Archives: September 22, 2022

How to navigate a landlord's market

It’s Boom Time for Rental Housing Demand. What Does it Mean for You

The rental housing market is going through a boom with major metros seeing a hike in prices when compared to the pre-COVID period. Housing rents in Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Bengaluru have gone up by as much as 15-20%. In Pune, the hike is anywhere between 10-20% while the NCR has seen a 10-15% rise. Similarly, rents have gone up by 8-10% in Chennai and by 5-10% in Hyderabad and Kolkata. 

What do these developments mean for landlords or tenants? Even as property owners try to maximise their profits, what can it hold for renters who are desperately seeking suitable accommodation? How do both of them find the best possible deal? 

If you need help in navigating this landlord market, ApnaComplex offers a one-stop rental and resale management service. The all-inclusive services start with scouting for rentals, and includes assistance in digital rent agreement, move-in/move-out, and collecting rents. 

The Housing Rental Boom

This price hike indicates a much-needed correction after a two-year-long COVID slump when rentals were slashed or plateaued. Job losses coupled with many professionals moving to their hometowns saw rentals falling in metropolitan areas while there was increased interest in smaller towns. 

As offices open up and people return from their hometowns, there has been a surge of demand in bigger cities. On the other hand, new developments came to a halt during the last two years, resulting in the current shortage of housing options, especially in premium gated communities. Together, these factors have led to a landlord’s market where the homeowner pretty much gets to set the terms. 

As a Landlord

For homeowners, it makes sense to cash in on the current boom to recover losses. Apartments, condos, or villas in most gated communities are likely to find takers within minutes of posting a listing. In this scenario, there are two key factors that homeowners have to keep in mind:

  • Finding out the rentals in the area to ensure maximum yield
  • Ensuring a reliable tenant who has the capacity and willingness to pay rent on time. 

These issues can be challenging for many homeowners, especially if they are not located in the same area. With fluctuating rentals, it can be difficult to keep track of the current rates. Similarly, tenant verification takes time and effort that may not be possible for every homeowner.

With ApnaComplex, Rentals homeowners have the means to meet all these requirements in one place. Through a dedicated Estate Portfolio Manager (EPM) they are informed of current rates. The manager also helps homeowners to scout for suitable renters, assist in the move-out process, and carry out tenant verification.

As a Tenant

A landlord market means a tough time for tenants as they scramble to find suitable accommodation within their budget. In this scenario, they may be forced to pay more than expected while settling for a home that is often less than their ideal standard. For tenants the main factors to keep in mind are:

  • Finding the best deal for their money
  • Ensuring a rental agreement is in place 
  • Go with a verified landlord

As a rental management service, ApnaComplex helps both the tenants and homeowners reach a mutually agreeable deal. This is followed by a duly-signed rental agreement to protect the interests of both parties. A verified repository of rental properties means that tenants can also trust the veracity of the listings. With an EPM acting as a single point of contact, the platform also eliminates the need to work with multiple brokers.

As property owners aim at maximising their rental yields and tenants try to find a suitable accommodation, ApnaComplex offers them a highly viable alternative where both parties can find an acceptable solution. With reduced fee for ApnaComplex users and no upfront or sign-up fee, it is also a more economic alternative.

If you want to know more about ApnaComplex one-stop rental management service, call us at 0120 71173344 or write to us at rentals@apnacomplex.com


Be disaster-ready With ApnaComplex

Our Cities Have a Serious Problem in Disaster Preparedness. How About Gated Communities?

Every monsoon our news channels feature at least one city drowning in its own urban cesspit. This year it was Bengaluru where billionaires found out that money cannot insulate them from nature’s fury or inept urban planning. It is no wonder that the livability index has taken a beating in our leading cities, but gated communities have by and large managed to buck this reality. So what went wrong in Bengaluru and are there lessons to be learned? 

