The average person now has over 100 apps on their smartphone. It’s likely you already have an app to book your gym class, various apps to communicate with family and friends, along with a whole host of apps to report maintenance issues, access discount codes, and to keep up to date with the latest goings-on in the neighbourhood. By being exposed to so many different communication channels, are we at risk of feeling overwhelmed and ironically less connected as a result? This may certainly be the case when it comes to providing technology for residents.
We are all living increasingly busy lives and so are always looking to be smarter with our time. Consumers and residents are no different, we want to be in charge of our decisions and self-serve. Gone are the days when we want to be restricted to opening hours or being placed on hold waiting for someone to answer at the end of the phone.
Residents also value their time too much to live in properties that don’t cater to their needs. Properties lacking sophisticated amenities or requiring a multitude of apps and portals are turning residents off. Equally, if amenities aren’t easy to use, potential residents won’t want to pay a premium for apartments. If management does not nourish the feeling of exclusiveness by providing branded resident portals and apps, residents know they can get it in a different community.
Enhancing Resident Experience
Single-purpose apps are no longer the way forward. Vertically integrated software and the spaces they support must blend harmoniously. Interoperability is key when running a development, especially when residents now expect a seamless journey, starting from when they are searching and selecting an apartment online, reserving and completing all the necessary paperwork, to moving in and managing their daily lives. Imagine the hassle of residents having to go into multiple apps or places to manage amenity bookings, resident messaging, reporting maintenance issues, and managing delivery requests. Fractured interactions with multiple apps leave residents feeling detached from the unified brand a building may be trying to cultivate. And app fatigue is a real problem for active people. “If these applications are not all integrated into one platform, you are not providing technology as an amenity to your residents, you are providing a massive headache,” states IoTforAll.com’s James Calder.
To keep residents happy, one multi-purpose management app is a necessity. “This one-stop-shop philosophy implies that customers would only need to install one app, sign up once, add their credentials a single time, and then enjoy multiple applications at their fingertips right away, all-in-one,” Dr. Fardad Zand claims on Entrepreneur.com. And once a building transfers to one multi-purpose app, residents find single purpose apps a nuisance. Besides being inefficient and time-consuming, single purpose apps also have negative effects on resident phones. Devices with multiple apps lack performance and drain batteries faster. And who really wants to remember which app you clicked on to do one of ten different things?
Spike’s resident engagement portal, Spike Living, allows residents to virtually manage every aspect of their lives from a single app. From being notified when a package is ready to be collected from reception, booking a slot at the gym, hiring a private meeting room, interacting with other residents via forums and clubs, or learning about the local retailers in which they can support, Spike Living allows residents to build budding friendships with neighbours and get the most out of their buildings.
Furthermore, by providing residents with easy access to frequently asked questions, appliance guides, and safety procedures, as well as the latest news from the wider community, having all this information readily accessible means that more often or not, residents can find the information they need themselves, whenever they need it. This reduces the workload on property managers and saves them from repeatedly responding to the same questions.
What’s more, important documents like signed contracts can also be stored centrally and securely ensuring that paper-based copies do not get lost. This makes contracts and vital information easily accessible, and notifications can be sent to residents whenever there are newer versions needing to be reviewed and signed, allowing for full traceability.
Digitalise Your Property Management
Property managers are also demanding a single place to manage a resident’s entire journey. Having a central place to store key information on each resident, such as notes and reminders on the little things that can really help set a development apart, like a resident’s birthday or moving in anniversary.
A centralised app also allows property managers to easily communicate with residents which enables them to be more proactive. From notifying residents when a lift is out-of-service, promoting onsite events, 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.
One of the most time-consuming parts of a property manager’s job is the handling of maintenance issues, with minor tasks easily turning into major ones if they aren’t dealt with quickly and efficiently. Without an easy and simple way for residents to report maintenance issues, they can often go unreported. Mobile apps speed up the communication in these instances and allow residents to quickly 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.
Having a single resident app that can be perfectly tailored to the facilities and services they offer also makes sound business sense. Spike creates white-label versions of its Spike Living software, meaning that each portal is personalised for every client, so it is always tailored to the specific requirements of both the management and the building. As well as connecting residents with the amenities and services available onsite, it can also be linked up with external partners to provide additional services, from bedding packs and weekly cleans to pizza delivery and beauty services, which could provide an added source of income through commission if desired.
Given that 92% of residents prefer digital communications, offering a single place to connect digitally to property managers and their surroundings should no longer be seen as a luxury but a necessity. We are all living increasingly busy lives, and by providing a central place to manage all activities, whether that’s handling package deliveries, booking the onsite gym, or raising maintenance issues, having an easy way to enable these services is key. With an average engagement rate of 87% across its portals, Spike Living is proven to help residents truly live their best lives