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Welcome to our exclusive column by Chris Irons, Dear Strata Solve, untangling your strata problems.

Volume 7

Dear Strata Solve

I want to be chairperson of our body corporate. I admit it, I want the power and responsibility! Is that so wrong? And really what I want is to make sure things are done properly. Thing is, other people want to be chairperson too. So how do I now ensure I get the role? Do I go out and start kissing babies on the campaign trail?

Political in Parkinson

Dear Political

Before you start harassing parents and their babies, you need to know how the numbers are. Strata and politics have several things in common, the main one being that it ultimately comes down to who has the numbers to get their outcome. Yes, it is that clinical.

Let’s think of it this way. Your body corporate has 100 lots and a percentage of them will never both to vote or show up to an AGM. Those that do constitute the voters who will decide on things, including the composition of the committee. Those are the ‘numbers’ you need to have. Only you will know how many of them know you, or who would be predisposed to you – or just really dislike you.

If you think you have the numbers to win the day, that’s great. If you are not sure, then your task between now and vote is to get those numbers onside. Leaving it until the day of the vote is way too late: your work needs to focus on shoring things up beforehand.

It is perfectly fine to go out and lobby and campaign for the role. Exactly how you do that, though, is a far more nuanced process and each body corporate will be different in this regard. We know of some bodies corporate where voting for committee positions is a do-or-die affair. In other cases, campaigning will need to be a bit more reserved to reflect the type of voters you are seeking to attract. It is very much case by case.

We think the big question, before you kick off any lobbying, is this: are you certain of your motives for wanting the role? Your comment about ‘power and responsibility’ is perhaps telling. Taking on the role for its own sake will help no one, whereas ‘getting things done properly’ is a better way of looking at things. In a nutshell, if you want to be chairperson for a power trip – don’t!

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