Leveraging Technology Over Social Amenities to Retain Renters in Modern Multifamily Communities
Times are changing, and so are the desires of renters, especially in the multifamily industry. Property owners used to get a leg up on the competition with social, community-building amenities that encouraged renters to make connections with their neighbors in the building.
While there is still value in creating a welcoming community in your building, social perks are just not as powerful as they used to be. In a digital age, people are less likely to socialize with their building-mates. In order to maximize tenant retention in multifamily, operators have to adapt to renters’ desired lifestyle. Retention strategies like building-wide events and meetups are fading out, and tech-focused amenities are becoming not only important, but essential in retaining residents long-term and standing out among the competition.
Connectivity is Key
At the foundation of all tech-related amenities is a strong connection. Of course, we all know that WiFi has become a need rather than a luxury, but property owners shouldn’t underestimate this, especially for properties with a young audience. Simply offering WiFi is no longer where the strength in this amenity ends.
Including WiFi in the utilities is a smart service to offer, especially if you have a large building with more than 10 units. While most property owners want strong security around their network, it’s advisable to choose a connection option that prioritizes ease and convenience for users, like a simple WPA with a universal password. Make passwords available to renters via CRM software and change the password yearly for additional security.
Some operators opt for user-specific logins to limit the number of devices that share the network, but this often causes inconvenience for residents. In a modern world, people often have many devices and guests typically want WiFi access as well. Networks that limit devices or require additional steps to grant guest access, while they may seem beneficial, are often a detriment.
In addition to offering a building-wide network, it is your job to make sure the network is always reliable and fast. If there are ever outages or connectivity issues, make an announcement to let residents know that you notice and respond quickly to these problems. If residents feel uncertain about their connection in the building, they will certainly notice — this is one amenity you want renters to never have to think about.
Digital Curb Appeal
One of the most immediate and lasting impacts on multifamily renters is curb appeal, and in an online age, operators must consider their “digital” curb appeal as well as physical.
The most common perpetrators of poor curb appeal are messy or unkempt common areas, as well as un-scooped pet waste outside. When residents notice these issues or have a bad experience in the building, they are likely to share it not only by word of mouth, but by leaving reviews or comments in an online space.
Your property’s reviews and reputation online is the first thing new prospects will see — even before they see the outside of the building, so your digital curb appeal has a large impact on resident satisfaction. Operators should keep in mind that bad experiences are no longer a one-time deal; negative reviews are lasting and have a strong influence on prospects’ perception of your property.
Tech-Led Pet Services
If your building accommodates pets, technology can streamline pet management and offer unique amenities for animal lovers. Property owners can now utilize DNA registration with residents’ pets and build an online database. This not only makes pet management easier for operators, but also allows additional security services if a pet is lost. DNA registration can help locate lost or stolen animals, giving residents added peace of mind.
It can also be a useful tool for managing waste disposal in shared outdoor spaces. Rather than reactively responding to un-scooped waste, operators can match waste in the DNA database to be able to hold residents accountable and eliminate the problem proactively.