Background of Strata Managers
Strata title properties are made up of residential, industrial and commercial developments and have been a visible and easily recognizable segment of our Singapore built environment for most of its recent history after independence. Ever since the first condominium was completed in 1967, the number of strata titled properties has grown to almost 4,000. A total of more than 250,000 strata lots were built in the space of 45 years, with the rate of growth highest within the last decade.
Typically, it is the condominiums that have been associated with strata title properties. People like living in such private luxury developments amidst a community that reflects their preferred lifestyle combined with dedicated security and the myriad of exclusive amenities and facilities. Strata title properties also make great rental and investment vehicles with many strata titled owners having benefitted immensely just from capital appreciation of their properties alone.
Management Corporations and The Rise of the Managing Agents
The control and management of a strata scheme is entrusted to a body corporate constituted under the Act and known as the management corporation. In view of the increasing complexities of the Act, the various procedures that need to be followed and the onerous duties imposed by the Act, a management corporation may appoint a managing agent to participate in the day-to‐day control, management and administration of the strata scheme. A managing agent could also perform the role of mediator to help resolve disputes within the scheme, thus removing possible animosity between owners, such as when a subsidiary proprietor takes offence at the Secretary for drawing his attention to his breach of the by-laws when, in fact, the Secretary is merely complying with a direction of the council of the management corporation.
Although it is not mandatory for a management corporation to appoint a managing agent, the managing agents have come a long way since the constitution of the first management corporation. They have earned their rightful place in the industry and a strata management professional is now recognized as an integral part of the strata scheme.
Today, it is estimated that there are approximately 100+ firms offering professional managing agent services although the actual number active at any one time remains unknown.
Founding of Association of Strata Managers
Sometime around mid‐December 2012, an informal meeting of managing agent firms took place at a cafe in Toa Payoh Hub. As fellow practitioners in the business of strata management, it was intended that the occasion not only served to spread camaraderie and festive cheer but could also be an effective platform for shared experiences and to reflect on the challenges facing the strata industry. Among this initial gathering were key representatives from the prominent industry players as well as the small and mid-sized companies.
And, since everyone who was present concurred that the session was fruitful and informative, it was agreed to continue meeting informally on a regular basis. Soon enough the group grew in number to 13 company representatives and then the idea of forming an association was mooted.
On 22 July 2013, the Association of Strata Managers (ASM) was registered with the Registry of Societies. The 10 founding members of ASM are all experienced professionals who are running companies managing a diverse range of properties. They include a good number of well-known and highly regarded firms currently in practice. Collectively, the ASM founder member firms manage more than 700 management corporation clients totalling over 100,000 strata lots.
By directly addressing the unique needs of the strata manager for professional and continuing development and by representing the common interests of the management corporation and the managing agent, ASM seeks to be the lead organisation for practitioners in the management of strata titled properties in Singapore.
Association’s Core Objectives
To set industry standards of performance through training, continuing education and accreditation,
To promote professional ethics and conduct amongst its members, and
To be an effective advocate for the strata titled community as a whole.
The Association will align closely with the policies, regulatory framework, guidelines and best practices of relevant Government authorities, stat boards and technical departments and seeks to collaborate with them to establish a robust training and coaching curriculum for the strata industry.