Karina Heinz - Biography

I was born in Grafton (northern NSW) where I lived with my family until I left in 1985. I relocated to Sydney in my early 20’s to work with a church group (Teen Challenge) helping to detox drug addicts and other youth struggling with issues and assisting them with getting their lives back on track. It was an eye-opening experience, so very different from the life I had left in Grafton. This period strengthened and affirmed the values I was raised with, for which I am always thankful.

A few years later, I began my career in strata. I worked for several companies, which allowed me to gain a very good understanding of what clients wanted in service offering. I tried to achieve this wherever I worked. but of course, this was difficult because of the way those firms were set up and their culture and team structure.

It made me realise that the only way I could offer the very high standard of customer service that clients craved was to go out on my own. I started Progressive Strata Services in 1999 and have never looked back.

Throughout the years, my upbringing has stood me in very good stead. I am uncompromising in my honesty and do not shy away from challenges or hard work.

Most importantly, I have been true to myself by providing the customer experience that drove me to start PSS all those years ago.

Three decades on, I have only grown in my passion for strata management. I am an active member of our industry association, serving on various committees and education panels. In 2019, I was contracted (via an independent company) to lecture to students studying for their strata managers license.

It made me realise that the only way I could offer the very high standard of customer service that clients craved was to go out on my own. I started Progressive Strata Services in 1999 and have never looked back.

I enjoy reading the various key cases that are helping to re-define the legislation. Strata is such a fascinating and evolving field and I believe it is important to continually be abreast of all the latest changes.

Awards and achievements

Recently, I prepared two papers regarding how to solve the construction issues in new strata buildings. These were part of our strata industry association’s submission to Mr Chandler, the new Building Commissioner who is charged with resolving the very serious and numerous defects being found in new home units.

In 2016, I spoke on ABC radio regarding the changes to strata legislation and served on two Owners Day panels for the Strata Community Australia (NSW) conference.

I have also worked with various dysfunctional schemes, helping them resolve some long-standing issues by becoming their compulsory manager – appointed by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

My team and I were proud to work with Strata Plan 80117, whom we nominated and subsequently went on to win the SCA (NSW) “Community Award for Excellence”.

Another wonderful recognition was to be a finalist in “Strata Manager of the Year – Small Business” – SCA (NSW) – our industry body and a finalist for “Best and Brightest Waverley Council Awards”.

These highlights are only part of the proof that Progressive Strata are on the right path to achieve my goal of providing exceptional strata management service to our clients.

We are also growing, which stems from the support we receive from our clients who have been with us for many years and who provide us with referrals, references and act as referees.

What drives me now

I am keen to help anyone who is struggling within the strata domain. Whether this is an individual owner or the committee who do not know or understand the complex legal rules we now must live and abide by. I also enjoy assisting colleagues who are looking to grow and improve themselves professionally in the strata management field.

I am determined to help minimise global impacts via sustainable building options, ensuring renovations to old buildings are more energy efficient therefore reducing their carbon footprint. The challenge is to do this whilst also managing the budget and obtaining cost benefits along the way, ensuring short and long-term financial solutions that meet the needs of each group of owners.

Whilst I have achieved so much since starting out in 1999, I continue to want to find new and innovative ways to improve strata owners lives and financial outcomes and it is this that drives me every day!