Discover cleaner HOA (HomeOwners’ Association) collaboration.

February 24, 2009

Collaborating among HOA members is essential to discuss and take collective decisions, share details of income and expenditure, organize cultural and sports events, etc.,.  

Forming a Google Group or a Yahoo Group and communicating via EMails is one option available for HOA members to collaborate with each other for such purposes. But, that option has some limitations..

  • *All members* will receive *all messages*, which may or may not be important.
  •  If there are multiple blocks and there is going to be a topic which is specific to the block , even then all members will receive those emails.
  • There is no option to notify special interest groups (Gym Users) within the residential community.

To avoid such problems, it is better to have an private online forum, with discussion threads. In this approach, emails can be sent only when required, like to notify users when important announcements or discussion threads are started.

ResidentialCommunity.in, the Free HOA Management & Collaboration Software, which already has support for private online forum for HOA members, has now added support for notifying users about important announcements and discussions

Notify HOA Members

Notify HOA Members

The new feature includes the ability to notify just a specific block, if the discussion thread is of concern to that specific block alone, instead of spamming all members with notification emails. 

In each of the Announcement and Discussion pages, there will now be an option to notify users as shown in the image. 

Support will also be provided to notify special interest groups (like say a group of Chess players or Gym Users, etc.,.) within the residential community.

Discover cleaner HomeOwners’ Association (HOA) collaboration.
Discover ResidentialCommunity.in

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Support for Photos now available in HOA Management Software

January 30, 2009

Residential CommunityOur Free HOA Management Software now has support for uploading photos and sharing them within the residential community.

The images uploaded could be photos from meetings/events organized by the HOA, scans of the residential community’s layout diagrams showing the blocks/residential-units, other important scans like drawings of piping for water, sewerage, etc.,.

Online Demo : All Photos List
Online Demo : Layout of the Blocks in HOA
Online Demo : Photo from an Event organized by HOA

Embed images into Documents, Discussions or Annoucements

The uploaded photos can also be embedded inline into Documents, Discussions or Announcements. For example, this HOA Bylaws document includes the layout image in section 8, to aid in describing the organization of the association.

The BBCode for embedding an image within a Document/Discussion/Annoucement is as given below… 

[img]http://www.residentialcommunity.in/demo1/Image/2601[/img]

Similarly, to embed a thumbnail of the uploaded image, the BBCode will be of the form given below..

[img]http://www.residentialcommunity.in/demo1/Thumbnail/2601[/img]

Rotate Images 

When uploading a photo, one has options to rotate it by 90 degrees (clockwise), 180 degrees or 270 degrees (clockwise). This can either be done during upload itself or in case you forget to do it, you can always go to the edit image details page and rotate as required.  It is not required to upload the image again, but just “Use existing image file” option in the form (enabled by default in edit mode).

Associate Photos to Events

One also has options to specify the associated Event, for the uploaded photo (like say the New Year Celebrations) and the photos will get displayed in that Event Details page. 

Online Demo : Photos in Event Details page

(Option to add profile photos of members, will be taken up later.)


Free HOA Software now enables Organizing Cultural and Sports Events

December 19, 2008

Our Free Online Home Owners’ Association (HOA) Software now enables organizing events within the residential community.

Moderators can now add Events and assign Organizers for each event. Such Organizers, who are usually members of the residential community, will then have permissions to add/remove Volunteers, Participants and Sponsors for that specific event.

Online Demo : HOA Events in Dashboard
Online Demo : HOA Events Listing page

Apart from the Organizers, Volunteers, Participants and Sponsors, each event can also have an associated Discussion/Announcement page and an associated Document, like for the Guidelines or Rules for Sports Events or Agenda for the Cultural Events.

Online Demo : HOA Event Details (includes details of Organizers, Volunteers, Partipants and Sponsors)

Apart from this, Events can also have Sub-Events, so as to divide and manage them with ease. Each such Sub-Event can inturn have Organizers, Volunteers, Participants, Sponsors, associated Discussion/Announcement, associated Document and of course Sub-Events again.

Online Demo : Sub-Events for a Major HOA Event

Completed events will be archived, automatically.

