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  • Writer's pictureCarrie McInerney

March Newsletter

Updated: Apr 3, 2022

image of a woman in a white shirt and black suit with a caption including her name Susan and the words in loving memory
Vale Susan Murray (nee Palmer)

Susan Murray (nee Palmer) took the reins at Horner Management in 1994 and helped create our award-winning team, mentoring our CEO, Carrie McInerney. Many of our clients would have met and dealt with Susan while she ran the business and Strata portfolios between 1994 and 2006.

In November 2020, Susan was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. Susan, an amazingly strong woman, battled her cancer for over 12 months, but sadly, we lost her on the 28th of January 2022.

Our CEO shared her thoughts with our Facebook community shortly after Susan passed:

"Over the past 21 years, I've been trained and mentored in Strata Management by the wonderful Susan Palmer. Over these years, our relationship grew to more than just family friends, from employer/employee and then joint directors. I will never forget the opportunity Susan gave me, nor will I forget the training and skills she taught me in the business. I am so grateful that I spent these last 21 years getting to know Sue more. I will miss you deeply, Sue. xxxx"

All of us at Horner Management will miss Sue hugely, as we know our clients and contractors will.

Vale Sue.

Trade update: a long tool belt with lots of different tools

Trade Update

We wish to provide Owners with an update on current general maintenance turn-around times. The trades utilised by your corporation are contractors, and as such, work commencement dates and quoting response times are dictated by their in-house scheduling and the extent to which they have a backlog of work.

Recent feedback from our general builders is that there are significant delays. These delays are due to major weather events, such as last year's hailstorm and the recent flooding in the western suburbs. Combined with the accumulation of work builders are already experiencing due to Covid isolations and restrictions, there is now a considerable delay in getting jobs quoted and completed.

We have been advised that many quote requests for urgent works such as water damage cannot be booked in for an initial assessment for at least two weeks. Once work is given the go-ahead and is booked in, it may be up to 2- 3 months before work can commence. Some repair jobs we consider simple are taking up to 6-months to complete.

This means that quote requests for general wood-rot and preventative maintenance are not being attended to in a time frame that we at Horner Management and our clients expect, as builders are trying to prioritise jobs they believe are more urgent.

So how are we approaching this?

We are liaising closely with our regular contractors so that we have a good understanding of their current workload and turn-around times. We are doing this so that your quote requests and work orders are submitted to a trade best placed to respond in the shortest possible timeframe whilst also ensuring the most competitive price.

To further help expedite these processes, we would encourage owners at their next Annual General Meeting (AGM) to make firm commitments about budgeting and proceeding with future works before obtaining quotes. It is important not to over-utilise trades when there is no firm commitment from owners to proceed. At future AGMs, our staff will be recommending owners raise levies to cover the estimated costs of works before seeking quotes.

a tradesman working on the roof of a strata property

For many years, it has been common for corporations to seek quotes for wood-rot repairs, gutter replacement, or painting when they do not have any funds available. When quotes are received, owners are often surprised by the costs and decide to put the work off for another 12 months. This puts groups back at the end of the queue and wastes our contractors' time.

Having an active maintenance committee that is able to approve work orders with a realistic price limit on behalf of the owners of the corporation can help avoid delays in repairs and prolonged quoting timeframes.

We thank owners for their patience in awaiting quotes and scheduled maintenance. We also welcome trade referrals or owner submitted quotes as we all want to see your property reach its highest potential.


A woman with her laptop on her lap and a coffee in her hand, exploring the Horner Management new owner platform
SMATA – your new owner portal

Towards the end of last year, we rolled out the use of SMATA. SMATA is our internal web-based maintenance program which allows for increased efficiency in arranging and monitoring the maintenance of your corporation. Some owners may have already experienced SMATA notifications via email as a result of being a listed site contact or as a member of the maintenance committee.

Shortly, owners will be sent an invitation to access the SMATA portal.

Each corporation will have a building profile where owners can see details of active and completed maintenance requests, receive quotes to vote on or accept, and access documentation such as Strata and Community plans, by-laws, invoices, previous minutes, etc. The SMATA portal will replace the old Horner Management portal and is far more user friendly.

A man with a computer open in front of him on a desk gesturing with his hands as he explains something
Annual General Meetings

We are now well and truly into the swing of Annual General Meetings for 2022, so we want to remind everyone to review the location details on the Strata Vote meeting notice. Meetings are offered via teleconference, on-site at your properties or in our office. Teleconference meetings also include a video conference link.

In the case of Extra-Ordinary Meetings, most of these are held online, with the strata vote platform used to collect votes. You can vote on the meeting's agenda items at any time up until the start of the meeting, and you do not need to be physically present at these meetings.


Macquarie DEFT – Changes To Payments

Macquarie have advised us that they will no longer be accepting cash payments via DEFT at Australia Post outlets from Friday the 29th of April 2022. Australia Post outlets will continue to accept payments via cheque and Eftpos, and any payments made this way will be fee-free.

It's easy to make payments via DEFT Online, DEFT Phonepay or BPAY. If you require more information, please call the DEFT dedicated support line on 1800 672 162.

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