Category: Apartment Management Software

Pitfalls of Cash Transactions in an Apartment Complex

Maintenance collection is a task that recurs every month. Committee members need to ensure that each unit in the apartment complex pays what is due and is done so in a timely manner. This is a long undertaking in itself. However, in many cases, these transactions are made in cash. While this is convenient in many cases and helps clear any immediate payments that need to be made, cash transactions come with a few pitfalls that are not easy to ignore.

Inefficiency
The time of maintenance payment sees a lot of activity within an apartment complex. Often, the committee members have to knock on individual doors to collect the dues. In other cases, the residents flock to the committee office to make the payments. Payments also need to be eventually collected and recorded from the defaulters. This takes up a lot of time from the committee member’s schedule.

Safety concerns
One of the main concerns with cash transactions is safety. When there are multiple units within an apartment complex, the amount of cash that is exchanged is a considerable sum. This opens up the possibility of misplacing or miscounting the amount. It also makes it open to theft. Further, the cash collected needs to be physically deposited in a bank. Driving around the streets with a large amount of cash can even put you at risk.

Inaccuracy
With an influx of cash payments, it falls on the committee members to ensure that the amount is recorded and reconciled. In an absence of an automated system, it has to be done manually. This leaves room for human error. The issue further extends even to cheque payments. In case of a bounced cheque, bookkeeping becomes long and tedious and prone to errors.

With tools like ApnaComplex, maintenance collections can be made almost effortless. It also sends out reminders for payments and draws out a defaulters list. ApnaComplex also offers a one of a kind and convenient Collection Gateway where members can do a NEFT/IMPS transfer of their maintenance dues to a unique “Account Number” issued by ApnaComplex. With Collection Gateway, ledgers are updated automatically with details of the amount transferred by the member and payment receipts are issued automatically. This eliminates the need for cash transactions and manual effort by the treasurer or accounts office. Going cashless has never been easier!


ApnaComplex and the end of door-to-door collections!

At the end of a working week, all everybody wants to do is relax and spend some time with family. However, every month there is one event that can get in the way of doing that: maintenance collection. A few years back, the vicious cycle of payment dues billing, reminders and door-to-door maintenance collections kept most of the apartment management associations on their toes. Add the issues of defaulters and manual bookkeeping, and the weekends could easily get as busy as the rest of the week.

Thanks to technology, the days when apartment management associations were reaching out to residents on a one-to-one basis to collect maintenance are long gone. Management associations now use sophisticated apartment management software, like ApnaComplex, to simplify their maintenance collection process to an extent of a single mouse click!

How has ApnaComplex helped the management associations in timely collections?

1. A timely reminder for payments:
Instead of sending reminders to each and every resident one by one,  the apartment management software empowers the management association to now send automatic reminders to all residents at one go via email/SMS. Residents don’t mean to default on maintenance payments, it’s their hectic schedules and absence of a timely reminder mechanism that makes them miss out on submitting the maintenance charges on time. A reminder system reduces the default rate up to a great extent.


2. Ease of paying maintenance charges:
The
ApnaComplex App comes with a collection gateway that automates monthly maintenance payments. This eases the residents from the whole ordeal of coming to the society office just to drop a cheque or pay in cash.

3. Saves Reconciliation Efforts:
Manually recording the amount received from the residents and reconciling all the payments can be quite a long process. With the advent of powerful tools like
ApnaComplex, the entire reconciliation is taken care by the App.  

4. Filter the list of defaulters:
The apartment management software enables the management association to filter the list of defaulters. The entire process gets automated and a list of residents whose maintenance payments are due can be easily drawn out along with the penalty to be charged from them. Emails/SMS to be sent out to defaulters is also automated through the software reducing the manual work up to a great extent.

One of the misconceptions was that apartment management solutions are very costly. In many cases, this misconception was cleared, when a lot of apartments started using ApnaComplex, a cost-effective subscription-based leading apartment management software with zero hardware costs and an ongoing support. The cost of the software is directly proportional to the number of units an apartment has, making it more economical than ever for the apartment management associations.


