At the time of this writing, the world including Singapore is in the midst of a lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Offices and schools have closed for months. “Safe distancing”, “working from home” and “home-based study” are by now familiar terms to most people. During this crisis, essential service workers have come into the forefront. Their contributions, normally taken for granted, have helped to keep the community safe and functioning. One group of unsung heroes who have continued to provide essential services are those involved in estate management.
Pine trees keep their leaves and are green throughout the year. In botany, they are categorised under evergreens. Pine trees are therefore noticeable and appreciated most during the winter season when the other surrounding plants have shed their leaves. In the real estate industry, property and asset management is an evergreen sector that is essential in both good and bad times.
It is my pleasure to write this foreword. Reading this book reminds me of my first job after graduating from university. I started my career as a property executive, managing several projects concurrently. I went on to manage a single but larger condominium. Property management was a tough and demanding role, and it was not surprising for a fresh graduate to join and leave the profession after a short stint. I remember reaching home after midnight on my first day of work because I had to accompany my seniors to attend a council meeting and thereafter to supper. I gained an appreciation on the value of good property management. I acquired a broad range of skills, ranging from setting budget, conducting meetings, writing reports, managing time, handling complaints, to solving pressing problems on the ground. The exposure also cultivated in me the ability to listen, to communicate, and to relate to people of various backgrounds. As highlighted in the book, a strata manager is one who wears many hats. You need to be passionate, adaptable and tenacious to be successful in this industry.
I find this book very interesting and informative. It starts with a comprehensive review of legislations related to strata management in Singapore and the roles of a strata manager and a Management Corporation (MC). The subsequent chapters deal with practical issues faced by strata managers such as handing/taking over, dealing with clients, developers and vendors, SOPs for administrative matters, managing finance, and conducting meetings. The contents are backed-up with interesting case studies and sound advice. The book ends with a discourse on how the strata management profession and industry can progress further.
I would recommend A Practical to Strata Management in Singapore to developers, residents and council members of strata developments as a guide that you would want to refer to frequently. This book is a gem to strata managers as it contains many practical tips and insights from a guru in strata management who has walked the talk.
Professor Joseph Ooi
President, International Real Estate Society
Vice-Dean (Academic), School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore