Is The Estate Manager Of Your Apartment Efficient? – Part 1

In a two part series, ApnaComplex examines the Estate Manager Efficiency, the profile and job responsibilities of an estate manager.

Definition And Outline Of Job Profile – Estate Manager For Apartments

An estate manager is a manager or a caretaker of a property or piece of land that is privately owned. Estate managers are similar to landlords and they perform many similar functions. Estate managers might be either permanent or short term caretakers of property and they are generally appointed by the owner of the land or his legally appointed representative, such as the apartment owners association in the case of apartments. Apartment managers are responsible for managing the everyday activities of apartment and this may vary from something as simple as collecting rent to settling disputes between residents amicably. Apartment managers are generally required to live inside the premises of the land they are responsible for, usually in separate living quarters. You can use this artcile to understand the profile of an estate manager, how to look for for an efficient estate manager and also evaluate if your current estate manager fits the bill.

Power Of Attorney, Responsible Management

The estate manager is responsible for representing the residents of the complex. The manager has to take up any complaints and redress them. The apartment manger speaks on behalf of the apartment to the police or any government body. S/he is also responsible for the overall management and smooth running of the day to day activities of the apartment.

Qualification Of An Apartment Manager

An apartment manager is required to have formal training and prior experience in managing an estate or piece of private property. Generally, managers are also obligated to have some knowledge of land laws and rules pertaining to tenants and settling of disputes. Some amount of qualification in accounting precepts and formal training in computers are also essential to be an efficient estate manager. Managers are also required to have a wide knowledge in management of general household duties. It is also important that apartment estate managers know the in depth functioning and mechanisms behind the working of machinery and equipments such as elevators, water pumps, sewage and storm water drains, generators, water tanks and piping. This is because the apartment estate manager is required to deal with a variety of vendors and individuals to repair, operate or maintain these equipments and basic knowledge will aid in speeding up any processes that involve these.

Duties Of An Apartment Manager:

Specific duties of estate managers may differ according to requirement, however some of the basic duties of an estate manager are as follows:

Ensuring proper security

Ensuring security in the premises and coordinating with police to ensure that they arrive on time in case of any emergency is an essential role of the apartment manager. Managers are also responsible for ensuring security personnel are hired from a trustworthy agency. The security personnel must be required to check every person that enters the complex and ensure that they are registered at the front desk.

Ensuring effective management of day to day errands

The manager has to ensure that the payment of bills, depositing credit instruments etc are done in an efficient manner. On a daily basis an apartment may have a huge volume of transactions and the manager has to keep a record of each transaction so that the residents or the association can inspect it if they wish to. All purchasing and selling has to be transparent. The manager is also responsible for coordinating with all government agencies such electricity department and public works department.

Inspecting the property

The manager has to inspect the apartment complex at least once a day and ensure that swimming pools, generators and public toilets are in good order. This is important considering it is the only way by which the manager and hence the association will have a clear idea as to how the apartment maintenance staff are performing. The manager also has an opportunity to step out of the office and interact with residents of the apartment and other executive staff to gain insights and feedback that he may not have earlier been in a position to receive.

Presentation and landscaping

Ensuring proper landscaping and making sure that the apartment is presentable is one of the most important duties of an apartment manager. The manager has to maintain the presentation of the apartment so that the value of the apartment complex does not reduce in the future. In order to do this he has to coordinate with the staff to ensure regular and efficient sweeping and cleaning of common areas. In case any painting work is required, the manager has to ensure this is done without any inconvenience to the residents.

Events

Organizing private parties and events that pertain to the estate and coordinating with the various associations in the apartment is also a part of the manager’s duties. The manager has to make sure that materials and the manpower required for these events are made available. An apartment is a community and the manager must bring together the apartment residents during festive and social events to ensure harmony in the complex and to foster the community spirit.

To be continued in part-2


ApnaComplex – the value for money apartment management software is offering 30-day no obligation free trial for every complex. Go ahead and register your complex and see how you can manage your complex more easily, efficiently, and effectively.

Formalize action item tracking in your Apartment Complex

At ApnaComplex, today we have released a simple but very useful new feature to help secretaries of Apartment Associations in form of “Action Item Tracker”.

In short, “Action Item Tracker” just does what it means – track action items. With this feature, ApnaComplex enables managing committees of apartment associations to formally track and monitor progress on various activities that are happening in the complex.