Improve your Apartment Security this Navratri

It’s that time of the year! For the next nine nights, most Apartment Complexes will be full of lights, colourful outfits and catchy beats that nobody can resist: it’s Navratri! Most people come out of their houses to participate in the Garba and Dandiya that’s held within the complex. Naturally, there are visitors from outside your immediate community who come to enjoy the festivities. So, during the Navratri festival, security measures need to be tightened in every housing society for internal safety.

Security Measures To Be Taken Before Navratri

Some common security measures need to be enforced during Navratri as a general resident movement with the housing society will be at an all-time high during this nine-day festival. A few security measures that can be taken up are:

  • Prior to the commencement of the Navratri festival, a complete identity check of all guards should be conducted.
  • A photograph of those working within the housing society should be recorded and kept handy.
  • Record the entry of every visitor along with the name of the people they are visiting.
  • Allow any visitor only after verifying with residents.
  • Cars allowed inside the gate should be given a parking sticker to be displayed the whole time it is within the complex.
  • Install CCTV cameras to monitor the entire complex thoroughly.
  • The names of all the caterers, technicians and entertainers hired for the event should be recorded and their identity, verified.

This dance event commences in the night and continues till the wee hours of the morning, so it is all the more necessary to provide proper security during this festival. ApnaComplex can help you ease your security concerns. With products like Gatekeeper and Vehicle Sentry at your disposal, you can make security during this Navratri easy and efficient.


3 Easy Steps to start using ApnaComplex Gatekeeper

With gated societies becoming the new norm for community living, security at the gates is of utmost importance. While security cameras and pen-and-paper visitor logs have always been a go-to solution, they often fall short in tracking the traffic in and out of the gate.

Why ApnaComplex Gatekeeper?

Gatekeeper by ApnaComplex is a proven technological solution to the security needs in your Apartment Complex. Not only is it convenient, but it also provides the best value-for-money. Gatekeeper is part of the integrated ApnaComplex mobile App that also provides other apartment management solutions. It is a complete package for all your apartment management needs.

Gatekeeper tackles several security concerns that may arise in a gated community. A simple mobile application will allow you to track visitors, delivery agents, domestic staff and even your vehicle. Gatekeeper provides not just app-based security but is also easy to integrate with hardware installations like RFID or Biometric devices. We also have a unique feature that provides real-time notification when your child’s school bus is at the gate!

What is more, at ApnaComplex, we take Data Privacy very seriously. Your information is saved on our database with several layers of security. Access to this data is unavailable to anybody without your express permission.

How to join ApnaComplex Gatekeeper?

You can join ApnaComplex in three easy steps:

1) Create an online portal.
If you are a member of the management committee, all you have to do is fill out the form. We have a step-by-step guide to get you through the verification process.

2) Provide details
Log in and enter the details about your complex like the number of blocks, apartments and residents. Gatekeeper is now at your service! We also provide a free demo on demand to familiarize you with the app.

3) Download the app
Download the Gatekeeper app for your security staff and start using it. Gatekeeper is also available in regional languages like Marathi, Hindi and Tamil. Language is no longer a problem!

It is that simple! Security for you and your family made hassle-free. You can now manage your entire apartment complex with just a smartphone! ApnaComplex is available on both Android and IOS.


Dos and Don’ts of Road Maintenance within your Society Gate

Roads are absolutely necessary for every apartment complex. They are used for easy commuting and also add an element of beauty to the society. But all of it becomes null if the roads are damaged or unusable. It is important to keep the roads in top condition so as to not hamper the daily life within your gates.

What is the need for maintenance?

Roads that are in regular use often end up riddled with potholes and wear-and-tear. This can be avoided if they are subjected to regular maintenance. Not only is it more cost efficient, but well-maintained roads also increase the property value of the entire complex.

In order to ensure that the roads are properly maintained, take up the issue with the apartment association during resident body meetings. While residents can take small steps in order to contribute, the apartment association can get the maintenance team to do the difficult tasks.

What are the types of problems?

1) Cracks: Cracks may form on the surface either due to repeated use or due to environmental degradation. Fatigue cracks occur due to the added effects of wheel loads. Environmental cracking develops in asphalt as it ages and is subjected to everyday temperature changes. These cracks are very small when compared to fatigue cracks  Water and dirt should be prevented from entering cracks as they might grow worse this way.

