Online work orders and payments – Programs that enable residents to enter work orders and pay bills online via an ACH withdrawal or credit card provide great advantages. Money comes in online and is routed electronically, and these payments automatically update the ledger and statements via a company’s enterprise accounting system. Or, if someone submits a work order, it will route to the appropriate person. Residents can check on the progress, and once their job is completed they receive an automated notification. Nobody has to touch anything from the operational side, which can cut down processing expenses significantly, and tenants appreciate the convenience.
Enhanced web portals – Today, savvy multifamily owners are starting to customize their online work order and payment portals with information pertinent to their individual communities and residents, in order to enhance a sense of community and loyalty. This may include adding a town events calendar and discount coupons from local vendors; offering the ability to make online reservations for community lounges, and game and theater rooms; incorporating a guest book feature; publishing newsletters and announcements; and providing package tracking and notification service. Landlords can elevate the sense of “ownership” at their properties by engaging residents in the process of adding and administering certain features. Interest groups and social profiles can help connect two people who are looking, for example, for tennis partners. They can advertise property events and club meetings. Some portals even allow chat capabilities among tenants.
Mobile applications – Mobile websites and guest cards are great illustrations of how tablets and other devices can provide notable operational and marketing benefits. The first enables easy, instant access to current property information via a tablet computer – including unit availability and pricing, selling features like closet size, and upgrades such as stainless appliances and renovated bathrooms. And, as a salesperson walks a property with a potential resident, he or she can use an electronic guest card to capture customer information. This data can then be transferred directly to the company’s property management system, enabling marketing staff to spend less time at their desks and more time engaging their customers.
Today’s rapidly changing technology landscape provides an opportune time to consider features, like these, that can be incorporated into a multifamily enterprise technology system. The end result can bring not only efficiencies that improve bottom-line results but new ways for companies to distinguish themselves from a customer service standpoint.