The last 12 months at ESM Strata have been really busy. Not only have the amendments to the Strata Titles Act been proclaimed, but a number of ESM initiatives have been brought to life for the benefit of our staff, customers and suppliers.
A lot of these initiatives have come from our focus on the ESM values and our ongoing pursuit to be WA’s most trusted Strata Management Company. Have a look into some of our initiatives below.
ESM Strata Teams approach
In the last 12 months, ESM Strata has completely rolled out a teaming framework that enables us to support one another better for the benefit of our customers and other stakeholders. So even though you may be communicating with one strata manager who knows your property best, they are supported by their greater strata team (who each have their own team leader), a strong customer service and support team as well as a leadership team. For you, this means more support in a timely manner, no interruptions when team members are sick or unavailable and better support for difficult questions or answers.
We wholeheartedly believe that teaming is the key to building knowledge, inspiring innovation and servicing our customers better.
Most of the ESM Strata staff members are also part of voluntary teams that support the business in other ways. For example we have an education and training team, Strata Titles Amendment Act team, business development team, events team, relationships team and environmental team who each work towards their own goals and projects to support the company. Some of their initiatives are below.
The ESM Strata Customer Service & Support team has really come to life in the last 12 months, providing support in both administration and accounts to customers, suppliers and ESM Staff. Unlike other support teams in the industry, the ESM Strata CS&S team is made up individuals passionate and knowledgeable in strata management affairs. This team works closely with councillors and owners in some of the daily running and activities of their Strata Company including providing communications to owners and arranging meetings and correspondence.
The ESM Strata Knowledgebase is a staff-driven initiative that contains hundreds of articles on strata-related topics. For you, this means answers to the most frequently asked strata questions alongside references to the Strata Titles Act and examples that turn strata law into real life situations. It is an industry-leading initiative that talks directly to our values surrounding empowering our customers and sharing knowledge. The ESM Strata Knowledgebase also supports staff with procedures, knowledge and stories that help us grow our collective bank of knowledge and support our customers better.
Strata Titles Act changes
This year was an especially big one in Strata with the Amendments to the Strata Titles Act 1985 coming into effect. ESM has a dedicated Strata Titles Amendment Act (STAA) team that has been responsible for reviewing the amendments to the act in detail over the last 12 months before proclamation and interpreting the information as it pertains to the day to day running of Strata Companies. Our STAA team has also worked closely with our Education and Training team to inform those changes to our customers and also provide training to staff.
Acting in a council position for your strata company is a voluntary job and often comes with a lot of questions and responsibilities. ESM recognises the need to continue supporting all council members with education and training surrounding strata law. The ESM Council Nights are an opportunity for ESM team members and council members to meet socially and discuss any strata topics. ESM staff members also present on important issues and changes to strata.
In the last 12 months, we have been trying to reduce our environmental impact and have put in place a number of initiatives both internally and externally to achieve this. Reducing our paper usage has been a big focus at ESM, and we have already reduced our own printing output significantly since June 2019 and have been encouraging all of our customers to opt for electronic communication over physical mail. The majority of all customer communication now goes out electronically. We are also actively involved in the local community in Victoria Park and have been part of some fun projects including maintaining street planter boxes.
New Schedule of Services
Our business development team has been taking feedback from customers, staff and the industry on the fee structure for Strata Management Services. A lot of the conversations we have been having are around the complexities of services schedules, hidden fees and financial statements and how there must be a simpler way to clearly outline exactly what a strata management company does and at what cost.
Every strata company must comply with the Strata Titles Act and a lot of the services offered by strata management companies pertain to the legal requirements that come from adhering to that act. Some of these services have been included in your management fee and some have been additionals charged at an hourly rate. These variables can become quite confusing and many of them are compulsory when it comes to compliance with the Strata Titles Act.
ESM has now updated our service schedule to a flat rate that includes everything you need to comply with the Strata Titles Act. No hidden surprises, no confusing line items. Simple and easy to understand fees and charges. For all new buildings coming on board with ESM strata, this schedule has come into effect.
For all existing customers, this new schedule will be introduced as part of our contract renewal process following the proclamation of amendments to the Strata Titles Act.
Covid Response team
During the Covid emergency period, ESM set up a dedicated Covid response team to support council members make relevant changes around their complexes in response to government regulations. We also offered additional support to owners experiencing financial hardship and worked closely with council members to adjust budgets and expenditure to reduce levies for all tenants.
Staff training including Lunch and Learns
ESM’s Education and training team is a busy team at ESM with a dedicated team leader responsible for the education and training of our staff, customers and suppliers. ESM team members undergo regular training on strata related topics through a variety of mediums including our online learning platform, knowledgebase, training seminars and staff newsletters.