Are you constantly fielding inbound calls at your property management office? Do you find that you are spending a lot of money printing and mailing documents, event invites, or rent statements? Or, are you trying to find ways to gain the trust of your tenants and improve engagement? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it’s important to consider implementing a tenant portal for your apartment community. In this article, we discuss 10 reasons why a tenant portal can be a great asset for your apartment community.
What is a tenant portal?
First, let’s consider what a tenant portal is. A tenant portal allows tenants to log into a website and view information about the unit and community. The portal login is personalized to an individual tenant’s experience. The portal organizes important unit information such as financial balances, payments, work orders, and communication preferences. It also helps a tenant get connected to the apartment community through events, documents, surveys, and other features.
10 reasons why you should provide a tenant portal
When a tenant portal consists of information your tenants find valuable, it can be a great tool for your business. Let’s take a look at 10 reasons why you should provide a tenant portal, and how it benefits management and tenants.
1) Access to 24×7 information, anywhere
With information readily available on the internet, it is no longer a luxury to provide unit and property information online. In fact, your tenants have come to expect it. A tenant portal that is user-friendly, modern, and is mobile-responsive allows your tenants to easily access information from anywhere. 24×7 access to unit and community information anywhere gives your tenants peace of mind, so they can thoroughly enjoy the apartment-living experience.
2) Display financial balances & allow residents to make online payments
The convenience of an online payment system gives your tenants a contactless way to pay their rent on time. The portal also provides tenants with an easy way to view their balance and ledger in real-time.
3) Encourage tenants to update their own information
Give tenants the ability to update their own information. For example, the information they should update includes phone and email address, contacts, vehicles, pets, insurance, and more. The reason why this is so critical is so that management has accurate information when there is an emergency situation and need to send bulk messages.
4) One of the best ways to communicate with your tenants
You may already be communicating with your tenants through email, phone, and text. The tenant portal is another way you can communicate with your tenants and keep them informed.
5) Build a sense of community
Tenants want to have a sense of belonging in the community they live in. Therefore, it’s important that through the tenant portal, you’re able to build a positive community culture and living experience.
How do you build a sense of community through a resident portal?
- Organize virtual events to bring your tenants together, get them excited to participate, and keep them connected. Display the events in a calendar with a link to join and send them an email notification with details.
- Send a survey to your tenants at least twice a year to understand how they feel about your services and what you can do better to improve the experience for them. That way, your tenants know that you value their opinion and are open to doing something about it.
6) Increase transparency with your tenants
Maintaining transparent operations and communicating about what you do helps build trust in management. The way a tenant portal helps build transparency is through keeping tenants informed about their unit and what is happening in the community.
How can you increase transparency through the portal?
- As mentioned earlier, display financial balances in real-time so tenants can go back and see what they paid.
- Answer commonly asked questions or post documents about your company policy, lease agreements, amenity rules, and maintenance equipment.
- Communicate to your tenants regularly about what is happening in the community, work order updates, and more.
7) Generate more renewals through increased tenant satisfaction
Tenants expect to hear from management more frequently with updates they care about. When you keep tenants informed, they will be more satisfied with your customer service. They’ll also be more likely to renew their lease year after year if you provide consistent value to them.
8) Save time and improve operational efficiency
A portal eliminates a lot of manual work that managers would otherwise have to do to maintain their properties and keep track of tenants. An online payment system in your tenant portal eliminates the need for managers to go to the bank or scan checks in. Having your tenants update their contact information decreases the chance of your messages missing the inbox and going back and forth with them to correct it. Managers can also reduce inbound calls and emails to the office by answering commonly asked questions in the portal, sending messages, and emailing the progress on maintenance requests.
9) Increase Net Operating Income (NOI)
As we stated earlier, a well-maintained portal reduces manual work for managers. What if you could spend less time fielding inbound calls? What if you could save money by transitioning documents, announcements, and updates online? Management would be able to significantly reduce operating expenses and increase the profitability or the net operating income (NOI) of the property.
10) Impress new prospects
A well-maintained portal is a significant part of the value you promise to deliver to your prospective tenants. Since today’s renters want transparency and ease of access to information, a portal can provide the advantage your company needs over a competing property that may not have a portal (or a modern, easy to use portal).
Take your apartment community experience online with Pilera
Pilera’s integrated property management suite – communication, maintenance, customer support, and tenant portal – all work together to help you deliver the level of customer service your tenants expect and grow your company. Pilera’s tenant portal increases tenant satisfaction through self-service features such as occupant management, online payment, work order requests, tenant directory, and more. Through the portal, managers reduce operational expenses and thus increase NOI with features such as automatic email updates to tenants, documents, knowledge base, events, and more.
To learn more about how Pilera can help you better manage properties and increase tenant satisfaction, contact us at [email protected].