Professional property management services in demand

Time was when people were unable to put their real estate assets to better use. While some cursed the archaic provisions of the Rent Control Act, others, particularly NRIs who are away from home town for years together, could not utilise their assets to earn return on investment due to fear of not getting their assets back.

In a paradoxical situation, while residents are unable to get rental accommodation at affordable prices in metros, apartments were simply locked up without letting out due to lack of professionalised organisation to manage the assets in the absence of owners. With India on the threshold of a new era, international brands specialising in facility management are eyeing the potential surrounding the property management sector.

Demand from local and NRI market

Property management concept is nothing new under Indian conditions but so far it was confined to a few companies only extending the services for corporate sector. But on the retail client’s front, not many efforts were taken due to a combination of factors. Today, there is a demand for property management from two lakh apartments, say industry sources. This is because the demand not only emerges from NRIs but also from residents who are migrating to other states within the country in search of better career opportunities. So the need for such service increases when they invest in housing in one city and suddenly were compelled to shift to another city.

Comprehensive services

According to industry sources, a few companies are already in operation in Chennai and Bangalore. While some are expanding their operations to other cities, others are in the process of doing so. The competition is not much today but with the passage of time, more companies are likely to enter the fray. In the coming years, 12 major international brands providing similar services are likely to enter India. The comprehensive range of services provided by property management companies vary from preventative maintenance, placement, contracting, response maintenance, signage, commercial cleaning, pest control, annual maintenance contracts, health and safety.

For global Indians or even for residents working in other cities within India, leasing, remittance of statutory dues and other related areas necessitate services from the property management companies. Industry experts feel that the growing importance of property management services should be realised not only by the end users but by property developers and architects as well at the implementation stage itself. This will enable them to better understand the intricacies involved in the maintenance exercise.

For instance, if the top and edge of the building is not constructed in a way that can support appropriate movement for cleaning services, then it brings untold agony to both, feel experts. According to market sources, the rate for property management varies depending on the building, area and type of services required by the clients. Besides maintaining the building, property management companies are now extending their services even for resale of existing units and providing architectural designs. The scope of services may get enlarged further. There are better days ahead for investors in real estate to manage their assets without the need to solely depend on relatives and/or friends. This will also encourage more people especially NRIs/PIOs who are awaiting an opportunity to invest in specific asset category to earn periodical income on investment.

Add-on value to buildings

Additionally, there is a growing realisation among the investors about the addon value accrued to a well maintained building. Even the resale of apartment units is enhanced in a project managed by professional agencies. With the growing number of residential and commercial projects engulfing the city, demand for property management services can only go up. Property developers should also realise the need for facility management services, as it is their reputation which is at stake if their project is not maintained well, say property management companies. As developers cannot undertake such services beyond a particular period after the completion of project, there is an increased need for independent and professionally managed companies providing exclusive services.

Source: Economic Times

‘Patta’ to go online soon in Chennai

The initiative will help to curb bogus transactions

The concept of ‘patta’ — a legal paper attesting to the actual owner of a plot of land — may not have been so popular in big cities, but landholders in Chennai can soon get ‘patta’ online under a new government initiative aimed at curbing bogus transactions.

As the run-up to the exercise, 3.76 lakh land records in Chennai district have been computerised. The National Informatics Centre is developing a software. Once it is ready, computer-generated ‘patta’ documents can be issued, say officials.

Initially, Egmore and Mylapore will be covered as these taluks have a large number of land records.

Under the Revenue Department’s plan, applicants will have to go to government common service centres to access the system. After studying the experience, the department will make the system accessible to people “from anywhere at anytime,” explains an official.

Prior to the inspection of the property in question, applicants will get SMS alerts. Similarly, the decision of officials will also be conveyed through SMS. Later, the applicants can download the document, which will have the digital signature of the Tahsildar or the Deputy Tahsildar with the barcode.

The applicants can also know the status of their applications through the website.

The Revenue Department has started working with the Registration Department so that at the time of land transfer or sale, the data will automatically flow from the latter’s database to a central server, through which taluk officials will process the records.

