Category: Apartment Management

5 Tips for Effective Home Renovation

Renovating a house can be quite demanding in terms of money, time, and effort. There are a few common mistakes that most renovators make, that can prove very costly at the end of the day. Here is how you can avoid these mistakes.

1. Prepare Well

Plan well before you begin the project. Do a lot of research, read plenty of books, and talk to people who have already renovated their houses. You might end up spending hours chalking out the last detail of the plan, but it’ll be worth the time and effort. If you do not have the time or interest to get things done yourself, hiring a professional would be a smart choice.

2. Take accurate Measurements

One of the most basic home renovation tips is to make sure that you take accurate measurements. You spend a lot of money, time, and effort on a home renovation project. Invest in quality measuring tools in order to avoid mistakes that will make you hate your renovated house. Also, be serious about taking accurate measurements, as even small discrepancies can result in drastic changes in the final outcome.

3. Obtain Prerequisite Permissions

While interiors are free from legal scrutiny, huge external projects often require legal permission.  Be on the safe side and avoid unnecessary fines and legal fees by getting all the necessary permissions for the renovation plan. Do keep in mind that your house insurance will not cover damages or injury if you go ahead without required permissions.

4. Invest in Quality

Although it might be very tempting, cutting corners to save money may put your home and yourself at serious risk. High-quality materials are more durable, and hence more expensive. Save yourself the trouble and future expense of frequent repairs by going for good quality products.  The same applies to the labour, interior designer, or engineer you’ll be hiring. Go for the best that you can afford at the moment. If not, wait until you have enough funds.

5. Biting More Than You Can Chew

A common mistake that most renovators make is to plan big and go over the top in their home renovation efforts. Be realistic and factor in your finances, abilities, and resources. It might be a better idea to work on smaller sections than to renovate the entire house at once. Running out of cash, time or interest midway will only leave you with a poorly renovated house.

Make sure you follow these basic home renovation tips to avoid costly mistakes. The golden rule is to plan well and know what you are getting into before you pick up that hammer or paint brush.


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.


Garage Sales: An event for the entire community

Garage sales are usually a great way to foster community bonding. Neighbours can get together to set up stalls and buy and sell household clutter that may be handy to someone else. Setting up stalls in the common areas or basements is a fun way to spend a weekend together.

In India, household items are often used to their absolute demise, at the end of which they are completely unusable. So, naturally, garage sales are typically not quite as popular. But with festivals like Dussehra and Diwali around the corner, most families should be gearing up for a home makeover. Typically this involves repainting the walls, changing the upholstery and a good top to bottom cleaning. This is the perfect time to fish out items that are not in use.

Setting up a Stall

1) Pick out things you want to sell
Garage Sales are built on the premise that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Anything from clothes, books, unused furniture, utensils, is fair game. This clutter can usually be found under beds, inside storage units, out on the balcony, in the storeroom, or on the terrace. The general rule of thumb of cleaning is to pick out things that have not been used in about three years.

2) Price everything fairly
Based on the condition and years of use, slash the prices of every item by 50 to 75%. Put price tags on all the products. It would also help if you put down the original price next to the selling price. Check online stores to check the current prices of similar products.

3) Set up your wares
Your customers are more likely to buy your products if you make them look presentable. Make sure all your items are clean and dust-free. Set up tables and stools to place your products on. If you’re selling clothes, put them on hangers or fold them up neatly. Make sure everything is visible and ready for easy perusal. Keep a register or notepad handy to track your sales easily. Also, remember to keep plenty of change on hand. This makes transactions simpler.

Garage Sale as a community event

Garage Sales are a fun way to bring the entire society together. It can be turned into a community event by setting up a number of stalls and turning it into a temporary mini market. Not only can you sell old used products, but artists and chefs can set up stalls for their homemade masterpieces. Involve children into the mix and help them set up a mini-games stall. It can be a fun learning experience in entrepreneurship and quite frankly, practical maths.

