The secret to successfully running a strata scheme is remarkably simple – just know everything that’s going on, all the time.
Of course, anyone who has ever been involved in running a block of units, even just as a member of the strata committee, knows that is an overly simple answer to a ridiculously complicated question.
Do you know how much money you have in the bank, how much is coming in, and how much you will need in the future?
How do you handle the competing claims of warring residents? Is someone running illegal Airbnbs or is that really their 13th set of cousins who have come for the weekend?
What are your priorities: concrete cancer checks or installing NBN? Or both? Or neither? Or the 20th abusive email from the resident with a genuine gripe but zero patience. And just when you thought you had things sorted out, along came a whole new set of strata laws.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was some sort of internet-based management system whereby you could plug all these variables in and work your way through them in a logical fashion so that everybody in your building can see what you’re doing (rather than assuming that none of their priorities are being attended to)?
According to the creators of Stratabox, there is. Whether you are a small self-managed scheme. A medium-sized block of units or a large scheme with professional management, Stratabox is offering a way for owners to run their buildings more efficiently and openly.
You can sign up for a free trial right now by clicking on the link above, but we are offering three strata schemes free two-year subscriptions to Stratabox, plus all the advice you could need, just by being the first in one of three categories to answer a very simple strata-related question.
But first, what is Stratabox?
Stratabox is a cloud-based strata management system – for want of a better term – that allows its users to easily access all their records, notices, communications, bills and invoices.
It’s not a replacement for your strata manager – although it could be for smaller schemes that wanted to self-manage – but it brings the essential facts and figures of your strata scheme to your fingertips. In fact, it could be your and your strata manager’s new best friend and we personally wouldn’t recommend self-management for any large or medium sized schemes.
There is a free version of Stratabox that you can try for yourself that includes an online noticeboard, email links to residents, owners and the committee, your by-laws, a basic strata roll, your building profile and emergency contacts.
The premium version, which costs a subscription fee of $2.50 per habitable lot per month (or $30 per lot per year, billed annually) has all the basic features plus meeting agendas and minutes, electronic voting, discussion groups, maintenance, file archives, full-text document search and booking and management of amenities.
Anyone can trial the premium version of Stratabox for three months, free of charge, drop back to the free version if you’re not sure, but reactivate the service – with all your records still on file – if you decide you actually want it after all.
Now, we are looking for three schemes to WIN the Stratabox system free of charge for two years. We want to offer a two-year subscription to a small self-managed scheme of 20 lots or fewer, a medium sized scheme of 21-100 lots, and a large scheme of 100 lots or more.
The winners will be encouraged to interact with the Stratabox technicians to discuss how things work (or otherwise) and any additional features that may have been missed. Stratabox will also help users through the early stages of set-up.
So what are you waiting for? If you want to win two free years of the full premium service, come back here and answer this question:
As Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Matt Kean has responsibility for Fair Trading, the government department that looks after strata in NSW. Who was the last minister to hold the title of Minister for Fair Trading?
Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org with Stratabox Contest in the subject line and just include your answer and either the words ‘small’, ‘medium’ or ‘large’ to indicate the size of your scheme (as per the definitions above).
And we’ll be in touch if you are a winner.
Everyone has access to the free basic Stratabox service and the three month Premium trial. So if you don’t want to take your chances in the contest, look at the Stratabox website and then sign up.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
- Entry into this contest is conditional on acceptance of the terms and conditions below.
- The Stratabox Contest is a game of skill.
- Winners must have the authority within their strata scheme to input the data required to make Stratabox work.
- Failure by the winners to register their scheme with Stratabox within 30 days of receiving notice that they have won will render the prize void and it will be passed to the next successful contestant.
- Arrangements for the management of the Stratabox service is entirely at the discretion of Stratabox and the relevant schemes. Flat Chat, its proprietors or employees takes no responsibility for any disputes or disagreements between the entrants and Stratabox.
- Stratabox may use entrants’ email addresses to contact them but will not pass them on to any third parties without prior express approval in writing.