2) Surface Wear: Wear on the surface mainly occurs due to tire wear and material degradation (ravelling). Its maintenance includes removing the surface and/or covering up the surface which is worn. Surface treatment depends on the severity of the surface wear.

3) Rutting: This signifies permanent degradation in the layers of the road. This can happen if the structure design is improper or if the roads are overloaded. It can also happen if the surface layer is of poor quality.

4) Potholes: Pits or holes produced by wear or weathering on the road surfaces can be fixed through surface treatments.

What are the maintenance measures?

The roads in an apartment complex undergo a lot of destructive changes. The apartment association will have to take on different approaches based on the problem involved. Firstly,  residents should be constantly updated about the need to maintain roads by the apartment association. Littering on roads should be strictly prohibited and waste bins should be provided for this purpose. Stagnant bodies of water should be immediately cleared, especially after rain and the roads should be swept regularly by the maintenance crew.

Crack sealing is a process that’s followed in order to maintain roads and surface treatment can be done in order to prolong the life of the particular road. This treatment measures should be taken up by professionals, who can be hired by the apartment association.

A lot of factors affect the type of maintenance undertaken within the housing complex. These include the type of distress, vehicle loading, the general climate in the region, the cost of treatment; the roads expected life, the existing road type, and availability of good materials.

Residents can help maintain the quality of roads within the apartment complex by giving regular feedback on their defects to the management as well as bearing with the inconvenience caused during the repair of the roads.

Thankfully technology can add a touch of convenience while undertaking this task. ApnaComplex provides an integrated society management solution that can help you easily communicate with your fellow residents. Residents can use the Helpdesk feature to notify the committee of any defects that may need attention. On the other hand, committee members can use the ApnaComplex forums to raise notices that can be sent out to all the residents to keep them well-informed of the progress.


ApnaComplex Gatekeeper now available in Hindi, Tamil, and Marathi!

Right at this very moment, as you read this post, there are thousands of security guards across India using ApnaComplex Gatekeeper to keep the gates of their respective apartment complexes secure. This new update is for all the security staff members!

We are extremely proud to release ApnaComplex Gatekeeper in Hindi, Tamil, and Marathi (in addition to English). Security staff can now switch to their preferred language at any point.

With the app being available in multiple languages, we aim to make the life of security guards a little easier. We hope that it makes the use of ApnaComplex Gatekeeper effortless and user-friendly with a language they are more familiar with.

Made in India, Made for India!


Featured Society: Purva Highland

Just off Nice Road, in Mallasandra, lies one of Bangalore’s well-known high rise apartments – Purva Highland. Perched on a hillock, this apartment complex boasts breathtaking views and a list of luxuries for both, body and mind. This society has 13 towers, each 20 stories high and a one-of-a-kind 3-tiered pool.

The apartment complex stretches over a huge plot of land and hosts more than a 1500 flats. This society provides a number of amenities and luxuries – a tennis court, a basketball court, a three-tier swimming pool, a medical store, a cafeteria, a supermarket, are just a few of the many, that are housed inside the gates of this society. Couples, children, bachelors, elderly, this community has a bit of everything. With so many people living in one place, using all these facilities, naturally, the managing committee has its work cut out.

Managing an apartment complex is just like managing a mini-city

So how does the committee manage everything? According to Mr. Ravi Shripathi, Secretary, the managing committee was founded in 2015. “There are three principal office bearers president, secretary, treasurer. Apart from this, there are nine blocks in the complex. Each block has its own Vice President. Besides this, we have many sub-committees like the Green Committee, Library Committee, Sports Committee, Evacuation Committee, and more, who work closely with our office bearers.”

All these committees comprise of volunteers who have decided to work in their free time towards making their communities run smoothly. But it is easier said than done. A big apartment complex is like a mini-city. And like any mini-city, there are problems that keep cropping up, decisions that have to be made, plans that have to be executed. This requires time from each committee member which, sometimes,  is more than they can spare.

Using ApnaComplex as a force multiplier

This is where newer technologies come to the rescue of managing committees. Being a fully integrated apartment management platform, ApnaComplex uses technology to reduce the workload of both residents and managing committee members.