The problem in this case lies in unplanned and unchecked urban development. For gated communities, this disaster was another lesson staying prepared for any challenge through disaster planning and preparedness. Villas and condos in low-lying areas have to invest in extensive drainage networks, full gutter systems, and sump pumps. Together, these measures can help in reducing hydrostatic pressure, direct excess water, and bring down the likelihood of flooding. 

Staying Prepared

While these infrastructural measures are critical, we must think beyond and plan for every eventuality. The pandemic has shown us that a disaster can strike at any time and in any form. These calamities can pose a serious threat to the high livability standards that many gated communities have managed to deliver within their premises. It jeopardises the health and safety of residents and strains resources.

With its full-stack technology solutions in apartment management, ApnaComplex can play a critical role in mitigating these impacts. It offers multiple tools to support disaster management. These are designed specifically to help MCs create a more accessible and efficient system for managing calamities. As an integrated platform, it can play a critical role in establishing, executing and tracking disaster management initiatives. 

Importance of Disaster Preparedness 

Data shows that the number of disasters have increased by fivefold over the last 50 years. Natural calamities like floods and hurricanes have increased in frequency, creating damage to both private and shared areas in a housing complex. At the same time, the spread of a disease or epidemic has created new healthcare challenges.

Disasters rarely come with any warning, creating an emergency where resources are put under strain to manage resources. MCs have to allocate manpower judiciously to contain or mitigate the impact while moving quickly to address resident queries. If unaddressed, these calamities can cause millions in damages, cause anger or dissatisfaction, and strain the limited resources of a housing complex. 

A 2021 study of residential-cum-commercial property in Mumbai demonstrated that proper planning can mitigate losses due to disasters. However, to be effective, a good plan must include detailed execution, operation, and maintenance systems. ApnaComplex enables this execution, creating a broadcasting system while strengthening it at the back end through its operational modules. 

ApnaComplex Tools for Disaster Management 

As a comprehensive apartment management software, ApnaComplex is a highly effective platform that can help the MC in disaster preparedness and management. 

Public broadcast

The first step in disaster management is ensuring timely communication. Residents must be made aware of impending disasters. They must be informed of the steps to take in an emergency. The ApnaComplex Notice Board under the Communication module can be leveraged to send multi-channel communication including in-app messages, emails, and SMSs. 

Communicating the plan

For any plan to be successful, the residents must be aware of its guidelines. They must be made aware of the steps to take when a calamity strikes. ApnaComplex Community Wiki is an information repository where important data can be uploaded and shared. With role-based access, the Wiki can also be used to upload the plan of action that should be followed by the MC and admin staff. 

In case of an emergency, a quick communication can be issued to direct residents to this repository. Apart from guidelines, this platform is also valuable in maintaining a contact directory. This can include contact details of the crisis team, emergency services, exit plans, and diagrams. 

Asset management

Maintaining emergency equipment is critical for quick response when a catastrophe strikes. Routine maintenance checks should be carried out on smoke and fire detectors as well as equipment like fire extinguishers and sump pumps. ApnaComplex has comprehensive modules for recording service history and AMC details. You can also add a maintenance schedule with reminder notifications. 

Similarly, the Inventory Tracker can be set up to track purchases and ensure stock levels of all items that may be required during a crisis. Together these measures ensure that the community is equipped and empowered to face a crisis. 

Case Study: ApnaComplex COVID Response

When the pandemic struck in 2020, many housing societies found themselves scrambling to accommodate a new reality where lockdown measures had to be imposed. There were many other considerations, such as limiting the number of visitors. The digital solutions offered by ApnaComplex helped in establishing and strengthening a smooth contactless management system. At the same time, there were further enhancements to monitor and track COVID cases. Together these COVID measures included:

  • Contactless visitor management 
  • Quarantine tracker to keep track of families that were under isolation
  • No-contact accounting
  • In-app communication 
  • Online polls and surveys to gather consensus for new COVID policies
  • Vaccination Tracker to keep track of vaccinated staff and members

You can learn more about ApnaComplex COVID management in our article here. If you want to know about our disaster management tools, call us at +91 80886 11229 or email us at sales@apnacomplex.com. Our team will get in touch with you at the earliest.


