Thursday, June 15, 2017

Conveyance, a Unique Get-Together!

“Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on”… Robert Kennedy.

Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy was an American politician from Massachusetts. He served as the United States junior senator from New York from January 1965 until his assassination in June 1968. Met as same fate like his elder brother Joan Kennedy, Robert was known for his liberal philosophy which is reflected in his above quote! Sad the so called law enforcement system in which he believed couldn’t save his life from assassination! On this background I recollect another quote from Ex. FBI Supremo, J. Edger Hoover, “No law enforcement can prevent the problems arrived from   family”! Now, one will ask suddenly what’s all this about law enforcement;  for such souls, last few days probably three months the real estate is buzzing with only one word RERA i.e. Real Estate Regulatory Act & the RERA Authority which will be controlling this regulatory things! In combination this is the “law & enforcement” for the so called law-less or regulation-less real estate industry! Many, especially my real estate collogues wont like the term law-less for real estate but that’s the way govt, common man & media thinks for the real estate is a fact or else for no other such specific industry oriented Law/Act has been formed centrally in last seventy odd years nor has been pushed through all the States by the “Sarkar” in Delhi. This once again shows how serious & cautious central govt is for bringing “Achhe Din” for owning a home to common man! Whether that’s going to happen coming times only will tell us soon, though real estate has welcomed it (who can afford to not welcome it?) but with caution. Outcome is the day RERA has been implemented i.e. 1st May 17 from that very day all the advertisements or launching of the projects has dried up & so are special editions for covering real estate of major news papers! Month of May is supposed to be the real estate exhibitions period as school holidays are on but this May not a single exhibition has been organized as all were certain that there won’t be any participants. For registration with RERA, time limit has been given of three months i.e. 31st July is dead line & in entire 1st month & one third of June has gone but hardly twenty five odd projects have been registered under RERA all over Maharashtra! That shows cautious approach of real estate towards the RERA.

This sharing is not about RERA as first enough is being discussed all around about it on every forum as well media & I haven’t yet studied it & second reason is I am not afraid of RERA! Agreed we are supposed to respect the laws & not be afraid of them but in our country that’s not the case; unless people are not afraid of the law (read outcome of breaking the law) they doesn’t respect the law is bitter truth & who better than we the Punekar’s knows it. Right from jumping the signal where policeman isn’t there to throwing garbage in river to parking our vehicle under “No Parking” sign or may it be freely entering in “No Entry”, these are just few of the examples of our respect for the law when enforcement isn’t there! As we know nothing will happen & we can get away with breaking the law & when such is attitude of common man in the society, then how come real estate guys will be keeping away from this epidemic type disease of not respecting the law, is a question I will ask! Well let’s keep RERA away as that’s not the topic of our sharing but something else; it’s about story of a conveyance deed! For all those who don’t know conveyance deed let me share in best possible words by entering in flat agreement with the builder you don’t become owner of the flat! That is just a sale agreement but to convey the entire project on the name of the society or apartment condominium is what makes you true owner of your flat along with your share in the land on which the said building is built! Hussshha, I hope tried to put in words which you & I will understand as legal definition of conveyance might be in words totally alien for me at least! By now, thanks to social media & real estate bloggers, people have started to understand importance of conveyance deed & do urge their respective builders for the same which for strange reason is always a matter of dispute! Reasons may be many for e.g. the builder might be developing his project is phases & if part conveyance is done then obviously the society also become land lord needing their signs of every plans revision or many such documents. And in every society there always are few members who may take disadvantage of this authority they got via conveyance. In many case there is some lacunas in title or some bank loan issue or obtaining occupation certificate from the local body like PMC which refrains the builder for executing the conveyance. In many cases there have been some disagreements between the developer & the residents about non fulfillment of commitments which becomes matter of dispute in signing the conveyance & the list goes on!

On this background we recently completed one of our projects in Baner named Sadafulee & this was built in three phases. Like many other cases we have our commitments as well expectations from the flat holders. As the project was in phases we very clearly by taking occupants of first two phases in confidence told we will execute conveyance after completion of third phase which we did receive in committed time. There were certain disputes about clauses as well few pending works (which we have disagreements about). There was war of tongues & at certain points even Police was involved from both the sides, a first of this kind experience for me in my twenty seven years real estate working! Up to here all was going just like thousands of pending conveyance matters happening around; but then both sides realized the futileness of this attitude! And one fine day we i.e. myself along with my project partners & Chairman, Secretary of the said society sat across & decided that if any law agency can resolve the disputes then it lies amongst our own self  only! From that moment we were friends again; we shortlisted the points of conflicts & one by one discussed them with a clear mindset that we have to sort them & sort them now! The target was clear that both sides want conveyance, so if society wants some xxx amount against maintenance of the unsold flats then let’s pay it. At the same time few works which society felt are incomplete then we clearly put it these can be done & those can’t & won’t be done, that’s it! Both parties took one step back & two steps forwards & in next week we signed the conveyance & registered it with smiles!