Take billing, collections and accounting as an example. According to the Estate Manager, Mr. Shaman Joshi, “Previously, we had to rely on accountants who came in. I had no control over it at all. I was completely dependent on the accountant. Now, using the ApnaComplex App, I can generate our invoices myself. There is no more dependency.

When asked how this has made things easier he replied,Everything is faster and more convenient now. Earlier we had a big ledger we had to go through to list out all our defaulters for the month. Now it is no longer manual. The app automatically generates a defaulter list that we just need to send.

Or security, another big challenge for the size of a community like Purva Highland.As just a resident, I thought of ApnaComplex as just an accounting software,says Mr. Shripathi,Now as a Secretary, I saw all the other options available. We have been using ApnaComplex Gatekeeper for almost a month now. The response has been positive. We are planning on introducing biometrics soon.

ApnaComplex Gatekeeper @ Purva Highland, Bangalore

When asked what the ultimate goal of this was, he replied, “We have tons of manual registers that have been maintained over the years. Eventually, I want to get rid of it all and move to a strictly electronic records.”

From a library to a health spa, Purva Highland has a little bit for everyone. This society and its committee strive to make its residents happy, comfortable and safe. ApnaComplex commends the committee on their work and hopes our service continues to aid them.

Gym in Purva HighlandGym

Indoor Games @ Purva HighlandIndoor Games

Tennis Courts @ Purva HighlandTennis Court

Children @ Play @ Purva Highland Children at Play

Library @ Purva HighlandLibrary

Squash Court  @ Purva HighlandSquash Court

 


ApnaComplex: The 3 Ways To Manage Your Staff

Have you checked out our Staff Management Features yet?

Do you remember the 90s classic, “Chachi 420?” This movie about a nanny in disguise tickled everybody’s funny bone. But in real life, wouldn’t this situation be a tad alarming?

Almost every Indian household employs a household staff. Their presence is a part of our daily routine. The day they fail to show up, is the day, the entire household often screeches to a standstill. Now wouldn’t it be easier if we could track the attendance of our staff on a day-to-day basis?

ApnaComplex offers a unique and detailed feature to enable you to do just that! With our Staff Management Feature, you can track and maintain a log of the staff employed in your apartment complex.

The Staff in a Gated Community

Most societies have three categories of staff members employed within its gates.

  1. Domestic Staff: These are the staff members employed by the families, like, maids, cooks, drivers, and so on.
  1. Maintenance Staff: These are the staff members employed by the community like security staff, landscapers, plumbers, etc.
  1. Temporary Staff: This is the staff that is hired for a temporary period like carpenters or painters.

With so many people employed in one location, the movement in and out of the main gate poses a significant security concern. How do you know who has come in, and who has already left? This is where we can assist you.

Three Ways to Verify Attendance

In the current market, there are many apps that allow you to track staff attendance. While any of them can provide the basics, The ApnaComplex Staff Management Feature offers you a little bit more! With our fully integrated systems, residents receive an instant notification on their ApnaComplex app the minute a member of their household staff enters or exits the society gate. We offer you three ways to do this-

  1. By a picture

When the member of the staff is entering your society, the security guard can use this feature to click a picture. This enables the resident to know that their employee has entered the society complex and will report for duty soon. If the staff is hired in multiple households, the notification will be sent to each of one. This allows you to maintain an attendance log. This is especially beneficial if your employee is on a payroll.

  1. By RFID

This is a step-up from merely clicking a picture. Every member of the staff is issued an RFID card. A reader is installed at the main gate. When the member of the staff enters the gate, they are directed to scan their IDs. What is more, limited-period access can be given to staff hired for a temporary job. The resident can specify the duration for which the employee is permitted within the campus. When the validity expires, that staff member is debarred from entering the gate.

  1. By Biometrics

This is a foolproof security system. If you opt for biometrics, we provide you with a fingerprint reader or facial recognition software that is fully integrated with your ApnaComplex app. This enables the app to send you an instant notification when the staff member scans their finger at the gate.