Boost rental income

Not Getting the Best Rent for your Home? Try Our Seven Smart Tricks

Real estate has traditionally been considered a critical investment. For most investors, the rent on their property is a valuable source of passive income with an asset base that will appreciate with time. This rental is even more important when paying off a home loan. Augmenting rental income is not just important for getting the most out of your buck. It can also be instrumental in making sure that you can earn a profit over monthly EMIs or add to your retirement corpus.

ApnaComplex offers a one-stop rental management solution to property owners. With a dedicated Estate Portfolio Manager (EPM), our end-to-end support starts from scouting suitable tenants to handling tenant verification and handling online rent collection. While the platform offers comprehensive support in ensuring maxising returns, as a landlord, you must also go the extra mile in ensuring that the returns on your investment can be maximised. 

Maximising Rental Income 

Ensuring high rentals depends on various factors, including finding the right tenant. Simply hiking the price does not work. Tenants will pay a high rent only if the property is well maintained and offers them value in terms of high quality fittings or a prime location. 

Retrofit for energy-efficiency

The first step is to ensure that your property is energy efficient. It reduces energy usage and promotes sustainability in the long term. More importantly, it can help in attracting tenants who are willing to pay higher rentals in return for lower bills and more conscious energy consumption. 

Keeping the property in good condition

You cannot attract a good tenant to a property that is shabby or unkempt. The house must be cleaned and painted during apartment viewing. Damaged floors, appliances, and furnishings should be repaired or replaced. A property in good condition also encourages the tenant to follow suit. They are more likely to take care of your home as their own and see that no damage occurs. 

Furnished or semi-furnished?

This is often the dilemma when it comes to augmenting rentals. A furnished home can be more expensive to fit out, but this can be realised through higher security deposits and rents. However, we must also take into account the depreciation over time. Such apartments also often attract short-term renters, such as students, professionals on tenure, or in general, people who want the mobility of moving on without carrying extra baggage. 

Many landlords also do not want to invest in fully furnishing their homes. A semi-furnished home with important fittings like wardrobes, is often seen as a better alternative. While the rents are lower, you are likely to attract more long-term renters. The overall asset depreciation will also be lower. 

Verify your tenants

What happens if your tenant packs up their home and leaves in the middle of the night? Or if they have made false claims about their income and do not have adequate means to pay the rent. This can impact your own rental income as you are forced to look for a new tenant. Verification is also important to ensure that the tenant does not have any legal or financial liabilities. 

If you are not sure about how to carry out this critical function, ApnaComplex includes KYC and tenant verification as part of their rental services. The process involves scanning the renters’ backgrounds for any red flags that may impact their ability to pay on time. 

Make it easy for tenants to pay rent  

A tenant is more likely to pay their rent on time if it is an easy process. Traveling to the other side of the town to pay a landlord in cash is always going to be more cumbersome than a simple online transfer that can be made anytime and from anywhere. ApnaComplex offers an online rent collection facility where tenants can pay their rents through their preferred payment gateway. To further ensure timely payments, tenants also receive alerts and reminders. 

Make it legal and secure

It is always advisable to ensure that tenants are onboarded through a legally-binding rent agreement. This must be followed even if the tenant is a friend, relative, or a highly trusted individual. A legal document protects both you and the renter from any unfair demands and sets clear expectations from both parties. It clarifies their fiduciary responsibilities and important details like the monthly rent and security deposit. Needless to say, it legally binds your tenant to pay on time.  

Stay updated with rentals

When you do not live in the same region as your rental property, it can be easy to lose touch with the rental trends. Rent amounts can change at different rates even in the same city. Hence, it’s always advisable to check the average rentals in the vicinity when looking for new tenants or renewing the rent agreement. 

