While modern units, competitive rates, and first-rate amenities are essential to attracting occupants to multifamily housing, the role of a resident app should not be underestimated.
Not only do resident apps make tasks such as paying rent easier but they are now used to streamline processes such as onboarding, and foster a sense of community between occupants that can dramatically improve retention rates.
With the majority of multi-family occupants digital natives, a full-featured resident app is not just a convenience, it’s a necessity.
What is a Resident App?
Smartphones are a lifeline to the rest of the world. Whether it’s messaging someone on the other side of the world or your neighbor upstairs, mobile apps are how most multi-family occupants connect with other people.
Resident apps embrace connectivity and leverage the always-connected and enable occupants to complete home-admin such as paying rent, read announcements and book amenities at times that suit them.
Some resident apps offer a barebones experience and are simply portals to online web pages.
Modern resident engagement apps – such as Flamingo – offer even more value to both occupants and building operators with a mobile-first philosophy.
Not only do these resident engagement apps deliver the same convenient customer support services but also include built-in community tools that encourage interaction and improve retention such as:
- Social feeds and announcements
- Access to digital resident guides
- Resident event RSVP’ing
- Services and amenity reservations
- Rewards and loyalty bonuses
- Virtual keys
- Surveys, feedback, and responses
- Interaction with other housing platforms
Stronger Communities Improve Retention
While neighbors will naturally communicate and interact with other during the course of their day, multifamily occupants are often looking for more than passing a “hello.”
This desire for a sense of community is advantageous for both occupants and building operators. Not only does it improve the well-being of occupants but also leads to higher retention rates. Lease renewal rates improve by almost 40% if a resident has at least one friend in the building and this goes up to 47% if they know 7 or more other occupants.
Resident engagement apps foster this sense of community using an interface that occupants will already be familiar with. Using scrolling feeds similar to Facebook or LinkedIn, residents can keep up to date with the latest goings-on in each other’s lives using text, photos, and even memes.
Events organized through resident apps are also better attended. Organizers can gauge attendance figures better with such apps and residents can see ahead of time who is interested in going. This improves attendance numbers and creates a buzz within the building’s community ahead of the event.
This generates a sense of inclusiveness and digital interaction means even more reserved occupants can get involved online.
As residents feel at home and part of a community, they are less likely to leave meaning happier occupants, better retention, and fewer interruptions to revenue.
Multifamily Residents Prefer On-Demand, Digital Services
Multifamily residents are often millennial or younger professionals that lead busy lives. This means traditional forms of doing things are eschewed in favor of self-service tools that are more convenient for all parties.
Such services include:
- Paying rent
- Communication with building staff
- Building guides
- Guest registration
- Access code issuance
- Suggestions and issues
With consumer habits now changing, these on-demand services are not just a convenience for modern occupants but are expected. A full-featured resident app enables all of these services and minimizes the necessity of in-person meetings. This frees up staff and keeps occupants happy.
Resident Apps Solve Problems Faster
Resident apps offer the ability to resolve issues as and when an occupant wishes to do so.
Whether it’s a dud lightbulb, a squeaky door, or a small leak, if left unchecked these small problems very often lead to big ones. A resident app is an extremely useful tool for keeping on top of such issues, preventing issues that could interrupt revenue or become more costly.
Occupants can simply flag issues using their phones without needing to wait for in-person arrangements. Resident engagement apps allow the direct submission of maintenance requests, utilizing the built-in hardware when possible.
Not only is this direct link between occupants and building staff more convenient, but it’s also a lot quicker. With resident apps being designed from the ground up for mobile use, they make use of tools such as instant notifications and messaging. Requests are noticed sooner, with text, photos, audio, and videos used to demonstrate issues and receive a direct response.
This is a dramatic improvement over traditional customer support methods. Occupants feel listened to and that their issue has been acknowledged faster, improving the resident experience and therefore retention levels.
With the multifamily housing market already highly competitive, a resident engagement app is fast becoming a prerequisite for many potential occupants.