One of the core issues that a resident welfare association faces is that things take forever to complete and the remedy is very simple – institutionalize a formal action item tracking mechanism. This makes the progress and bottlenecks to implement visible to every one and also makes all managing committee members more accountable. This exactly is what “Action Item Tracker” is expected to provide.

The tracker is available to all Managing Committee Members.  Action items can be created, updated, reassigned by any of the managing committee members and by  the community administrator.  Also, more often than not, all managing committee members will not be present for all the meetings. The tracker shall prove to be excellent way for committee members to keep every one else informed about the progress on an action item irrespective of  they attending a meeting or not.

Committee Member View of the Action Item Tracker

Committee Member View of the Action Item Tracker

Also, since the action items can be re-assigned to other members if needed – the new assignee can get all updates on a given action item will be at one place – instead of being present in multiple emails – making it seamless to move forward. Secretaries can now start every committee meeting by going through the list of “Open” or “In progress” action items making the meetings very focused and effective.

Most importantly, it makes sharing information on Managing Committee achievements a breeze. All it requries is to filter all closed action items and send a report to entire community.

Happy action item tracking and we sure hope to have made life little better for you!

Want to use ApnaComplex for your association? please submit details of your complex here and we would reach out to you to set up your complex’s portal online.

 


Yes, Apartment Owners’ Associations CAN be run professionally

Reference to the article posted on Citizen Matters – Can Apartment Owners’ Associations be run professionally? , the author lists various hurdles in running Apartment Associations professionally and offers some suggestions that can help associations.

True, there are many hurdles to run association in a professional way. But leveraging technology would surely be a way to overcome some of the hurdles, if not all. This is exactly where ApnaComplex comes in. ApnaComplex neatly fits into the apartment management eco-system and provides tool set that just perfect for Apartment Owners Associations to manage their complex in efficient, effective and transparent manner.

Here’s how residents can Live a Perfect Life with ApnaComplex and how Managing Committees can ensure how every one Lived Happily ever after!

Back to Citizen Matters article – we will touch upon three key points metioned in the article and how some of the features of ApnaComplex can help.

“Communication” is the number one problem that most associations have

We could not agree more. That’s the prime reason why ApnaComplex was created. ApnaComplex solves this fundamental issue of communication by providing a platform that brings all owners/residents/managing committee together. Everyone sees and shares all information about the complex at one place. Any member can know the details of entire managing committee at one shot and reach out to them. The member directory provides information about all members in the complex at a central place, Managing Committee can reach out to any member any time. Broadcast Notifications through email can be sent to all members or subset of members (like only residents, only tenants etc.) at click of button – making it easier for managing committees to constantly communicate. In addition, there are SMS notifications too that can help MC send urgent messages.

Use formal action item register

Bang on! ApnaComplex provides Complaint Box which enables members to record all action items/issues/suggestions/complaints in a central place, assign them to owners and all relevant people including the managing committee can visibly see the progress of action items or complaints. This not only increases transparency but also the turn-around time to resolve complaints. ApnaComplex even allows residents to provide feedback on how effectively an issue is resolved and also on the vendors used in the complex there by establishing two way communication between residents and MCs.

Use a “Balanced Score Card” approach to show Managing Committee results

Another great suggestion. ApnaComplex offers reports that can sliced and diced in many ways . Reports of complaints resolved in each category, expenses of a given month, number of defaulters etc are available at the click of a button which enables MC to shwocase thier work and also provides visibility to rest of the association members on MC’s work.

While the above offer direct benefits for associations using ApnaComplex, the indirect benefits include reduced work load on the managing committee there by giving them more time to implement newer initiatives for betterment of the complex and even make more owners join the managing committee 🙂

Bottom line, YES! Apartment Owner’s Associations using ApnaComplex can be run professionally.

Want to use ApnaComplex for your association? Please submit details of your complex here and we would reach out to you to set up your complex’s portal online.


We all love to complain, don’t we? – We upgraded Complaint Box for you!


We have released an upgraded version of the “Complaint Box” module of ApnaComplex along with host of other enhancements.

Starting today our customers can experience the benfit of the new features.  The key features of of this upgraded Complaint box are:

Category-wise Administration:

1. Administrators can now configure “complaint box administrators” for each category type of complaints. This will make it easier to assign owners for different aspects of managing the complex.

Screenshot of Category Admins for various categories

Screenshot of Category Admins for various categories - ApnaComplex

2. The “category owners” shall only see complaints related to the categories they own – the electrical guy no more need to even see the issues related to swimming pool. Of course, community adminsitrators can see all the complaints.

