HDB better than condo, in the social media age

In a recent post on Instagram, social media influencer Xiaxue highlighted the ‘derelict’ state of her HDB common areas in Hougang. Lo and behold!

Cover pic and above pic from Xiaxue instagram account

Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) wasted no time in addressing her concerns. Aside from explaining the situation online, AHTC also engaged workers the following day to fix the chipped cement surfaces and painted over the ceiling. https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/xiaxue-raises-concerns-about-destitute-state-her-hougang-hdb-block-town-council-responds

Pound for pound, in a Condo setting the Managing agent would have to …

  1. Get MCST council approval
  2. Mobilise contractors to do minor repairs
  3. Supervise minor works and ensure completion
  4. Release official statement to all residents

All within 24 hours.

Here’s the extra points. AHTC ended their note with “The town council recognises that there is always room for improvement, and welcomes feedback from residents.” My idol MA. Such eagerness and endearing level of service reminds me of SG in the 1980s or Japan today.

Not only that, in this instance the Public model trumps the Private model in both cost and efficiency. An extremely rare sighting for me.

Don’t play play, ah!

There is a well-known quote by Warren Buffett about economic or financial crisis. “When the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” In recent years, I notice a rise in complaints against MCST council and Managing agents. To be fair, some are trivial issues voiced by overly-sensitive residents, while others can be as severe as mismanagement, extreme lack of financial prudence and even ‘hidden political agendas’.

Usually these are discussed openly in AGMs or in private with the MA. However in the current covid-19 crisis, many subsidiary proprietors (SPs) have found time to publicized their concerns on social media. I was told these pent-up frustrations have been accumulating for years in a number of condominiums around Singapore.

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Covid-19 demands Property Managing Agents to evolve

We are barely mid-way through the Covid outbreak. Nonetheless it is pressing to acknowledge the lasting impacts to social, business and daily lives. “At some point the COVID-19 crisis will end. But as was the case with the first and second world wars, the end of the crisis will not mark a return to normal. Rather, it will signal the advent of a new normal.”

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2020/06/09/commentary/world-commentary/time-build-post-pandemic-world-order/

The crisis presents an excellent opportunity for Property Managing Agents (MA) to step up their modus operandi. Some have resisted change for too long. Others have pushed for upgrades with an exorbitant price tag. Neither is in the best interest of residents. As chairman, I am constantly looking for MAs who can improve their efficiency and provide value.

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Minutes not accurate? Sia Suay, secretary.

The AGM is a serious meeting for all owners in the condo development. The agenda is set in advance and should be strictly adhered to. An example of the sequence can be found in BCA’s strata handbook:

♦ The election of council members

♦ A motion for the adoption of the financial statement for the past financial period

♦ A motion to confirm the minutes of the last general meeting

♦ Other motions for consideration

Thereafter the meeting is documented and reviewed by other members of the committee to verify. There is very little room for error when conducted clearly and transparently.

How is it that an MC secretary (who happens to be a practicing lawyer) cannot clearly record the meeting minutes?

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