Smarter Communities’ Victorian branch has taken out the prized Large Business Award in the 2023 Strata Community Association Victoria Pillar Awards for Excellence.
Victoria Body Corporate Services (VBCS) State Manager Lorraine Murray collected the Strata Community Management Large Business Award at the annual dinner and presentation on October 27.
She’s delighted by the award, which is voted on by a panel of strata industry peers. It’s the “ultimate proof” that what VBCS is doing is working, she says.
It places VBCS at the pinnacle of owners corporation management in the state, as an exemplar of industry best practice and innovation.
Smarter Communities CEO, Sunitha Alexander, said, “This win acknowledges the hard work and dedication of the entire VBCS team, especially our leaders — Di Butler, Niall Kenny, Amanda Tribe, Lorraine Murray, Dee Lavin, Melissa Cuzzupi, Clementina Dsouza, Veronica Gundi, Jared Jones, and Adrinell Rovillos.
“Navigating a transformation journey can be very challenging for leaders, but every one of them stepped up and led their teams to the other side. This award validates that we are on the right track and I’m very excited about the opportunities that are ahead for all of us.”
A transformative year
According to Lorraine, the transformation process began when VBCS identified a need to change the way the strata industry approaches management.
The company got “turned on its head’ in the process, Lorraine says.
“We knew it would create some pain points, but change always brings bumps in the road, and we navigated them the best we could,” she says.
“It’s never a perfect process, and we continue to learn and refine things as we go along. In more than a year of service transformation, we’ve rallied to overcome the challenges. This award confirms we were right to make the change.”
Best practice wins out
The company’s goal has always been to provide the best owners corporation service in Victoria.
The award recognises how far VBCS has come in achieving this. The process involved a complete overhaul of company structure, including the way community managers, clients and business operations teams work and interact.
“Our objective was uninterrupted service provision, putting technologies in place for complete transparency within the organisation,” Lorraine says.
“We also restructured our branches and portfolios, customising teams to suit the size and complexity of our properties.
“We’ve travelled a long way in a short time, and not without pain. That’s inevitable with change, and this was a major initiative.”
VBCS is dedicated to innovation, and it shows!
“New software has allowed us to be more responsive when we hit a bump. As the technology evolves, we continue to improve our responses, finding better ways to do things. With a dedicated innovation team, we are working on a number of exciting initiatives to go on improving the strata experience for our customers,” she says.
“From my perspective, the award gives the satisfaction of our work being recognised and validated by industry peers. From the team’s perspective, it’s a reward for their great input.
“I can tell them every day of the week they’re fantastic, and we place lots of emphasis on giving positive feedback. But it’s really amplified when you hear it externally!”