Evolution Of Society Management Apps In India

Over a decade ago, society management was a micro affair of ghettos or chawls as larger community welfare was undiscovered hitherto. In those “medieval” times, both residents and management bodies ran mutual affairs on the ‘traditional paper module’, ranging from services, security, accounting to even simple day-to-day communication. 

Cut to the modern picture – large gated communities with high-rising 100 to 5000 units rolled among the bustling Indian metros, lifestyle went epicurean, RWAs vouched for one-tap automated dealings, and finally, tech leveraging apps took over housing societies manifold, owing to the pandemic, slaughtering contact points like never before. 

The part and parcel of the sharp uptick for society management services are indebted to the rudimentary mission of a holistic 360° living experience that modern societies are built upon. More so when the pandemic stands at bay, a household interaction beyond the security gates underwent a sea change, making way for tech-based platforms to tap essential services in community living, all surveilled and contactless. More than 40,000 apartments and housing complexes have subscribed to society management apps in the last quarter  But why? To answer that, let’s pick a practical scenario –

Sam lives in a 500-unit society and also happens to be a MC member. He supervises the various amenities such as clubhouses, shops gyms, gardens, parking facilities, etc. Apart from that, he faces several challenges like cash collections, security mapping, visitor & vehicle management, resourcing facilities, or even bulk accounting. Sam’s manual handling turns into a burden for the community. But then, he switches to a society management app that automates action on all those manual tasks in one tap under a single integrated database, without compromising security and data privacy. The stage is set!

Society Management Apps in India –   The New Normal

Modern societies have classified services for residents and RWAs distinctly and redefined the way how we look at residential necessities and facilities. The majority of society management apps & services are patented to ensure smooth efficiency by maximizing capital and minimizing workload. Be it accounting of community funds, maintenance collection, invoice generation, helpdesk support, gate security management, Indian players like ADDA,and others went ahead of the curve and revamped pandemic features to help residents deal with crisis, contamination, and closure even in the post-pandemic world.

Several app-tech contemporaries have taken the misleading evolutionary path and the results are alarming. Resident spamming, forced marketing, app popups – all for nothing. The consumer reason why society management apps possibly could reign the “new normal” is by solving the smallest and oldest accounting or security stumbling blocks in a much more cost-effective & user-friendly way. 

It’s tried and tested how efficient society management leads to happy communities, it’s not where it ends. Although digital security and community awareness programs are at the helm of affairs, what sets apart a residential app is its quintessential features that bolster a harmonious community experience.

Smart Accounting 
The common stereotype of society accounting management is that it’s transparent when done manually. However, with units and acres uprising, societies have innate financial matrices of maintenance, invoicing, auditing, income & expense trackers, ledgering, etc that these apps can automate and ensure integrated solutions without zero number errors. A tested ERP accounting module can also aid MCs with proper asset management with cost analysis of resources and timely payment records under one database in a much lesser time & budget. 

Seamless Communication 
It’s a timeless cliche but tested fact that man is a social animal. But when deprived of a solid communication system, sustaining mutual awareness between residents and RWAs can fade over time owing to ‘muted’ WhatsApp groups & announcement boards. Smart society management apps dedicate a DIY-oriented platform for internal communication via. resident groups, polls, Classifieds, MC discussion forums, Announcements. media shareability, VoIP conversations, real-time activity logging, emergency sharing, etc. The result stands for spam limitation. easy member verification, community self-sustenance, more so in these times of social distancing when each resident is symptomized with life-saving information. 

Foolproof Security 
Security fallouts leading to data breaches or communal vulnerability are major pain points of any community. CCTV cameras alone are backdated. Today software solutions that these apps provide integrate hardware/human security roles. A manning guard loses track to track entry/exits of visitors, vendors, and vehicles. However, as tech leveraged security automation viz. IoT devices, Geo-fencing, QR-code-based patrolling & staff management, Home Cloud vigilance, In-App Panic Alert, etc these apps now directly provide end-to-end user solutions. This robust security system allows residents to pre-approve guests & deny entries just in one tap, taking center stage during the pandemic.

Visitor Management Technology 
A community is a reservoir of visitors, staff, vendors, deliveries and unwanted entries, etc. Therefore, these apps help residents to grant/deny/preapprove to that entry-list, and even record such real-time data via. MIS reports, providing insights on results of past visits in future problems. Tech leveraging visitor modules also links Access Control System in parking space or unit which restricts trespassing and even mandates activities with QR codes/OTPs. Features like “Leave at Gate” or “Shop at Home” are also a boon during the pandemic skepticism. 

Is Evolution Still Loading?
A fresh survey highlights around 15% of Indian housing societies use a community management app. As cities are getting smarter, five years from now society app subscriptions will increase manifold owing to the paramount business opportunity in the future of the residential society sector. The road ahead is the expansion to 2-tier cities and beyond the subcontinent to ease the oldest of community problems and the pessimistic of user base with a much-refined list of tech-borne product USPs even in a post-pandemic worldview.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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