Despite dealing with difficult behaviour from owners and 50+ hour work weeks, strata managers are optimistic about the future of their jobs and industry
SYDNEY, Australia – 23 August 2023. A new national ‘Voice of the Strata Manager’ report reveals an alarming number of Australian strata managers identify dealing with challenging and angry owners or tenants as one of the most difficult aspects of the job – likely contributing to 43% struggling with their mental health.
The 2023 report by MRI Software, a leading provider of real estate technology solutions, shows nearly 60% of strata managers work more than the 38-hour week prescribed by Australia’s National Employment Standards – with one in five (19%) working 51 or more hours per week. On the upside, 76% regard their job as secure, and an impressive 85% intend to remain in strata management.
According to MRI’s ‘Voice of the Strata Manager’ 2023 report, communicating with building owners takes 60-80% of most strata managers’ time. Overall, they most enjoy doing accounts and trust work (51%), site inspections (48%), and workflows and communications, which is liked or loved by 57%.
Call for Empathy and Industry Support
MRI aims to work with industry partners to raise empathy and respect for the indispensable role of strata managers handling high-demand and high-value stakeholders and properties in a fast-growing sector that now includes build-to-rent property developments.
David Bowie, Senior Vice President and Managing Director for MRI Software in Asia Pacific, says: “We want Australians to better understand what life looks and feels like for strata managers. They are such a critical part of the Australian economy and property industry ecosystem and are often unsung heroes. Our hope in releasing this report is to trigger productive conversations and solutions to support them.
The report highlights various opportunities to help address some of the innate workload and mental health challenges of the role, notably technology and training.
Respondents indicate that current training covers topics like technology, legal compliance, and systems and processes. Demand exists to increase ‘soft skills’ training on topics such as dealing with conflict and difficult people, proactive ways to manage stress and mental wellness, leadership training, and formal coaching and mentoring.
Jessica Kaye, Strata Industry Specialist for MRI Software in Asia Pacific, reflects: “The amount of stress that strata managers experience is profound. With hundreds of thousands of new lots planned in coming years, the pressure and responsibilities of the role may shift but will definitely grow.
“At MRI we’re all about designing PropTech solutions that help relieve pressure points around workflow, automation and digital property management for example. So, it’s great to see such an openness to technology reflected in this report: 50% of respondents indicated they had upgraded their software in the last two years or less, and most are open to new online platforms, workflow automation solutions, and facilitating work practices like outsourcing and flexibility,” says Kaye.
MRI Software calls on commercial property developers and residential apartment owners to access the full ‘Voice of the Strata Manager’ 2023 report on the MRI website at mrisoftware.com/au/resources/voice-of-the-strata-manager-report/. By exploring the key findings and insights, stakeholders can contribute to building a supportive environment for strata managers, benefiting the entire real estate ecosystem.
The ‘Voice of the Strata Manager’ 2023 report is part of a series of research and insight reports initiated by MRI Software across the property ecosystem, including ‘Voice of the Property Manager’ in 2021 and 2018, ‘Voice of the Employee’ and ‘Voice of the Facility Manager’ in 2023. To access the MRI industry insights reports visit mrisoftware.com/au/resources/.
Data for MRI’s ‘Voice of the Strata Manager’ 2023 report was collected via online surveys conducted by MRI Software across two months in February and March 2023. The results are based on responses from 167 strata management professionals across various states in Australia.