Pearl Scheltema, CEO, Fitzanne Estates
Trends surfacing in the sectional title management industry in the lead-up to the 2023 year include a renewed focus on personal engagement, loadshedding-proof estate security measures, and ongoing Scheme Executive training.
Personal Client Engagement
As a Managing Agent and Portfolio Manager, I can attest to the fact that between 20 – 30% of our day consists of fielding questions from our clients. What we’ve realised again this year, is that there is nothing that beats personal engagement with a client. Therefore, we provide every Fitzanne Estates client with a dedicated Managing Agent who is their go-to support.
We nurture human relationships with our clients, and this makes all the difference. As the owner of a unit in a Sectional Title scheme, all the information coming your way regarding insurance, legal matters, and general day-to-day estate management can be quite overwhelming. This is where the support of a seasoned property manager comes in handy.
Property managers that specialise in sectional titles are immersed in the legal and managerial aspects of this specialised area of the property sector every day and can advise you regarding your rights and obligations, and assist you in fulfilling them efficiently, especially in times of crisis, as many sectional title owners experience during the KwaZulu-Natal floods earlier this year, for instance.
In the end, it comes down to relating with each client on a personal level, understanding their challenges, and providing them with the best support possible. There is no substitute for the human touch.
Going into 2023, my main advice for all our clients who form part of Bodies Corporate will be to budget properly for current expenses and future maintenance, and to ensure that members attend the Annual General Meeting. There also needs to be a proper plan in place in order to collect levies in arrears.
Loadshedding-Proof Estate Security Measures
It is essential to maintain robust and reliable security practices during loadshedding. These scheduled power cuts are a daily reality in South Africa due to the ongoing power-supply crisis and have significantly disrupted everyone’s lives.
Countless business hours have been lost, productivity across all sectors has been impacted, time is wasted, and more. These and numerous other issues are affecting both the consumer and the private sector, but what’s worse is the potential impact that these power outages could have on the security of your home or place of business.
Typical security measures, such as electric fencing, gates, and alarms, require power to work. Even though most of these tools have backup batteries, constant power outages quickly reduce the lifespan of these batteries. Trustees and Scheme Executives will now have to investigate solutions to prolong battery life and ensure that security remains unhampered during loadshedding.
Johan de Bruyn, Head of Operations at Mezuzah Security Services, shares insights and practical tips on this podcast.
Ongoing Scheme Executive Training
The new legislation contained in the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act 8 of 2011, came into effect on 7 October 2016. It always takes between 3 to 5 years for property owners to get used to new legislation. My prediction is that because many property owners and Scheme Executives still don’t quite comprehend all the intricacies of the Act, there will be a lot of focus on ongoing training.
Fortunately, there are various training options available to interested parties. This short programme on Sectional Title Living is aimed at owners, trustees, and occupiers of Sectional Title Schemes. The content covers the meaning of sectional title ownership, how a Sectional Title Scheme is created, the management of a Sectional Title Scheme, the rights, and obligations of owners in a Sectional Title Scheme, the operation of the Community Schemes Ombud Service as well as other miscellaneous relevant topics.
Fitzanne Estates also offers a range of online resources that Scheme Executives can use to educate themselves. This includes a FREE eBook, which explains the workings and advantages of Sectional Title Schemes, as well as how decision-making works within these parameters, how levies are calculated, and more. Alternatively, you can gain this information as part of a webinar in which you can partake at your own pace.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pearl Scheltema is the CEO of Fitzanne Estates, as well as a sectional title expert, specialist property manager, property administration professional, and trustee management trainer. With more than 30 years of experience in the industry, she believes in building her business on loyalty and trust.
More about Fitzanne Estates
Fitzanne Estates (Pty) Ltd is a Property Management Company that can sufficiently administer your property investment to the benefit of the Landlord, the Body Corporate, and the NPC – Non-Profit Company. Services include Letting, Sectional Title Management, Full Title Management (NPC – Non-Profit Company) and Sales.
LinkedIn: Fitzanne Estates
YouTube: Fitzanne Estates
Podcast: Fitzanne’s Property Exchange