April 17, 2018
Resident Portal Pitfalls to Avoid
More and more property management companies and REITs are investing in a resident portal. With a sharp focus on being resident-centric, it’s a must these days. However, investing in and using are two different things. Just because it’s there, doesn’t mean a tenant portal is being used to its full potential. There are several common mistakes that property management firms make with regard to the portal.
A Failure to Communicate
Property managers understand the need for good communication with residents. An excellent rapport builds better resident relations and protects the building owner’s investment.
Yet once the resident portal has been installed, and the usual documentation has been uploaded, it can move into “set and forget” mode. Or it’s simply used for rent reminders. That’s a missed opportunity. Staying in touch on a regular basis about building happenings, upgrades, available amenities, and asking for referrals and testimonials can foster resident goodwill and spread positive word-of-mouth.
A lack of communication has a direct impact on resident turnover rate. So stay in touch!
Not Mobile Friendly
So, you have an online resident portal, but is it mobile friendly? If not, that’s a big no-no. Mobile device users now spend about five hours of their day on their phone. Mobile internet usage surpassed desktop usage way back in 2016. Your residents want to be able to access and interact with the portal on their phone – just like how they do their banking, or browse the web.
And, don’t forget that a portal enables your people as well. Your property management staff can connect with work on the go, and check in on any maintenance requests while they are on-site. Whichever way you look at it, that approach creates a win-win scenario for employees and customers alike.
Still Keeping the Paper Trail
One of the biggest boons of a resident portal is that it allows you to digitally capture all information, and rid the office of unnecessary paper. Did you know that every misfiled document costs firms $125 in lost productivity? And, that every 12 filing cabinets require an additional employee to manage the paper? If you have a resident portal AND still mired in paperwork, you’re doing it wrong.
Use the resident portal to send digital rent reminders, digital leases that can be signed electronically, and of course, newsletters and maintenance notices. They’ll be less chance of a lost paperwork or things slipping through the cracks. And, in the process, you improve customer service.
A Lack of Payment Choice
If you’re investing in a resident portal, make sure it has the Number 1 thing all residents want – the ability to pay their rent directly online with electronic funds transfers, debit, Visa and MasterCard. Whether they choose one-time payments or automated monthly withdrawals, you no longer have to deal with lost or late cheques.
The portal makes ensuring that your residents have insurance coverage easier than ever. Tenants can take advantage of great value-for-money rates that are based on group volume discounts through TenantSure or fill in the details of their coverage from another company, they’ll be able to register and monitor their status. You’re able to fully view the insurance status of every one of your residents, allowing you to enforce mandatory adoption, and giving you and your investors peace of mind that properties are covered in the event of damage, accidents and emergencies.
How Property Vista Helps
At Property Vista, we provide a resident portal that helps you improve tenant satisfaction all while reducing effort and costs. If you’d like to reduce vacancies, and attract and retain top quality tenants, all while improving your cash flow and bottom line, we can help. To learn more, get started here.