The story doesn’t ends here rather it starts here & that’s the real fun; as after registration of conveyance execution Ravindra Patange, the secretary of said society called me & said they will be arranging a dinner in which we can hand over them the conveyance documents. This gave me one idea which I am sure no developer or society has ever done as why not to arrange a get together of all flat holders along with land lords & consultants & our staff & in that get together we will hand over the document to the society? And I said we will do all the needful arrangements at our cost as I felt that’s our responsibility (I won’t hide but not to forget few unsold units there, this marketing thought too was there a bit). On phone only we fixed a date, time & venue & arranged a dinner & next day email invite was sent to all flat holders as well on whatsap. Going a step ahead & as per the social culture of our company we invited Dr. Anuradha Shashtrabudhhe, who runs an NGO named Dnyandevi under which she operates a child care help line for kids from every segment of the society, as guest of honor. She not only accepted our invite but spellbound the audience by sharing her experiences while dealing with present issues of child psychology & urged the audience to give more & quality time to their kids, whatever age group they may be in! We handed over the conveyance deed to the Chairman, Secretary at the hands of Dr. Anuradha after heartfelt sharing’ from the Sadafulee residents about their experiences while dealing with us as well their feelings about their home. Residents were so excited that many have come from outstations specially for the event & one flat holder said when he told his friends that his builder has organized a get together for handing over of conveyance deed then they didn’t believed & he has to show them our invite for the event on whats-ap! In addition to conveyance deed we handed over a pen drive to the society loaded with every document related to the project i.e. right from scanned sanction plans to NA order to Completion certificate to Lift noc & all such. Icing on the cake was the society members have called local PMC elected member Mr. Amol Balwadkar also & we felicitated him in the get together. He said he has never witnessed such cordial relations between flat holders & the builder as every time he has been called by some society then it’s to solve the dispute with builder or to attend complaints about pending works by their builder!

In my sharing to the audience I said, “with due respect for RERA this get together is tight slap on the acts like RERA as what more transparency can be shared between the builder as well flat holders where both come on one platform & conveyance deed is executed with smiles on all faces!” The RERA has been bought in with all hohallah for making builders more transparent like they are some criminals. Agreed there have been many instances of real estate clients being cheated by the builders but then what about thousands of people buying flats in the hundreds of illegal constructions without demanding or verifying any of the necessary documents, just because rates of such flats are lower than the legal ones! Any business gets the reputation whatever it has, not by the turnover or profit it makes but by the kind of relations & trust it develops among the concerned parties. The real estate for years has been painted as bad child of the Industry, but let’s not forget it’s because of the people in real estate only & they are or were on both sides of the table! Transparency in the business works effectively only when its respected by the other side of the table & this is why Sadafulee conveyance deed get together is very very special, because we have been transparent as a builder & that’s been respected by our flat holders & the outcome is we don’t need RERA to make our customers happy & at peace! I repeat the kind of information which has been asked by RERA is not a problem neither the audits & commitments nor the punishment it threatens with, as its not by making some Acts or Laws but by the attitude of the buyer & seller towards the deal & trust they develop in each other is what decides fate of the industry! No act or law can stop ill elements as even when death penalty is there still murders’ happens around is a fact! In real estate also we are not afraid of RERA but what we want is a system which will allow the business to flourish & grow & no business can flourish by just protecting one side of the business, high time to remind our govt this bitter fact!

One more thing, RERA or MOFA is not the challenge for real estate but the changing mindset as well understanding exact demands of real estate clients is the main challenge which  real estate industry has to face & high time for the developers to acknowledge this fact. The Sadafulee get together is one sure way to get connected with your clients & strengthen the bond as well carving your image in their minds. Because if you can make your customers happy, then the market sentiments may change but the love & affection which your customers have for your company won’t ever change; what more a builder could ask for than this outcome! I am thankful to Sadafulee residents for teaching me this big lesson of marketing, practically free of cost; a rare thing in today’s world where everything comes at some cost!

Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.

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