Category: Smart Society

Five Quick Tips about Better Apartment Management

quick-tips-271x300 Apartment management is becoming one of the most challenging jobs, with growing sizes of apartment complexes in India. With most of the members offering a voluntary service to their apartment residents as a management committee member, the personal life of an individual gets quite affected in dealing with apartment maintenance issues.

At times it becomes difficult for new management committee members to understand which areas to concentrate on to offer their residents a superior experience of staying in the apartment.  Five quick tips for management committee members for better apartment management are: 

Automate Society Billing & AccountingFinancial matter often becomes a bone of contention between committee members. Accounting and book keeping, income and expense tracking, penalty calculation should be streamlined as soon as possible. Try to reduce your reconciliation efforts and try to 100% automate your billing and collection effort. The best option is to employ a software that incorporates tools such as Income Tracking, Penalty Calculation, Maintenance Charges Payment Reminders, Metered Utilities and Payment Gateway offering significant effort reduction without disturbing your current accounting practices and to help you in better apartment management.

Resolve Resident Complaints Efficiently – Resident complaint management is one of the toughest areas one has to deal with as a management committee member. Ensure you set up a system as soon as possible for central tracking of resident complaints, suggestions and requests. The whole process of residents filing a complaint and committee members resolving and closing the issue needs to be automated. Use a software that will help you track the complaints at various stages with an auto escalation mechanism to escalate unresolved complaints. This will increase the resident satisfaction and enhance their faith in the management committee.  

Communicate effectively with your Community – Effective communication with your community is very important. Use community collaboration tools to post notices and reach out to everyone, securely share photos of community events within the society, have healthy discussion on any topic via discussion forums, send important messages/emails to other committee members or residents. Create and publish articles like Policy on Pets, Waste Management Guidelines, Diwali Celebration Tips, and Monthly Newsletter for residents – the list is just endless. For better apartment management, it will be an intelligent move to use a software that offers the facility to use all these communication tools at one go and create a strong communication link with your community.

Manage Apartment Facilities & Staff Smartly – Residents often complaint about how the apartment facilities are not maintained well by maintenance staff etc. Save yourself from the pain of manually overlooking asset tracking, inventory management, parking lot management, maintenance staff and service staff management. Offer superior experience to residents by empowering them to book an apartment facility online! Maintain a central record of visitors visiting your apartment for security purposes. Managing and keeping a check on all the above mentioned areas is a herculean task. What you need is an apartment management software that does it all for you and help you manage all apartment facilities smartly.

Proficiently manage society data – Maintain directory of owners, residents and flats in your apartment in a systematic manner for reaching out to them easily. Maintain list of office bearers and committee members for communicating with them in an effective manner. Centralize all your society data in one place for your own convenience. Create an online presence for your complex and provide details such as amenities available, directions, location of the complex to visitors or interested parties outside the complex.

It’s time for you to move away from countless number of confusing spreadsheets and remember to become a management committee member you don’t need to learn about accounting and facility management anymore. A good apartment management software can do all that for you. What you need to focus on is creating an inclusive culture so that residents collaborate with you to manage your apartment in a better manner.

Don’t just be a complex, be a smart apartment complex. Get your Society on ApnaComplex.com – Today for free!


Automate your Facility Maintenance Procedures using ApnaComplex

Check cleanliness of the corridors daily, Verify diesel levels once in three days, Send RO Water for testing once every week, Take count of fire equipment assets every month – these are few of hunderds of standard procedures that every society has to keep doing for ever!

In ApnaComplex, you now have an mechanism to automate all these through the Enhanced Action Item Tracker – one of the tools offered under our Smart Facility Management Toolset. The committee members can setup all can such procedures in the system with required frequency and all the estate manager has to do is to keep updating and closing these tasks. Email Reminders will be sent on all action items that are due every day so that no task is left unattended.

Following are enhancements that are released as a part of the face lift to the Action Item Tracker:

Create Recurring Action Items

Admins can now create repeating action items for a given date range. Action Items can created with daily, weekly or monthly frequencies.

Attach Recurring Action Items to Assets

The new recurring action items can be attached to Assets so that the maintenance schedules can be recorded easily. This shall replace the already existing ability of attaching maintenance schedules.

Bulk Update Action Items

Now, users can selected multiple action items and re-assign them to another staff/member, update a new expected closure date or even close/cancel action items. Mighty useful when a new committee joins or when an estate manager changes – simply select all and reassign!

Quick View Links

You can now easily see Action Items that are due today, that are due this week with the new filters offered – makes it easy to focus on whats needed.


