It’s simple. Property developments in the 21st century are larger, more complicated and require more elaborate support services. This has an impact when setting management agreements, service levels and fair remuneration.
The relatively simple complexes from two or three decades ago are no more. These days, managers/caretakers are responsible for multi-million dollar setups with resort-style living, accommodating hundreds of people demanding higher levels of service and security.
We’ve found that old-style open-ended generic management agreements often lack detail in relation to the management, caretaking, maintenance, supervision and control of these modern building complexes. Add in the latest regulatory standards and complicated infrastructures and you can no longer rely on individual interpretation.
The BMCS Approach
With our decades of experience in all matters relating to building management, BMCS specialises in drawing up schedules of duties, calculating fees for the management and maintenance of strata titled complexes.
With our unique best practice time and motion methodology, BMCS provide the following core services:
- Independent evaluation services for body corporate remuneration and management fees.
- On-site building inspections and consultancy, including preparation of schedules of duties and responsibilities.
- Building management reports.
Our written evaluation will include your manager/caretaker’s day-to-day duties and responsibilities and our recommendations for a suitable level of remuneration.
Our evaluation will always cover these essentials:
- Comprehensive on-site inspection;
- Review of the body corporate’s current management or caretaking agreement including schedules of required duties and responsibilities;
- Review of the common area management and/or caretaking duties and responsibilities that are carried out on a day-to-day basis;
- Assessment and benchmarking with similar complexes, including the times necessary to satisfactorily carry out like-for-like duties;
- Preparation of a comprehensive report detailing our findings and recommendations.
Our Unique Methodology
The methodology BMCS uses to assess your complex is based on a time and motion study, as opposed to the direct comparison method most commonly used in which one complex is compared to another. We use this methodology because, quite simply, no two complexes the same.
In fact, a specialist adjudicator from the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management has said that time and motion is the most appropriate approach to assessing a complex.
In this way, you can be sure that your manager/caretaker remuneration covers the actual duties and responsibilities for your complex.
The BMCS methodology follows 5 essential steps:
- On-site inspection, viewing and photographing all property and assets.
- Meeting with a representative of the entity that has commissioned the assessment (this may be the manager/caretaker, the chairperson, the body corporate committee representative, the body corporate manager or even an individual owner). BMCS believes and encourages the review to be a joint review involving both parties and allowing them to have equal input into the review.
- Preparation of a schedule of specific duties and responsibilities, including desired frequency of performance.
- Reviewing other schedules or prescribed duties, such as those covered by exclusive use by-laws or separate gardening agreements.
- Calculating and recommending a suitable remuneration.
The outputs of each of these steps feed into a comprehensive evaluation report and a working document that specifies exactly what has to be done to maintain and manage the complex and justifies the calculation of the remuneration fee.
Our On-Site Inspections
To provide a fair and independent assessment of your complex, we carry out a thorough inspection of the on-site duties and responsibilities, as are detailed in your current management agreement.
This usually involves spending several hours at the complex, during which time we:
- Photograph all areas of responsibility;
- Interview the current manager/caretaker and discuss the times necessary to carry out the stated duties on a daily, weekly, monthly and six-monthly basis;
- Compare these times to average times from similar complexes.
From this information, we calculate and recommend a suitable management fee for carrying out the body corporate’s required day-to-day management and caretaking duties and responsibilities.
Steps 1 and 2 are essential and are the reason our methodology produces such accurate and justifiable results. After all, although comparisons are useful, no two complexes are exactly alike, and no two management agreements are the same.
A fair remuneration and fee for your complex cannot be solely based on the average amounts paid at similar complexes. Our recommendations are always based on your unique situation.
Please note, our on-site inspection does not assess the performance of the current manager/caretaker. Our focus is to assess the times and duties needed to maintain your complex by any competent person who may be contracted either now or in the future. The performance of the current manager/caretaker is an issue between the body corporate and the incumbent and is not part of our review. In other words, we are there to assess the job, not the jobholder.
Our full and comprehensive written evaluation report of the manager’s/caretaker’s day-to-day duties and responsibilities can form the basis of a detailed schedule of duties for the manager/caretaker role and responsibilities. It will also include fully justified recommendations for a suitable level of remuneration to cover the management and/or caretaking services that are required at your complex.
Find out more and view sample BMCS reports
Specific reasons why you might benefit from our services:
- To prevent a management or caretaking remuneration falling behind current industry standards. Evaluation of remuneration should be carried out prior to setting an annual budget, renewing an agreement, taking up manager’s/caretaker’s agreement extension option, or making any change in a manager’s or caretaker’s agreed duties and responsibilities.
- A resident manager/caretaker is a self-employed person, running his own business and is therefore subject to business registrations, taxation compliance, public risk and professional indemnity insurance, etc. The cost of running that business will increase over time, and not always in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
- New or improved facilities at your complex – e.g. heating for a pool, adding a barbecue, or alterations to the gardens – can add to a manager’s agreed duties.
- The commencement remuneration at your complex was probably set by the developer. However, until the complex is in full operation, it is not always possible to assess the times and duties necessary to run and maintain it. Too high and the owners are burdened with higher than necessary fees; too low and the manager/caretaker is disadvantaged and may be unable to maintain the complex to the standard required. Current legislation allows for a review of the remuneration within the first three years of operation.
Unsure of the difference between on-site and off-site managers? Wondering who does what and how often in a managed property? Download BMCS’s free Comparison Chart for Management Responsibilities, your guide to property management duties – telling you what needs to happen, when, and who is responsible.
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