The Proposed Pricing Plans for the Online HOA is now available and includes details on how they compare with the Free Edition of HOA.

If you would like to try this out for your residential community, please send an email from your gmail-account mentioning your apartment name to r.rajkumar@gmail.com

We welcome your feedback on the new features and on the proposed pricing plans.


Annoucements and Discussions now supported in HomeOwners’ Association Management Software

December 9, 2008

Another upgrade, and now, we have added support for making announcements and collaborating on topics of interest, using discussions. The announcement and discussions will be private to the HOA’s residential community.

Online Demo : HOA Announcements

Online Demo : HOA Discussions

Announcements can be made only by moderator level user, while commenting on the announcement thread can be by any registered member of the HomeOwners’ Association.

Initiating and commenting on discussion threads can be by any registered user of the HOA.

BBCode, which was supported in the Documents feature, is also supported in Announcement and Discussion posts.

Check out the features and let me know if you have any inputs on improving things.

If you want to start using this software for your residential community, let me know ( r.rajkumar [at] gmail [dot] com), so that I will create an account, accessible via an URL like http://www.residentialcommunity.in/YourApartmentName and make you the moderator.

By the way, I forgot to tell you : I plan to offer a free version !!

Yes, there will always be a “fairly generous free edition“, which will be ad-supported.

Note : Since I have planned to attend a training program for the next 22 working days (details later), instantaneous fixes/improvements will have to wait until late evenings. Of course, features will keep rolling in at the same rate.


Online HOA now supports Documents, Office Bearer Posts and Office Bearers directory

November 28, 2008

Our Online Software for Home Owners’ Associations, http://www.ResidentialCommunity.in, has now added support for Documents, Office Bearer Posts and Office Bearers. More details..

HOA Documents :

Now any moderator user, usually an Office Bearer, can add or edit documents of the HOA. This may include By-Laws, Covenants, Architectural Guidelines, Fire safety guidelines, Budget and Financial details, FAQ or any other document with information that might be useful for the community.

The By-Law documents can then be associated to either the whole Community or to the Blocks functioning as Branch Units. And these documents can be interlinked too. The document editor uses BBCode to avoid Javascript based vulnerabilities.

Demo : Documents of HOA

For more details on using BBCode, kindly refer to this sample document generated using BBCode and the BBCode source for that document.

HOA Office Bearers :

Now, one can specify the HOA Office Bearer Posts, like President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, etc.,. at the Community level (All Blocks) and at each Block level. For each of these posts, one can define Office Bearers, usually existing Community users. Past records of the Office Bearers can also be maintained for the posts.

Demo : Office Bearer Posts of HOA
Demo : Current Office Bearers of HOA
Demo : All Office Bearers of HOA

For making someone a moderator of the community, one can use the edit option for that user from the “All Users” list view.

Do check out the Online Demo of the ResidentialCommunity.in, the Home Owners’ Association Software offered as a hosted, ondemand service (SaaS), which has now been updated with these new features. and feel free to send us your feedback either as comments here or using the feedback form in the site or as email to r.rajkumar [at] gmail [dot] com.

FYI : We are happy that our sister site dealing with Hostels and Paying Guest accommodation (currently focussed on Chennai, India), http://www.PlaceToStay.in, has earned one more Best Answer (after Best Answer for Hostels in Mylapore) in Yahoo Answers. This time, we are glad to have helped out Pramod on his Query for Hostels in Sholinganallur.

Note : We/Our/Us etc., in the blog post denotes *all* the employees at Sahasvat 😉


First cut of the Home Owners Association (HOA) Software

November 11, 2008

It has been a month since I had posted, so just an update..

Was working on a few enhancements in PlaceToStay.in (including support for a secure code based authorization for editing individual entries) and also in populating more data. Now the number of entries has increased from just 10 entries (all in Velachery) to reach the 50 entries mark.

The Map of Hostels, PG, Serviced Apartments in Chennai looks better now. Probably, I will make the map view as default, so as to avoid the need for sorting and the resultant indexing problems.

By increasing the entries, I was able to answer a few questions, like..

Hi can you please suggest some descent boys hostel for it employee in mylapore ,chennai?