With ApnaComplex rental and resale services you can be assured of staying abreast with the latest rental rates. Our dedicated team makes sure that you will get the best possible returns on your property. We also charge a reduced service fee for the users of ApnaComplex. In addition, there is  no signup or upfront fee, which further augments the overall gains. 

If you want to know more about ApnaComplex one-stop rental management services, call us at 0120 71173344 or write to us at rentals@apnacomplex.com


Manage Late Payments With ApnaComplex

How to Manage Late Payments & Maximise Collections

The most persistent challenge for every housing society is collecting maintenance dues. The larger the number of units, the more the chances of defaulting residents. In fact, at any given time, there are likely to be some residents who are always late or refuse to pay the charges. Most Management Committees (MC) or Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) find themself struggling in avoiding any such eventuality.

ApnaComplex automated Accounting and Billing module enables treasurers to improve their collections by streamlining payment functions. With the automated calculation of late payment charges, recurring invoices, timely reminders, and auto-generation of defaulters reports, treasurers can prompt residents to pay society dues on time. Ultimately, this helps in improving and increasing maintenance payments. 

Importance of timely Maintenance Payments

Most gated communities charge maintenance fees on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. The calculation of maintenance charges can depend on various factors and should be within model bye-laws. However, since these regulations can differ from state to state, there is no standard or fixed formula that applies to all gated communities across the country. 

While the calculation of maintenance changes may differ, the purpose is largely the same. These charges are meant for the maintenance and development of common amenities and facilities. It should be noted that the society does not earn any profits from these charges. Without residents paying maintenance dues, the management committee would not have the funds to discharge their essential duties. You can read more about the scope and calculation of maintenance charges in our article here

Challenges in Collecting Maintenance Dues 

In an ideal world, residents would pay their full maintenance dues on time. In reality however, there are always some residents who will either delay or default on these payments. This could be due to negligence, lack of intention, or some dispute over the maintenance amount. In the case of a dispute, the member can write to the treasurer or the management committee. If unresolved, they can pursue this further by writing an application to the Deputy Registrar, ordering the Society to rescind or refund the extra charges. 

There could be other challenges as well, such as bureaucratic problems of keeping track of different maintenance charges, calculating late charges and penalties, and making sure that all residents are informed in time. 

If the maintenance is not paid in time, a member risks becoming a defaulter. Defaulters are typically not allowed to hold any post in the MC or vote in Annual General Meetings. The MC may also choose to restrict the usage of common facilities like the clubhouse. Finally, the society can refuse to issue an NOC or No Objection Certificate to defaulters for resale or renting.  

How can ApnaComplex Help in Reducing Late Payments?

The automated accounting module helps in streamlining billing and collection functions so that residents are informed in time about defaulting payments. Here are some ways by which we can use the module to streamline the collection of maintenance dues:

  • Raise and send invoices against all or select flats 
  • Automate invoice calculations based on formulae or fixed value or both
  • Set up automated delivery for recurring invoices on a given date every month. 
  • Auto-calculate late payments with multiple options for adding penalties 
  • Automatically collect payments through the Collection Gateway 
  • Set up a delivery schedule for defaulters reports 
  • Set up reminder notifications for overdue invoices through Email, SMS or in-app push notifications 

In summation, ApnaComplex auto-calculates and sends maintenance invoices, following this up with notifications for overdue payments. This system ensures that no member misses the payment deadline due to oversight or negligence. The option to impose different penalties gives the admin control over the imposition payment charges. 

The defaulter report is critical in tracking late payments. It gives MCs an overall picture of the number of defaulters, total overdue payments, and the average outstanding amount each month. As an automated accounting module, ApnaComplex is also seen as an impartial source for collating data and calculating late payments. In case of a dispute, this data can be pulled up to see the actual picture. 

To know more about automated collection tools, get in touch with us at support@apnacomeplex. Our team can help you understand and adapt the accounting module to track late payments, send reminders, auto-calculate penalties, raise invoices, and schedule a defaulter’s report.


