India has a dynamic and rapidly evolving real estate industry catering to the housing needs of a growing urban population. The choices available to buyers today range from plotted developments to apartments to group housing complexes.
An increasing number of real estate developers have graduated from selling not just a home,but one with a lifestyle attached. Most projects are marketed that way,and most home buyers are attracted to the spin.
Given todays hectic lifestyles buyers are keen to look for developments that offer stress-free living. In addition to key features like environment-friendliness,security,recreational facilities,convenience stores,proximity to hospitals,schools,workplace etc.,the major factor that one should keep in mind while choosing property is the way in which facilities are managed. A complex having an efficient facility management service provider to take care of tiny yet critical services should ideally be a home buyers first preference.
There is a lot of difference between living in a housing complex and living in a well-managed housing complex. As is the norm,developers pass on the responsibility of managing the complex and its back-end operations to Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) immediately after handing over possession.
The RWAs usually hire facility management providers to take care of key operations like security,building maintenance,housekeeping,lighting,power backup,plumbing,gardening etc. It is crucial for the RWA members to hire such services immediately after possession is offered by the developer so that proper handover of all services in the facility can happen. Transfer of documents such as equipment manuals,defect liability periods etc during this process,also requires due attention.
Of late a pattern has emerged wherein real estate developers have their own facility management divisions to manage housing complexes built by them.
Services ranging from security to housekeeping to continuous power backup are all handled by these subsidiaries. The advantage in such an arrangement is the convenience factor.
Since the developer is aware of the systems installed,it is easier for him to manage the property and provide quick response. Moreover,since developers can leverage their existing relationships with manufacturers and vendors who have provided the equipment it saves many a hassle both to the residents and the facility managers.
Having the developer directly involved in managing facilities in the project leads to increased accountability and responsibility. Residents can be assured of swift action by the facility management teams in case of any emergency,saving a lot of time and worry. Good facility management can analyse systemic errors and loopholes which can go a long way in saving energy and cutting costs.
For instance,professional facility management services encourage regular analysis of energy consumption in common areas and suggest ways and means of reducing the same.
It is thus advisable to discuss in detail about all these arrangements with the brokers and developer before investing into dream home. It is advisable for buyers to visit an existing project of the developer to evaluate the quality of back-end services/facilities before investing.
This could be a productive exercise,helping one understand the strength of the promises being made when it comes to offering these support services. Paying attention to detail is the first step towards making correct choices.
Buying a dream home requires a lot of work and proper planning. Knowing that the back-end operations are benchmarked with the best,would add more glitter to the frontage.
The author is director & CEO,Alpha G:Corp