Many stratas have been struggling with expanding budgets (we post about how they change each year) all at a time when some owners are worried about increases thanks to pandemic disruptions to their incomes. As a result, we have listed some of the ways that strata communities can earn extra money:
1. Cell tower
While not to everyone’s taste, allowing a cell tower can add hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars per month towards your strata’s budget. Development permit applications are likely requried, as is a vote of owners, and of course you would only do this if there was demand. Your strata’s tax status can also be impacted, so discuss this with your accounting and legal professionals.
2. Unused storage/parking/guest suite
If there are surplus empty storage facilities, parking spots or an underutilized guest suite owned by the strata, they can be leased out to earn some additional revenue. In a prime location, each may be worth hundreds to thousands of dollars per month. Of course you don’t want to give up your visitor parking, but it’s possible you add a paid element if that is not already in place.
3. Rent out garden plots
By chance, if you have the luxury of space for garden plots, this can be a great way to engage the community and earn some extra cash for your strata. Depending on your residents’ interest this can be hugely popular. Some communities have a long wait-list for their plots!
4. Advertising in newsletter
Communities that publish a monthly or quarterly newsletter can sell ad space to local businesses. Some candidates may be the local coffee shop, florist, realtor, daycare provider, telecom or insurance company, or retail outlet. Obviously this is a very targeted release, worth more to the advertiser if the number of units in your community is high.
5. Invite vendors for a fee
It could be a food truck, a local deli/bakery, an artist or studio pop-up, or even an insurance agent. If you hold an event or permit a vendor to sell to your community, they may be prepared to pay for the privelege.
6. Amenity fees
While it can be controvertial, there is a rational case to be made for implementing a ‘pay for what you use’ model on amenities. Having those who utilize them cover some of the costs of providing a pool, gym, or amenity room can help.
If nothing else, in a battle over the budget your community can look hard at ways to cut costs. For example, landscaping is a huge part of many communities’ annual expenditure. Perhaps your strata could offset some of that. Some residents that enjoy gardening may volunteer to keep their home looking great – and costs down. In other cases, a committee could plan to rotate to low-maintenance vegetation which will help in the long run.
Have other ideas on ways strata communities can make extra money? Ping us on social media (links at bottom of the page).
At Eli Report, we help owners and buyers in multi-family communities to understand what matters. Curious about your strata? See how you stack up against other stratas of a similar type and age. Ask your property manager or sign up and run a free Eli Report.