Fuelled by the rise of social media, where users can create meaningful interactions with members of their local community, connecting with neighbours online has quickly become the new norm.
With face-to-face contact limited during the pandemic, the trend towards digital engagement increased.
BTR operators have found a need to instil a sense of community through resident portals and mobile apps, providing much needed social interaction for residents, as well as access to services.
With loneliness up 40%, tenant portals help residents feel more connected
With loneliness up 40% according to the Office for National Statistics, residents’ portals have allowed tenants to feel more connected to the spaces in which they live, while also enabling operators to run their buildings more efficiently.
BTR operators use platforms to keep residents informed about relevant issues, services, events, and health and safety protocols, while residents connected with their landlord, concierge, and neighbours. Some of our clients even introduced specific COVID-19 forums where residents could offer or ask for help, as well as providing a place to share latest government updates.
Research by Apartment Life found that the more friends a resident has within their building, the more likely they are to renew their tenancy.
Without any friends living in their community, residents only have a 29% chance of renewing.
That number jumps to 38% if they have 1-3 friends, and if they have seven or more friends, there’s a 47% likelihood that they’ll renew.
Despite, social distancing, those developments using resident apps still managed to allow friendships between neighbours to blossom.
From online supper clubs to fitness and wellbeing events, resident apps have kept communities engaged and informed.
We’ve seen conversations on sharing food, how to entertain kids, offering to deliver toilet roll and baked goods or pick up shopping – you name it!
Resident apps have also helped local economies stay afloat, with residents wanting to do all they can to ensure their communities survive.
Residents used our app to connect local bakeries, local produce boxes getting delivered to flats, even a local brewery dropping off beer for a virtual tasting session.
We’ve seen a 700% rise in social interactions across our portals, indicating how invaluable the software has been over the past year.
It’s also proven that residents who are engaged with their local community are often happier than those who are not. They also tend to post positive reviews about where they live.
These reviews can help attract new prospects and keep occupancy rates high; having residents as champions is an effective tactic if you want to increase interest in your property, whilst reducing your marketing spend.
Seeing how technology is used in times of hardship restores your faith in humanity, embracing how we can come together even with social distancing in place.
We’ve seen people post things on threads like, ‘why haven’t we done this sooner’.
BTR operators need to continue to focus on creating communities fit for the future, with technology playing a pivotal role in keeping everyone connected, engaged, and informed.