The appointment of a highly experienced strata manager and building manager is crucial for the long-term upkeep of a building.  Both roles are significantly different and complex.

The owners have a responsibility under the Strata Titles Act to maintain all common property.  So, this is where the strata manager and building manager roles are needed.

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The strata manager works at the direction of the Strata Company and their role is one of a banker, administrator and lawyer.  They manage the funds of the owners, issue levy notices, hold the position of Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer (if Committee wishes), pay contractors and ensure the owners are complying with the Act.

Building managers however organise, control and coordinate the strategic and operational management in building and facilities and are the person on the ground who deal with various contractors and suppliers in carrying out maintenance and upgrades and providing services such as security, cleaning and property maintenance and can issue keys and manage the adherence of the occupants to the registered by-laws. They are usually engaged where there are greater than 50 apartments and are often onsite with a dedicated office in the building where as the strata manager is located offsite.

Building managers have an understanding of plant and machinery, how it operates and what maintenance is required. They must ensure that all plant such as fans, boilers and chillers are running at optimum levels and that maintenance is carried out according to the manufacturer’s details.

The strata and building manager both need to work very closely to ensure that the correct budgets are set for the development. This is usually done in unison where the building manager produces and invites service contractors to tender on the various maintenance required to upkeep the property.  They prepare tender documents, issue and analyse the responses and come back to the owners with recommendations and ensure the building is receiving value for money.  This does not mean the cheapest provider.  Budgets can then be accurately set for at least three years in advance.  These usually include; cleaning, air-conditioning, HVAC, lighting, fire services, landscaping, high rise abseiling, facade maintenance, security, hot water systems, grey water, solar cells, vertical gardens, elevators/escalators, pool equipment and servicing, exhaust fans, sump pumps, roller doors and more.

The building manager is usually the first point of contact within the building so all move-ins by residents are coordinated through the manager and all contractors are required to report in before commencing work so the correct induction process is adhered to.

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Complex West Building Management provides a service to monitor and maintain the building for longevity and to manage preventative and reactive processes that occur on a daily basis during the operations of a building. The role is not one of a concierge, which is designed to assist people only without focus on the operations of a building and neither one of a dedicated facilities manager which focuses on the provision of asset management for the services and structural aspects of the building only.

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Some of the duties and responsibilities performed by your building manager are:

  • Maintaining a safe environment with proper lighting, signage, and disability access
  • Drafting and updating emergency plans and evacuation procedures
  • Overseeing security, fire prevention, and other safety systems
  • Scheduling regular building maintenance and cleaning services
  • Contracting professionals for repairs as needed
  • Ensuring that occupants are provided with proper utilities
  • Monitoring building maintenance budgets
  • Arranging for building improvements
  • Overseeing contractors and inspecting completed jobs
  • Supervising grounds staff
  • Hiring employees or contractors as needed to maintain, repair, or improve the property
  • Evaluating contractor performance and providing direction to ensure proper maintenance of the building
  • Scheduling contractors and employees
  • Resolving complaints, problems, and requests from building tenants to do with building operations.
  • Assisting with emergency response and evacuations
  • Inspecting the building frequently for signs of damage or wear
  • Assist the strata in implementing building policies and regulations useful in managing the general behaviour of tenants/occupants of an apartment
  • Attend Body Corporate meetings to provide insights useful in making decisions relating to building management.
  • Proffer recommendations and advice to building owners on strategies and steps to take to ensure the smooth running of a building property.

Unlike a concierge that is always on site to open doors etc, or a facilities manager that attends site only to monitor or review maintainable assets, your building manager regularly visits site and is available during normal business hours each week to ensure the operations of the building are functioning as intended or to attend to those incidents where items fail or need to be managed to put be back in service.

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