Resident Portal – What Is It & How It Reduces Staff Workload
Note: This article has been updated on August 16, 2022, to include the latest resident portal features in Pilera.
Giving residents the tools that they need to have an enriching experience in their community is critical to delivering good customer service. Tools that are built with a self-service mindset enables residents to access information quickly, on any device, and with a minimal amount of help. A self-service resident portal is just as beneficial to residents as it is to managers. It reduces calls to the office, giving managers more time back in the day to focus on other projects. As a management company, your customer service efforts will pay off with happier communities that want to retain your services for years to come. In this article, you’ll learn about 12 features within Pilera that will impress your residents while improving employee workload.
What is a Resident Portal?
A resident portal is a place for residents to log in and view important information about their community. Residents can access documents, learn about upcoming events, and see messages that managers send them. When residents need to request a repair in the unit, they can submit a work order and track the status. Additionally, if residents want to make structural improvements, they can submit architectural change requests for the board’s approval. Portals provide residents with a convenient way to pay dues online and view their financial transactions with the community.
12 Features of a Self-Service Resident Portal
1) Resident Portal Dashboard
The resident dashboard, released in January 2020, gives residents a high-level insight into what is occurring in their unit and the community. Residents can see their current balance, open work orders and ACRs, messages received, and packages waiting to be picked up. The dashboard also gives residents quick access to view more information for each key metric. Additionally, residents can update their contact information so they’ll never miss out on important communication from the community.
2) Manage unit information in the resident portal
Residents can gain access to and maintain their unit information all in one place. Residents can upload unit documents for management to see. They can view the latest messages that managers have sent them and view updates on their work orders or architecture change requests. They can also manage other occupants in the unit, and keep vehicle, alternate addresses/contacts, and pet information updated. Additionally, multi-unit owners can manage all their respective information for each unit under one login, a capability not provided by many community management platforms.
3) Online Payment
As more residents continue to use their smartphones for everyday tasks, it’s important to provide them with flexible ways to pay their dues online. Within Pilera, residents can make online payments to the bank of your choice or through our integrated partner Paylease. Residents can also view their balance and ledger to understand their financial history with the community.
4) Work Order Request
Giving residents the ability to submit work order requests through a resident portal will help to reduce inbound calls to your office. Through Pilera, residents can submit work order requests for their unit as well as the common area. In addition to adding details to the work order, residents can also attach images of the issue. As managers work on the request, they can post updates and choose to notify the resident by email. Pilera also provides advanced occupant permissions so you can choose how residents interact with you on their work order requests. You can allow residents to simply view the work order ticket or allow them to post comments.
5) Architectural Change Request
When residents want to make structural improvements to their homes, they can submit an architectural request change ticket to get board and manager approval. Along with details of the change, residents can also add attachments and photos. Board members can comment on the ticket about whether they approve or reject the request, and can opt to send an email notification to residents.
6) Community Directory
A way for residents to stay connected to their neighbors is through the community directory. Residents can opt-in to share their address, email address, or phone number with the rest of the community. Additionally, they can view other residents who have opted in to share their contact information.
7) Community Document Library
Adding documents is a great way to keep your residents logging into the portal. A document library is a place for residents to securely obtain important files that their management has shared with them. The document library is the page that residents visit the most within their community portal in Pilera. Add documents such as rules and regulations, emergency procedures, board meeting minutes, financials, additional forms, and copies of the previous month’s newsletters. Make sure to keep the document library relevant and fresh with the latest files so your residents will continually log in.
8) Knowledge base
The knowledge base is a searchable FAQ section where residents can find the answers they need quickly. It’s important to note that the knowledge base is as good as the content that you put in. Consider adding content that answers questions your residents most frequently ask. Also, don’t forget to tag your articles so residents can find answers quickly.
9) Event calendar
A great way to foster engagement in your communities is through hosting events and inviting your residents to take part in them. We hear from our clients that they also post routine information in the calendar, such as maintenance alerts or trash pickup. The event calendar in Pilera helps you to handle the event details and notifications in a single place instead of in an external calendar provider. Residents can log in and filter specific categories of events they’re interested in. You can also send residents an email notification about an upcoming event so they will not miss it.
Forms are a great way to collect feedback and other pertinent information from your residents. Consider adding a resident satisfaction survey or a community improvement form so you can deliver better resident experiences. Examples of forms that you can post in the portal include condominium sales requests, election/voting, clubhouse rental, pool packets, and more.
11) Submit support requests within the resident portal
It’s important to encourage two-way communication with your residents. Making it easy for your residents to contact the management company when they have a question or concern is the best way to do that. Within Pilera’s resident portal, residents can submit a support request and get updates without calling the office. Managers can assign support requests to other staff, set a due date, and prioritize the task. Furthermore, to increase communication, managers and residents can add comments to the request and receive email updates.
Note: The Resident Support Ticket feature is included in the Help Desk product. When integrated with Pilera’s Resident Portal, residents can submit and track their support requests.
12) Community Communications
Good communication is at the heart of all successful communities. Studies have shown that resident satisfaction increases when their community keeps in touch with them through frequent community updates. Pilera makes it easy to communicate in your resident’s preferred method of communication and language. Residents can choose from phone, email, text, or postal mail to receive communications. They can also choose from 100+ languages for email and text as well as English and Spanish for phone calls. Within the portal itself, residents can view a history of all communications you have sent to them. Additionally, filtering capabilities enable by message type and year enable residents to quickly find the message they’re looking for.
Through these 12 self-service resident tools within the portal in Pilera, management companies are better positioned to improve their customer service operations so they can deliver constant value to their communities. Keeping the portal up-to-date will ensure that your residents always stay happy and informed and that communities will continue to renew your services for years to come.
Free Ebook Download: A Guide to Pilera’s Resident Portal
Pilera Software is the premier community and property management suite that has helped thousands of community managers and back-office personnel enhance communications, improve customer service, and increase operational efficiency. May we help your community achieve these success stories? Try Pilera today!