Asked what the ‘patta’ document would contain in the case of flat owners, the official said such a document would be known as a “joint patta,” which would have the names of flat owners and their undivided share of land as reflected in their sale deeds.

Source: The Hindu Chennai

How do you choose a Good Builder

Now day’s builders are using all means to push sales in the market by announcing projects with catchy tag lines and celebrities endorsing it. Different payment plans are offered to lure property buyers. However, very less attention is paid to complete the project on time with the promised quality.

Ankit Jain, director, Nirmaan Associates, said buyer’s need to check some important points before choosing a project or a developer:

Builder’s Profile: Builder’s qualification and experience in the real estate industry is the first thing to enquire about. Check the builder’s official website, not only for designs and colors but the information they have put about themselves – the experience and qualification of the management team.

Track record:Check the past project performance of the builder and see if the project has “Completion Certificate”. This ensures the project is in line with the government norms.

Project approvals: Check if the project has all legal approvals and NOC’s from related regulatory authorities. Find if the project land is registered with the builder and if he has all necessary sanctions generated with clear information on approved FAR. You also need to know if the sewage, water connection and electricity sanctions have been obtained.

Credit ratings: Check whether the project is rated by any credit rating agency. Generally, agencies give ratings after detailed survey and due diligence of the project.

Besides the points mentioned above, property buyers should also do small checks on the following:

Low price property: If you find a property at very low price compared to the property next to it, one should double check on such a project. Check the property title, location (for instance dumping ground proposed next to your project) etc.

Hire an agent: It is always good to have an agent by your side not just for discounts and services, but also for support in case of any dispute with the builder. They should also keep you updated about your investment.

Builder-Buyer Agreement: Read the agreement carefully – check if there is any price escalation clause, any penalty mentioned for delayed possession or any possibility of changes in layout or specifications of units allotted.

Consumer forum: Today, the most convenient way of searching in this e-world is internet. Search on consumer forums and ask people if there is any complaint regarding the builder.

Source: Times of India Magic Bricks

More buyers are heading to South Chennai

More buyers are heading to South Chennai

An interesting fact about Chennai’s realty market is that more buyers are heading to South Chennai for property purchases. PropIndex, a quarterly research initiative of Magicbricks confirms the same. Eight out of ten preferred destinations are in South Chennai. Why so? Take a look….
Sushil Venglet, proprietor, Century Realtors and member of Chennai Real Estate Agents Association (CREAA) says, “Everything about South Chennai is more organized. Be it traffic, residential units, proximity to commercial complexes, healthcare or entertainment avenues like beaches or clubhouses.”

“Consequently, South Chennai attracted early investors and buyers. The region as a whole is still drawing in many NRIs and expats as well. Families prefer areas that are in close proximity to schools and where the social fabric is conducive. South Chennai is promising on that front.”

Therefore, even developer interests lean towards South. While, North Chennai is progressing gradually with infrastructural enhancements like ring road construction, development of smart city, Ponneri or even Kolathur that features in the list of preferred destinations, the progress is slow. More new projects have come up in South Chennai owing to its address value and long term appreciation prospects.

Why North Chennai lags behind?

North Chennai took off way later than South Chennai. This is the reason why the former lags behind in terms of social infrastructure. Occupancy was low, consequently development was slow paced and it remained more of an industrial area with warehouses and plants. Abu Baker, Colliers International-Chennai says, “Except for areas like Perambur, Kolathur or Ayanavarm, most areas have failed to gather developers’ interest. Properties in this market are slow moving and therefore even if land costs are less, investors are apprehensive about putting it into the local market.”

“While Ponneri and certain other pockets may emerge as residential hubs, it is only in the long term perspective. As of now, issues such as land acquisition need to be sorted. Government should also focus on improving the transport and infrastructure front of North Chennai, which is poor,” adds Baker.

More buyers in Chennai are drifting towards convenience. As Venglet puts it, “Most residents who put up in Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) on rent preferred East Coast Road when it came to owning a property. While OMR meant proximity to workspaces, ECR meant better infrastructure.”