3. The category owners shall have the ability to reassign the complaint to a different category and/or to a different owner.

Complaint Re-opening and Rating

1. Closed complaints can now be re-opened by the originator or the administrator till specifed period of days after the complaint is closed. This has been the most requested feature till date and we are happy to satisfy the need now.

2. Residents can now provide feedback on the quality of the service provided on all closed complaints. Similar to the ratings of vendors in ApnaComplex’s Vendor Management module – the ratings will be on a scale of 1 (worst) to 7 (Best). Makes it very easy for managing committees to judge the real quaility of work. The ratings can be updated/changed till specified period of days after the complaint is closed.

Complaint Details View

Complaint Details View

3. The number of days a complaint can be re-opened or rated after its closure is configurable by the communtiy administrator.

Notification Enhancements:

1. Administrators can now configure if mails related to community complaints shall be sent to entire community or only to the administrators. This is again based on the need for some of our customers.

2. Formatting changes to bring in more readability to all the automated mails that get sent as a part of complaint tracking.

Searching & Sorting Enhancements:

A complaint box has never been so easy (and actually fun) to search and sort. Users and Administrators can practically search on every possible data element and sort on every element to easily find and manage the complaints and it is blazing fast.

Administrator's View of Complaint Box in ApnaComplex

Administrator's View of Complaint Box in ApnaComplex

Now that you have a fully loaded complaint box, is your facilities manager geared up to close all the complaints?

Want to use ApnaComplex for your association? please submit details of your complex here and we would reach out to you to set up your complex’s portal online.

 


Bye Laws: The Constitution of your Apartment Association

Quick Download:

If you are looking for sample template of bylaws for residential welfare association or apartment owners association, download from here.

Need for Bye Laws

The primary responsibility of the Managing Committee of an Apartment Owners Association (or Residents Welfare Association) is to ensure proper maintenance of the Apartment Complex and to resolve any issues that residents face in a timely and effective manner. These are not easy tasks to handle when you consider the sheer variety of challenges that confront the committee. Convincing members to act in the interest of the society is no less a challenge either as almost every resident is aware of their rights but few accept their responsibilities. So how does a Managing Committee go about its day-to-day tasks, taking clear, unbiased actions that work in the best interest of the society? What are the powers of the Managing Committee that enables it to enforce its decisions? And what makes the members of an Apartment Complex accept these decisions?

The answer to all this lies in the rules and regulations that every Apartment Complex adopts from the moment it is registered. Called bye-laws of the society, these rules and regulations govern the day-to-day functioning of the Apartment Complex. So crucial is the role of bye-laws in the smooth functioning of a society that many consider them to be the constitution of an Apartment Complex.

Registering Your Bye Laws

The Co-operative Society Act is a Central Act that helps co-operative societies to manage their affairs. However, most States in India (Maharashtra in 1960, Gujarat in 1961, Karnataka 1960 and so on) have repealed this act and have created their own Co-operative Societies Act. These Acts specify the rules and regulations that are part of a model set and usually any residential Apartment Complex association is free to adopt these bye-laws in total or modify them as per their requirement and accept them. The Act thus offers a certain degree of flexibility to societies.

What is inflexible, however, is the need to get the bye-laws adopted. The bye laws are considered so critical for the efficient working of a society that it is mandatory for an Apartment Complex Association to approve and submit them to the Registrar of Societies during the formation of the association itself. The bye-laws adopted by an Apartment Complex should have the following details:

  • the aims and objectives of the society,
  • the details of the rules and regulations that apply to members,
  • the specifics of selecting a member and office-bearers of the society,
  • details of how the association aims to help the residents of the society
  • details of how it will go about getting the co-operation of all members. 
  • information on how the society will manage its income and expenses.
  • the list the office-bearers who will be authorized to issue cheques and monetary transactions on behalf of the association. (Bye-laws usually recommend rights to three-office bearers for signing any document or monetary transaction with any two of them required to sign at one particular time.)
  • details about transfer charges, maintenance costs, penalties, etc

The bye-laws should also mention when and how the AGM of the society will be held. Usually the first AGM should be held within six months from the close of the financial year. From the second year onwards, it should be held every year after March 31 and before August 14 as per bye-law no. 95or within an extended period as per Section 75(i) of the act. An AGM can be held by giving at least 21 days prior notice to members.