Want to manage your apartment easily and financials transparently in your Housing Society? – Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s best web based housing society accounting software.

ApnaComplex is designed to make the life of residents and owners lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out why we say ApnaComplex is Best Apartment Management Software and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer ApnaComplex – Free Edition with awesome capabilities which you can use free of cost forever.


Solid Waste Management in Apartments and Layouts – Best Practices

Below are presentations on Solid Waste Management from two of ApnaComplex customers Ferns Paradise, a 340 plot layout near Marathahalli, Bangalore and Purva Panorama, a 710 unit apartment complex on Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore.



Want to manage your apartment easily and financials transparently in your Housing Society? – Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s best web based housing society accounting software.

ApnaComplex is designed to make the life of residents and owners lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out why we say ApnaComplex is Best Apartment Management Software and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer ApnaComplex – Free Edition with awesome capabilities which you can use free of cost forever.


Solid Waste Management Plan Implementation in Sobha Althea & Azalea, Yelahanka, Bangalore

This is a guest post from Ms. Savita Hiremath, Green Committee Member of Sobha Azalea & Althea, an apartment complex in Yelahanka, Bangalore. Sobha Azalea & Althea owners association have been using ApnaComplex for last 1.5+ years to manage thier society’s operations and finances.

At Sobha Althea & Azalea, we are a motley group of women coming from various backgrounds. We were thinking of putting a waste management system in place even before the BBMP legislation came into force. But for some reasons, it didn’t take off.

The legislation was just the kind of nudge we needed to get going and start thinking about HOWs and WHYs.

A string of meetings helped us frame certain guidelines for our own residential community while keeping in mind the larger picture: A waste-free zone.

1. Get the Green Committee members together: This is the first step. If the GC members are not like-minded and united, then the community won’t give a hoot to your rules. In many cases, committees are either inactive or suffer from absenteeism. A couple of get-togethers can kick off unprecedented bonhomie and help focus on work. If each one gets complimented for the sincere work they do, team work becomes a pleasure and truly rewarding.

2. GC members must remain up-to-date with the developments. Be always a step ahead of others to reinforce your authority on the subject you are trying to handle. Power without authority on the subject cuts no ice.

3. Put necessary infrastructure in place. Labeled bins for storage and others for collection. Make sure housekeepers have safety equipment like gloves and masks. Tie up with agents for dry waste recycling. If you are going for community composting of wet waste, make sure the entire workforce is trained along with one or two GC members.

4. Prepare a Dos & Don’ts file on waste segregation before informing the community that the exercise will begin on a certain date. Let this be as comprehensive as it gets. Send the printed note to all the flats and secure their signatures to make sure that nobody feigns ignorance later. Put up notices on ApnaComplex, community’s Facebook page and spread the message through all other active email groups.

5. Train the Housekeepers first and keep the Facility Manager in the loop (training methodology given below).

Sobha Althea and Azalea Residents goal - Make their complex a Waste Free Zone

Sobha Althea and Azalea Residents working towards the goal of being a Waste Free Zone


6. Notices & reminders: Put up notices wherever possible. Create an atmosphere in community areas with colourful posters. Use ApnaComplex, Facebook, personal ids for spreading info on upcoming training sessions/meeting and also Dos & Don’ts. Create a sense of urgency so that people are pressured to attend the meetings. Do not reveal when the next session will be held. Warn of serious action if people fail to comply.

7. Invite residents to take part in the cause. Call these meetings interactive sessions”, not “trainings”, as some residents may already know a lot about segregation and their knowledge/intelligence should not be underestimated. If the turnout isn’t good, persist and call for another session.

8. Build a relationship with every one Given the demographic makeup of Bangalore’s population, it’s a given that people come here from various places/speak various languages. In our complex, a good chunk of people flit in and out of India often and there’s a chance that they may miss out on the local socio-political developments. There are certain subtle contextual nuances that non-Kannadigas may not get. We all know how the mainstream English newspapers and TV channels focus more on news that caters to English-speaking people, quotes are gathered from those who can speak English. However, when it comes to dealing with issues like waste segregation which needs co-ordination with your maids and cooks (most of them speak local languages) day in and day out, developing a CONNECTION with them is a step taken in the right direction.

9. But first, build a backgrounder. In the meetings, brief the people on how it all began and where we are headed. Tell them about how hellish life got for people in Mylappanahalli, Mavallipura and Mandur landfills. Most people may not know how BBMP dealt with tonnes of garbage all this while. Be prepared for such ‘revelations’. Once the backgrounder is laid bare, get down to specifics.

