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Do You Need a Building Manager?

Wednesday, 30th September 2015

Managing Director of LUNA Management, Dino Biordi

According to Dino Biordi of Luna Management, building managers not only preserve your investment, they can reduce your levies and save you valuable time.

According to Dino Biordi of Luna Management, building managers not only preserve your investment, they can reduce your levies and save you valuable time.

 

 

"Having both a good strata manager and a building manager will ultimately secure a better return on your investment," managing director of Luna Management, Dino Biordi said. 

"Your home - usually your biggest investment - is far too valuable not to be managed by professionals who have your best interests at heart and can save you heartache and money.  

"A building cannot operate optimally without a strong, cohesive strata and building management team. While the owners corporation give the overall direction, the strata and building manager's functions are both critical and fundamental to the operational success of any building development."

Dino lists the core function of both.

The Strata Manager:

  • Maintain accounting records
  • Prepare annual budgets
  • Advise on strata regulations and compliance issues
  • Maintain, collect and deposit levies, etc.

Strata Managers help 'steer the ship' in the right regulatory drection, minimising disputes and assisting owners in resolving difficult situations.

The Building Manager:

  • Ensures building compliance and safety is maintained
  • Provides cost-effective options for prolonging the life of the building's assets
  • Implements and upholds by-laws
  • Works to create a harmonious and positive community.

 The building manager is 'on the ground' getting things done.

Dino says it is also the responsibility of a building manager to help reduce your building's running expenses.

"The most expensive facilities to maintain in buildings is what we call HVAC - heating, ventillation and air-conditioning - and lifts, heated pool systems and lighting are your big ticket items," Dino said.

"Power usage in a building is a major expense yet simple steps can be implemented to optimise the use and reduce the waste of this resource so in saving owner's money, we will also be doing the right thing for the planet. 

"Installing timers to reduce mechanical running times, changing temperature set points on air-conditioning and heated pools thermostats and installing motion sensors on lighting systems can help reduce costs.  

"A more extensive option is to install Various Speed Drives that modulate the power/motor according to demand.  Going solar with your hot water by using either heat pump technology, or roof panels/tubes is a worthy consideration.

"There are still excellent government grants, rebates and incentives in place for reducing energy consumption for owners.   You can start by getting a free appraisal performed on your building's lighting system - packages offering a return on investment of under three years are still available in the market. With the current lighting techonology available today, energy savings of 85 percent is becoming more achievable.  

"As a building manager we can assist you with that process."

Maintaining your building is paramount not only for protecting your investment but you health.

"Today buildings are living organisms, in a constant state of change providing protection, workspace and comfort space for humans and often pets too," Dino said.

"Like most living organisms, if neglected, a building may present with unpredictable and undesirable outcomes - or even come to the end of its life prematurely.

"As seen in the New Zealand building market, not having a maintenance plan in place, or the funds to drive that, can prove disastrous.

"Regular and thorough maintainance of your building and its assets equates to healthier buildings, healthier communities and healthier people.  Buildings must undergo a maintenance program to ensure they remain compliant, safe and secure for all inhabitants.  Additionally, many case studies have proven that it is far cheaper to implement a proactive maintenance program from inception than to wait until things start to fall apart."

While many owners think that building managers are only for large buildings, Dino says that is no longer the case and many medium to smaller sized buildings are now employing the services of building managers.

"Looking from the perspective of your building's size is not the best guage of whether employing a building manager is viable or not.  For example, a smaller development of 30 lots may only require a part-time building manager to manage all repair work, track expenditures, provide sustainable solutions, capture activity (security), repair logs, assist with maintaining building compliance and monitor work to completion.

"When done well, today's technology allows building managers to use intelligent cloud-based building manager systems to control, monitor and track all of the above.   

"I believe that placing the right building manager, in the right place, for the right amount of time, is always viable," he said.

Discussing the need for a building manager can initially be with your strata manager.  You can still make your own enquiries by surfing the net and checking out the websites of building companies.

"Website are a good indicator of the company's attention to detail while giving you an understanding of their ethos," Dino said.  

"Moving forward with a face-to-face interview then provides you with a good sense of whether they are a good fit for your building. 

"Communication is essential for a building manager to successfully deliver services in alignment with the vision of the owners corporation - ensuring there is no daylight around the understanding and dllivery of the requests of the executive committee.  

"A supportive and transparent process where owners feel heard and are kept informed regarding any decisions and/or progress builds trust and rapport between all parties.

"There is no such thing as over-communication when reinforcing clarity with all stakeholders." he said. 

Dino Biordi is managing director of LUNA Management.

If you are thinking of getting a building manager and would like some advice, you can contact Dino at [email protected]

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