Building Community Engagement With ApnaComplex

Community Engagement: Building a Sense of Belonging

What makes a community? By definition, it is a social group with a shared characteristic, such as location, religion, custom, or identity. It is where we feel a sense of belonging and camaraderie. For gated communities inculcating the ‘community’ part of their nomenclature is often easier said than done. While we can get the ‘gated’ part easily enough, creating a spirit of community and belongingness can take a longer and more sustained effort.

ApnaComplex apartment management solutions offer multiple avenues for residents to connect and interact with each other. Apart from dispensing critical information, these communication channels help Management Committees (MCs) and Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) to engage with residents, thereby creating a community.

What is community engagement?

People engagement or the attempt to bring together different individuals and families living in a residential area plays an important role in developing a community. Long-term engagement helps residents to find like-minded people within their community. Over time, they form deep interpersonal relationships that further develop their sense of belonging. 

Most communities grow organically, bound by a common factor that can be driven by their heritage, race, or common interests. In a gated community, this can be hard to come by as it comprises people from different backgrounds and interests. In such cases, an MC or RWA has the onus of finding the common ground between people.

Why do we need Community Engagement?

Community engagement is one of the most important aspects of involving every individual in the activities and governance of a residential complex. It creates a harmonious social environment that is critical to a positive living experience. Involving residents in social and non-social activities also helps in gaining their trust. 

An engaged community can also make a crucial difference in the governance of the complex. New policies have a better chance of being accepted if we can build consensus among people. Wider acceptance can also make a significant difference to the chances of people adhering to new policies or developments. This is only possible through sustained, multi-layered engagement. 

How to Drive Community Engagement with ApnaComplex

As an apartment management solution, ApnaComplex offers MCs an ideal platform to lead community engagement activities. Different features can be leveraged to reach out to and involve the residents of the complex:

Information repository: Access to information can go a long way in instilling trust in the MC and its functioning. Members can post important documents such as rules and regulations, Annual General Meeting reports, audited financial statements, bye laws, regulatory documents, old and new policies. These documents also form the basis of various decisions or in execution of social activities. 

Communication platform: ApnaComplex communication module brings together all residents on one platform. In larger societies, this module resolves the member limitations usually found on other chat platforms. Consequently, we can include all the residents on a single communication channel. It can then be leveraged to dispense important messages or in coordinating social activities, such as organising festivals or carnivals. 

Announcement: On ApnaComplex the MC can post notices to inform people about important events or activities. Unlike physical notice boards, the in-app announcements are visible to all members for a specified period of time. Higher visibility ensures that residents are well informed about various events and occurrences in the premises. 

Suggestions & feedback: One of the best ways to involve residents in society governance is by asking for their suggestions and feedback. ApnaComplex Online Society Helpdesk allows residents to leave their suggestions and requests. They can also track progress of their requests on the app. 

Democratic governance: With ApnaComplex you can hold surveys and polls to gauge residents’ opinion on key measures. This process allows the residents a say in the management of the society, thereby boosting their overall involvement. 

ApnaComplex is an apartment management software that aims to build communities by leveraging technology. Our modules are designed to help MCs ensure a wider involvement of the residents in community governance, build trust, and help garner support for their policies and decisions. 


Enabling Data insight for smart living

Leveraging Data to Improve Lives in Gated Communities

Big Data is now widely recognised as one of the most powerful assets in the Corporate world. Yet, its importance in gated communities like apartment complexes has been largely ignored. Part of the reason lies in the fact that management committees and resident welfare associations had few means to collect data. Information analysis posed another challenge as few, if any, MC members or admins have the required proficiency.

ApnaComplex is an integrated platform with in-built data gathering tools that are immediately accessible and easy to understand. It offers MC and RWAs the opportunity to collate and interpret data without any additional infrastructure investment. With incisive data insight, they have the golden opportunity to empower decision-making, improve operational efficiency, and deliver a higher standard of living for residents. 

