For a strong feeling of community – experience the neighbourhood in digital form in the easysquare tenant app
Accelerating digital transformation
Even before the coronavirus crisis it was clear that today’s tenants live and communicate digitally. Payments to a bank account are no longer made at the counter, but at home on the PC, and cars are rented via carsharing platforms with a tap on the smartphone screen. This development did not spare the housing industry, but over the past few months it has accelerated rapidly. Simply providing living space is no longer sufficient today. In the future, housing companies want to and will have to not just offer, but also design. This includes both avoiding hours of queuing in overcrowded service centres and ensuring effective communication with all those involved. The overarching objective of this mission is efficient processes combined with increased tenant satisfaction. But how exactly can this be done? How does a house become a home? For this, tenants must be reached in their direct, everyday living environment. We need to pave new ways to support tenants with all their needs.
Tenant communication 4.0
The main goal of neighbourhood apps is to form a sharing community that is by nature limited to a certain radius around the user, namely the neighbourhood. It’s where young neighbours help older ones with their shopping, school pupils offer to dog sit, drills and ladders are borrowed or people seek new tenants to take over their apartment. What sets this apart from local neighbourhood groups on Facebook and the like? There is a secure verification mechanism so that the exchange is limited to those who actually do live within each other’s immediate vicinity. It’s a micro-community that gives neighbours a protected space to communicate. People know one another from passing on the street or in the stairwell and accordingly conduct themselves in a polite, neighbourly way. They even feel like part of an exclusive community.
Figure 1: With the new “My neighbourhood” tile, users can advertise offers and requests.
New feeling of community thanks to neighbourhood assistance in the easysquare tenant app
In addition to the usual functions of a tenant app, such as the ability to view contracts or initiate contact with the landlord, the digital networking of tenants within a particular neighbourhood can now be moved to within the easysquare tenant app. In a new “My neighbourhood” tile, users have the opportunity to offer or search for products and services. Tenants can configure their advertisements or requests with classic features such as descriptive texts or uploaded pictures. They can also use a range of catalogue entries to specify whether they are posting something for sale, to loan, in a trade or simply offering free help around the neighbourhood. Tenants also decide for themselves in which vicinity their postings should be visible for other users or in which they would like to search for something. If someone would like to offer help with grocery shopping, for instance, they can limit the area in which they would like to offer this service. Users can also use filters to find the right type of advertisements in a list display of all current offers and requests. Contact and final arrangements between tenants regarding a service takes place in an integrated chat function. To ensure that entries are up to date, all postings automatically expire after a period of two months, at which point they are deactivated in the system.
Innovative housing companies building strong communities
Housing companies that offer a neighbourhood service in app form therefore give their tenants an instrument that they can use to satisfy their own needs for living and, above all, living together and to decide for themselves to what extent they want to get involved in their neighbourhood. A new resident may use the app more frequently to get to know people, purchase unwanted furniture, borrow a drill or find a new sports group. Long-established residents, on the other hand, use the service occasionally, for example to draw attention to a tenants’ initiative or look for someone to water their flowers while they’re on holiday. As a housing company, the neighbourhood service can also be padded out with additional useful services for the tenant. With everything from publishing interesting offers from partner companies and organising neighbourhood meetings right through to linking extra services such as purchase offers far beyond the radius of the neighbourhood, the options are almost unlimited and also promote the perception as a modern, service-oriented company where tenants do not need any other services beyond the all-in-one solution provided by their tenant app.
“My neighbourhood” is the ideal addition to your tenant app. Especially in these extraordinary times when we are more tied to our immediate living environment than ever, there is a huge desire and need for solidarity, contact and exchange. The new neighbourhood function within the easysquare tenant app provides true added value, allowing the app to be used far more often and for more positive reasons than defect reports or the annual statement. What’s more, it also increases tenants’ awareness of the innovative and progressive nature of a housing company that offers that little something extra, not only in times of crisis.
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