Tips for committees to build a thriving owners’ corporation

The most important role within an owners’ corporation (OC) is that of the committee of management. Working together with the OC manager, it is the committee’s role to ensure things are running smoothly. Without good governance, this can be an impossible task.

We’ve rounded up some best-practice suggestions to help your committee and community thrive.

Preparation for the AGM

The annual general meeting (AGM) is an integral date in an OC’s calendar. It is the time for all members to come together, discuss issues, understand progress and vote upon the future direction of the OC. It also the best opportunity a committee has to highlight the hard work they do on behalf of all owners and celebrate achievements.

An AGM must be held within 15 months of the previous one, and best-practice is to hold it within three months of the end of the OC’s financial year. To ensure the AGM is as productive as possible, committees should ensure they meet ahead of the AGM to review the financials, approve a budget, and head into the AGM with a clear recommendation to owners.

The Owners’ Corporation Act 2021 stipulates that the committee must also provide a report of its activities at the AGM. Generally, the chairperson would provide this report. We recommend sharing a written report along with the AGM notice so that owners have a chance to read it beforehand and bring along any questions they may have.

Building a strong relationship with your OC manager

The committee will need to communicate effectively, not just among themselves, but with the OC manager, building manager, and fellow owners. Good communication is the foundation of good relationships, and building strong relationships builds a strong OC.

The OC manager will often be the committee’s mouthpiece to all owners. They play an important role in keeping things running, by sending out important communications, directives and getting levies issued and paid.

OC managers not only support multiple committees, but also communicate with owners, tenants, property managers, contractors and more, each day. This means an extremely high volume of calls and emails to manage.

To ensure you get the most out of your relationship with your manager, we recommend avoiding cc’ing them in on committee discussions. Consider alternative platforms for discussion such as WhatsApp. Best practice is to email your manager with the resolution only, to ensure it can be actioned in a timely manner.

Your OC manager is also a wealth of knowledge, resources, and support, so don’t be afraid to reach out and see how they might be able to make your life easier.

Boosting community engagement

Communication to owners, if left to routine items such as AGM and levy notices, can become dry. This may result in low engagement from owners, which is not conducive to a thriving OC.

We recommend that committees also spread positive messages to the community, to share progress and good news stories between AGMs.

Initiatives like community newsletters, electronic noticeboards or WhatsApp groups are all great ways to boost engagement. You can also actively solicit feedback through surveys, allowing owners and tenants to feel heard.

These items can even be tasked to subcommittees, which is a great way to bring additional owners into committee operations.

These are just some ways committee members can improve the operation of their OC, boost community engagement and maximise their efforts on the committee. If you want to learn more, The Knight recently ran a training webinar for committee members on this topic. Access it here

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