“OMR residents face water issues, as there is no groundwater and the corporation is unable to provide. Residents went in to buy water for daily use. Naturally, ECR posed as a better alternative. Buyers don’t mind driving a little more or paying a little extra for convenience. Similar is the reason as to why South Chennai is preferred by buyers than north,” adds Venglet.

In North Chennai, traffic is a problem. While connectivity is exceptional, roads need a facelift. Baker says, “25-30 ft roads form highways which make commuting difficult. More so, heavy vehicles on the roads also make driving by difficult.”

Are North Chennai residents at an advantage when it comes to property prices? The answer is both a yes and a no. While prices are low, infrastructure wise, buyers would need to compromise.

However, most trend watchers also believe that North Chennai is not a forsaken deal. It is however, just a matter of time, some environmental and infrastructural monitoring and North Chennai could be investor friendly as well. May be in the long term when South Chennai is at the brink of saturation, North Chennai would mature as has been the case in many metro cities which have branched out.

Preferred Destinations

PropIndex data informs that Guduvancheri, OMR and Porur feature as the top three localities for capital investment. While affordability might be driving Guduvancheri, OMR and Porur are hotbed for investment by IT employees. The broad range of capital values in these areas are Rs 3000-5000 per sq ft.

Other localities in the top-ten list are Velachery, Medavakkam, Madipakkam, Kolathur, Pallikarnai and Tambaram.

Source: Times of India

Smart Cities in India – Redefining the Future of Real Estate

Smart cities are the new buzzword for the ever expanding real estate of India. With the Modi government all set to redefine the Indian economy, smart cities are definitely turning out to be a ‘smart move’. Read on to know more. 

What Issac Asimove had depicted about the future, seems to be turning into a reality, though quite slowly. By now when we all have mastered the art of using smart phones, all of a sudden urban cities are also set to become “smart”. smart city

 

Urban India is all set to get a new fillip with the new government all set to focus on developing smart cities. With INR 7060 crores allotted for the development of smart cities, a completely new chapter is about to unfold. Let’s explore!

What are smart cities?

Well, while the concept has existed in Europe and the Americas since the early 1980s, the definitions of smart cities continue to remain a little ambiguous. However, narrowly, smart cities can be defined as those cities that make use of information and technology to deliver services to its citizens. Smart cities use information, technology and resources efficiently resulting in a much improved quality and overall lifestyle. So it can be said that at the core of smart cities lie optimal utilization of resources through technology.

While the smart cities in the European Union continue to lead the global space, India is also embracing the concept. The Modi government has taken an extra effort to make things work in India for smart cities.

Significance of Smart Cities for India

The rate at which developing economies are progressing, it is expected that by 2050, nearly 75 of the planet’s population will reside in cities. Needless to say that this massive urban population will throw up new challenges for the environment; in order to address these issues, the government would have to resort to technology. It is at this hour that “smart cities” would come to the rescue. The image below highlights some of the features of smart cities:

smart city 1

Smart cities will bring in a completely new method of functioning and also help in the holistic working. Smart cities in India are on the way of their progression. The BJP government has already commissioned seven smart cities. Out of that three cities will become functional by 2019. These include: Global City, Shendra-Bidkin and Dholera. All the seven smart cities will come across in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. Let’s explore one such smart city that is all set to redefine the future of Indian real estate.

Pallava City, Mumbai Suburbs

Developed by the real estate builder, Lodha Group, Pallava City is one of its kinds in the realm of smart cities. The project will be providing all the features that define a smart city. Lodha Group already has a franchise with the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd for a round-the-clock electricity supply. It has also tied up with GE Electronics to ensure 100% recycling of water and automatic water billing. A fleet of CNG buses will be made available that will run daily at regular intervals. Retail chains will also be available for an easy life.

Demand for Smart Cities and Their Prices

The demand for smart cities in India is on the rise. While metro cities have the maximum demands, tier II cities are also gradually following the footsteps. Depending on the city, the demand for smart cities varies between—low-moderate-high-very high. While Bangalore falls under the high-very-high bracket, Pune and Mumbai can be categorized under the moderate segment.

