4 takeaways for strata managers from the SCA NSW Convention

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This year’s SCA NSW Convention has come and gone, with a wide range of speakers from differing backgrounds taking to the stage to share their gems of wisdom throughout the day.

One key theme shining through in multiple sessions was that in this high stress industry, if you want to provide the best possible experience to your customers you first need to focus on making sure your employees are happy and healthy. Only then will they perform their best and deliver that amazing customer experience you’re after.

Below I’ve summarised some of the biggest takeaways from the event. This information is taken from the presentations by Rose Webb, Colin Chodes, Rosalind Coffey, David Bannerman, Daniel Linders, Karina Heinz, Lauren Shaw, Laura Crommelin, Trudy MacDonald and Ben Darwin.

The spotlight is on strata and body corporate management

This year has seen a number of highly publicised defects cases in the media which has brought Strata heavily into the public eye. Starting with the Opal Tower evacuation at the end of 2018 and continuing with several other cases throughout the year, Strata is now more in the spotlight than ever before.

Numerous presenters touched on this however it was most apparent during the panel discussion “Steering the Customer Experience through an Apartment Construction & Defects Disaster” with Daniel Linders, Lauren Shaw & Karina Heinz. The speakers highlighted the need for Strata Managers to be equipped to deal with the phone calls that arise from a serious defect case and also focused on the importance of a strong line of communication between the Strata Manager and effected residents. Daniel Linders saw this first hand during the Mascot Towers evacuation and spoke about the ways that he ensured that he could communicate easily and efficiently to the effected residents.

More legislative changes are coming to the strata industry

The NSW Commissioner for Fair Trading, Rose Webb, noted that there are several reforms coming into the Strata space in the near future. These include, but are not limited, reforms surrounding the licensing of Strata Managers, new rules and regulations surrounding short term rentals, Community Scheme reforms and amendments to the Conveyancing Act in relation to new developments and off the plan sales. It was also noted that next year will be the 5 year anniversary of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 and as such this act will be due for its 5 yearly review. The Department of Fair Trading is also looking at further legislative changes to make it easier to carry out energy efficient upgrades in Strata Schemes and will also be reviewing the rules and regulations surrounding combustible cladding.

Most residents don’t understand strata law

Numerous speakers also reflected on the fact that Strata Living is becoming more and more common with the growing population in the major cities around Australia. A big takeaway from these presentations was the sentiment that many owners and residents in Strata Schemes simply don’t understand the way Strata and Owners Corporations function. There is a growing need to both simplify Strata and to increase the education available to the general public about the way that Owners Corporations function to ensure that people living in Strata Schemes understand the way that they function.

Happy employees lead to happy customers

There was a strong focus during the first day’s presentations about the way that Employee Experience in the work place effects the Client’s Experience with your business.

Colin Chodes spoke at length about the Harvard Business School’s Service Profit Chain and how improvements to the Employee Experience filter through to the Customer Experience which maximises profits for your business. He reflected on the fact that, from a business perspective, employees and customers can be more important than product and that customers experience is heavily influenced on their interaction with the people within the business.

This was further reinforced by Rosalind Coffey from Macquarie Bank and Ben Darwin from Gain Line Analytics. Rosalind reflected on her experiences within Macquarie Bank have shown that a better employee experience leads to better performance and productivity along with lower turnover rates and there is a direct correlation between this and an improved Customer Experience. Ben Darwin also noted that his experience in the Sports world reinforced this thinking as he has found that cohesion amongst teams and a focus on reducing churn allows people to perform better as a team and provide a continuity of solid performance and service.


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