This week we welcome our new sponsors Strata Answers, a service that’s set up to bridge the gap between free advice like Flat Chat, and the full-fare professional services offered by strata managers, lawyers and other consultants.
We’ve been saying for ages that what’s lacking in strata is a service where knowledgeable and experienced people can offer independent support and advice to individual owners and committees to resolve strata disputes and help with the better management of buildings, especially where communications, trust and basic competence have fallen away.
You want someone who’s not necessarily going to replace professional legal services, for instance, but will give good advice and hold your hand if and when you decide that’s the best road to go down.
Strata Answers’ aim is to offer reliable advice and support, even if you may have to call in the big guns eventually. They are offering a subscription-based advice service which you can access by clicking here or on their ad on the right.
The following is how they describe their services:
As a growing percentage of Australians shift into apartment living, home ownership has become a lot more complex. Recognising the growing need for independent, practical strata help, John Hutchinson and Tonja Gibson set up Strata Answers in 2014.
Strata Answers is a new type of offering in the strata sector, providing a set of extra hands to step in when owners and committee members don’t feel they have the time or expertise to manage their buildings alone, filling gaps that neither the building manager or strata manager traditionally fill.
Responding to the need for someone to take some of the hard work and frustration out of strata living, Strata Answers has been helping strata owners and their committees build strata communities that serve their residents better.
Strata Answers offers a new type of strata support service, most frequently engaged to step in and provide an experienced set of extra hands when committees face particularly complex challenges, such as defects claims, or when owners and committee members simply feel they don’t have the time or experience to manage special projects or general strata business alone.
Both John and Tonja have spent many years working voluntarily on their own strata committees and bring to the table a wealth of strata experience between them.
John’s background has been wide ranging but his particular skill is being able to home in on the crux of an issue and present solutions in a clear and concise manner.
Tonja’s previous experience in retail buying has brought an acute understanding of the importance of long range vision and how necessary it is for committees to think strategically.
Tonja really enjoys the process of working with teams to focus attention on articulating their vision and bringing it into being. Both have participated in Sydney City Council Strata initiatives – Smart Green Apartments, Smart Green Apartments Leadership group and helping to establish and maintain the Green Square
Over the past 5 years the Strata Answers team has built a reputation for honesty, integrity and commitment in the strata sector and worked with committees and owners in a range of roles including:
- Working with committees on large defects rectification projects,
- Running building upgrade programmes – both planning and implementation.
- Supporting owners in mediation and dispute resolution
- Running tenders for schemes looking to change strata or building management
- Providing ALL apartment access services – these have been used by various schemes involved in legal proceedings and schemes participating in Sydney Water Waterfix® program
Strata Answers has now launched its Helpline to give strata residents the chance to engage directly with someone experienced in strata and to get answers to their questions.
“The best source of strata information on strata living has always been another person who has been through similar experiences, says John Hutchinson, one of Strata Answers’ founding directors. “The Flatchat forum is a great place for finding them online. Our new Helpline goes one step further and allows strata residents to ask questions directly and be sure of an answer.”
“In our work with owners and committees we have seen how hard it is to build a real community in a strata building. Anything we can do to help strata residents understand how strata buildings work, will make strata living better for all.
“Our new Helpline will, we hope, be a place where strata residents can get not just answers on how to fix things that have gone wrong, but also a place where they can get help with improving their buildings and make them better places to live.”
“After time spent as strata owners and committee members ourselves, as well as time spent guiding others on their strata issues, we decided the time had come to let others benefit from our experience by tapping into our Helpline.”
“We’ve seen strata living problems take over people’s lives. Our Helpline may not provide the final answer, but it is a way strata residents can get some comfort and a new perspective on these all-consuming issues.”