Amending your Bye Laws

Once the bye-laws are adopted, the society can function forever with that particular set of rules. However, the bye-laws can also be amended by the government or the residents themselves if the need arises. For example, if the bye-law says that the tenure of the Managing Committee should be 5 years, the association can change it to 3 years or 7 years by getting it approved by the General Body and then the Registrar. The new set of amended bye-laws will become functional for the association from the date of approval by the Registrar.

An Apartment Complex Association can amend its bye-laws in the following manner:

  1. A General Meeting (annual/special) should endorse the change with a two third majority of the members present in the meeting. This two third of members should not be less than one third of the total members in the society. (The Registrar may still accept the amendment under such a condition if the reason for the low turnout is explained in writing).
  2. The Managing Committee should submit the form mentioning the new law to be brought into force.
  3. The Committee should also submit four copies of the existing bye-laws along with the resolutions passed by the Annual General Meeting.
  4. Along with the signatures of the Managing Committee, the form should have the following details:
    • The date of the meeting at which the amendment was passed.
    • The number of members in the association.
    • Number of members of the present in the meeting.
    • Number of members who voted in favour of the amendment.

 The Registrar will register the amendment upon satisfaction that the amendment does not contravene any Act or rules that guide the functioning of a co-operative society. On approval, the Registrar will issue a certificate of registration along with the certified copy of the amendment. This is proof of the amendment being successfully registered. The Registrar of Societies can, however, refuse to register an amendment of the bye-laws. The Registrar will provide the reason for the decision in writing to the association.  

The bye-laws are thus binding as well as flexible enough for the Managing Committee to manage the affairs of the association as best as possible.

You can download a sample template of bye-laws from here.


This article aims at collating and providing information on bye-laws for residential complexes for benefit of ApnaComplex customers and readers. While ApnaComplex has taken every care to ensure the information is accurate, we suggest to please use the information in the article and the template provided only as a guidance for further discussion and action with help of relevant professionals. If you need professional advise on this topic and any other property related matters, please send your request through our contact us form. You may post your questions/inputs in the Comments section below and we will try and get them answered through relevant subject matter experts.


Document repository for Apartment Associations

We released new feature of “Document Repository” in ApnaComplex today.

Starting today, Administrators and members of a complex can upload documents of relevance in ApnaComplex secure repository.  This shall enable the community members to easily locate association documents – such as bye laws, meeting minutes, welcome kits, photos, vendor quotations, contract copies, building plans, regulatory certificates and just about anything relevant. 

We believe that this shall help both the members and the managing committees as this greatly improves accessibility of data to everyone at any time.

Efficient way of managing documents of an association

Efficient way of managing documents by an owners association

Any member can upload a document (up to 2 MB in size) along with a short description and select a relevant category. Members can search and sort for the documents based on the name, description, size or category making it easier to locate. No more issues of digging through emails or your personal desktops to find a particular document.

Any member can view or download a document and Administrators will have the ability to delete documents to ensure a clean repository.

With this feature, we sure hope to have made life little better for you!


Vendor Management for Apartment Associations

We released new feature of “Vendor Management” in ApnaComplex today.

Starting today, Administrators can maintain the list of all vendors that association and apartment residents use in a central place. Details like vendor name, services offered, address, contacts and other details of vendors can be collected and made available for all the residents. This makes it easy for all owners/residents to know the details and also immensely helps for new comers into the complex who would typically need all contacts as they settle down in their new house.

List of Vendors used by Owners Association can be managed centrally using ApnaComplex

List of Vendors used by Owners Association can be managed centrally using ApnaComplex

What’s more – the owners/residents can provide feedback about the services offered by the vendor and rate them on a scale of 1 to 7. We hope this helps to maintain the feedback about a vendor in a central place and also providing a forum for managing committees to take feedback from owners/residents on Vendors before they decide on renewing contracts with the vendors. Associations can now take informed decisions when deciding on a vendor and also provide more transparency to all residents of the apartment complex.

Wait! There’s more to this – the administrator can decide to mark the vendor details as “public”. Vendors marked as “public” will get listed on the complex’s home page along with the feedback and ratings by the members. This will be visible to everyone on the internet who views your complex’s home page (others on internet can only see the vendor details and ratings provided by the members of the complex, they will not be add their feedback or rating).  Thus you can share your experiences with a vendor with other associations and learn theirs as well.

Details and Ratings of Vendors can be made available to other owner associations through ApnaComplex

Details and Ratings of Vendors can be made available to other owner associations through ApnaComplex

In addition to vendor management, we have made subtle enhancements to our user interface to enhance you experience when using ApnaComplex.

We sure hope to have made life little better for you!

