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Blog

Tips to Digitize and Improve the Resident Experience

Partner Author
January 5, 2022
|
Min Read

Property managers spend their day attracting new residents, dealing with maintenance and safety issues, handling a variety of administrative tasks, and the most important for driving revenue: improving the resident experience. And one surefire way to improve that experience is through digitization.  

Trends in the Property Management Industry  

To set the stage, it’s essential to discuss the shifts happening in the property management industry and understand why digitization is so important.  

  • 90% of millennials would consider paying higher rent for better amenities or better property technology.
  • 92% of CRE professionals plan to maintain or increase their resident experience-related technology investments over the next 18 months.
  • 81% of residents say that it is either important or very important for them to be able to access their resident portal from a mobile device.  
  • 64% of residents signed their current lease online in some way, and given the choice, 58% of residents would rather pay rent using a resident portal mobile app than a property website via laptop/desktop.

By and large, each new report that comes out about property management tells us one thing: to survive, you need to provide digital and mobile experiences.

Digitizing the Resident Experience

How would your residents currently describe their experience at your properties?

Whether the answer is good, bad, ugly, or anything in between—and especially if the answer is “I don’t know”—technology is the key to measuring, maintaining, and improving that experience.

As the data shows, residents desire a digitized experience. This experience starts from the first time they hear about your organization to the day they move out of your property.  

You can start now to utilize technology to automate your property management workflows in each stage of a resident’s journey to offer the digital and mobile experiences they desire.

Moving Residents Through the Marketing & Sales Funnel

Once you’ve done the work of interesting a potential resident enough to get their contact information, you should perform various activities to engage them and push them down your marketing and sales funnel.  

First, place potential residents in engagement campaigns that use a mixture of email, SMS, and WhatsApp messages to provide relevant information. Build an engagement campaign that sends different content to prospects based on how they have interacted with content in the past.  

When a contact becomes a sales qualified lead, they will be ready for a tour of your property. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents now expect (yes… expect, not desire) the ability to take virtual tours. If you’ve never created a virtual tour before, the thought of doing that alone might be overwhelming. But Zillow wrote a great article on how to get started for free, with just your cellphone camera.  

Finally, when someone is ready to apply, make the application process as seamless as possible. Provide your hopeful resident with an online application where they can submit payment info, references, rental history, background checks, credit history, and more—all on a resident app on their mobile device.  

Streamlining the Move-In Process  

Once you’ve accepted a resident’s application, you’ll need to collect even more information about the individuals that will be moving in. The number of forms that residents must fill out before and during their move-in can be overwhelming. To improve their experience, reduce the amount of redundant form filling they must do.  

One of the best ways to achieve this is by automatically populating the information you have already collected from them into the forms so they don’t have to manually re-enter the same information on multiple different forms or documents.  

The types of documents you should do this with include:

  • Rental agreements and contracts
  • Pet agreement forms  
  • Automatic billing set up forms
  • Move-in inspection forms

Additionally, moving into a new residence may bring questions to your resident’s minds. Questions like: what happens if I make a late payment? How do I renew my lease? You should have a knowledge base set up within your mobile app so that residents can service themselves when they have these types of questions.

Improving the Maintenance and Resource Request Process

Finally, to save your employees and your residents a headache, you should implement digital maintenance requests, amenity requests, guest pass requests, and all other types of resident requests you get. This is extremely simple to implement when you have a form creation platform and a service-based CRM system.  

To go the extra mile, offer in-app chatting features to let your residents chat with maintenance workers and office staff as they have requests or questions arise.  

To round out their experience, provide residents with the ability to leave candid reviews at every touchpoint. They should be encouraged to fill out surveys about their experience with your maintenance team, specific property amenities, and more. This information is invaluable for managing your workforce, addressing glaring concerns, and even for developing user-generated content for your marketing strategy.  

How to Get Started on Your Digital Journey  

This blog has outlined multiple ways to start making your resident experience more digital and mobile-friendly. But accomplishing all of the suggestions outlined above would be impossible without the proper technology stack.  

The team at MasterSolve has identified that a combination of Salesforce + Formstack is one of the quickest and easiest ways to start providing digital experiences.  

To help you visualize how these technologies look and how they improve the resident experience, the team at MasterSolve has put together an on-demand demo webinar that shows these tools in play—both from a property manager perspective and a resident perspective.  

Watch the webinar on-demand here: Webinar: Improving the Resident Experience with Salesforce + Formstack.

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Partner Author
This post was written by a member of Formstack's partner community, which includes Formstack solution experts and complementary technologies. Learn more about our partner program at formstack.com/partners.
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