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How PropTech brought communities together in 2020

Before Covid, placemaking and community involvement had become popular with developers, with Build To Rent (BTR) providers really leading the charge. Operators were hosting community parties, fitness classes and even community poker clubs, where residents could come together and get to know their neighbours. Resident engagement was a topic beginning to rank higher on the priorities of marketeers, agents and developers everywhere.

Furthermore, operators were looking to implement resident engagement PropTech to strengthen their strategies.

Then… BANG.

We find ourselves in a global pandemic. Travel was off the cards, interaction outside your household was limited and local community became ever-more important. Standing at our front-doors every Thursday evening to clap for the NHS and key-workers became a highlight, and seeing your neighbours doing the same thing was an important reminder that we were not alone.

Technology became a lifeline.

Businesses could run remotely, children could access vital education resources from home and we could keep in touch with loved ones. I’m also sure we can all relate with joining Facebook groups, following Instagram hashtags or finding locals on Twitter, wanting to feel more connected.

In the case of Spike’s residents, they took to their Spike Living portal. Spike’s Customer Success Team helped Providers put together lockdown strategies. This included the set-up of COVID specific forums for residents to support one another and find out important information. The forums showcased neighbours supporting neighbours within blocks and schemes and really helping each other through the crisis.

Toilet roll? Yes, I’ve got it – which number are you? I’ll leave it outside.

Anyone fancy a cupcake? I’ve baked 12, I’ll leave them in reception – enjoy!

How are people managing home schooling? I’m exhausted.

Anyone free for a zoom and a glass of wine?

We could see our communities coming into their own. Friendships were blossoming and more importantly residents were finding the support they needed.We saw community engagement across our portals rise by over 700% during the first lockdown.

As well as connecting residents to one another our portals kept residents connected to developers, property managers, concierge and front-of-house staff. With the aid of the app, communication lines and building management could still exist. With face-to-face interactions off the cards, it proved crucial.

Changing attitudes

We’ve received great feedback on the importance of our PropTech for residents and businesses alike. In our conversations since, we have spoken to many developers who cite PropTech like ours not as a luxury but as a necessity in developing homes and creating communities. Our client list has more than doubled in this period, which is testament to this.

When people come to search for their new home, it’s not all just about aesthetics or even the amenities. Residents are increasingly interested in the added bonuses – who are their neighbours, what is the community like, how good are the local services, what support is available and, by moving into a new home how it will add to their lifestyle.

Like everyone, we are continuing to reflect on the lessons of lockdown. Looking internally at how processes can be improved, how things can be streamlined to ensure our app is user friendly and current, and looking at ways we can increase efficiency.

As we head into a series of tiered systems and lockdowns, communities will once again rise as we tackle the hurdles ahead.

To find out more about how Spike could help connect your communities, get in touch and a member of the team will be in touch shortly. 

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Insight

Resident Software – Six tips for a successful launch

Covid-19 has accelerated the uptake of resident software and PropTech in general. To remain competitive many operators are looking to implement new resident software platforms to best serve their residents’ needs.

Operators are looking to increase building management efficiencies whilst also growing resident engagement and community. Our Client Success Team share six valuable tips on things to consider throughout your implementation journey.

THINK BEYOND COVID-19 – HOW WILL RESIDENTS USE THE SOFTWARE ONCE THE PANDEMIC ENDS?

It might be hard to imagine, but the Covid-19 crisis will pass and the world will go back to a version of normality. Although, people’s attitudes and priorities may have changed. Therefore, it’s important to consider your residents needs after the virus passes. How will your new resident software work post Covid-19, and what are all the different touch points you need to consider?

This could mean a variety of different things: a better booking system for hot desks to facilitate more flexible working. A solid, instant communication platform to ensure your residents feel supported and safe, or simply more community engagement initiatives so help residents get to know neighbours. It’s vital to prioritise these needs and build them into your strategies moving forward. 

WorkflowsUSE THE LAUNCH AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO RE-EVALUATE WORKFLOWS AND PROCESSES.

If you’re looking seriously at implementing new software, it’s probably a great time to audit your workflows and processes. Are you doing things the most effective way, or is it just the way you’ve always done things?

Survey your staff and listen to their needs and concerns. Furthermore, ask your new software suppliers for any recommendations, they’re usually very happy to help and are full of wisdom from other implementation projects.

UTILISE THE CUSTOMER SUCCESS TEAM.

Reputable software providers will offer support in implementing your new systems. Ensure you setup a meeting with the Customer / Client Success Team as soon as possible to discuss your launch and implementation strategy. The team will be full of ideas for the long-term success of your resident software. They can usually help with everything from technical implementation to content and event ideas.

 

PLAN A LAUNCH EVENT (EVEN IF IT’S REMOTE) AND HAVE A LAUNCH STRATEGY IN PLACE

Your new resident software is going to benefit both your staff and your residents. In order to maximise the potential of the software you need to get both groups excited, and on-board. At Spike we recommend planning the launch in advance and having some sort of launch event, even if restrictions mean this has to be remote. Take this event as an opportunity to showcase the benefits of the software and how it’s going to make their lives easier.

LISTEN TO YOUR RESIDENTS, EVALUATE THE DATA AND IMPROVE.

Once your software is live it’s easy to think that the work is done, however it’s important you continue to listen to your residents and adjust your strategy accordingly. Resident Software is a fantastic tool for listening and gathering data. Use these insights to continue improving and get the most out of your investment.

phoneinhandCHOOSE THE RIGHT SUPPLIER.

When you’re looking at new software it’s important you consider more than just the technology. Does the company have the on-going support you need? Are they flexible and willing to help you problem solve? What do their customers say about them?

You’re going to be working with your chosen company for a long time. It’s important the relationship is the right fit for you and your business. 

How could Spike help your business?

Spike Global delivers industry-leading software that connects people and properties to create attractive, efficient and engaging places for living, working and playing. 

Working across residential and commercial sectors, our unique market insights help us consistently achieve industry-leading results that maximise occupancy, revenue & profit.

We understand what it takes to make resident software successful. We have a proven track-record of delivering real, tangible results with more than nine years experience in launching and operating property software worldwide. 

Want to find out more about Spike Global? Get in touch and a member of the team will be in touch shortly.