If you are considering using ApnaComplex for your association, please submit details of your complex here and we would reach out to you to set up your complex’s portal online.


Live a perfect life with ApnaComplex

As a member of a gated community, you would be enjoying a level of comfort and security that people on the other side of the fence can only dream of. While this exclusivity translates into peace of mind, convenience and higher returns in terms of increased property and rental values, there are always some niggles or the other that could make you say “if only this was possible it would have been perfect!”

An instance would be the time you missed an important society meeting simply because someone forgot to inform you about it! There might also have been occasions when you may have wanted to make a complaint or request permission to hold a function but just didn’t get the time to write to the Managing Committee. Or maybe you wanted to share an important announcement with your fellow residents but couldn’t get the approval of your Committee in time. Then of course there are those notices lost in transit, misplaced bill receipts, minutes of the meeting that didn’t reach you and so on. These are just a few of the many small but significant issues that leave you with a feeling that things could be so much better if only there was a more efficient way of handling them!

That’s exactly where ApnaComplex comes in. At ApnaComplex, we are dedicated to make the world you inhabit as complete as possible. For the sake of simplicity (another proof of our intention to make things better for you), we would categorize the benefits we offer in the following manner:

ApnaComplex - Home Page

ApnaComplex - Residential Layout and Apartment Complex Management Software

a)      Saving precious time

b)      Keeping your identity and data private and secure

c)      Making communication more efficient

d)     Providing financial information at your fingertips

e)      Improving social interaction with fellow residents

Now that we’ve listed the benefits, let’s take a quick look at how ApnaComplex actually makes them possible.

a) Saving precious time

  1. The speed and connectivity of an online platform ensures that you can connect from anywhere, anytime to carry out all your correspondences and get updated on all activities in your complex.
  2. Our focus on usability ensures that you spend the minimal amount of time on carrying out any activity: from responding to an email to posting an ad to checking your bill payments.
  3. A Dashboard view ensures that all your transactions and communications can be accessed easily and quickly.
  4. You can also save time and energy by booking your clubhouse facilities, library and other services online through ApnaComplex.
  5. Consolidated view to a member of all activities in the complex.

    Consolidated view to a member of all activities in the complex.

b) Keeping your identify and data private and secure

  1. With ApnaComplex, you can communicate with people within or outside your complex without revealing your email address. This ensures that while you are able to send and receive mails, your email id remains private until you choose to reveal it.
  2. Others can also contact you directly without having to know your email id.
  3. Your data is 100% secure even while transit. The entire portal is SSL enabled – which means peace of mind.

c) Making communication more efficient

  1. You can receive important information such as your maintenance dues, emergency repair schedules, association meetings, etc. directly from committee members by email/sms.
  2. You can raise, view, track complaints related to your house in one place. If you mange more than one house – whether within the same complex or outside – you can manage all activities using ApnaComplex in an integrated way.
  3. You can view the directory of all members as well as know the members on your Managing Committee and communicate with them.
  4. If you want to offer your house for sale/rent, you can simply put up an online classified ad in ApnaComplex that will be made available on the Internet. This ad can be accessed by people both within and outside the complex. This way, you not only save on the effort required to post your ad on various online sites you also save on hefty brokerage fees as you can get in direct touch with the lessee or buyer.

d) Providing financial information at your fingertips

  1. You can enter payments made to your association online and get confirmation on validation by the Treasurer.
  2. You can view a consolidated statement of all the charges and payments made for all the houses you own.
  3. You can view as well as download receipts in PDF format for the payments you made, any time (did we hear a sigh of relief from the Treasurer there?).
  4. You can see how the money is being spent on the complex maintenance with help of expense statement that Treasurers can publish every month.

e) Improving social interaction with fellow members

  1. You can publish notices online that will reach all other members.
  2. You can communicate with other members in your complex about upcoming events, meetings, and any other activity without having to know their email ids.
  3. You can know and reach your managing committee  members through our secure messaging feature.

This is just the beginning of what we’ve in plans for you. We are currently focusing on getting more information about local businesses and services at your fingertips and many more such features that offers you a little more convinience. We’ll keep you posted on the developments.

In the meanwhile please let us have your feedback on the features currently on offer. Good, bad or ugly – we’d love to hear from you. We’d also appreciate any ideas on features and functionality that will make ApnaComplex more useful for you. So please feel free to get in touch with us with your thoughts and comments. You can contact us here.

So, what are you waiting for? Register yourself and your complex. Now.