Gated Communities and Big Data

With thousands of residents, gated communities generate a sizable amount of data. This includes sensitive information, such as personal contact details, rent agreements, and more. This information is vital to the execution of key functions like validating new residents and collecting maintenance dues. Large residential complexes generate other data as a result of their daily operations. This can include information about visitors or patterns of utility consumption. 

As a community, MCs can also gather vital information like asking for residents’ suggestions or holding surveys and polls to collect consensus. Typically, this information is kept in silos and rarely taken beyond its original intent. With ApnaComplex, this information can be a powerful tool in improving efficiency and delivering a higher standard of living for residents.

How ApnaComplex enables Data Insight

ApnaComplex offers multiple avenues for data collection which are further strengthened by analytical tools. Information is collected automatically and can be easily accessed. More importantly, in-built analytical tools allow data insight that facilitates decision-making. Some of the areas where data can make a significant difference are:

Asset performance:The facility management module tracks asset performance. It offers us a comprehensive view of each asset, including individual attributes and servicing history. One can also input a regular maintenance schedule with timely notifications. Data like servicing and maintenance history is vital in assessing the performance of an asset. It can be leveraged to take decisions on future purchase orders, maintenance budget allocations, and determine the overall state of the society’s amenities and facilities.  

Budget allocation:The automated billing and accounting module is an extremely useful tool when collecting financial data on society expenditures. Features like Expense Tracking provide an accurate picture of spending under every category. The Budget Variance Report tracks any variance in planned spending, thereby throwing light on shortcoming of the current budget outlay. This data can then be leveraged to identify areas of overspending and where the allocation may be falling short. 

Instilling accountability: The honest and accountable use of maintenance funds is critical to ensure that the entire corpus is used for its intended purpose. Accountability at every step ensures that there are no diversions of funds and you have sufficient funds for various development or upkeep activities.

ApnaComplex data collation has in-built mechanisms to ensure traceability of data. This includes time stamps and user credentials every time the admin makes an addition. The ability to trace this data creates a tamper-proof framework where fund allocations can be easily traced. It enforces accountability, ensuring that every expenditure can be justified. 

Increasing productivity :For the management committee to effectively execute its policies, the staff must discharge its responsibilities efficiently. Legacy systems rarely have any system to track employee efficiency other than gathering direct feedback from residents. It can be difficult to carry out regular feedback for each employee. There is also no system for data recall.

With ApnaComplex you can track the performance of the housekeeping and maintenance staff through various modules. You can assign tasks and track its progress. The ERP gives you a clear data overview at one glance of all pending functions. It even sets up reminders so that key tasks are executed on time. 

Other productivity tools include the complaint module where an escalation ensures that unresolved issues are addressed in time. Similarly, attendance tracking ensures that the staff logs in their entry. Other than processing payrolls, this data is useful in performance review.

Resident satisfaction:One of the measurements of a high standard of living is the level of satisfaction among residents. Legacy systems have almost no established system of gathering residents’ feedback, suggestions, and opinions. In such cases, society governance can seem completely one-sided where the planning, execution, and enforcement of various policies lies solely with the management committee.

ApnaComplex Online Society Helpdesk module addresses this gap by creating a centralised data-gathering platform to collect complaints, suggestions and requests from every resident. Polls and surveys can be carried out to gather opinion on a proposed initiative. This empowers residents to initiate a task, enforce follow-up, and leave feedback. Data transparency is also critical in gaining the confidence and trust of the residents. 

Ensuring Data Privacy

The flipside of data empowerment lies in ensuring its security. With a stellar record of zero data breaches, ApnaComplex offers the most secure apartment management solution. Our ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Certification for Information Security Management systems is a testament to our continued commitment towards upholding the highest standards in preserving users’ privacy, meeting compliance requirements, and maintaining control. 

Click here to know more about ApnaComplex data security and privacy policies. To know why ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Certification is critical for us and our users, read our article here.