10. Be firm, yet flexible. To make anything work, there WILL BE and HAVE TO BE certain negotiables and non-negotiables.

In our case, NON-NEGOTIABLES included the following:
a. Everyone has to follow the BBMP law. No exceptions. No giving room to cynicism that no such law has ever worked and is bound to fail this time, too. Just say that we will go ahead even if the entire Bangalore fails to execute. Certain decisions (that affect the entire community) cannot be left to individual choices.

b. No using plastic bags for lining the kitchen and dry waste bins. No question of giving leeway to anyone just because they are working men/women. Tell the residents not to tie the bags but empty their bins directly into the large mobile bins pushed by the housekeepers. This way, it’s easy to figure out if there’s any mixed waste and pinpoint the errors right on the spot. Many of our residents initially found this practice pretty cumbersome and “stinky”. We stuck to our guns and said that newspaper sheets lining will not leave solid leftovers/residue sticking to the bin and will be easy to wash. So far, so good!

c. No saying ‘no’ to rinsing milk packets/food containers. Tell them that the dry waste agent comes only once in a fortnight and storing badly segregated waste in the basement means stench and of course, inviting rodents, houseflies, mosquitoes, etc.

d. They must send ALL their maids/cooks/drivers for training. This became the highlight of our discussions because we had to explain how language barriers between the owners and maids/cooks can be exploited by either of them to commit errors. At the same time, tell the residents that it makes their job easier because the housemaids/cooks will sense how serious everyone is.

NEGOTIABLES: a. It’s left to the residents if they want to line the kitchen bin with newspapers sheets or not. You can recommend a certain type of bin, but if they already have inbuilt modular bins, let them decide how they want to store and dispose of wet waste.

b. Place bins near the lift entrance so that working men/women can dump the wet waste while they leave for work early in the morning. But do make sure that they don’t use plastic bags for this purpose. Luckily, our residents have found newspaper sheet lining pretty effective!

c. If some residents want to train their own in-house maids/cooks, leave it to their discretion. But, if they make mistakes, make sure that you emphasize the need for training session and tell them that they must attend the next session.

11. Launch door-to-door campaigns immediately. This will reinforce the seriousness of the GC’s commitment to going green. Secondly, it gives a chance to know your neighbours better. And most importantly, their reaction to the whole thing will, in most cases, lets you figure out who has taken it seriously and who is likely to fall out of line.

12. Involve Everyone Invite more volunteers and appoint block co-ordinators. If necessary, floor co-ordinators, too.

13. Incentivising Housekeeping Staff
We have realized that selling dry waste fetches a decent amount of money. A part of it can be used to incentivise the housekeepers who deal with stink and dirt every day. Tell them it will all get mutually beneficial if the collective aim is achieved.

14. Punitive Measures
Enforce punitive measures, if necessary. However, remember that the ultimate aim is NOT to punish people, but to achieve 100% compliance. For that, be ready for any number of trainings/monthly sessions as you move on.

Maids/Cooks Training

Attendance is mandatory. Those who attend get their identity cards signed by GC members on the spot. If residents remain cold to this rule, tell them this will help them in more than one way:

a. Once they attend the training, domestic helps cannot say they can’t do segregation.
b. They cannot exploit the language barrier (if any) to go lax.
c. If there is no language barrier, the seriousness with which the GC members proceed, fellow workers’ enthusiasm, or at least, willingness to participate in the cause, will put pressure on the rest.

Explain the background. If you just say “put wet waste here and dry waste there”, they don’t see the value behind the exercise. You have to explain WHY it has to be done and WHAT will happen if we don’t follow the rules.

It’s natural for domestic helps and cooks to think that we are stretching this segregation thing a bit too far and adding more burden to their already difficult lives. But if you tell them clearly that they are some other people—pourakarmikas—whose lives are even more difficult, they begin to CONNECT! This has been the case with our electricians, plumbers, security guards, drivers, gardeners, etc.

Explain how we think everything that rots is “stinky”. We have to lay bare our own stupidity in front them and laugh at it and invite them to learn from our mistakes. They will begin to think educated people also make mistakes and are also learning just as they are.

To think that they don’t get the larger picture of environmental health is a bit too condescending. If you get them to talk, you will know life has taught them a good deal. We have found that, if explained in simpler terms, they are able to get scientific details, too.

If they remain impassive/indifferent to rules on rinsing milk/food packets, collecting wet waste directly in a bin without lining, remind them that this is exactly what they are doing in their houses, too.

