Tag apartment management committee

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!

Tool #2: Conduct healthy discussions via ApnaComplex Discussion Forum or Mailing List

discussion forumApnaComplex Discussion Forum is used for conducting healthy discussions on any topic with residents, owners or committee members. This is the most frequently used communication tool out of the complete list of ApnaComplex Communications tools.

Scenario when to use Discussion Forum:

  • Enquire about a good school nearby
  • Solicit feedback on a particular gas agency service
  • Discuss how best to celebrate a chemical free, organic holi

Advantages of using Discussion Forum:

  • An online forum to post topics and replies in a threaded and organized manner.
  • Discussions can be access controlled – can be made open to all residents, or only owners or only between committee members.
  • Advanced editor is available to post topics that can include text formatting, images, and hyperlinks.
  • Eliminates the need for multiple forums, multiple yahoo/google groups as all discussions are stored in a central place.
  • New committee members and owners get instant access to all past discussions.

Administrator Rights for Discussion Forum:

  • Administrators can close topics from further discussions.
  • Topics can be archived for future reference.

How to start a discussion on a new topic via Discussion Forum (on the portal):

Step 1: After logging in ApnaComplex portal go to Forums

Step 2: Click on Discussion Forums

Step 3: Select a new topic to start a discussion (Alternatively you can also search for a topic, take a look at archived topics)

Step 4: Choose the visibility option from the following – residents, owners and committee members

Step 5: Post the topic

Discussion Forum

Mailing List

You can also use the mailing list for conducting discussions. Essentially, both discussion forum and mailing list serve the same purpose. A topic started via the Discussion Forum (by logging on to the portal) can continue via mail. However, there are slight differences between the two:

Discussion Forum Mailing List
  • Requires approval from portal admin.
  • Attachments get stored.
  • Does not require approval from portal admin.
  • Attachments in the mail do not get stored.

How to use the mailing list for starting discussions?

1. Typically, each community has three mailing lists in the form of:

a)complex-name@apnacomplex.com – To start a discussion with residents

b)complex-name+owners@apnacomplex.com – To start a discussion with owners

c)complex-name+committee@apnacomplex.com  – To start a discussion with committee members

2. Any member by sending mails to the above email IDs can start a discussion since it will automatically post it on the discussion forum with the visibility option for the appropriate group to view the same.

3. Members can reply to the emails and the emails would automatically get posted to the group discussion forum in a threaded manner.

Mailing List

Hope with this blog using discussion forum and mailing lists for your discussions will be a much simpler process. Do let us know your doubts on using discussion forum or mailing lists and we would try our best to help you. Also, let us know if you found this helpful by commenting on this blog.

Habit #7: Effective management committees always cooperate

CooperateIn this blog post, we are going to emphasize on the seventh and last habit of highly effective management committees to always cooperate with each other. Effective management committees understands change is natural and no one can hold a position forever and hence, move on and give a smooth handover to the next person taking over. In our earlier blog post, we talked about Habit 6: How effective management committees create an inclusive culture. Read more…

Pointers for committee members to always cooperate with each other:

Do not cling on to the committee post – Management committee members when get elected need to understand and prepare themselves that no one can hold a particular position in the committee forever. Elections will be held every year and one has to step down for the new members. Don’t cling to your committee posts. Honestly, it never helps!

Understand change is natural – Change is a natural process. As Socrates said – “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” While stepping down from the committee or moving to a new role, always cooperate with other committee members. Do not try to take revenge from a resident or a committee member who opposed you in your earlier term. Understand all the discussions happen for well-being of the apartment residents.

Give a smooth handover – A smooth and systematic handover or transition is very important for the apartment operations to go on smoothly. Old committee members should ensure that new committee members are given a proper handover so that they can operate smoothly after the transition. It is your duty and responsibility to give a smooth handover to the new committee members.

Extensively support as an ordinary resident – After you step down from the committee, do not part your ways from the new committee members. You can still extend support, give suggestion/advice to the new committee members. Become a part of the sub-committee or the task force and help out the new members. Do not sabotage against them with other residents. It will really bring their morale down!

Try to help out and cooperate with the new committee members as much as you can and create a healthy environment for both the committee and the residents in an apartment. 

Do the management committee members in your apartment complex always cooperate with each other? Do let us know by commenting on our blog. You can find blogs on all the seven habits of highly effective management committees on www.apnacomplex.com

Habit #4: Effective management committees are highly disciplined

Committee MeetingIn this blog post, we are going to emphasize on the fourth habit of effective management committees of conducting committee meetings in a disciplined manner. Conducting and attending meetings in a disciplined manner is something an effective management committee cannot avoid. In our earlier blog post, we talked about Habit 3: How effective management committees always take responsibility. Read more…

Pointers for the committee members to conduct meetings in a disciplined manner:

Conduct regular committee meetings – How can the performance of a management committee be judged in a single metric? The only metric through which one judges the performance of a committee is the number of meetings conducted by the committee and the minutes of the meeting published for the residents. Typically, most committees have approximately 52 meetings in a year. Most management committees of a decent size apartment complex meet at least once a week and if they are not following this practice it’s about time to follow it!

Circulate formal meeting minutes to residents – Formal meeting minutes should be circulated to residents in a disciplined manner after every committee meeting for maintaining a high level of transparency with residents. Without circulating the meeting minutes, there will be no pressure built on the committee to perform or act on the agendas in the pre-decided timelines agreed in the meeting. Assign the responsibility of publishing meeting minutes to a particular committee member and ensure it get published for the residents.

