Over 400 strata industry members converged in Hobart for the annual industry conference “Leading the Way”. It featured international learnings, divergent strata CEO musings and a unique fascination with, wait for it….crap!
The recently rebranded “Strata Community Association” is the peak national body for strata. This year the annual conference was held in Hobart, a city which is starting to embrace strata-living. A revelry-inducing cool climate attracted special guests from the U.S., N.Z., Canada and Spain.
Before we knew it, Tim Mackenzie from Macquarie Bank kicked off an interesting panel discussion featuring four strata CEO’s - Greg Nash (PICA Group), David Hampton (Smarter Communities), Matthew Amber (Whittles) and Chris Duggan (Bright & Duggan).
Next up was Hazel Easthope from UNSW City Futures research centre, launching the largest study of the strata industry. Some key stats she has uncovered from the Australian strata industry are:
Daniel Borin from the Maxsoft Group brought an interesting presentation on “Net Promoter Score” or NPS. NPS is an intent focused rather than emotion-focused customer survey technique. The percentage of “Promoters” who rate you as 9 or 10 minus the percentage of “Detractors” who rate you 0-6 is your Net Promoter Score. Maxsoft Group were engaged by a number of strata managers to survey 118,000 strata committee members, getting 38,000 responses. Nationally, the average NPS score for strata managers is -8. Sydney is tragic at -13. Brisbane is less woeful at -6. The Gold Coast is striving for ‘fair to middling’ at +3, possibly influenced by the greater percentage of onsite building managers taking frontline pressure off strata managers.
This data is likely skewed to larger strata schemes but the other national trend is that the smaller the strata scheme, the less likely the strata committee member is likely to be a Net Promoter of the strata manager. This analysis has to be compared with strata scheme profitability. For example, PICA Group’s internal NPS data identified their top 20 strata managers by NPS. However, when scheme profitability was compared against the top 20 strata managers by NPS, the strata managers with the highest NPS ratings did not have the highest profitability per scheme.
The Top Detractor Themes identified by Daniel’s survey were:
The Top Promoter Themes from the survey were:
For something different, it took an artist, Sarah Roman Dahl, to paint for us and send home the message that “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong”
From an international panel we understood the correlation between the number of words in strata title acts per Spanish-speaking country and the quality of the strata title system. In South Europe, a massive 80% of people live in strata. Strata managers in Chile are more effective at getting strata levies paid as they “just cut the water supply” according to Pepe Gutierrez. From North America we learned that worldwide strata management is “about dealing with people in close proximity behaving badly”. The experience in the U.S. called out a top issue as preparing for electric vehicle charging in strata buildings.
From Robyn Moore, we have the famous quote on motivating staff members being to take out the CRAP
C for Cynicism
R for Resentment
A for Anger
P for Procrastination
She reminded us to “Deal with the urgency, before the emergency”.
Dennis Lee from NSW Office of Environment & Heritage presented on the upcoming national launch of NABERS for Apartment Buildings happening this week. NABERS for Apartment Buildings is a six star environmental rating system which will be rolled out nationally after an 18 month development process involving industry engagement with the likes of Olivera Ferguson (Strataplus).
Richard Minx from Savant Power and Energy mentioned some impressive payback times on solar on strata and commented that Macquarie lends in this area. He reinforced the need to get energy audits done to look at lighting, power factor etc. On the battery front he cited long payback times, not making them effective at the current time. He also explained how embedded networks allow aggregated purchasing power for apartment owners and the common areas. Richard is bullish on electric vehicles coming to strata citing 50% of new car sales in 2030 predicted to be electric. To boil it down, there are too options for strata managers and strata committees to save on energy.
At the national awards dinner, it was all about StrataChoice this year. StrataChoice’s Daniel Cockerell took out the Strata Manager award and StrataChoice backed it up by taking out National Large Strata Management business of the year. Congratulations to Geoff and Daniel Linders. There was also a strong showing from Strataplus with Amberley Keating from Port Stephens taking out the Support Team Member award and David Ferguson getting inducted into the “Hall of Fame.”
After 3 days of partying, sore heads and visits to the art museum MONA where you can sit on a toilet seat and view your own faeces, there seemed to be some pervading themes at the conference. We now know that in strata you can “automate the crap”, “remove the CRAP” and “view your own crap”....and that’s the wrap.
Strata managers can now register buildings in the City of Sydney and in Melbourne for a fully funded electric vehicle recharge assessment. Registrations for Brisbane have closed. However, if you're interested in learning more contact Scott Witheridge on (02) 9977 1801. Read more about the program here.
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