Better Apartment Management conference covered different aspects of managing Apartments more efficiently and offered tips for Managing Committees
Managing Apartment Complexes is a tough job – Managing them efficiently is even tougher. Significant part of the problem lies in the fact that the people who manage the apartment complexes are volunteers with no formal background in dealing issues surrounding the apartment management.
Better Apartment Management Conference conducted on November 15th 2014 by ApnaComplex was aimed to bridge this knowledge gap for Managing Committees. We have brought together experienced folks from various apartment complexes who have been there, done that to share with rest of the audience the secrets of managing apartments in a better way.
Representatives from various associations, facility management firms, even property developers have attended the conference and every one has some learning to take away at the end of the event.
- 7 Habits of Effective Committees – By Raja Sekhar, Co-founder at ApnaComplex.com
- How to Select a FM Agency – Prashanth, Committee Member at Concorde Manhattans
- Best Practices in Apartment Management, Rohit Talukdar and Ipsita Bose, Committee Members at Alpine Eco Apartments – a 810 flat complex
- Best Practices in Apartment Management, Shubho Banerjee – Core committee member at L&T South City – a 1998 flat complex
- Key Metrics to monitor in Apartment Management – Satish Rajendran, Director at Cushman & Wakefield
- Apartment Social Responsibility – Meera K, Co-founder at Citizen Matters
- Panel Discussion – Time Permitting
7 Habits of Highly Effective Managing Committees
Rajs, Co-founder at ApnaComplex welcomed the audience. Rajs, being part of managing committee in several capacities for 5 years and have personally been part of several hundred committee meetings of various apartments, spoke about “7 Habits of Highly Effectively Managing Committees” which all the managing committee members in the audience could relate to and benefit. The presentation covered Seven Habits that a Managing Committee could follow in order to effectively manage their Apartment Complex.
The presentation covered on various topics like working as a team, importance of listening to members, transparency, not resigning for minor issues, responding with facts with no emotions, including every one, not clinging on to the committee posts and so on. This was very well received by the audience with lively interactions.
Selecting an Facility Management Agency – Concorde Manhattans
This was followed by an idea rich presentation by Prashant M, Committee Member from Concorde Manhattan on ‘Contracting/ Outsourcing Process to FM Vendors’ covering
- Preparedness prior to handover date
- Track record
- Transition phase
- Critical points for selection:
- Staff expertise
- Checklist and reports
- Clarity of scope
He closed and stressed on the points
- Selecting a firm marks the starting point in facility services.
- Periodic checks on performance are a must to ensure resident satisfaction.
Concorde Manhattans is a 1200 flat apartment complex and has been using ApnaComplex portal for one and half years. It was time for a short tea/coffee break to buck up the energy levels of participants.
Best Practices in Managing Apartment Complex – Alpine Eco
Immediately after the break was followed by an energetic presentation from Mr. Rohit Talukdar and Ms. Ipsita Bose committee members of Alpine Eco Apartments, on “Best Practices in Apartment Management”. Alpine Eco is complex with 800+ apartments located on Outer Ring Road. Alpine Eco has been using ApnaComplex.com for 3+ years. Rohit and Ipsita shared their best practices implemented at Alpine Eco managing the apartment complex and making life better for all the residents.
They shared few Thumb Rules along with examples which has helped them in Better Apartment Management:
- Don’t be afraid to use the right tool for the right task
- Train your staff. Then rely on them.
- Cheaper ain’t better
- A tool is only as good as the committee that’s using it. Most people dismiss tools before using it.
- Prefer people in your team who say “I will” as against people who say “We should…We could….Do it”
The presentation also included how ApnaComplex portal is playing a role in managing the apartment better.
Best Practices in Managing Apartment Complex – L&T South City
Then came Mr Subhranshu Banerjee, Co-founding Member, South City Group Housing Apartment Owners’ Association who gave insights and experience on managing ~2000 apartments and covering the following challenges.
- Cash flow (no corpus), big ticket capital expenses & maintenance collection
- Residents info. & info. dissemination
- Complaint handling
- Safety & Security – ID, parking discipline
- Waste recycling & disposal
- Water – quantity & quality
- Lift & DG up-time, breakdown handling
- Common Area Electricity Bill
- Fire safety & evacuation during emergency
Shubho also mentioned how ApnaComplex portal is helping in managing the apartment better. The Q&A session did not stop for a long time post this presentation and we had to request the audience to take further questions later.
Approach to Managing Large Residential Properties – Cushman & Wakefield
Mr Sathish Rajendran, Associate Director, Cushman & Wakefield took up the charge of sharing knowledge on “Key Metrics / Approach to Managing Large Residential Properties” and touched upon how life styles have evolved for humans and the expectations of residents living in Large Apartment Complexes at present. Sathish touched upon the key concept of quality of life in an apartment vs cost of maintenance and suggested some basic guidelines for management:
- Maintain day-to-day operations
- Supervision of staff
- Study local laws, regulations and bye-laws
- Communication with residents / MC / service partners
- Cost Optimization
Sathish stressed on how all of PEOPLE, PROCESS, TECHNOLOGY, and MEASUREMENTS should work in tandem to achieve Better Apartment Management.
Apartment Social Responsibility – Citizen Matters
The last presentation was on the topic “Apartment Social Responsibility” – a phrase coined by Raja Sekhar, Co-founder of ApnaComplex. “Apartment Social Responsibility” is coined from Corporate Social Responsibility phrase and refers to collective responsibility of people residing in Apartments towards the neighbourhood outside their “gated” community. This topic was aptly covered by Ms Meera K, Co-founder, Citizen Matters who nudged the audience pick up the responsibility of doing more to make the neighbourhoods and city much better place. Meera shared case studies on Kasa Muktha Bangalore on how few citizens coming out of the comfort of their apartments are making a difference to the city, and about few special interest groups working on Lake Rejuvenation across several lakes and making city a better place to live. She urged the audience to actively participate in various ward committees, liaison with authorities to improve things like roads, traffic and other aspects.
With all these running in everyone’s mind all the participants were interacting amongst themselves and with the speakers at the networking lunch. We asked for feedback on the event and every one gave thumbs up to Team ApnaComplex for organizing one of its kind event and wanted more such events that will help managing committees. All of them felt they had few takeaways which they could consider implementing in their apartment to manage it better – now that’s what is Better Apartment Management conference is all about!
We have also captured the videos of all the sessions and feedback on the session which will be shared soon on our YouTube page.
The entire team of ApnaComplex thanks the speakers for their time and knowledge sharing and we look forward for more such support in the near future.