Are you looking to increase technology adoption in your community? Factors such as lack of training, security concerns, or residents simply needing to be made aware may prevent residents from using technology. Leveraging technology has many benefits for your community. It fosters engagement and keeps residents informed about the community. It also reduces your team’s workload when residents can easily view information, submit requests, and update their information.
This blog article will teach you the best practices to increase technology adoption in your community.
1) Roll out an easy-to-use resident portal
A resident portal is one of the most beneficial tools you can implement for your communities. A portal provides a central place for residents to securely make online payments, view the latest community information, request services, and connect with other residents. Promoting self-service in the community can help your team save a significant amount of time. When residents can conveniently view information and request services, it can increase satisfaction while reducing your team’s workload. Read on to learn how to promote the resident portal to your community and make adopting the resident portal easy.
2) Convey the benefits of your resident portal
It’s essential to convey the benefits of the community portal to residents. Let residents know how the portal simplifies their interaction with the community and saves them time. Show them how convenient it is to make payments or submit maintenance requests online without visiting or calling the office. A great way to accomplish this is by sending newsletters or announcing it during community meetings.
When residents sign up for Pilera, you can automatically send them a welcome message detailing the benefits. In the welcome message, introduce your management team and list specific benefits:
- Make online payments.
- View the latest documents and events.
- Residents can update their information, such as contact preferences, guests, pets, insurance, and more.
- Residents can submit maintenance, support, and ACR requests. They can also check the status without having to call the office.
- Connect with other residents through the opt-in directory and discussion board.
- List items to sell on the marketplace.
- See all of their past communications.
3) Offer training to residents
Showing residents how to use the resident portal can increase usage. For example, you can create a short tutorial video demonstrating how to log in, change passwords, set communication preferences, view documents or the calendar, submit requests, make payments, and participate in the discussion board. Offer support to help residents with any questions or difficulties they may have.
To go a step further, you can schedule live webinars for residents. During the webinar, you can show residents how to use the portal, review your community’s processes, and set expectations. Although a webinar requires more time and resources, it allows you to have live face time with residents and answer their questions.
Pilera also provides a quick tutorial video of the resident portal. Residents can access that video if you use our default welcome message template.
4) Incentivize residents to use the portal
Another way to increase the adoption of the resident portal is to offer residents incentives to use the portal. For example, incentives may include partnering with local businesses and restaurants to provide discounts to residents when they sign up or use the portal to make payments. The welcome message dashboard in Pilera shows you a list of residents who have logged into the portal.
5) Keep the resident portal up to date
To ensure that residents are continually using the portal, managers and board members need to keep the portal up to date with the latest information. When you regularly update the portal with documents or events, residents will view the portal as the most reliable source for community information. Here are some examples of how you can keep your resident portal in Pilera fresh with the latest information:
- Create a folder structure to make it easy for residents to find documents and add new files as needed, such as community financials or newsletters.
- Schedule upcoming events such as social gatherings and meetings.
- Encourage residents to participate in conversations about the community through the discussion board. Provide guidelines for having respectful conversations and moderate the forum discussions as needed.
- Regularly keep residents informed about the community through announcements. A history of all notifications is automatically tracked in the portal for residents to view.
- Provide updates on residents’ requests for work orders, support, and ACRs.
6) Promote the resident portal
If you don’t promote the resident portal, residents will likely not know about it. Here are some ways to promote the resident portal:
- Explain how to sign up for the portal in your community’s welcome packet.
- Do a show and tell of the resident portal during board meetings, social gatherings, or new resident orientation events.
- If you have a lot of walk-ins to the office, this is an excellent opportunity to show residents how to use the resident portal.
- Send email announcements regularly reminding residents of the benefits of signing up and using the resident portal.
- Include a link to the resident portal in your email signature.
7) Facilitate communication between residents
A great way to increase usage of the resident portal in your community is to encourage residents to connect with each other. However, you’re often concerned that discussions in social media groups may expose confidential information to the public. Pilera’s discussion board provides a secure place for residents to have constructive conversations while keeping your community’s data safe. Through the discussion board, residents can create topics, share attachments, and have conversations with each other.
8) Offer multiple communication options
Diverse communities call for diverse communication options. Giving your residents multiple ways to stay informed helps you reach broader demographics. Younger residents may prefer text messages, whereas older residents prefer phone calls. Offering numerous communication options also increases the likelihood that residents will receive your message.
With Pilera’s communication platform, you can notify residents by text, phone, email, or postal mail. Residents can also receive emails and text messages in their preferred language. Additionally, if your community has a portal, your residents can select their communication preferences and update their contact information. On average, communities can reach residents 30x faster with Pilera’s automated communication platform.
9) Gather feedback from residents
Actively seek feedback from residents who are using the portal regularly. Then, identify ways that you can improve the experience for your residents. When you change the portal, share the news with your residents. Let them know you are taking their feedback and actively taking steps to improve their experience. Here are some ways to gather feedback:
- Create a survey and email it to your residents.
- When talking to residents in the office or on a phone call, ask them about their experience with the portal.
Increasing the use of technology in your communities can be challenging. However, training residents, regularly updating the portal, and gathering constant feedback can improve the resident experience and boost technology adoption among residents. Using technology to create self-sufficient communities can enhance operations and reduce the workload for your team. Implement these tips today to keep your residents informed and improve operations!
Pilera Software is the premier community and property management software that has helped thousands of community managers enhance communications, improve customer service, and manage compliance and operations. To learn how Pilera can help to improve efficiency and reduce costs, book a personalized demo.