Mobile technology has transformed how we shop, travel, and eat. Now it’s on the verge of transforming how we live. At last, the real estate industry is beginning to understand that allowing consumers to do more on their phones leads to a better resident experience - and improved customer satisfaction. Landlords need to take the next step and define a mobile strategy to get the most out of this emerging amenity.
A mobile strategy in real estate is not just about smart thermostats or the Internet of Things. It is creatively using the technology that residents have come to expect in all facets of their lives to differentiate a property and set the new status quo for the future.
Take streaming video for example. Everyone watches videos on their mobile devices, yet most people have limited time to physically visit a new apartment. This opens up a massive opportunity to engage residents on their phones. ReaLync took advantage of this and has developed a platform that allows managers to easily create high quality, interactive video tours that prospective tenants can watch live or on demand wherever they are.
Not only are people watching video, they’re playing games - and not just farm games either. Companies in other industries are using gamification to engage customers, not only to sell more but to bring improvement to customers’ lives. Creating a challenge to walk 10,000 steps a day has benefitted many people; examples like FitBit can serve the real estate industry well. The possibilities for landlords gamifying life at a property are endless: recycling, resident wellness programs, event attendance, even leasing agents’ targets, and many more. When it’s done right it’s more than a gimmick, it becomes a way of life, which is what so many properties strive to promote.
Whether in games or any other aspect of their lives, consumers love realtime data. People are using mobile technology to monitor sleep, count calories, and track buses -- all in realtime. Yet in many cases, apartment dwellers are still required to act blindly and with incomplete information. For example, people are not notified when visitors arrive, or alerted when there is an open spot at the gym or an available washer & dryer for laundry. Mobile Doorman is changing this with an app that improves the data available to everyone at the property. The new addition of beacon technology allowed residents to see how crowded the fitness center is or get alerts to pick up a package when they walk in the door. Landlords should use technology to provide data that positively impacts residents’ lives.
In sum, mobile technology has immensely impacted consumers’ lives in terms of how they eat, commute, shop, communicate and more. The one area that mobile technology hasn’t yet penetrated is where they live. Property managers and real estate developers should get their buildings up to speed by taking advantage of what’s out there in mobile technology today.
About the author: Bob Matteson is the founder of Mobile Doorman, a company that makes white label mobile apps for apartment communities across the US so residents can do more on their phones.