Never skip a committee meeting – Attending meetings on a regular basis is a must for all committee members. Ensure that you attend all meetings. In case, your physical presence is not possible in the meeting due to some reason; utilize technology, conduct teleconference or a video conference and stay updated. With one or other person always absent during the meeting, the committee is never able to take a concrete decision.

Ensure meeting action items are closed – Ensure that meeting action items always get closed. Committees discuss several apartment related issues in a meeting, however, make sure someone jots down the action items after every meeting. Once the action items are finalized, empower the rest of the team to ensure that each and every action item mentioned on the list is closed.

If the management committee members ensure that each and very committee meeting is conducted regularly and the action items decided in the meetings are closed in the pre-decided time mentioned in the meeting minutes shared with the residents, it will be more than enough to satisfy the residents about the performance of the management committee.

Does the management committee in your apartment complex conduct regular committee meetings? Do let us know if it worked for you by commenting on our blog. Log onto www.apnacomplex.com regularly for the post on next habit of effective management committees.

Habit #3: Highly effective management committees always take responsibility

Take responsibility and save your boat from sinking!

Take responsibility and save your boat from sinking!

In this blog post, we are going to emphasize on the third habit of highly effective management committees to always take responsibility. Responsibility and accountability are the key to the making of any effective committee. We talked about Habit 2: How effective management committees always communicate in our earlier blog post. Read more….

Pointers to keep in mind for committee to behave responsibly and take responsibility:  

Do not resign at the drop of a hat – Probably, the easiest thing to do as a management committee is to resign. This is quite a prevalent trend in most societies. Members who do good work get upset due to nasty comments from residents or other committee members and as a result, resign. This is not a practice followed in effective committees. One needs to understand that as a committee member you are holding a responsible position and you need to behave responsibly. You cannot resign at the drop of a hat and have to develop a little tolerance to comments/nasty remarks and continue your good work. Do not ignore the comments, but understand the situation and then contribute positively towards it. Do not resign and leave in-between with the community that depends on you hanging in-air.

Take responsibility with an initiative to complete decisions taken – Taking decisions in committee meetings is very easy. But, ensuring the decision reaches the completion stage is the toughest part. One needs to follow up constantly and then ensure that the decision taken is finally completed. Most of the committee members are not from facility management background and what one lags is adequate knowledge to take decisions to the completion stage. Taking initiative and putting extra effort is the key. Research the issue and try to understand and gain in-depth knowledge about what is essentially required, call vendors and consultants for collecting information. Mobilize the people within the community for support and if it is a good initiative, ensure that it reaches the completion stage.

Focus on implementation of decisions – Most of the initiatives taken in apartments never reaches the implementation stage. One spends time in researching, collecting information, gaining in-depth knowledge but due to multiple discussions and arguments among committee members, the initiative never really reaches the implementation stage. For instance, someone in the committee suggests installing CCTV in the apartment for better safety and security of the residents. You take up the initiative, spend time in researching, calling vendors, taking price quotes but somehow realize that the committee members are not that enthusiastic about it. So, you go with the flow and drop the ball somewhere in-between and   it never gets implemented. Don’t let that happen, don’t drop the ball in-between. Ensure implementation of the decisions by convincing all the committee members about the importance of the initiative for the welfare of the residents.  

Be accountable post implementation of decisions – Accountability is something that comes with responsibility. If you hold a responsible position in the committee and are assigned the responsibility of an assigned task, you are bound to be accountable for the same. A lot of committee members take the implementation of decisions very seriously but do not want to be held accountable for the same. For instance, in some apartments, where CCTVs were installed none of the committee members assigned with the designated task were aware about the workings of the CCTV. Most of the committee members did not want to be held accountable and claimed about how their job was only limited to selecting the vendor and it was mainly the vendor’s job to come and install it. So, basically no one from the committee had a clue about how the system worked after installation. The assigned committee members were unable to answer questions mentioned below –

a)How will the CCTV footage be used?

b)What is the working process for CCTV footage?

c)How many times should one check CCTV footage?

d)Who and how will others access the CCTV footage?

As a result, a good as well as expensive initiative went waste in the above mentioned apartments. Accountability is very important for successful implementation of the decisions.

The formula for successfully implementing your committee decisions is given below:

Responsibility + Initiative (Research + Finalizing Vendors) + Implementation + Accountability

The above mentioned formula is followed by most of effective management committees. Do let us know if it worked for you by commenting on our blog. Log onto www.apnacomplex.com regularly for the post on next habit of effective management committees.

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Management Committees

ApnaComplex conducted a better apartment management conference on November 15, 2014. Better Apartment Management conference covered different aspects of managing apartments more efficiently and offered several useful tips for Managing Committees.

Managing Apartment Complexes is a tough job – Managing them efficiently is even tougher! The problems start cropping up when everyone wants to run an apartment in his/her way. 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.

To bridge this knowledge gap, Raj Sekhar Kommu, Co-founder of ApnaComplex conducted a session on – “7 Habits of Highly Effective Managing Committees”. Rajs has been a part of managing committees in several capacities for 5 years and understands the pain points of both managing committees and residents. His session aimed to throw light on the fact that what traits or habits make a few managing committees more effective and successful than others in managing their apartments.

Highly effective management committees bring about a significant positive change in any apartment community. Let’s explore what are the seven habits that make some managing committees better than others:

#Habit 1: Works as a team

#Habit 2: Always Communicates

#Habit 3: Takes Responsibility

#Habit 4: Highly disciplined

#Habit 5: Smart Financial Control

#Habit 6: Inclusive Culture

#Habit 7: Cooperates

We will be publishing a series of posts on each habit to help you understand how the above mentioned habits are a pre-requisite for any effective management committee. Log onto www.apnacomplex.com regularly for knowing more about managing your apartment in a much more efficient manner.