Client focus brings strong performance
Having worked in body corporate management for many years Steve Plummer, director of Auckland’s Scope Strata Management Ltd was driven to set up a new company in late 2016 that he felt would better meet the needs of body corporate owners and client developers alike.
Today, less than three years after making that decision, his gut instincts have paid off, with unprecedented growth in demand for the range of services and skill-sets Steve and the team offer.
Prior to starting Scope Strata Steve was approached by Gower Buchanan of Ray White, Ponsonby.
“Gower was a respected business owner in the property sector who was frustrated with Body Corporate management performance in general and their often poor attitude to customer service,” Steve explains.
The result of this meeting ended up with agreement to start Scope Strata Management and to do things differently.
“What I have seen is technology becoming an increasingly key driver impacting on what clients expect in terms of service and in quick turn-around time providing financial reporting.”
The first thing Steve attended to was obtaining a bespoke financial reporting system that met the requirements of New Zealand legislation governing how Body Corporates operated and the wider property sector regulations.
He describes this as a defining moment for the company.
“A lot of our competitors are getting their systems from Australia where Body Corporate entities had been long established, but don’t really deal with New Zealand terminology and processes.”
“Our system and approach provides our clients with financial reporting with New Zealand systems and reporting available on demand.”
Steve says that pivotal to the reputation Scope Strata Management has evolved in such a short period of time has been the philosophy underpinning how the company operates.
“We wanted a completely accountable and transparent system, where owners have access to all their information. We prioritised right from day one on being a client focused culture which also flows on to how we treated our staff as valued business partners,” Steve says.
Managing Body Corporates of a range of sizes and structures means that the service Steve and the team supply is completely tailor-made for the individual situation.
This includes in unit titled, cross-lease and property association and society structures.
The businesses portfolio of properties are split roughly 50:50 between commercial and residential and in the past couple of years a significant level of work has come from medium sized bodies corporate (20-80 units/homes).
In early 2017 Scope Strata Management were appointed managers of the soon to be completed and tallest apartment building in New Zealand in Auckland’s down-town CBD.
Steve describes ‘The Pacifica’ as an amazing building, very well thought-through.”
“The developers have been very keen for us to be involved with every aspect of the property from the beginning of the build. They see us as consultants through the building phase as well as experts in managing what will be a stand-out apartment complex once completed. They have even taken on board advice they may not necessarily have wanted to hear.”
This led to being approached by another apartment developer just down the road which will be taller than the Pacifica once completed as well as other new builds throughout Auckland and beyond.
“Then 1½ years ago we picked up the largest apartment building in the CBD, the Metropolis at 415 units, so it has been a really positive time for us although we understand that we need to continue to retain the confidence of our clients by providing a responsive service.”
‘The Pacifica’ with its above-ground valet car-park created some need to think outside the box on how this would best work.”
The solution worked through with Steve, the developers and their lawyers was to treat the car-park as a separate legal entity with car park owners each having an equal share of costs based on the number of spaces they owned.
“That’s just one example of how complex Body Corporates can be to structure in a way that works from a practical perspective for owners and developers alike.”
“There is generally a solution that can be found when the issue is well thought through and understood.”
And as for the future Steve knows if he continues to focus on his clients growth will come naturally and in manageable ways.
“We also want to evolve more into an advocate for owners even if they are not our clients.”
“If people contact us we will seek to provide honest and impartial advice.”
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