Attendance vs Authentication

While pictures and RFID allow you to track attendance, they have their own drawbacks. Picture verification can help you create a log and track attendance. Incase of a security breach this log can help in an investigation. However, this is not a foolproof security system. The same applies to RFIDs. If the IDs exchange hands, security can take a serious hit. To make your apartment complex truly secure ApnaComplex recommends Biometrics. This system makes it impossible for a person to impersonate someone else. This means no more Chachi 420 moments in your society! Employers know exactly who is in, and who is out.

Bonus:

The ApnaComplex app allows you to create a database of staff members employed throughout your society. This database can be fed by both residents, as well as the security guard. This feature also provides a rating system for your staff. So if there are any other residents searching for new employees, they can skim through the existing database of staff employed within the same society. They can then hire a person based on their rating.

The life of an Indian household typically revolves around the household staff. The schedule of the entire family is built around their comings and goings. So allow us to make it a little easier!

Check out our Staff Management features here: https://www.apnacomplex.com/gatekeeper 

 


Announcing “School Bus @ Gate” on ApnaComplex to enhance Security in Apartment Complexes

We are excited to announce “School Bus @ Gate” – an innovative capability on ApnaComplex to enhance Convenience, Safety and Security at your Apartment Complex / Gated Community.

The life of the parents of a school-going child typically revolves around school bus timings. Parents always want to be aware of when their child’s school bus arrived for pick up in the mornings and dropped the child at Apartment Gate.

With “School Bus @ Gate” functionality, we assist parents of school-going children residing in the Apartment Complex with instant notifications when the school bus comes to the gate! This offers unparalleled convenience to the parents as they would know if the bus has arrived before the child has reached the gate and when the child was dropped at the gate.

On the ApnaComplex App, under the My Unit tab, you can associate yourselves with the School Bus by which your child is commuting. If your child’s school bus or the route is not listed – just go ahead and add a new school bus on the App. You can also add multiple buses for each school if needed. Parents of other kids going via the same school bus can associate themselves with the school bus. Whenever the bus comes to the gate to pick up or drop, all the residents associated with that bus would get a push notification on their mobiles. Super convenient!

Residents can not only check the history of bus timings for any bus – but also quickly get to know other residents – who have children going on the same bus route.

All School bus routes that were created will automatically show up on Gatekeeper app that the security at your gate uses. Security Guard at the Apartment Main Gate records the movement of the school bus on the Gatekeeper which then gets synced with the ApnaComplex cloud platform, which in turn sends notifications.

This capability is getting rolled out in a phased manner on both Android and iOS platforms and should be available to everyone in 2-3 days,

Yet again, ApnaComplex raises the bar with innovative features that really matter!


Announcing Gatepass : Track Material being carried out by Vendors, Service Staff and Visitors

We are excited to announce “Gatepass” a new capability to make your Apartment more secure.

Gatepass allows you to ensure records are maintained for material moving out of your flat or from your society.

Gatepass is fully integrated with Asset Management and Gatekeeper modules of ApnaComplex making it the most comprehensive solution to track Material Movement from individual flats as well as from Society’s common areas.

From ApnaComplex App:

  1. Maintenance office can create Gatepass for Assets going out of the campus. For example, Gatepass can be issued by Estate Manager against a motor pump being given out to a vendor for Repair, Gym Equipment given out for Service. Gatepass has to be tagged against the Visitor
  2. Residents can create Gatepass for material being issued to Visitors. For example, Gatepass can be issued against a delivery personnel of Amazon to pickup an item to be returned.
  3. Residents can create Gatepass for material being issued to Domestic Staff. For example, Gatepass can be issued against the housemaid to carry out news papers.

At the time of issuance, one can take pictures of the material against which Gatepass is being issued.

The Gatepasses issued by Residents or by Maintenance Staff will automatically be visible to Security Staff on the Gatekeeper. At the exit gate, Security can look up the Gatepass issued against the Visitor / Service Staff, check the material being taken out and mark the Gatepass as used.

Benefits of using Gatepass can be felt immediately. More often than not there are no proper records for Society’s assets (such as Motor Pumps, Gym Equipment etc.) that go out of the campus for repair/service. Similarly residents need not issue paper slips and keep calling security to allow material given to their domestic staff.

Ensure you have latest versions of the Android and iOS Apps and go to My Unit tab on the app to issue Gatepass. Ensure security has the latest version of Gatekeeper to be able to view and use the Gatepasses.