While smart cities are the new buzzword in India, a trend has been observed where the demand seems to be a little laidback. The reason attributed for the same is the high-prices of properties within this premium segment of realty market. Here’s a quick look

                   City
               Price Per Square Feet
        Mumbai Suburbs
               INR 15000 –INR 25000
        Delhi/NCR
               INR 10000- INR 20000
        Bengaluru
               INR  8000 – INR 22000
        Pune
               INR  9000 – INR 19000
        Chennai
               INR 5000 – INR 10000

Source: 99acres.com

 

Though, the price tag is definitely a little more than usual, it has not turned out to be a deterrent. Smart cities have a great future in India and Narendra Modi’s dream to build 100 smart cities definitely seem to be an achievable one.

Author Bio: Sampurna Majumder is a professional writer who enjoys creativity and challenges. Barely a year into new media, sheSampurna Majumdar has written several posts, articles and blogs for prominent websites spanning a wide range of topics such real estate, education and jobs. The above post explores the concept of Smart Cities in India.

Tips for NRIs investing in commercial property in India

For Non Resident Indians (NRIs) looking at investing in Indian property today, the task is challenging. On one hand, with the rupee touching all time lows against the dollar, it appears to be a great time to remit funds to India for investment. However, on the other hand, with India’s growth story looking bleak, the prospect for high returns seems an uphill task. For Non Resident Indians with big budgets and who have the appetite for some serious real estate investing, here’s an option you might want to consider.

If you are keenly looking at investing in property in India, consider commercial spaces. “Today, NRI’s are buying commercial properties for investment. Of course, HNIs also continue to plough huge amounts of money into high-ticket commercial properties in the quest for yield. Private bankers and wealth management firms confirm that their clients have actively started investing in commercial properties after staying away in 2009 and 2010. These investors have bought into commercial properties because they seek assets that can protect their portfolios from inflation and stock market volatility. The possibility of diversifying your portfolio, the sheer pride of ownership and the benefits of the longer leases that typify commercial tenants are the other reasons why an investor should look at commercial real estate investing” says Ramesh Nair, COO – Operations, Jones Lang La Salle.

So if you are looking at commercial property, here are some tips that might help you.

Location

“Investors need to establish the soundness of the location and its demand/supply dynamics. If they do not engage in sufficient research, they may end up buying into micro markets which have or will have high vacancies,” Nair says. NRIs must ensure that the economy, job market and population growth in the market is healthy.

“Today Bangalore and Mumbai offer the best investment opportunities for commercial,” he adds.

Type of property

There are different kinds of commercial properties that are available. The popular ones are retail and office spaces. “Till a few years ago, only large units were available in both, making it difficult for a small investor to invest. However, there has been a change and smaller spaces are becoming available,” says Pankaj Kapoor, Founder and Managing Director at Liases Foras Real Estate Rating & Research Pvt Ltd.

“Many developers, especially in cities such as Mumbai, are today offering smaller units of space (as small as 500-1,500 square feet) in Grade A buildings. Investors looking at retail space can now consider a multitude of affordable options in free-standing high street outlets or shops in malls,” Nair says.

In fact, if you are looking at buying retail space, Nair says it is advisable to look at high street rather than a mall as a strata sold mall is a recipe for disaster. In a strata sale model, shops in a mall are pre-sold to individual investors. The developer thus restricts himself to selling a store as a unit and investor can hunt for a tenant. The problem arises because the model has no control over trade and tenant mix and there is no cohesiveness to the mall to attract customers.

Out lay and expected returns

Experts suggest that the minimum budget you should have in mind for a commercial investment is Rs 3-4 crore.
Kapoor pegs the rental yield from commercial properties at 12%. Rental yield is nothing but the annual rent divided by the property value. “Often, buyers tend to ignore rental yield and instead focus only on capital appreciation. However, rental yield is a very important parameter as it represents productivity of the price. When you buy a commercial property, make sure that you can get a rental yield of at least 11-12%. An yield of less than that means the property is overvalued,” Kapoor explains.

According to Nair you can expect returns of 10-11% per annum from commercial investment. “Remember, you do not only make a profit on the sale of appreciated commercial property – the rental cash flows of a well-located office or shop space are considerable. Unlike with a residential property, the income that can be generated from commercial property is what determines its value. In other words, the capitalisation rate is actually the measure of the demand for the property. For those who do their homework well, investing in commercial property is a high-adrenaline and high-returns game,” he says.

