A Paddocks Sectional Title Lifestyle Blog
I am absolutely BLOWN AWAY!
Yesterday I was lucky enough to be given a demo by David Bugden and Leslie Leahy, from Mystrata, of their Sectional Title Management Software Strataware and MyCommunity which will be available in South Africa soon.
Now, I’ve seen and used my fair share of management software (don’t forget I’ve been a MA myself and managing Paddocks means people often knock on my door looking for endorsements, which you may have noticed we don’t give easily!), but after seeing the Mystrata software I want to get the word out that there is new software on the market that blows all other management software I’ve seen completely out of the water.
Why am I so impressed?
It’s Cloud based. Accessible anywhere on any device. Perfect for small start-up managing agencies that want to keep equipment costs down (no servers etc.). Perfect for managers who want to be able to work from home, at the office, at scheme meetings, anywhere – because work can be saved partially completed and then picked up where it was left off from a new location as long as there is internet connectivity.
It creates crazy efficiencies for managers. And I mean crazy! It uses clever merge functionality that allows you to send ‘global’ communication to all owners across your entire (or a selection of your) portfolio which will arrive in their inbox perfectly tailored for them as if you’d manually pulled all the relevant information specifically for them. For the owners that don’t use email as their primary mailing address, no worries – a PDF doc is ready and waiting to be printed and posted. Similarly, levy statements and arrears notices can be sent to your entire portfolio in a matter of seconds with the click of a button.
It’s clever. Whenever you create an email, letter, meeting document, levy invoice, pay a bill or do anything related to a certain building or unit, the Document Management System automatically saves a copy of the interaction or transaction to a building specific folder – so you don’t have to. Information entered into Meeting Agendas is automatically pulled through to Meeting Minutes. Wherever it is possible for the system to save you time or do something for you – it does it!
The accounting functionality is advanced (accrual and cash based accounting) but the financial reports it creates are simple and easy to understand. Set out simply with explanatory notes contained in attachments – managers can explain body corporate finances with ease and owners can actually understand them! It’s a miracle!!
The owners portal ‘MyCommunity‘ provides a sexy website for each building and can be likened to a combination of internet banking and Facebook. It provides a self-service platform for the owners to login and see their unit ledgers and levy statements at any time, to create and track maintenance and other requests of which the manager will be automatically and immediately notified and to interact with other owners and tenants on the community wall. The trustees and manager have additional administrator rights allowing them to control visibility of certain information, upload and view documents between board members, post events and promotions to the community wall as well as to allow third parties such as local businesses to advertise to the community which can result in an additional source of income for the manager and or the community. MyCommunity has the same ‘backend’ as Strataware, the mangement software, which means the financial and other information visible to owners through the MyCommunity portal is pulled directly from the management software.
I could go on and on but you must be getting tired of reading my glowing review by now!
But just seeing the software in action actually made me want to start a managing agency because I know that using this technology would provide a huge competitive advantage… However, that would definitely be outside the scope of Paddocks current products and services!!
What are your thoughts from what I’ve described of this software? I’d love to hear your feedback. Share by commenting below.
when will this be available in SA ?
Interesting you have the same address as the SA mystrata office. This is a cheap shot punt!
Thanks for your comment. Since this article was written, Jennifer Paddock bought into Mystrata SA and has since become their Managing Director for SA. Mystrata SA is the sister company of Paddocks.
Hi Jennifer, it would be great to have a software really tailored to an MA’s business processes and workflow. Been on my owners nerves for years to improve their business processes and the quality with more suitable tools. But hey the old school guys with their existing methods won’t change their ways easily and don’t think of their business as a number of cohesively well designed business processes which should be supported and executed with a better software. They think in departmental terms still and don’t see much wrong with it or with what they use. … Microsoft and man power are cheap in the MA sector but new software and the cost of change is expensive … I have worked as a consultant in business process management for some time in Vienna when business process management was taking off in the financial sector and health service sector there around 2001-2003 and saw what it took to convince the decision makers to first buy into business process thinking and redesigning them to eventually buy into supporting the execution of the processes with the right systems. It will be a tough sell for the guys. I think the older established MA sector in SA in a wider sense may not be ready for it yet.
Does this software provide graphs? For instance a graph of electricity metered per month for each unit. If a combined graph of, say, all 20 units is provided, it would be easy to see in which unit an excessive amount of electricity is used, and the owner could be warned – geyser is leaking, about to burst.
Hi Brenda, not at this point but a Utilities Billing module is being added to the system later this year which may well provide the information you’re after. If you’d like more info please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
The industry is trying to address many issues, the most important in my book is how to get rational decisions out of trustees who are not interested even when given the tools. It would be interesting to see how this “miracle ” could turn this around. I will certainly be taking a closer look.
Jeff Paine, Howick..
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Thanks for this. It’s been challenging to find the perfect software for complex management. We’ll have a good look at this solution.
It’s a pleasure Deon! It’s rare to come across such a powerful solution. You can request a demo on their website http://www.mystrata.com
We will certainly be going this route as soon as it is launched in RSA.
Hi Sean – I’m certain your business will benefit from that decision!
It sounds amazing!
Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom – let your email find you!
Thanks for your comment Gwen – it really is!