Make it for a good cause

Many of us usually donate used items to charity or to the needy. However, quite often these items go unused even in the charity. There are either no takers for that particular item or the product is totally unusable. Monetary donations are a preferred option. So take the money raised in your sale, (in part or whole) and donate it to a good cause of your choice. Not only will your apartment complex have fun, but you could bring a smile to somebody in need.

With the season of goodwill just around the bend, why not give this a go? ApnaComplex provides the perfect tools to help you organize the Garage Sales. Conduct a survey to gather other interested people, create a separate group and start a new discussion. Collaboration has never been simpler!


Community Collaboration: The Communication Tools on ApnaComplex.

ApnaComplex has always tried its best to offer the best possible facilities and tools to its users. Communication gap has always been a problem in most of the apartments. There is a lack of an effective communication system among the committee members or between the apartment management committee members and residents. Understanding this gap, ApnaComplex offers various communication tools to its users for their convenience.

As an ApnaComplex member (whether you are part of the apartment management committee or not) you may need to do one of the following at some point in time:  

a) Communicate with all residents

b) Send out personal or one-to-one messages

c) Communicate with Administrator of your portal

d) Communicate with Committee

e) Communicate with Registered Owners

f) Communicate with sub-groups of residents

When you need to send a message across to an individual or a group in your residential complex, there are different communication options to choose from for different communication scenarios. Here is everything you can do with the Communication feature on your ApnaComplex App

1. Notice Board

The notice board is a foolproof way to get a message across to all or particular residents. The message can be sent through the App, or even by email or SMS. It also reaches numbers that are on DND. While sending out the notice you can even attach relevant files or documents.

2. Discussion Forum

The forums allow you to start or join in discussions with fellow residents. You can access all the past and ongoing discussions easily. However, if you choose, you can restrict access to certain discussions to a few residents like committee members. All your society-related discussions will be easily available in one place.

3. Surveys & Polls

You can create polls and surveys to take the opinions of the residents. The polls can be customised to be accessible to either certain residents or all of them. You can customise it further to make it multiple choice, rating system, and with an option to respond anonymously! It is all up to you.

4. Groups

You can even create groups or clubs within the society. Start a discussion board for your sub-committee (or even hobby clubs!)  with all the relevant documents and a complete mailing list. Connecting with your neighbours has never been easier!

5. Photo Gallery

Share photos and create albums within your community. Photos of your community events should now be easily available to all the residents easily.

6. Repository

Keep your important documents handy. Upload and share useful documents like bye-laws, dos and don’ts, lease agreements under tags and categories. Again, this too is customizable to who can view and access each of the documents.

7. Community Wiki

Create a hub for your society. Share information, publish articles and tips, collaborate with other residents and much, much more. allow all your residents to contribute to the same. Create a one-stop information centre for all things related to your society.

Here at ApnaComplex, we understand that a housing society is a close-knit community. What is a community without communication? As such, these tools are always at your disposal. Now you can know and collaborate with all your neighbours with ease!


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.


7 Easy Tips To Improve Your Home Office

Almost every home has an area designated as “the home office” or simply, “the study.” Often these areas double as storerooms. However, with the recent rise in usage of work-from-home (WFH) option, it has become extremely important to have a workspace that is comfortable and free from distractions.

So if you are looking to redo your study to enable productive WFH, here are 7 tips to help improve the space. Whether you’re working from home, or simply a student, we hope these tips help create a stress-free environment.

1) De-clutter your workspace

The first thing that needs to go is unnecessary clutter that you may have lying around. Your office space should follow the minimal style for interior decor. Anything that doesn’t directly contribute to your work needs to go. Also, remember to keep a dustbin next to your desk for all those balled up papers or pencil shavings.

2) Let the light in

Remember to keep your workspace well lit and ventilated. Whenever possible, let the daylight stream in.  However, if this is not an available option, make sure you have a bright table lamp.