Due diligence

Like any other property purchase, commercial real estate investing too calls for a fair share of due diligence.

Check the developer credentials, potential for infrastructure development, access to public transport and quality of property management in the project. If you are investing in a retail store, consider the frontage, foot-fall and the dynamics of the adjoining catchment

“If you are an investor looking at an income producing office asset, look at the break-up of cash flows, the vacancy factor, expenses such as maintenance, property tax and building insurance, lease term, lock-in period and expiry dates, long-term capital appreciation potential, and refurbishment, refinancing and repositioning potential,” Nair adds.

Source: Economic Times

Chennai City police revive verification system

Tenant details back under the scanner

 

City police revive verification system; nearly 89,000 forms collected so far

In an attempt to curb crime and provide security to senior citizens in the city, the city police have revived the tenant information system.

They are now accepting filled-in forms at police stations. Till Thursday, nearly 89,000 tenants in the city had submitted their details through tenant verification/information forms.

The police have revived the initiative as the Madras High Court has lifted the stay on creation of the database.

The police say this measure will help to identify miscreants occupying residential areas under the guise of tenants.

To help residents submit the forms, the police are considering placing a box at police booths throughout the city. At present, residents have to either send a courier addressed to the respective station house officer or furnish the details in person.

Several residents have submitted forms at the nearest police stations. However, they have raised concerns over how such enormous database of personal information will be safeguarded.

Ravindra Gupta, a house owner in MKB Nagar, said: “I submitted forms with proof of identity. The police must provide more options for people who are unable to visit police stations. Acknowledgement receipts must also be provided quicker.”

Senior citizens like Ratna Sivasubramanian of Anna Nagar said they feel secure sharing details with the police. “I shifted from Tuticorin recently. I feel safer with the police knowing my whereabouts,” she said.

Responding to residents’ concerns, police officers said there are plans to monitor the database on tenants through a common server at the police commissionerate.

It may be recalled that the suspects in a daring bank robbery in February 2012 had masqueraded as college students and were living on rented premises in Velachery. The episode ended in a gruesome early morning gun fight in the residential colony, and all suspects were gunned down by the police.

The tenant information system, introduced then, hit a road block after a court stay against the police seeking tenants’ personal details.

Senior city police officers made alterations to the questions in the form and the Madras High Court cleared the revival of the information gathering process by end of 2013, said a senior officer at the commissionerate.

Earlier this month, commissioner S. George had issued a statement requesting landowners to submit details of their tenants. The deadline, which was September 30, has been extended now.

“The data to be furnished is similar to that needed for a mobile phone connection or booking a railway ticket. But house owners can choose their tenants without any permission from the police. There will be no interference in the agreement between the owner and the tenant,” said the officer.

Source: The Hindu

Property tax defaulters names on Chennai Corporation website

The city corporation has finally uploaded on its website the list of property tax defaulters in Chennai, five months after TOI came out with a news report, ‘Malls, star hotels, govt among major property tax defaulters,’ on March 31.

Initially, the civic body refused to provide the list of defaulters but was forced to do so after TOI filed an appeal under the RTI Act. A majority of the defaulters paid up their arrears after the news report was published and are not included in the new list.

According to www.chennaicorporation.gov.in/images/defaulters%20list.pdf, J Hotels Ltd in T Nagar (now Accord Metropolitan) is the biggest defaulter with 4.21 crore followed by Khivraj Tech Park in Guindy ( 2.99 crore), Ramee Mall ( 1.15 crore), Chennai Citi Centre ( 38.18 lakh), Empee Hotels Ltd ( 33.90 lakh) and CSI Diocese of Madras ( 23.60 lakh).

A corporation official said the list of the top 195 defaulters was available. “The remaining defaulters will also be updated soon. We hope this name and shame strategy will increase the tax collection.” He said delay in disposal of cases under litigation was the major hindrance to recovering dues.

