Rental community portals have become a “must have” among tenants and potential tenants in today’s digital world. More and more renters now consider access to a community website or portal to pay rent, request maintenance appointments or schedule conveniences such as grocery delivery or pet care services.
According to the 2019 Online Renter Study: The Resident Experience released by Apartment Ratings and StatisFacts, resident portals are “looking more like a ‘need-to-have’ rather than a ‘nice-to-have,” a reflection of the ongoing evolution of the role of connectivity in the renter experience.
In fact, 98 percent of the study’s respondents—mostly Millennials and Gen Zers—say that a community portal is “extremely important” in the apartment they choose to lease.
According to Lia Nicole Smith, Vice President of Education and Performance for SatisFacts and Apartment Ratings, property managers and landlords who are thinking about establishing a community portal should go ahead and spend the money.
With rentals eclipsing homeownership in popularity nationwide, 2020 is expected to put more pressure on multifamily rental properties to compete. Portals are an important link in the succession of high-demand, resident lifestyle amenities that property managers and landlords need to adopt in order to attract and retain tenants. A rental community’s online brand connects to its leasing brand and ultimately to the resident portal tenants will rely on once they move in.
Online portals are widely used by a wide range of industries, including education, healthcare, and hospitality. The adoption of portals in the multifamily industry has grown exponentially in recent years, and their importance to residents has grown 7 percent in just four years.
Tenants rely on a central site through which they can pay rent, book services, sign up for community events, report maintenance issues, schedule appointments, and fulfill other tasks central to community living. This is where a portal creates a strong relationship with the apartment community’s brand.
Apartment communities can utilize their portal to link residents to lifestyle experiences available to residents as well. For instance, on-site exercise classes, in-house pet grooming or walking services, grocery delivery, cleaning services—any amenities provided to residents can be scheduled conveniently through the portal.
Not only can your community portal can allow residents to book and pay for services, it helps retain high-quality residents.
Your community portal can grow to accommodate a seemingly endless array of tenant-friendly service solutions as well, such as access to rentable parking spaces, storage spaces, dry cleaning pickup and delivery services, local event tickets, and more.
Apartment community portals aren’t just for paying the rent online. By expanding your site’s portal, you can provide tenants with opportunities to access conveniences that add real value to their busy lives.