3) Don’t compromise on comfort

If you spend a lot of time at your desk, uncomfortable furniture is a big no-no as this puts a lot of strain on your back muscles. Invest in a good chair which supports your back adequately. Supplement it with cushions and a footrest. When you’re sitting at the desk, make sure the height of the desk reaches your chest.  This will reduce the strain on your body.

4) Make it easy to track time

Make sure there is a clock that is easily visible from your seat. Not only will this help you manage your time, it also will remind you to take breaks while you work. According to psychology, it is important to take a short 5-10 minute break after every 40 minutes of continuous mental effort.

5) Get some greenery

Consider placing a potted plant nearby. Plants make a room look welcoming. They also have a mild detoxification effect on the room. Consider placing sweet-smelling herbs around the room. This can also help reduce stress.

6) Make it quiet

It may be a good idea to soundproof the room. Background noise, by common knowledge, hampers performance. So if you live in a very noisy neighbourhood, it may help to block it all out.

7) Put a dash of Colour Psychology  

Colours have a way of influencing our mind and body. For a study, always go for light, cool colours. These colours and soothing and stimulating to the brain. Hang up artwork that uses blues, greens and purples. As for the furniture, opt for light wood. This too helps to reduce stress.

A home office should ideally, help you feel relaxed and yet motivated to work. This space should also improve your efficiency rather than hamper it. We hope these tips help you do just that! Happy redecorating!

 


Ganesh Chaturthi: 5 Ways to Celebrate within your Apartment Complex

Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations are held in every housing society annually in order to honour the birth of Lord Ganesh. This festival encompasses a variety of cultural events that have deep-rooted religious meanings, which bring people together and enhance their sense of oneness.

You can make arrangements to celebrate the festival in your housing society, in order to bring together all residents. This can take an immense amount of time and effort since celebrations for Ganesh Chaturthi are very elaborate and done on a grand scale. Ensure that you bring up the idea during a resident meeting so that you can get help from other residents and delegate duties effectively.

Arrange for the Main Idol

Most housing societies usually arrange idols of Lord Ganesh to be placed in the common area. This is usually the crux of the celebration. The idol can be placed in a central location so that it is easily accessible to all residents within the society. Be wary of the direction the idol is meant to face.

Provide Localized Immersion Spots

Instead of having scores of people from the housing society immersing idols all over the city, the housing society management can organize a local area where the residents can collectively gather, celebrate and finish off the festivities. The management can have a small artificial tank constructed within the compound to be used for this purpose.

Whip Up Homemade Sweets

Sweets are the main part of this festival. You can take some initiative and encourage all families to make sweets at home. You can do this during the resident meetings. This will not only help them save on money and resources but also ensures less wastage. Such sweets are healthier and also bring the housing society residents closer during the festival.  

Create Awareness About the Festival

Most modern children aren’t completely aware of the significance of Ganesh Chaturthi or about the various rituals that are performed. The best way to create awareness is art. Put up plays or dances depicting the scenes that relate to the festival. Also, why not try screening a themed movie for your residents? You can even host competitions for storytelling, poetry recitation, drawing, or rangoli.

Go Green

Festivals that are largely popular often damage the environment. Why not take the initiative to go green this Chaturthi? The first thing to do is to ensure your idol is made of clay instead of POP or plastic. Clay idols dissolve in water when immersed and do not affect marine life too heavily. Make sure your idols are also painted with non-toxic colours. The housing society management must strive to ensure that every family limits itself by having only one idol for immersion. Reduce the use of firecrackers and loudspeakers. These are some of the biggest causes of pollution during festivals. Lastly, remember to organise a clean-up drive at the end of the festivities. Proper disposal of the garbage, both biodegradable and recyclables, can go a long way in contributing to an environment-friendly festival.

Celebrating such an important festival on a common stage can be a fun experience for everyone, especially the children. Once you delegate all the necessary tasks to specific members through the housing society management, you can enjoy a splendid Ganesh Chaturthi with your family and the entire community.


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