Sources say owners of several large buildings continue to undervalue their property tax commitment and pay lower tax to the corporation. Several government institutions, including CMDA, magistrate court complexes, police stations, housing board colonies, slum board tenements and Southern Railway, are defaulters.

Despite a law stipulating that property tax be revised once every five years, the corporation has not revised it since 1998, mainly due to political pressure.

In 2009, the corporation began uploading on its website the names of defaulters with arrears of more than 1 lakh, but soon discontinued the practice following ‘pressure’ from defaulters.

The number of taxpayers increased from 6.5 lakh to 10.82 lakh after expansion of the city but tax collection has not risen in tandem. Neither is a fine imposed for late payments nor is an incentive given for advance payments like is done by several civic bodies across the country.

Pune and Bangalore corporations offer 10% and 5% discount for those paying property tax before the deadline, while in Hyderabad, notices are served to those who haven’t paid tax for more than three years and action initiated.

Source: The Times of India, Chennai

Commercial and tourist traffic may return to the Buckingham canal Chennai

Commercial and tourist traffic may return to the Buckingham canal on 45-km stretch from Thiruvanmiyur to Kalpakkam

Believe it or not, boating may return to Buckingham canal. However, it’s not the portion near Chennai Central but a 45-km stretch from Thiruvanmiyur to Kalpakkam, where the canal looks like its original self, which might see traffic and activity returning.

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has been given a go-ahead by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) report along the South Buckingham Canal.

The plan is to make this stretch of the canal suitable for navigation of cargo vessels of maximum 300 tonnes and movement of tourist and passenger vessels of reasonable size as well as construction of three terminals for loading and unloading of cargo.

According to the plan, the canal needs dredging and banks have to be formed with excavated soil. It also requires dredging of sea mouths in Muttukadu and Kalpakkam and subsequent maintenance.

Terminals have to be constructed at suitable locations for cargo and passenger operation with necessary facilities including weigh bridges, truck parking and electrical sub-stations.

While granting permission for preparation of EIA/EMP reports, the MoEF has sought the map of the proposed locations of the terminals as they may fall within Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and therefore, require clearance.

The MoEF has sought the feasibility report for the project to know the availability of pathway between Thiruvanmiyur to Kaplakkam in view of the existing bridges, road crossings and obstructions.

Officials say it would require dismantling and removal of the bridge at Kelambakkam that has less navigational clearance. A new bridge has to be constructed with the required clearance.

If the IWAI, a unit of the Union Shipping Ministry, can pull it off, Chennai will have another transport route running parallel and in between the East Coast Road and Old Mahabalipuram Road.

Source The Hindu Chennai

Property Management in India comes of age

When Jones Lang LaSalle India first launched property and asset management services in India in 2003, the number of residential and commercial complexes being managed by an international property consultancy was minimal. The perception back then was that such professional services are too expensive.

With time, this perception changed and developers began opting for such services by International Property Consultants (IPCs), learning to see them as more than just manpower vendors and accepting property management as a specialised and cost-saving service. This change in the mindset is very evident with the increasing number of housing societies that are opting for professional property management services by IPCs.

Today, the market for professional property management by IPCs in India, is valued at around Rs 1,000 crores and is expected to grow by at least 20 per cent annually. The maximum demand for these services is in the NCR region, which has seen a massive supply of projects and has an equally staggering number of projects in the pipeline. The second-highest demand comes from the south, primarily from Bangalore and Chennai. In Mumbai, these services are preferred more for the commercial office buildings and highend residential societies.

MAKING A DECISIVE DIFFERENCE

Usually, limited integrated service providers venture into management of residential condominiums and ensure that the RWA (Resident Welfare Organisation ) nominates members for responsibilities of maintaining and employing security and housekeeping directly, in order to reduce the cost. This is a redundant model.

In other words, IPCs specialised in property management, provide a one-stop solution and additionally support in various technical aspects to professionally and cautiously manage safety, security, cleanliness, etc., and maintain a very strict adherence to statutory requirements. This ensures both, tangible and intangible benefits.

For residential property management to become feasible for both, the client and the agency, the total saleable area of the project would be around 3,00,000 sq ft for a mid-level housing society.

