The Value of your own Digital Ecosystem

With the growth of community-driven residential living we’ve seen in the UK over the past 5 years, property companies’ method of engaging with their tenants has also changed quite drastically. Most Build to Rent (BTR) sites in the UK have concierges in place who provide a friendly face when collecting a package or reporting a problem, whilst also running a number of community events for their tenants – this sense of community has been one of the leading drivers in the rapid uptake of BTR sites across the country. While this piece explores the value of apps within the property market the value extends far beyond that, into every sector and for any brand.

Any underpinning and growth of brand value is founded on communication and engagement and technology. This can now sit at the heart of this without the previous heavy financial burden.

We’ve seen a number of advances in this space that enhance the tenant experience. This has been accelerated, with Covid-19 drastically affecting the ability for face to face interaction at many sites. Tenant mobile apps have led the charge in being the go-to tool for property companies to develop their own digital ecosystem, facilitating communication and engagement with and between with their tenants. We’ve outlined some of the core business use cases we are seeing tenant engagement apps be used for:

Direct broadcast communication channel

Mobile notifications see are far higher open rate when compared to email or phone call, and this has been one of the primary drivers for the adoption of mobile apps. Being able to send out a quick message to all residents about an issue in the building has helped to improve the resident experience across a number of sites. An additional benefit of using apps for these communications is that opens can be tracked, giving property companies a clear overview of who has and hasn’t been communicated to.

Online events

As Covid-19 has forced the closure of many communal exercise and socialising areas, property companies were driven online towards creating engaging activities for residents. Through integrations into online video calling platforms, many resident focused apps can now run online virtual exercise classes and quizzes with residents, promoting wellbeing and giving many resident something to look forward to during lockdown. As we open up from lockdown, offline events with be key to bringing many communities back to life.

Issue reporting / Parcel management

With many concierges now unable to engage directly with residents behind the front desk due to social distancing restrictions, using an app to report issues in the apartment or track  the arrival of a package has helped to greatly reduce touch points with residents. Giving residents the opportunity to truly self-serve their engagements with the property company drives both a positive relationship with the tenant and increased internal efficiencies.

Direct marketing channel

Having a catchment of residents can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool for all  property organisations. This can be used to drive adoption of follow on products, i.e. moving to a new build home within the portfolio after renting; or sending partners offers to resident, which in turn improve their living experience.

Amenities

With many BTR sites now having bookable amenities such as rooms or desks to work sports/exercise facilities or entertainment options, having the ability to book these directly through an app is essential to the modern day renter and financially a no brainer for landlords – one client saved in excess of £300k in 12 months. With many residents living fast-paced busy lives, having access to availability and options for these spaces at their fingertips both improves experience and drives uptake of the facilities, opening up additional revenue opportunities for property companies through increased bookings.

Engagement between users

At the heart of many property apps is the ability to engage with other residents. Whether it be offering of services (such as hairdressers or beauticians), selling items between each other or simply sharing information and socialising. Providing an online tool for your residents to engage with allows you to stay in control of the conversation, taking preventative action where required against any potential issues. Feeling part of a community can also help prevent mental wellbeing between residents and drive a real sense of community. A great example of this is the use of resident apps to help isolated residents get shopping delivered to their door during the covid-19 pandemic. If you wish you can allow residents to set up and manage their own interests and business exploits, further embedding them within your eco system and effectively crowd sourcing content, communication and engagement.

Communities

As an extension of engagement with and between users, another key feature of our resident apps is the ability build communities with a purpose. This can be a running club between residents, a book club or even pooling together dog owners to build out a dog walking club. Engagement between residents is at the heart of building out a good sense of community across buildings.

These are just some of the mobile app benefits highlighting only a portion of the different ways we are seeing mobile apps enhance the customer experiences in the 21st century. There is no doubt that as we move more towards a self-serve society, and see the social restrictions around Covid-19 eased, the mobile app will continue to sit at the heart of all successful companies all across the UK, irrespective of the sector they sit in.

Padoq, the mobile app platform provider is transforming the development and deployment of mobile apps. Padoq has an out the box app solution that is currently used by Vita Student, Urban Bubble, and Quintain within the property sector as well as network, workforce, retail, and hospitality consumer-facing clients driving communication and engagement to deliver brand, revenue, and efficiency value. If you are rich and have plenty of time, build bespoke but expect significant ongoing costs, alternatively self-service app development will provide some functionality if you can fit within the often narrow configuration parameters. There is now a 3rd way – use our platform offering £1m+ functionality configurable for 90% of core business objectives for a fraction of the bespoke cost. Platform apps start from £15k and are deliverable within 28 working days depending on the integration complexity.