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The Power of An App in Your Build-to-Rent Community

24 March 2021 Lucy Brice Read time: 2 min
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Lucy Brice

How professional landlords engage with their residents is changing, and much of it is down to Build-to-Rent communities. The rise of community-driven residential living (otherwise known as Build-to-Rent) has created a step-change, and it’s giving renters more accessibility and transparency over their in-life tenancy. 

It’s not uncommon for a Build-to-Rent community to feature some kind of concierge service, but perhaps the most important addition is the use of technology. Having an app that connects the renter to the building is proving to be a major hit and one of the primary reasons for an uptick in Build-to-Rent lets. 

So why are apps so important to Build-to-Rent communities? That’s what we’re unpacking in this guide, looking at the power of having an app in your Build-to-Rent community and how it can improve renter relations and help you lease up units. 

Direct channels of engagement 

Mobile notifications have overtaken email and phone calls as the best way to interact, providing far higher open rates than other communication methods. This is one of the main reasons for the adoption of app-based tech in Build-to-Rent communities. 

From the operators’ perspective, being able to fire out a quick notification regarding the building is more convenient than other forms of interacting. It improves the renter experience, and you can track open rates to get a clear overview of who has and hasn’t received the message. 

Renter empowerment 

Giving renters a direct method for communication makes their in-life tenancy more manageable. Previously, aspects like reporting maintenance issues and repairs were one of the biggest bottlenecks for renters. 

But having an app where they can report issues and track progress in real-time provides more transparency and less frustration. It also allows you to be more communicative over building repairs in the communal areas, giving renters advanced warnings of potential disruptions. 

A stronger sense of community

When Build-to-Rent apps are done right, they offer much more than a simple reporting tool. With integrations into online video calling platforms, many renters can use apps to run online virtual events – something that has increased in popularity during Covid.

From virtual exercise classes to quizzes and game nights, applications are providing an alternative to physical events, which currently aren’t possible. And even when things do go back to normal, it’s still handy to have the option to provide a diverse range of events that take place both off and online. 

It’s a direct marketing channel

Of course, you don’t want to spam the renters living in your building with a barrage of offers and marketing material. Having an app, however, does allow you to provide updates and lets renters take advantage of specific offers. 

Essentially, an app is a powerful marketing tool, helping to drive adoption of follow-on products, even if that’s moving into a newer building in the same portfolio. You can also make renters aware of things like referral schemes and other types of marketing benefits.  

Social spaces

While most social spaces are shared, there may be times where renters can book sections privately. Having an app provides a flexible way for renters to reserve social spaces for specific occasions, whether it’s hiring out the cinema room for a couple of hours or using the private dining space. 

Social spaces are at the heart of a community, giving renters direct access to amenity availability and improving their in-life tenancy experience. This will help to maximise the use of the on-site facilities and ensure everything runs smoothly in terms of who is using what and when. 

It’s all in the app

We’re all becoming increasingly receptive to a self-service society, and a Build-to-Rent app offers renters freedom while still giving you an opportunity to provide five-star customer service. As more Build-to-Rent communities use their app as a central component of the renter experience, expect to see Build-to-Rent popularity increase further. The end result is a win-win for operators and renters.

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