Fire safety – Are Your Residents in the Know?

Recent research by Building Engines revealed that 75% of real estate professionals feel confident that building occupants consistently receive important information from them, but only 25% of occupants agree. Introducing a resident portal can help to bridge this gap, allowing residents to engage more widely with their local community, book amenities, and even interact with other residents outside of social events, thanks to the likes of online clubs and forums. However, resident portals can also play a much more important and crucial role – ensuring your residents are kept up to date with the latest safety information.

As a landlord or property manager, it is part of your responsibilities to follow fire safety requirements for the safety of your tenants and property. You are also required to show evidence that you have done everything within your power (that can reasonably be expected) to protect your property and tenants. This includes things like fitting the correct alarms and making sure the furniture you provide is safe, but also informing residents of what to do in an emergency, including providing evacuation plans.

resident-fire-safetyMore often or not, this information will have been shared as part of a new resident welcome pack during moving in day, alongside a stack of other paperwork needing to be read, signed and filed. How do you ensure residents have read and fully understood everything, or have filed it somewhere that can be easily accessible if required? And what happens when you want to issue a newer version – do you print and mail out updated copies, or do you send out an email with the latest version attached, hoping it manages to somehow dodge the dreaded junk folder?

Using a resident mobile app, such as Spike Living, this key information can be stored centrally and shared easily with every resident at a push of a button, notifying them that there is an updated version to be read and reviewed. You can also empower your residents to report any potential issues they spot by allowing them to log issues through the built-in ticketing system, ensuring all enquiries are tracked, and dealt with swiftly, keeping the resident updated.

Recently, one of Spike’s customers had a major incident within one of its buildings, and along with other traditional methods of notifying residents, they were also able to send out an urgent push notification informing residents within minutes about an immediate danger, so they could take the necessary action and evacuate the building. They were then able to provide regular updates about the incident afterwards and respond to any queries and concerns that had been raised.

Technology has made communication between property managers and residents much easier, breaking down traditional barriers that had previously existed, allowing residents to become more engaged and informed when it comes to fire safety.  

Learn why Spike is trusted by leading property managers by downloading our brochure below.


Meeting Expectations – How the Pandemic Pushed Many Property Managers Online

Spike Global’s, CEO, Jeremy Heath-Smith, features in May’s Showhouse magazine where he talks about how the pandemic has pushed many property managers online, and why house-hunters are increasingly interested in what their community is like, who their neighbours are, what support and services are immediately available to them and, by moving into a new home, how their lifestyle can be enriched. 


Read the full article here.


Building Community Engagement – Why a Resident Portal Has Become a Necessity

Fuelled by the rise of social media, where users can create meaningful interactions with members of their local community, connecting with neighbours online has quickly become the new norm. With face-to-face contact limited over the last year, this has accelerated the trend towards increased digital engagement. Developers have found a need to instil a sense of community through resident portals and mobile apps, providing much needed social interaction for residents, as well as access to services.  

It’s proven that residents who are engaged with their local community are often happier than those who are not, and tend to post beaming reviews about where they live on websites like HomeViews. These reviews can help attract new prospects and keep occupancy rates high. And since influencer marketing is becoming increasingly important, having residents as champions is an effective tactic if you want to increase interest in your property, whilst reducing your marketing spend.

Having helpful and friendly on-site staff can play a role in keeping residents happy and engaged, but how do you ensure your staff are interacting with every resident? That’s where online portals and apps can help – enabling your team to offer that ‘personal’ experience to all residents equally.

We outline the reasons why resident portals have become a necessity for driving engagement, rather than just a luxury.

Enhance Your Events

Holding regular social events is crucial in allowing friendships between neighbours to blossom. Research by Apartment Life found that the more friends a resident have within their building, the more likely they are to renew their lease. Without any friends living in their community, residents only have a 29% chance of renewing. That number jumps to 38% if they have 1-3 friends, and if they have 7 or more friends, there’s a 47% likelihood that they’ll renew.

More often or not, your on-site staff already recognise the importance for residents to connect, and likely already offer regular social events. With a resident app, community managers can communicate the details of the event, and via a bookings tool built into the portal, gain an accurate idea of how many residents to expect.

Resident portals also offer ways for residents to interact with each other outside of social events, thanks to features like clubs and forums. Residents can post their own event announcements with neighbours – we’ve seen residents start their own book clubs, and even arrange communal BBQs and cooking classes. Considering Spike connects more than 200,000 residents with their local communities, it’s highly likely your residents would appreciate their own community mobile app if you were to offer it.

Enable Your Residents to Self-Serve 

Gone are the days where residents have the time (or desire) to pop downstairs to speak to concierge or phone a specific number at a certain time to get the information they need. They want things done when it suits them, without having to involve anyone else. A mobile portal enables residents to complete important life admin, like paying rent, booking the gym or swimming pool, reading the latest community announcements – without having to rely on anyone else.

To some, the notion of self-service increasing resident engagement may seem counterintuitive. However, on-demand services deliver better efficiency for both residents and on-site staff while at the same time providing a more personalised experience.

Improve Communication Between Residents and On-Site Staff

Without a mobile app, when residents want to report an issue with their property or building, they will either need to wait until the next time they pass concierge or send a dreaded email that seems to always go unanswered. This might not be an issue if they are reporting a minor issue such as a light being out, but if there’s a water leak, you want to be alerted straight away. Mobile apps speed up the communication in these instances and provide your maintenance staff with better details about the task ahead. By using Spike Living, all enquiries and defect tickets can be logged centrally, as well as being tracked and shared between teams, keeping the resident informed at all times.

The same can apply when wanting to communicate directly with residents. Mobile apps enable the in-house team to provide real-time alerts, notifying residents when a lift is out-of-service, or a package needing to be collected from reception. Or more importantly, sending out an urgent push notification informing residents within minutes about an immediate danger, such as a fire in their block, so they can take the necessary action such as evacuating the building. 

Connecting Residents With Their Local Communities

When a resident moves into your building, they may be unfamiliar with the surrounding area. Connecting them with shops and services, or details that can bring convenience to their lives is a great way of ensuring residents feel engaged from the offset. Many customers team up with local businesses to offer special discounts to their residents on anything from cleaning services, dog walkers, to local restaurants. If you are already doing this, great, it’s something else that can be housed in your resident engagement portal, so it’s easily accessible to all.

Learn how Spike is working with a growing number of customers to drive resident engagement and satisfaction by downloading our brochure below.