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Will Clanfield's Multifamily & Tech Blog

A place to discuss how tech in multifamily is changing the world residents live in.

Mobile-Optimized Sites Versus Mobile Apps

Mobile-Optimized Sites Versus Mobile Apps
Let's face it: it's a mobile app world, and we're just living in it. According to eMarketer, smartphone users spend 90 percent of their time online in apps. One study showed that the total sessions in travel/navigation apps increased 50 percent worldwide between 2016 and 2018, while another one indicated that more than half of consumers (57 percent) have used a retailer's mobile app while in-store. Yet another one demonstrated that consumers are expected to download 258.2 billion mobile apps in 2022, up from 178.1 billion in 2017.These numbers provide powerful evidence that mobile apps play a fundamental, indispensable role in people's lives. And they should remain top of mind when apartment communities consider whether to offer residents a mobile app or a mobile-optimized portal.What's the Design Difference?We all know that the main difference is that apps must be downloaded by the user for use on a mobile device through an app store like Apple or Google Play. Unlike mobile-optimized sites, apps allow businesses to send out push and in-app notifications to the user. Generally speaking, apps can provide users with a more nimble and responsive experience than mobile websites can. Mobile-optimized websites are designed to easily accommodate different screen sizes. Users can access them through their phone browsers without downloading anything to their mobile devices. When contemplating whether to implement a mobile-optimized resident portal to allow residents to do things like make rent payments or file service requests, multifamily operators should bear in mind that users have different communication and......
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Technology Can Play Nice with Each Other

Technology Can Play Nice with Each Other
To keep their properties running smoothly and to provide residents with the services they desire, apartment operators today use a variety of different technology solutions.Property management software. Revenue management software. Package locker systems. Smart-home technology. The list goes on and on and continues to grow.With all of these systems at work, it's more important than ever that technology providers enable their solutions to integrate and "talk" with each other. The apartment industry hasn't exactly been known for this over the years, but the time has arrived for suppliers to play nice. Doing so can make day-to-day life so much easier for both operators and their residents. Quick Primer on API You may have heard of the acronym API. It stands for "Application Programming Interface."But how about something a little easier to understand: Long story short, when a solution has an API, it allows the solution's servers to communicate openly and freely with another solution's servers. In other words, the two technologies can exchange information back and forth and in real-time. It's critical that multifamily vendors build their solutions with APIs. Doing so not only allows two different technologies to communicate, it also enables solutions like mobile apps to provide both operators and residents with a single interface to access the multiple solutions supporting a community.   Mobile Deep Linking Similarly, you may be familiar with the phrase "deep linking" within mobile apps. When an API is not available, deep links bridge the gap between apps working together in tandem, using a......
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Examining the Next Decade’s Renter

Examining the Next Decade’s Renter
Last year alone, Americans spent a staggering $485 billion on rent, a record high. Factors such as the youngest generation of renters carrying heavy student debt and increased construction can be pointed to as obvious markers for the sharp increase, but the growing rent purse also suggests that a shift in the renter demo is currently taking place. Below, we discuss the evolving American rental demographic to inform how apartment communities across the country can prepare themselves for the continued uptick in numbers over the next decade.   The Rise of the Renter More Americans are flocking to rentals than we’ve seen in decades. With the housing crisis still in the not-so-distant rearview mirrors of millions of Americans, more U.S. households are headed by renters than at any point since 1965, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau housing data. While recent trend pieces point to historical data suggesting an upcoming stagnation in the apartment market, with nearly 39 million Americans (1 out of every 8) calling apartments home, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to refute the demand for apartments.   A Stagnant Income While more Americans are flocking to rentals than ever before, the median income of an apartment household has fallen by $3,000 since 1985. Couple this with an overall stagnation in income for many households, and you have a mixture worth keeping an eye on. After adjusting for inflation, wages are just 10% higher in 2017 than they were in 1973, amounting to real annual wage gro......
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Building A Social Media Brand In Multifamily

Today, seven-in-ten Americans use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information and entertain themselves, that according to a study published this week from the Pew Research Center.   Admittedly, this doesn’t come as a shock to most - everyone is on social these days. And consequently, so is every brand looking to grab the attention of those 226 million+ eyeballs across the web...   But that doesn’t mean they’re doing it correctly.   Just like big name brands such as Starbucks, Budweiser and Lyft, building a relevant & engaging brand for your current - and prospective - residents on social has never been more important. After all, your property is a salient brand for them… It’s their home.   Here are just a few tips for building and honing your property’s branding on social:   Define your brand - and stick with it Ever seen a simplistic ad, with a white background and minimalist black-font script, and think to yourself, “Huh… Is it just me, or does that look like something from Apple?” That’s not a mistake - Apple, and most major brands, work hard to keep a consistent feel for their content. Another good example is the Instagram page of a newer brand, Crispin Cider. Note the consistent coloring across the entire page, tone of voice and messaging throughout.   Work with your marketing team to craft this - or if you’re a team of one, take time to think about what you want living at your buildi......
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The Importance of Meaningful CSR In Multifamily

With planning calendars and budget discussions dominating the month of January for many multifamily portfolio and building managers, CSR - or corporate social responsibility - initiatives are sure to be a key topic of conversation, and one not to be ignored for multifamily operators around the country.   Recent reports confirm that a management’s choice of charity has a direct impact on resident’s connection with a building. In fact, a recent study from ManagInc found that more than 90% of the executives who responded replied that CSR does, or can, have an impact on resident retention, employee retention and performance. Additional results from the study can be found in Doug Miller and Jen Piccotti’s feature in the October 2017 issue of NAA’s Units magazine.   Executives further confirm the importance of a meaningful CSR initiative. The ManagInc study found that 80% agree that residents, especially millennials, find it important that a management company is socially responsible.   Doug Miller, founder and CEO of ManagInc shared, “CSR really means that when you take care of a company’s stakeholders (employees, suppliers, residents, the communities you do business within), those who make your company successful, they’ll take care of you and your long term sustained success. Our study really validates this. CSR and a ‘caring’ operating philosophy can drive employee engagement / retention / recruitment, supplier loyalty, resident loyalty / retention / recruitment, and reputation. This is even more critical as it relates to Millennials, our wonderful ‘activist’ generation.”   Source - ManagInc, published in Oct. 2017 NAA Units ......
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