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. 


Property Software Solutions & Supporting your residents

As a human race, we are innately social beings. Although the need for human interaction varies from person to person, being alone for long periods of time is tough, even for the most introverted. Social distancing is lonely and the toughest part is not knowing how long restrictions will be in place. Property software solutions that connect development communities have an important role to play.

Connected Development Communities

It’s clear that since the outbreak of coronavirus, the most positive communities are the ones that are better connected. Below, we share with ways our property software solutions are supporting our clients through these unprecedented times. As a result residents feel connected, supported and less alone.

Spike’s Property Software Solution, Spike Living, is a community communication tool and building management portal. Seeing how the app used in times of hardship restores your faith in humanity, embracing how we can come together, even with social distancing, thanks to the help of technology.

Information is power.

We have set up information centres dedicated to posting Covid-19 updates, sourcing only reliable government links and helpful advice. Clients can push out notifications to users, some are sending out simple reminders daily about social distancing, or key pieces of information from the daily briefings.

Alongside this, our property software can efficiently manage entire buildings, everything from deliveries to defects. Our property software has allowed concierge staff to work from home, but still be connected to their buildings and their resident’s needs. As we learn to live life at a distance, I suggest that remote management will become more common and that businesses will need strategies to support this.

Community is still Queen

We have also setup specific Covid-19 forums where residents can offer or ask for help from their communities. These forums and the social side of the portals have proved invaluable to residents since the lock-down. We have seen incredible acts of kindness offered through the portals, everything from offering to pick up groceries and medicine, to sharing tips on keeping children occupied or simply offering to listen to people’s frustrations and worries. People have rallied together to support the vulnerable and the lonely. We have even seen one resident who owns a wine company, and another who has a pizza business, taking orders through the portal and delivering to their neighbours, leaving their orders outside their apartments.

Some developments are extending their help to the wider community too. A foodbank at the Fizzy Living Canning Town site was promoted through the Spike Portal, to ensure that those residents who were under stricter self-isolation rules would always have access to supplies, and anything that wasn’t needed was donated to the local community.

In one of the Ballymore buildings, a resident bakes a cake each day, she posts an announcement on the portal when it’s ready and leaves it at the front desk for people to help themselves to. People have started donating small amounts of money, all of which has now been donated to a local food charity.

People want to come together to help, and facilitating this is extremely important, to ensure your residents feel supported. Community is something that will continue to be extremely important to people, it will be high on people’s priority lists when choosing where to live. Developments will need to maintain this momentum and provide their residents with meaningful, fulfilling places to live. 

Supporting your residents well-being

As we all know, it’s not just about staying physically healthy throughout the crisis. People’s mental health is equally important. Residents need to know they’re not alone, and maintain some sense of normality.

To tackle the potential loneliness, every Friday during the lockdown period, Fizzy Living, hosts an online virtual hangout, organised through the portal, for residents to meet one another, chatting through video with drinks and nibbles for a social atmosphere.

Another example is from our client Moda Living, who’ve set up virtual balcony workouts communicated and organised through Spike the app, where thousands of people have ended up viewing it.

Navigating the new normal

What has really shone through over the past few weeks especially, is residents wanting more community-led initiatives that support their well-being. People want to know who their neighbours are and engage with the people they share walls with. The desire to live in an environment that feels much more supportive on many levels, will be one of the lasting legacies from lockdown, and people will certainly remember those who helped us through these tough times.

I’ve seen people post things on our portals like, ‘why haven’t we done this sooner’, promising to meet up in real life as soon as the situation allows. Human interaction is the one thing we have all taken for granted.

It is clear technology is playing a vital role in how people are dealing with the pandemic and we are glad to play a small part in connecting people.

Supporting the Property Industry throughout the crisis and beyond

Forward-thinking businesses know that the industry is changing. Residents expect digital initiatives that help them get to know neighbours, that make them feel safer in their homes and that allow them to get the most out of the spaces in which they live.

We live in a world where we expect information at our fingertips in an instant. By updating the way you communicate and support your residents, you can be reassured that you’re meeting today’s digital age demands.

We all want to be part of a real community with real heart, and Spike is a medium to help that blossom.

Download our brochure below to learn more. 

Case Study

Spike Grows Leadership Team with New Sales & Marketing Directors

Following a very successful 2019, Spike is expanding significantly in 2020.  Spike starts the year off with a bang, with the addition of new marketing lead, Kirstie Lane and new Sales Director Julian Mullineux, and the opening of the new London office. 

Both new hires bring many years of experience from the technology industry. Before Spike Julian worked in Oman, heading up an extremely successful regional sales team for an app-based rewards solution business. Alongside Julian, Kirstie joins Spike as Marketing Director from an AI start-up that grew exponentially during her time there as Head of Marketing. 

Our CEO, Jeremy Heath-Smith comments “I am extremely happy to welcome Kirstie and Julian to the team. These additions mark an exciting expansion to the commercial and leadership team at Spike, and the start of a new era for spike. I am confident that with our new team, Spike with go from strength to strength in 2020”.