In our series on the 5 Must-Haves in a Virtual Leasing office, we’ve looked in-depth at high converting websites, virtual tours and flexible communication tools. In this final article in our lease management software series, we’ll explore resident portals and finish up with #5, the secret sauce that turns all this technology into a major powerhouse for property managers.
A resident portal is an online platform designed to make your residents’ lives easier. How important is it? In a 2018 study of 2,000 renters, 80% considered it a must-have. (Source) An online resident portal allows residents, at the very least, to conveniently pay their rent online, submit maintenance requests, and receive notices from your staff. In light of today’s consumer-driven demand for convenience through technology—especially since the onset of COVID-19—these are important features to provide.
But What if Your Resident Portal Could Be and Do More?
Most leasing software for apartments provides a resident portal of some kind, which residents use for the tasks mentioned above to a varying degree. The more residents who use the portal to manage their communications and payments, the easier property management is for your staff.
What if your resident portal could become a forum for renters to connect and collaborate with each other, helping your residents form a real community.
During the pandemic, some property managers have taken advantage of the incredible opportunity to provide social value to residents via their portals. They’ve united their community in fun activities, helping to foster the satisfaction that can lead to renewals.
With social distancing still in place, live events may be out for now but there are other ways to connect your residents using your portal and/or social media:
- Contests. Engage tenants through fun contests that can range from food-drive competitions to costume contests to even who can get the most likes on a pet picture. (Source)
- Skills Board. Looking for someone who can knit? Seeking a commuting ride-share? Connect residents through shared needs and resources.
- News & Notes. Share information about local activities, tips for growing plants on a balcony or hanging pictures without damaging a wall, calendar events and announcements, and resources for those who may need assistance during the economic downturn (i.e. Organizations such as Apartment Life, a nonprofit that connects residents with local charities and social services.)
- Portal Engagement Campaign. The more people who engage through your portal, the more effectively you can manage your properties. So it could be worthwhile to offer incentives. Reward new users who login during your portal drive period and take any kind of action (or a specific action) with valuable offers on local amenities or a discount specific to your property. Reward current users with Resident of the Month recognition and a gift card through a random drawing of those who pay their rent online.
ResMan’s Customizable Resident Portal
Not all resident portals are created equal. ResMan’s resident portal provides a seamless digital experience that exceeds your residents’ expectations. Our online portal is customizable, intuitive and user-friendly, giving residents all the tools they need:
- Submit Work Order Requests. Residents can submit their requests and even upload images to demonstrate the issue, then track and provide feedback on the work order within the portal throughout the entire process.
- Make Payments. Integration with an open API and unrestricted payment provider allows residents to not only securely pay rent, but also view payment history, balances, and receipts.
- Access Documents. Property managers can store documents within the online resident portal for easy access by residents anytime, anywhere.
- Update Your Calendar. ResMan’s customizable calendar lets you add new or recurring events and planned maintenance to keep residents informed.
- Send Package Notifications. Notify residents of package delivery along with tracking numbers, sender, and all pickup history.
- Residents Grant Permissions. Enable residents to choose from permission levels to enter their unit, from one time pick-ups to unlimited access.
The Personal Touch
Wrapping up our series, remember that the two main purposes for implementing modern technology into your property management really boil down to one reason: By making your staff’s job easier, they save time and frustration, freeing them up to provide the personal touch that only real humans can provide.
Residents want convenience, but they also want to know those who live and work around them and to be appreciated.
With a comprehensive property management platform like Resman, leasing staff and property managers have the ability to provide the resident lifestyle that contemporary renters expect.