Make sure that the entire workforce employed by an individual household attends the training. Otherwise, blame game starts in no time. We have experienced this.

In a few cases, we saw some thinking residents sitting along with their maids in the training sessions. This in itself made the workforce realize how serious we all were and how we wanted the rest to be involved to make it a success. Nothing can work better than this! If we are serious, we don’t see why our maids can’t get serious.

Ultimately, nothing much can be achieved if the helps/cooks do not co-operate. Let the residents decide how they want to reward them when they do a good job. Sometimes, just a compliment will go long way in achieving compliance.

Training for the rest of the Workforce

You may wonder why train electricians, plumbers, security guards, drivers, gardeners, etc. But we can’t do without their co-operation. They often dispose of waste after cleaning cars into wrong bins. Electricians dump e-waste just anywhere and so do plumbers. It’s essential that they know the basics of segregation as some of them eat lunch in the parking lots, smoke and drink tea, and throw the leftovers, beedis/cigarette butts and plastic tea cups just anywhere in the car parking areas. Paan/gutka stains and spitting into sand buckets are also issues that need immediate action. In short, anybody who enters the complex should know the rules in place.

Follow the same method of explaining the backgrounder before talking about types of waste. Help them connect with your message. Be warm and receptive. Be ready to entertain their views and complaints. Talk beyond segregation and show them that you care for their welfare in general. Try to SINCERELY look into complaints if they have any. Once trust is established, it’s becomes relatively easier to enforce rules.

As a closing remark – Remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint. You’d rather lose some battles on the way when you know you are out to win the war. Patience is of paramount importance!


About the Author
Savita is a Bangalore-based a journalist since 1995 and consults several NGOs and a human rights group to research and document socio-political issues. She has earlier worked with Deccan Herald, The Times of India, and The New Indian Express, and headed a journalism institute for an year. She loves to write on women’s issues, HIV/AIDS, caste and religion, rural poverty, environmental issues, and tennis. You can read more about her on her blog at www.savitahiremath.com. Please leave a comment below if you want to get in touch with her.


Want to manage your apartment easily and financials transparently in your Housing Society? – Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s best web based housing society accounting software.

ApnaComplex is designed to make the life of residents and owners lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out why we say ApnaComplex is Best Apartment Management Software and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer ApnaComplex – Free Edition with awesome capabilities which you can use free of cost forever.


ApnaComplex Enhancement: Staff can now be part of Groups in your Society!

In ApnaComplex, you are aware that every society can have unlimited number of mailing lists or sub-groups as a part of the Community Collaboration Tools. All along you were able to add owners or residents of the society to these sub-groups. We now have enhanced this feature so that you can add Staff to any of the groups!

This key enhancement opens up lots of new possibilities – such as ability to create a staff only mailing list, ability to include your estate manager on a cultural event discussions, or the accountant on NEFT notifications!

The staff can initiate or respond to the discussions over email and the same gets recorded in the portal similar to what happens when a owner/resident posts.

Bring your residents and staff together, with ApnaComplex!


Want to improve community life in your Society? – Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and community collaboration software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners way lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a Free Edition which you can use free of cost forever.


ApnaComplex Accounting Enhancement: Income head-wise Advance Payments

ApnaComplex released a major enhancement to the accounting package that makes it possible for treasurers and accountants to record head wise advance payments from members.

In the past..

ApnaComplex already has the following capability of recording Advance Payments (a.k.a Excess Payments) from Members: For example, consider a member having dues of Rs. 1800/-, but the member has made payment of Rs. 2000/-. In ApnaComplex you can record the additional Rs. 200/- as an Excess Payment. Now, when a new invoice for Rs. 500/- is raised for club house booking, the Rs. 200/- would automatically get adjusted against the new invoice.

What’s New with this Major Enhancement

ApnaComplex now supports recording of the excess payment against a particular charge type (a.k.a Income Head). With this ability, advance payments against a given charge type will only get auto-adjusted if there is a new charge/invoice against that particular charge type.

In the above example, when recording the excess payment of Rs. 200/- members and admin would have the ability to mention the 200/- to a particular charge type – say against Maintenance Charges. Now, when the next invoice of Rs. 500/- is raised against the flat for Club House Booking – the 200/- that is paid as an advance against Maintenance Charges would NOT get adjusted against the Rs. 500/-. However, when the new invoice for next maintenance charges is raised, the Rs. 200/- would be auto-adjusted.

