How to turn your scheme into a community


Strata schemes bring together all sorts of different people, whether they’re from a range of ages, social and economic backgrounds or ethnic roots. This could be a recipe for conflict and confrontation, but as our principal sponsors Strata Choice explain, it’s also an opportunity for some serious community building.

Today, over 1.1million people across NSW now live in apartments and townhouses; 22% of NSW households call Strata living home. The appeal is understandable, as apartments and townhouses typically provide:

  • Shared amenities such as pools, gyms, BBQ facilities
  • Standards for property maintenance and aesthetics.
  • A more convenient and accessible lifestyle.
  • Safety and security measures.

But a poorly run Strata Scheme can lead to owner and resident dissatisfaction. So here are four ways Strata Committee members can foster a positive experience.

1. Encourage connections.

From the very beginning, strive to create a welcoming, friendly, inclusive environment. For example, develop a new resident welcome pack that goes beyond the required legal information.

Maybe include details about social events and organisations within the community. For example, ask nearby cafes and restaurants, dry cleaners, salons, retailers for promotional offers available to new residents.

2. Communicate often.

Strata committees carry out the Scheme’s financial responsibilities, so owners deserve full knowledge of how their money is spent. Provide them with an opportunity to voice their concerns in and outside of meetings, simply communicate openly and frequently.

Inform them of upcoming meetings, events and opportunities using a multimedia approach, such as a combination of emails, social media, and notices. Committees should also include the tenants where appropriate.

3. Be responsive.

The Strata Committee should be accessible and respond quickly to concerns and questions. Although it might take some time to resolve a situation or answer, let them know, perhaps via your Strata Manager, that you’ve received their communication and you are looking into the matter as a group.

4. Keep it professional.

Make intelligent, strategic decisions that address both the short-term and long-term objectives. As a Committee member, it’s necessary to be action-oriented and decisive, but it’s just as crucial to be competent and caring. Strive to create an atmosphere of trust, responsiveness, and transparency.

Exhibit professionalism by:

  • Choosing service suppliers that project professionalism. They should always be friendly and respectful when interacting with residents.
  • De-escalating challenging situations by remaining level-headed, knowledgeable, and non-confrontational.
  • Upholding the Scheme’s by-laws and rules consistently and fairly.

This article first appeared on the Strata Choice Website.

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