Today we live in a world where the technology landscape is ever-evolving. In the past five years, we’ve seen a lot of changes in how tech is incorporated into our daily lives. From the latest phone developments to artificial intelligence in our homes, and even how we watch TV, society has become more connected than ever. This increase in technology use also brings an increase in our expectations of convenience.
Many of these new technology developments are challenging the conventional ways of running communities and providing for residents. According to a survey of 500 residents and 200 apartment operators conducted by DISH Business and reported by Multifamily Executive, 81% of property owners and managers indicated that technology services were important in keeping residents satisfied, while 67% agreed that they could do more to provide the highest level of technology to their residents.
Streaming is the Future
How people consume video and media on a daily basis has been one of the most drastic changes during the past two decades. With 84% of residents surveyed by DISH Business saying they now subscribe to at least one online streaming service; society is slowly moving away from traditional cable television. This change in preference has made dependable, fast internet a must-have. In addition, the types of devices and the number of devices used in a single unit has also changed. According to the NMHC/Kingsley Associates Apartment Resident Preferences Report , 54% of residents own between one to four internet devices and 64% are streaming video media online through these devices.
The evolution of computers, tablets, phones, and even televisions have made media so much more accessible and cable-ready units have become dated in terms of what residents are looking for. As reported by the DISH Business survey, 76% of residents say having community-based internet, TV, and data services is very or extremely important. Community-based services would be purchased and managed by a property and either billed to the resident or included in rent. This makes it simpler for residents and alleviates the stress of installation right after move-in. Providing a package deal can be even more enticing to prospects and might just get you ahead of the game.
Access at your Fingertips
Another way residents enhance their lives with technology is by managing their day-to-day completely on their phones. The world has become more fast-paced and everyone is always on-the-go. You can do almost anything on a cell phone now, so why not help them remove friction from their lives—we’re pretty sure there is an app for that. Whether it’s paying rent, reserving an amenity, or just reading the latest community announcements, residents want to be as connected as possible. Introducing a mobile app to your community could make all the difference in resident satisfaction. An app can also help avoid late payments because residents have immediate access to your payment resources. While the cost of building your own app may be a cause for hesitation, long-term payoff should be the focus.
Simplified Customer Service
Not only can you utilize technology to satisfy your current residents, but you can also introduce technology into your screening process. With the leasing landscape getting more complex and customer service demands rising, conveniences like automating rent payments, creating a standardized pet screening process, and offering self-guided tours can make a big impact on prospects. By employing resources like these, you can eliminate the need to personally screen your applicants, conduct your own pet evaluations, and reach out to prospective renters who want to schedule showings. This will save you and your prospects time by providing flexibility, convenience, and accelerating the application process.
The way we live our lives today is different from five years ago, or even just 12 months ago. Property managers and owners who implement advanced technologies in their communities appear more appealing and are more likely to achieve higher rates of customer satisfaction. You don’t want to fall short when it comes to the most in-demand amenities—it’s time to get your community connected.
By Megan Wolfe