How To Keep Up With Apps and Your Mobile First Residents

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The Editors's picture
how to keep up with apps and your mobile first apartment residents

Apartment managers and landlords need to stay on top of the latests apps to keep up with residents who are mobile first and spend plenty of time on their smart phones.

If your apartment residents and tenants live on their mobile apps, is your property management keeping up with their mobile first needs?

Research shows 64% of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind, up from 35% in the spring of 2011. Smartphone ownership is especially high among younger Americans, as well as those with relatively high income and education levels, according to Pew Research Center.

And for a number of Americans, smartphones serve as an essential connection to the broader world of online information.

A tech startup company can put your property on their smart phones with customized branded apps you and your residents will both find useful.

The company, called Mobile Doorman, has developed what the Chicago Tribune says are “white-label apps for apartment and condominium buildings,” with what is called “beacon integration” that it thinks “will help residents live smarter and property owners manage better."

Tenants Use New Apps And Apartment Managers Can Too

How to keep up with apps and your mobile first tenants from mobile doorman

"Apartment dwellers can do a lot of things on mobile apps: pay bills, order food, summon a ride, find parking, a dog walker or a date. Dick Kiphart and some other investors think they might want to be able to pay their rent or let the landlord know that a sink needs fixing, too," writes Crain’s Chicago Business.

Kiphart's investment fund, KGC Capital, is leading a $750,000 investment in Mobile Doorman, a Chicago company that built an app for apartment-building owners. David Schwartz, CEO of Chicago-based apartment owner Waterton Associates, and other investors also participated in the deal, Crain’s reported last year.

The young company has a number of  customers, including Waterton and Chicago-based landlord Draper & Kramer, and seven employees.

Several do-it-yourself apps focus on helping landlords screen tenants and track rent payments. Mobile Doorman founders Bob Matteson and Graham Gilbert will use the new funding to add features, such as scheduling use of an amenity or adding value to a laundry debit card. The app already offers a bulletin-board feature for residents to post information.

Matteson told the Chicago Tribune the company charges properties $1 a month per unit and counts 4,600 active units in 10 properties across the country as of April 2016.

Managers And Landlords Sometimes Struggle With Social Media So Offer It To Your Tenants

Apps are a way for landlords and tenants to keep up with each other at apartment complexes

Photo illustration ©eLearningBros via Canva

Harnessing social media is a challenge shared by all property managers. With an app specifically designed for a property, managers can provide residents with their own unique social network through a virtual community board, reports Studenthousingbusiness.com

Graham Gilbert, one of the founders of Mobile Doorman, writes in studenthousingbuisness.com that, “The virtual community board is not just a social network, it provides an opportunity for managers to learn about improvements to make.

  • Are residents complaining about it being too hot?
  •  Send a message to let them know how to use the thermostat or how the heating system works.
  •  Did someone post about needing to borrow a wrench? The manager can lend her one.

“The manager can leverage the insights gained through this particular social medium and use them to improve the overall living experience. In one building we work with, there have been more than 200 posts since fall move-in, which translates to a ton of information and actionable feedback for the manager,” Gilbert writes.

Mobile Doorman offers apartment owners and property managers’ information, as well as helping tenants know when the gym is busy or the laundry room is full. Among the current features are:

  • Messages – communicate with residents the way they want which is on their smart phones. Let them know when the rooftop is closed or other maintenance is going on.
  • Maintenance requests filed through the app lets you catch problems sooner. Get the request from the tenant on their smart phone and let them know back when it will be fixed.
  • Surveys – They will respond much better on the app to surveys than in email.
  • Your community bulletin board – A place for residents to connect if they want.
  • Packages – Easier to know when a package has arrived or has been ordered.
  • Reservations – Easier to reserve game rooms or other shared reservation-required shared amenities without email tag or double bookings.
  • Set authorizations for entry.
  • Put your deals for tenants somewhere they will see them – on the smart phone app.
  • Rent payments can be made through the app.

The app can also help property managers and apartment owners answer some of those kinds of nagging questions from tenants such as:

  • The freight elevator was double-booked.
  • Is my package here?
  • Did you fix my sink?
  • There is no sense of community here.
  • Did my dog walker show up?
  • Can I post a flyer by the front desk?
  • I want to fill out that form, can I do it online?

 

Resources:

Pew Research on Smart Phone Use

Mobile Doorman

Graham Gilbert and Student Housing
 

 

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