THE GENERAL LIST OF SERVICES INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:

> Electro-mechanical (E and M) services

> Housekeeping services

> Security services

> Clubhouse management

> Promotion displays/space on hire

> Help-desk /concierge services

> Hardscape/landscape management

> Garbage management

> Events and promotions management

> Vendor management

> Annual maintenance contract ( AMC) management

In the case of cities like Mumbai, there is demand for enhanced services which include additional aspects such as clubhouse management.

RESIDENTS’ RESPONSIBILITIES

Though professional property management in residential complexes encompasses a multitude of functions and services geared towards providing a comfortable and hassle-free experience for tenants, there is a certain onus of responsibility on the tenants as well. Without such cooperation, the smooth functioning of the project is bound to be compromised sooner or later.

To encourage this participation, two sets of guidelines are handed over to tenants. The first is the fit-out guidelines list, which highlights the dos and don’ts that residents need to adhere to, while undertaking fit-outs in their apartments. The basis of these guidelines is to avoid structural damage to the building. These guidelines also include a set of instructions pertaining to how to bring materials into their flats without causing disturbance to other residents.

The other set of guidelines is an occupants handbook. This highlights the list of dos and don’ts to be followed during occupancy. This handbook is typically modified, depending on the requirements of the developer and the society.

THE NUTS AND BOLTS

The deployment of property management manpower in a housing complex is based on the total saleable area of the project. In general, it consists of five security guards, four house-boys and two personnel from the technical team for every 1 lakh sq ft. The structure of the management team varies with the property and the scope.

For managing any housing complex, a team which consists of a property manager, a housekeeping executive, a security officer, a technical manager and helpdesk executives, forms the core management team. This team is based onsite and further manages a team of houseboys, security guards and technical support personnel, all of which are also stationed onsite.

There are schedules made for carrying out preventive maintenance and maintenance contracts are issued for key plants and equipment. The onsite team’s role is to coordinate with the vendors servicing these contracts and to ensure that all activities are carried out in a timely manner.

COST TO THE DEVELOPER OR SOCIETY

The average cost of professional residential property management is Rs 2-3.5 per sq ft for normal projects and between Rs 5-7 per sq ft for premium housing projects. In the case of housing societies, maintenance charges or common area maintenance charges (CAM) are worked out to include all expenses required for operating and maintaining the society. Besides day-to-day expenses, these also include AMCs, insuranceand sinking fund. The developer may typically add overhead expenses for infrastructure and resources provided by them to maintain the society. CAM charges are generally kept fixed for a period of one year and any upward or downward revision of the same may be done in subsequent years annually, with the surplus or deficit being credited or debited to align CAM as per expenses.

SAVINGS AND OTHER BENEFITS

Significantly, the increase in interest in buying into or tenanting residential buildings that feature professional property management services – as opposed to buildings that do not, is between 30-40 per cent. The costsavings to developers/project owners who opt for professional property management services rather than relying on their own capabilities, depend on the type and age of the building. However, a saving of at least 5-7 per cent is generally achievable in the initial stage. This figure cumulatively increases as the various processes being implemented edge out redundancies and increase efficiency.

PERSONNEL TRAINING

A specially-trained workforce is a critical aspect of professional property management and this cannot be compromised on. Though most employed personnel come with prior experience, the landscape of this service vertical itself, is changing constantly. Buildings are being designed or re-designed to comply with emerging technologies, safety parameters and sustainability standards, and upgrades to overall operational efficiency are a constant process. The specifications of buildings and the facilities and functions that need to be maintained tend to differ from project to project. For this reason, property management employees at all levels need to constantly upgrade their knowledge and hands-on skills.

In the case of professional property management services by IPCs, such training is provided on a daily basis to the basic level staff, which includes the houseboys and security guards. This training is usually imparted when the shifts change to ensure maximum attendance. The duration varies from 15-30 minutes. Advanced training is imparted to onsite managers and executives. These training sessions are given by regional experts and can last between one to two hours. A happy byproduct of this training regimen is that property management employees at all levels, are enabled to advance their careers within the firm by proving themselves fit for more challenging roles.

Source: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-07-26/news/40815705_1_property-management-asset-management-management/