several innovative homes with an eye to low maintenance and simplicity. Lisa founded Your Inspection Expert, Inc., a residential inspection company, in 2008. Experience gleaned from hundreds of inspections form the foundation for the advice in her articles.