Need for this change

There are quite a few apartments, where the owners pay the maintenance dues and tenants pay for charges like Club House etc. In most cases Owners pay the maintenance dues in advance for 6-months or an year. In such cases any facility booking by tenant or move-in/out charges should not get auto-adjusted with the advances paid and must be maintained separately. With this enhancement, Treasurers and accountants have greater control over the auto-adjustment.

Similarly the advance received towards a Corpus Fund will no more auto-adjusted against the Maintenance Due invoices.

The default behavior of excess payment will continue to be the earlier way of “Generic Advance Payment” which will auto-adjust the advance with new invoice of any income head. Similarly when the member payments are uploaded via excel, ApnaComplex will put any excess payments into Generic Advance Payment bucket itself, like earlier.


Want to ease your (or your Treasurer’s) burden? – Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and community collaboration software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners way lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a Free Edition which you can use free of cost forever. There is also 30-day no-obligation trial for Paid Editions which can try before you buy!


Announcing Tenant Lease Module in ApnaComplex

Continuing to raise the bar in Society Management, ApnaComplex added a new module to track rental or tenant leases for flats in an apartment complex.
One of the biggest pain for all societies is to keep the database of tenants up to date. More often than not all past tenants will continue to be part of the community’s member database even after several months after the tenant as left the complex.
ApnaComplex announces Tenant Leases ModuleWith the new module “Tenant Leases”:

  • Administrators can maintain leases of all flats along with their start and end dates
  • Members of a flat that has lease details updated in ApnaComplex, shall be notified a week ahead of time regarding the lease expiry
  • Once the lease end date is over, ApnaComplex automatically inactivates the tenants and sends an email indicating the same to owners and tenants. ApnaComplex also marks the lease as Inactive
  • Administrators can cancel the lease, extend the lease dates at any time
  • Lease History shall be maintained and viewed along with the flat details at any time
  • Tenant requests cannot be approved, tenants cannot be added unless there is a active lease for that unit

What are you waiting for? Explore it at Complex->Tenant Leases and reduce your work right away!


Want to ease your (or your secretary’s) burden? – Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners way lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trial as well so that you can try before you buy!


ApnaComplex really changed the environment in a very positive manner

When we started ApnaComplex, our objective was simple – Help create Happy Communities. We are proud and super excited today when we received the following testimonial from Mr. Praveen, Hon. Secretary of Ferns Habitat Owners Association, a gated community near Doddanekundi, Bangalore who have been using ApnaComplex now close to an year.

ApnaComplex is really an efficient tool for Association management activities and effective communication, and it really makes life easy for all the management committee Members in all areas including treasury management.

The Ferns Habitat Portal built on ApnaComplex really changed the environment in a very positive manner and created credibility among the members about treasury and all the Association related areas.

It has helped in bringing in transparency effectively in whatever the Association do. Many members who were detached from the community were brought back on board in the system and we see many smiling faces around.

The society environment has improved drastically and there is no match to the feature rich experience we have with this amazing software suite. You think of a feature and let them know, to your surprise, you will get a reply that either they are doing a beta testing or the feature is under development. Man, these guys are so close to the customers and market.

I think I enjoyed my tenure as a Gen.Secretary largely by bringing this software into practice in Ferns Habitat and making it as the backbone of the community today. Long Live ApnaComplex !!

Thank you Mr. Praveen for your words!! We are glad to have helped you create a happier society.


Want to create a happy society? Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners way lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trial as well so that you can try before you buy!


ApnaComplex now available on Android

Today, we are excited to bring you ApnaComplex for Android.

For the first time, Housing Societies and Apartment Complexes in India can take advantage of the Smart Phones to manage their affairs.

In this first version of ApnaComplex for Android, all our customers having a member account in ApnaComplex can login via the native Andriod app on their mobile and access Complaint Box and Financial Statement on the go.
ApnaComplex for Android

With ApnaComplex for Android, Users can log new complaints on the go – as and when they notice an issue. There is no need to remember the issue, come back to the desk, login and raise. Once logged, the complaint will follow the usual assignment and escalation process – just like when a complaint is logged via web portal. Users can also view open complaints and the updates on the complaint. Users can also add more notes to the complaint.

Users can also check the outstanding balance and detailed financial statement using ApnaComplex for Android.

We have worked hard to frog leap Apartment Management and Society Accounting into the smart phone generation – look forward to see you using ApnaComplex for Android and hearing your feedback. Enjoy and wait for rapid addition of more and more features on the smart phone!


Want to get smart in your housing society management? – Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners way lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trial as well so that you can try before you buy!