(Chosen as Best Answer)

Can anyone suggest some good hostels in chennai for working women?
areas near to adyar, thiruvanmiyoor preferred
(In Voting)

Where can i find the best ladies hostels in chennai?
(In Voting)

http://www.PlaceToStay.in does get a decent number of hits every day. Need to put in some effort to add even more entries into PlaceToStay.in, so as to improve it even better.

Data-collection and data-entry is a monotonous and boring work, atleast for me. My wife feels she is more suited for such work and has better eye for details. She has about 7 years experience in trade-document checking (banking sector ; same type of work and in high volumes) and is now a manager – so I will have to accept that as a fact. Need someone like her to take over such stuff.

All that was until about 2 to 3 weeks ago.

After that, it was www.ResidentialCommunity.in. [Edit : Try out the “Online Demo” link in the site]

Learnt a lot of new stuff in Python/GoogleAppEngine in the last 2 weeks.

The initial implementation is for a directory of Blocks in the Association, Residential Units (Independent Houses / Condominiums / Apartments) in those Blocks, Owners and Residents of those residential units – both previous and current.

Have a look at the early Beta version and if you have any feedback, feel free to mail me at r.rajkumar [at] gmail [dot] com

[Edit : Added note to try out the “Online Demo” in www.ResidentialCommunity.in – seems it is not very obvious that it is enabled]


What, Why, Where, How and more on the proposed startup

September 23, 2008

Less than 10 days to get relieved from AdventNet and to start working on my new venture.

OpManager OnDemand is almost ready for release. Initial testing and bug-fixing is complete and the team is now into upgrade testing in the local grid setup and if there are no unforeseen issues, there should be an upgrade happening in the IDC grid this weekend ; before I get relieved.

I have started getting questions from friends / colleagues on my proposed startup. I have put them here for the sake of those I did not bump into, in the past couple of weeks.

Decided on what to do (or) what problem to solve ?

The first one I am going to work on will be a SaaS based solution to manage residents welfare association.

Solutions for schools and for clinics will follow later.

Film production management software, may not be taken up in the near term.

Why association software ?

I know of the pain points in managing such an entity and felt that I can easily sell early versions of the software to local apartment associations in Velachery and surrounding suburbs. This is the region which had witnessed major growth during the previous real estate boom and which has a high density of IT professionals, so easy to target them.

Also the essential components and the experience gained in building this software will equip me in targeting other segments (schools and clinics) and by that time, “netbooks” (affordable net enabled notebook computers) would be available in the market from multiple players, at competitive rates, so as to enable adoption of SaaS based solutions.

Are there existing solutions addressing this market ?

When I first searched for existing solutions with the keywords “Apartments Association Software”, I was surprised to not find relevant, useful results. Then, after hopping through multiple keywords, found such software. The problem was with the keywords : I should have used the keyword sets “Condominium Association Software” or “Home Owners Association Software” or “HOA Software”.

Yardi seems to be the big guy with a much broader portfolio and revenue of over $50M, while there are several other medium/small players too; like Buildium, CondoConduit, AssociationVoice, CondoManager, Advantos and more.

Happy, because existing players validate the market and present themselves as targets to beat. This is far easier than a new market and an unclear feature set.

How are you planning to sell ?

My initial market is going to be Velachery (Chennai, India).

Here in Chennai, even with the out-sourcing/off-shoring opportunities, people still earn in Rupees. The benefit of the cost advantages mostly goes to the companies which undercut US rates, while still paying Indian salaries. Such companies usually have very weak presence in Indian market. So, to sell to Indian customers, I need to come up with some “real” Indian rates. My bicycle should come in handy, for my sales visits. Once I have my solution working fine for a decent number of associations, I would then target a bigger market.

Where are you going to have your office ?

I will be working from home, at least for a couple of months.

Are you going to employ someone ?

No, not at once. May be, a little later.

Platform, Language ?

Google AppEngine, Python.

Started coding ?

No, only from Oct 1, 2008.

( Your feedback and suggestions are welcome : Either as comments to this post or to r.rajkumar [at] gmail [dot] com)