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The Top 7 Misconceptions About The Strata Manager

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Managing a Strata Corporation is a significant commitment that takes time, knowledge, and energy. A well-run Strata Corporation doesn’t come easy, and the responsibility can be a lot for Council members to handle. While many councils hire professional Strata managers (to help shoulder some of the daily operational duties, there are several misconceptions about what a strata manager is, what their role entails, their power within the community, and much more. Read on to learn more about the Strata manager, their job description, and the top 7 misconceptions about strata managers.

What is a Strata Manager?

The Strata manager is the face, and an employee, of the Strata Corporation’s management company. They work closely with a strata council to perform many vital functions and resolve any complaints or issues that arise. Strata managers serve as consultants, make recommendations, and execute the council’s decisions.

What’s the Strata Manager Job Description?

Strata manager job responsibilities vary by community, governing documents, and the Strata management contract terms. Similarly, the strata manager salary is also usually determined by the manager’s years of experience, employer, and contract terms. While the specific duties of one manager can be different from another, generally it’s the job of a Strata manager to handle the overall operations and administration of the Strata Corporation in accordance with council policies, governing documents, and applicable laws.

Top 7 Misconceptions About Strata Managers

A strata manager does a lot to support the strata council. They help with the heavy lifting, providing guidance, advice, and oversight in all aspects of strata operations, including
maintenance, financial and administrative duties. To ensure an effective relationship with your strata manager, it’s important to recognize the misconceptions about what a strata manager is and does. Here are seven.

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1. The manager makes decisions for the community.

The most common misconception is that the manager makes the decisions and controls the council. The exact opposite is true. Strata Corporations are non-profit businesses that are run by a strata council who makes the decisions. The manager simply executes the decisions of the council and is the liaison between the council, vendors, and residents.

2. The manager is an expert in every field

A good manager is an expert at a lot of functions, but not everything. Luckily, they know people who are professionals and highly skilled at doing things like overseeing taxes, repairing siding, and mowing lawns. Many managers have a network of dependable contractors and vendors that can help the council carry out its directive. From lawyers and accountants to insurance agents and landscapers, you can rely on a manager to make connections, solicit bids, oversee the relationship, and manage contracts.

3. The manager is obligated to perform duties for individual homeowners.

Many owners think that since their dues pay for the management company and any direct
employees, the manager works for them. However, a strata manager is responsible for community-related matters and functions defined in a contract- not personal tasks.

4. The manager always has eyes on the community.

Even though your Strata Corporation may employ a full-time onsite manager solely devoted to your Strata, it doesn’t necessarily mean they constantly have eyes and ears on the whole community. While the manager may work to proactively address concerns, it’s important for residents to speak up and report issues or needs when they see something. When everyone works together, everybody wins.

5. The manager makes a commission from collecting fees and fines

Strata managers are usually tasked with supporting the Strata Corporation. That may include preparing the annual budget, analyzing the operating budget, understanding the reserve fund, and collecting strata fees and fines.

However, just because collections efforts are the responsibility of the Strata manager, they never benefit from the monies collected. Fees, fines and other dues contribute to the community’s daily operational expenses and reserve funds.

6. The Manager is on call 24/7

It’s true that many managers oversee various aspects of the community, but they’re not
always available 24/7 to address non-emergency concerns. Typically, managers have regular working hours that are outlined in the management contract. Outside of working hours, they can usually be contacted—or provide an after-hours contact—for urgent and emergency situations.   

7. The manager can create or change the rules.

A Strata manager cannot create or change the rules and bylaws, but they can (and do) help enforce the Strata Corporation’s bylaws, rules and regulations. A strata council  is the governing body with the power and authority to amend or adopt rules. Still, you may find that a manager ensures that rules and policies are consistently enforced and clearly defined. They may even recommend solutions to resolve owner complaints and compliance issues.

The Secret Life of Strata Managers

It’s easy to build misconceptions about Strata managers, but the relationship you have with your Strata manager needs to be strong and trusted. Creating and maintaining a solid relationship with your manager can make or break the success of your community. Read our free ebook, “The Secret Life of CAMs”, to get a better understanding of what a strata manager is, what a community manager does, and how you can make the most of your relationship.